At his point, it is safe to say that Marvel has fine-tuned their formula for bringing their heroes to the big screen. Even their lesser known heroes like Ant Man and The Guardians of the Galaxy have had their turn at the box office and, big surprise, they were awesome. Doctor Strange is the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s an origin story that feels differently fresh as director, Scott Derrickson adds magic to the mix and like Guardians of Galaxy, proves that different can be great.
Dr. Strange is a master surgeon with a House-like attitude and is at the peak of his career when a car accident takes away what every great surgeon needs, his hands. When western medicine fails, he travels to Nepal, where he learns about magic, sorcery, and other dimensions. He only wants to heal his hands and go back to his old life, but that does not happen as he is thrown into a war where a giant, world eating being is on its way to destroy the Earth. Using the eye of agamotto and the cloak of levitation, the doctor then decides to take a stand and fight like his life depends on it. If that sounds awesome, that’s because it is.
Everything was mostly fantastic. The visual effects were trippy and fun to watch, especially the exposition scene where the Ancient One shows off the multiverse. Fight scenes were crazy cool due to buildings constantly shifting and New York being split into parts, similar to Christopher Nolan’s Inception. When the magic happens, it happens. During the finale, Strange manipulates time and everything moves in reverse. It is breathe taking to watch. From opening worm holes to creating shields out of thin air, it all looks.. magical.
The characters, for the most part, are top notch. I am a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan, so I have been all in for his portrayal from the beginning. His take on Doctor Strange was amazing. He looks just like the comic. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance as Mordo was great. I’ve enjoyed him in other movies like The Martian and 12 Years a Slave. His character progression was just “okay.” *Spoilers Ahead* I feel like they didn’t have a good enough reason to turn him into the villain they needed him to be for sequels, so they just settled on “too many sorcerers.” Rachel McAdams’ Christine Palmer was forgettable. If you take her out of the plot, the movie would be no different, but I guess our hero has to have a love interest. The White Witch from Narnia’s (Tilda Swinton) The Ancient One was a fun character. Her chemistry with Cumberbatch felt pure. Now the worst character and one of my gripes with this movie and most Marvel films, the villain, Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius. Underdeveloped, little screen time, and an average performance make this yet another weak Marvel villain. I actually love Mikkelsen as an actor, but he just did not look like he was having any fun at all. BUT the best character was definitely Benedict Wong’s character, rightfully named Wong! Every time he was on the screen, he stole the show. I want to see more Wong!
To wrap things up, Doctor Strange is a great film and yet another fantastic entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Though the villain was weak and the love interest was irrelevant, I still had a blast with Dr. Strange. I’m pumped to see him interact with the rest of the Avengers, starting with his appearance in next year’s Thor: Ragnarok. I’m going to give Doctor Strange a 8 Wongs out of 10. Do yourself a favor and go see it in 3D! It definitely adds to the overall experience.
A special thanks to the guys at Nerds With Mics for allowing me to review such a stellar movie! You guys are awesome.