No spoilers – so read on!
For Marvel fans, Doctor Strange brings a distinctive new chapter to the Marvel Universe. And for this fan, it brings life to a favorite comic book hero. Perhaps one of the most powerful Marvel characters, Doctor Strange merges science, mystical magic and spirituality.
Born Stephen Vincent Strange, the doctor in his earlier career was considered one of the top neurosurgeons in the world. Played brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch, Strange’s success was partly due to his over inflated ego and keen intellect. As with many Marvel heroes, Doctor Strange undergoes a metamorphosis after a career ending accident that left his hands unable to perform surgery.
In his desperation to heal his hands, the doctor forgoes the usual paths of science and medicine to seek the help of mystics. The location of where Strange finds his powers is a bit vague. Comic book lore indicates a hidden land high in the Himalayas. The filmmakers decided to keep the location more centered in urban area of Nepal. This fit well with the other urban locations where the story delved.
Cumberbatch proves himself worthy of this role. Providing a nice balance of playfulness and intensity that often was shown throughout Doctor Strange comic book history. What was a great surprise and treat was the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. Often shown as an older man of some Asian background, this casting was a refreshing take on the character. The only actress that could pull it off with such bravado is Swinton. As always her measured and ethereal charisma brought the Ancient Ones character a feeling of great depth. Swinton always leaves the audience wanting more.
Without Cumberbatch and Swinton’s pivotal performances, the film would have felt uneven and flat. The addition of incredible technical and innovative CGI is what gives Doctor Strange that distinctive appeal all fans have been hoping to experience. Lastly, Chiwetel Ejiofo with his stoic, unbending performance as Baron Mordo casts a vision of what is to come with Doctor Strange.
Overall, Doctor Strange begins a wondrous chapter in the Marvel Universe. Delving into the notion what many perceive as mysticism and magic is actually how the universe exists.
Doctor Strange review in IMAX 3D by benMUSA
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen and Benedict Wong
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