‘Doctor Strange’ film review
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
In the latest release of Marvel’s cinematic universe series, Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Stephen Strange, an arrogant neurosurgeon. One of the very best in his field, his life is changed forever when his hands are damaged in a car accident. Depressed and out of options, he seeks out a monastery in Nepal, and begins learning the mysterious art of magic and sorcery. Soon, he must use his newfound powers to combat an evil cosmic threat.
This movie is a lot more trippy and fantastical than anything Marvel has released before. There are scenes that look like they could have come straight out of Inception (2010), including sideways buildings and interdimensional portals. Visually, it is one of Marvel’s most beautiful films. The plotline involves magic, parallel worlds, and the mysteries of the cosmos, and there are some really cool scenes featuring this. It’s awe-inspiring in a theatre, especially if you choose the UltraAVX, 3-D options.
Some of the characters are undeveloped, such as Stephen’s love interest, Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). She’s given very little to do in the plot and her character feels unnecessary, although McAdams still performs well. The villain Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) isn’t particularly interesting or menacing, though he’s still portrayed convincingly. The entire cast is played well by fantastic actors, including Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Most of the problems in Doctor Strange come from the script. Some of the lines and jokes simply don’t hit. The first half is a predictable and familiar journey typical to superhero movies. However, once Stephen finds his identity as the Sorcerer Doctor Strange, the (literal) world-bending conflict we witness is really something to watch. The third act is satisfying and rewarding in its climax. We’ve seen most of this before, but here we see it in a particularly entertaining way, and we’re also introduced to some truly impressive sequences and concepts.
Doctor Strange will return in a sequel and future Marvel movies, as most fans already know. Casual moviegoers may initially miss that this is the same universe as The Avengers, but a couple of references will remind them. Now that the origin story is out of the way, we can hope the character’s further adventures are even more mind-blowing and mystifying.
Whether you’re a casual watcher or die-hard comic adaption fan, Doctor Strange won’t disappoint you. It’s exciting, entertaining, fantastical, and just plain fun. It’s not the best thing Marvel has ever released, but it’s bringing in a new hero and setting up Phase Three for more cool blockbuster action.