While on a journey of physical and spiritual healing, a brilliant neurosurgeon is drawn into the world of the mystic arts.
Okay, I admit, I thought it was curious that Marvel Movies chose Doctor Strange as one of their standalone movie adaptations in Phase 3 but my curiosity and excitement did pique when the first trailer dropped. Like any other television or movie it did take me sometime to get around to watching it but at last I did get around to watching this movie (yay!). Contains spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie, or know much about the comic book series!
Despite whatever superhero movie fatigue I’ve been feeling lately, wow, this movie! Firstly, it is stunning to watch this movie in hi-def blu-ray quality as the graphics and the effects were just amazing to watch. They really brought to life the magical elements of the Doctor Strange “universe” so to speak with the multiple realities and bending of reality. It reminded me of Inception (review) in a way but it was so cool come the fight sequences to see how they manipulate the world around them to fight.
But once again Marvel has done a great job in presenting an origin story, this time for Doctor Strange. At the beginning he reminds me of Tony Stark with his ego and his douchey-ness but omg does Stephen Strange take it up several notches and really comes across as an asshole. Like wow, some of the things he said early on…like, I get where he’s coming from and some of it really is stemming from his frustration following the accident but that scene with Rachel McAdams’ Christine Palmer really highlighted his character. Which then of course makes his character journey all the more meaningful in showing how far he’s come from Doctor Strange the neurosurgeon to Doctor Strange the superhero/sorcerer. It’s not a smooth journey of course–there’s a lot of hardship and there’s a lot for him to learn and let go, but I also thought it was interesting how despite of the lessons he’s learned and how he’s come to the role of superhero and protector of the world, he still hangs on to that one detail that defines him as a person: Doctor Strange, not Mister Strange, not Master Strange. But Benedict Cumberbatch did such a great job with the character–as if I ever had any doubt about that–but what was surprising for me about the character was the humour. I mean, yeah, Tony Stark had his quips and can be funny, but for someone as arrogant and as brilliant as Stephen Strange, I didn’t expect him to have such a sense of humour as well, whether it was bantering with Christine early in the film or trying to chat up Wong early in the film; I enjoyed those little moments.
The rest of the cast to Doctor Strange is quite stellar and were brilliant in their respective roles. Yes, there was the whitewashing controvery surrounding Tilda Swinton’s casting as The Ancient One that I admit did dampen my enthusiasm a bit for the role but she is a brilliant actress and she does bring a sense of etherealness to the role. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo was fantastic and his own character journey was interesting to watch; I haven’t read any comics featuring Doctor Strange to date so I had no idea that his character is a villian in the series so that was interesting. I heard so much about Benedict Wong’s role here and he was certainly was amusing. I wish we got a bit more backstory and story time with Kaecilius because Mads Mikkelsen is a great actor, as well as Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer but the scenes she had certainly added.
What also really astounded me about this movie though was how much it added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, drawing in the concept of the Multiverse and adding different dimensions to the universe we already know and exist within the Marvel movies. If you’ve watched all the movies to date you’ll recognise of course recognise the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy but also the sub-atomic level that we’ve seen in Ant-Man (review) and now time and other dimensions of possibility, of alternate timelines, alternate dimensions. It really opens up the whole Marvel universe and all of its possibilities, which makes it exciting. Add of course the way this movie bends through time and the magical elements and yeah, I was pretty excited watching this movie.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Doctor Strange and where and how it fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe; right after watching it I went and picked up a copy of Jason Aaron’s run on Doctor Strange (long story on why I hadn’t picked it up before, but suffice to say I had been meaning to pick it up for some time). It’s a bit of a bummer that we won’t have a sequel movie until who knows when but if the post-credits scene is any indication I’m looking forward to seeing him pop up in a future Marvel movie 🙂