Might I offer you some advice? Forget everything that you think you know.
Perhaps the only other movie in recent memory that bears some similarity to Doctor Strange is Inception, but still even that is only a dream. In Doctor Strange, everything is real, or so it appears.
Doctor Strange is helmed by filmmaker Scott Derrickson, best known for directing the 2012 supernatural horror flick Sinister and its sequel Sinister 2.
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Stephen Strange, a successful neurosurgeon with an extravagant lifestyle and whom finds himself crippled after a horrific car accident. Desperate to be healed with any means possible, Strange sets out on a personal journey of recovery.
Cumberbatch, whom says has had a personal experience with spirituality and mysticism in his younger days, embraces the role wholeheartedly with aplomb. Rituals and hand movements performed to channel energy into power are executed realistically, as Cumberbatch connects himself to the world of magic. As a doctor, he may also be better known by his alter ego which so happens to be the title of this movie.
Strange seeks the Ancient One, a mystic played by British actress Tilda Swinton, whom mentors him to become the Master of the Mystic Arts and possibly, the Sorcerer Supreme. With a shaved head, Swinton, who has made a successful career of portraying androgynous characters, makes the role her own and pulls off an astounding performance as the Ancient One.
Rachel McAdams plays Christine Palmer, a fellow surgeon and love interest of Strange. British actor Benedict Wong plays Wong, a fellow Master. With a Chinese descent, Wong is representative of the Asian ethnicity – a crucial point since most of the film is set in Nepal.
Strange’s lifestyle and character arc are established quickly within the first act, as he departs from the intellectual and goes into the spiritual world in an effort to save himself. Derrickson dives straight into showcasing the powers of magic, accompanied by splendid visual effects to visualise just exactly how mind-boggling some of the abilities can be.
That being said, the best way to indulge in the immersive visual wonder of the action sequences is to view Doctor Strange in 3D. It will truly bring out the extra dimension of the fictional dimensions within.
Another part of why the film is awesome lies in its comedy, as it isn’t only about epic one-liners. With lots of quirky banter, unconventional dialogue and witty actions, one might find the humorous tone in line with that of fellow Marvel superhero movie Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG).
After all, Derrickson did indeed have input from GOTG director James Gunn for the script. As per just about every other Marvel movie, be sure to stay after the movie till the very end of the credits for the extra scene(s).
And last but not least, see if you can spot the cameo appearance by Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics!
Marvel’s Doctor Strange opens in cinemas Thursday, 27 October 2016.
This film was reviewed in the 3D format
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Running time: 115 minutes
Rating: 4/5 stars