This year has been absolutely jam-packed with superhero movies. Six to be exact, we’ve had Deadpool, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse and rounding out 2016 is Marvel’s 14th movie in its ever-growing cinematic universe, Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange Non-Spoiler Review
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) stars as Dr. Stephen Strange, an arrogant neurosurgeon that only cares about his own incredible reputation in his field. He’s an asshole to everyone, even his love interest Christina Palmer (Rachel McAdams) who sticks by Strange through thick and thin. This all changes when his world is ripped apart, after a car accident leaves his most prized possession’s, his hands damaged beyond repair.
With no medical procedure capable of fixing his hands, Strange heads to Nepal to find a possible cure, and ends up meeting Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), two sorcerer’s who are in the midst of a battle with a former student known as Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) who wants immortality. The Ancient One trains Strange in sorcery, which opens him up to the multiverse.
Strange only went for a cure for his hands and ends up coming away with magical powers, a bit more humility, a fancy cloak and has now joined up with The Ancient One, Mordo and Wong (Benedict Wong) to stop Kaecilius from destroying the world.
Doctor Strange is visually stunning, the bigger the screen you see it in the better. The visuals are trippy as hell but are glorious, director Scott Derrickson nailed the Steve Ditko magic and kaleidoscopic effects to a tee. The role of Strange was made for Cumberbatch, he plays egotistical so well that I hated Dr. Stephen Strange at the beginning, he’s an asshole. That had me worried, but when Strange finds a bit more humility in the middle of the film, man he’s good. It feels like Marvel has a shoe in to replace Robert Downey Jr as the central focus within the MCU when he’s finally done with Iron Man.
The storyline is predictable and feels like those of phase one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s better than Iron Man 2, Thor and the Incredible Hulk. But wouldn’t budge Captain America: The First Avenger and Iron Man off the top of the pile. Up until Strange meets The Ancient one the film is a little boring. But it does pick up and there is some really great moments. Any scene that involve either Strange, Wong or Mordo are particularly pleasing. And even better when they have scenes together.
Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo is a character I’m looking forward to seeing more of in the future, he’s really interesting. Benedict Wong’s, Wong is a delight, he brings most of the laughs and is one of the main highlights of Doctor Strange and we need more of him within the MCU. Tilda Swinton’s The Ancient one is the best mentor we’ve seen yet and is great in the role. However the films villain Kaecilius is wasted and it’s nothing to do with Mads Mikkelsen acting ability just the material he had to work with. A shame really, as I thought his character would have given Loki, or even Ultron a run for their money. Another wasted character is that of Christina Palmer’s as an actress Rachel McAdams deserves better, her role is small within the film and she delivers, to me she would have been better off cast in the role of the sorceress Clea in future Doctor Strange sequels.
Overall Doctor Strange is a fun movie once it gets past the first twenty mins. The villain lacks once again, that’s something that keeps popping up with Marvel movies. The magical side and the multiverse offers something new to the MCU which will be great to see develop in the future. Benedict Cumberbatch will undoubtedly be the main focal point of Marvel as phase three moves out with the old and in with the new.
Remember to stay right until the end of the credits for the two post credit scenes attached to Doctor Strange, you’d think by now people would know this. But far too many people in my screening left as soon as the film went to the credits.
Doctor Strange is out now in the UK and hits screens in the US November 4th.