Doctor Strange, Marvel’s 119th film, is out today and obviously you’re here because you want to know if it’s worth your time and I won’t beat around the bush, yes, this movie is very much worth your time. Much like Guardians of the Galaxy this movie is a departure from the usual Marvel Studios formula.
We don’t have science based heroes like Ironman, the Hulk, or Captain America, but one based solely on mysticism. We meet Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a successful neurosurgery who is a bit cocky but at the same time brilliant and that cockiness isn’t just in the surgical room. Strange also takes that personality trait to driving as we see him whizzing in and out of New York City traffic at dangerous speeds which results in a car accident that cripples his brilliant surgical hands. He spends his entire fortune on western medicine trying to repair his hands and when that doesn’t help he seeks out a more mystic approach.
Meeting Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) Strange becomes more enlightened and is introduced into a universe he could never imagine, like the librarian Wong (Benedict Wong) says in the trailer “The Avengers protect the world from physical threats, we protect it from mystical ones.”
This is where I’ll stop with plot threads and let you discover the rest for yourself because it’s worth going into this movie with as blank a slate as possible. There was a lot in this movie I didn’t expect and a lot that the trailer leaves out (which is great).
As far as the acting is concerned it’s great, Cumberbatch as Strange is perfect, he pulls off the cocky doctor very well in the opening act and transitions to the Sorcerer Supreme smoothly. The rest of the cast, from Ejiofor (my original pick for the Black Panther by the way) was fantastic as Mordo and plays off of Cumberbatch very well. In spite of claims of “white washing” with Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One (which never bugged me), Swinton is great in this role. She takes on the “Gandalf, Obi-Wan” style role very well and leads Strange to where he needs to be perfectly. Mads Mikkelsen as our villain Kaecilius is well cast and he’s more than just a “bad guy” which has been Marvel’s biggest problem. He’s a villain that when he explains himself (without too much exposition) is a bit empathetic. Also supporting characters like Wong and Rachel McAdams‘ Christine Palmer are wonderful and cast well.
However, one of the greatest things about this film are the visuals. This takes what we saw in Inception and turns it up to 11. Because of this you need to see this movie in IMAX 3-D and this is a huge recommendation from me because where I like IMAX, I’m not a big 3-D person. Usually if I can see a movie in IMAX without 3-D I’ll go, but usually will skip it if its only IMAX 3-D. However, with the visual depth of this film I think the only way to see it is in IMAX 3-D because it adds to the movie. So for this movie don’t be cheap, pay the extra money for the IMAX ticket.
In the end Doctor Strange was a nice departure from the typical Marvel Studios film and had they chosen to this movie could have done just as well standing outside the Cinematic Universe if they chose to do so. Doctor Strange is a nice closure to this year of Marvel films and gets me excited for Infinity Wars and Thor: Ragnorok, and also Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Go see this movie, go see it in IMAX 3-D because I’m giving this movie 4 out of 5 Stars. Also there is a mid and post credit scene, so don’t be in a rush to leave.