Doctor Strange is Magically Entertaining (Movie Review)

Doctor StrangeDoctor Strange is actually one Marvel comics movie I was not looking forward to.  Truth be told I’ve never been a fan of the comic book character.  He always reminded me too much of Tony Stark in the looks department.  Coupled with the fact that I’m not a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan and I’m already batting 0 and 2 going into this one.  However, I’m a huge fan of superhero films and I love what Marvel has done with this Cinematic Universe (MCU) thus far.  Therefore I wont let my prejudices supersede my judgment here.  Despite initial early reviews and some warnings calling this Marvel’s Green Lantern I was still stoked to see what was in store for me here.  If nothing else, the visuals look pretty trippy and Inception-like in the trailers.  It should at least be a spectacle.  That much I was counting on!

In one form or another Doctor Strange has been in development for quite some time dating back to when Ronald Regan was in office.  Fast forward to 2016 and it’s now the fourteenth film in the MCU.  The film fell under the love and care of Scott Derrickson, who wrote the film with C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts. How Scott actually got the director’s gig is nothing short of amazing too.  Rumor has it that to win the job he had written a 12-page scene for the movie.  He illustrated it with his own concept art alongside storyboards from other professional artists.  To top it all off he presented it in a 90 minute pitch to the studio. This cost Derrickson a large amount of his own money, but he felt it necessary to prove that he wanted the job more than anyone else.  Now that’s dedication and what a return on investment too!  After hiring Derrickson, Marvel even bought the 12-page scene off him, and it became one of the film’s main set pieces.  I don’t know what scene this refers to, but nevertheless that’s what I read.

Doctor Strange

This 2016 superhero film also stars some big names in addition to the aforementioned Cumberbatch.  I’m talking the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.  All of these major players are integral to the story arc of Stephen Strange’s (Cumberbatch) here.  He’s a world renown neurosurgeon, but when a career-ending car accident renders him almost useless he sets out to learn the mystic arts from the Ancient One (Swinton).  In doing so he becomes something more than he once was and bargained for.  Ultimately he becomes an Avenger, but that’s a different story for another day.  This one is all about the origin baby!

Like most of the MCU films sadly Mikkelsen wont get any brownie points in the villain department, but that’s not to say he was bad at all.  He just didn’t have much to work with.  His presence was intimidating though so he did his job effectively.  The cast as a whole was strong, capable and satisfying in their respective roles.  Cumberbatch surprised me the most as he completely erased all my misconceptions of him acting anything like a Tony Stark (including a similar story arc).  He made the role his own and had a fancy, floating red cape to boot (it even had a cool name too).  He even had me cracking up at a times (Wong too).  What more can you ask for?  The rest of the supporting characters bring strength, determination and the necessary humorous traits into the finished product. Thus they make it one of the breeziest and most enjoyable Marvel films I have sat through since 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  Who needs that overly bloated Civil War when you have Doctor Strange?

Next I want to talk about all the delicious magic to be found within here.  The visuals, fights and action sequences are simply “marvel”ous and quite a spectacle to behold.  Imagine insane fight scenes across folding and crumpling buildings in Christopher Nolan’s Inception.   Now stay with me and visualize that while watching it on the biggest IMAX screen possible and in 3D.  Thats’s right folks!  I said 3D!  The sense of depth throughout here in this post 3D conversion is nothing short of amazing.  It has me wishing I would have bought a second 3D television in the home front.  When this bad boy comes out on Blu-ray disc you better believe it’s going to get played back in 3D…and frequently!  You’ll infrequently hear me say this, but make sure to see this on not only the biggest screen possible, but also in 3D too.  My sorcery spell commands you.

Doctor Strange

So I did say this was an origin story.  However, don’t worry about the negative connotations that immediately implies.  It never gets bogged down in itself and it actually moves rather briskly (clocks in well under two hours).  Coincidentally that’s also why I like this too because it sets out to explain how all this magic is “seemingly” possible.  In the trailers you see men running around like little green fairies in NYC and Strange weaving magic lights.  What the trailers don’t show you is how all of this is possible.  I’m not saying it’s real world possible, but it’s definitely made Marvel comics possible.  That ladies and gentlemen is all you need to believe in.  Marvel sells this one and I’m happily buying.

Last but not least let’s talk story.  I already mentioned it’s an origin story, albeit a familiar one.  However, what makes this tick for me is its quick pace, entertaining action sequences and its comical undertone.  I laughed my sweet behind off many the times at the hilarious onscreen events.  And when I say hilarious I just mean comical moments, nothing over-the-top ridiculous.  That is unless you’re talking about the ending.  I’ll say this and leave it here.  If you’re a fan of the Rise of Silver Surfer like I am, you’ll have no problems here come Act 3.  Don’t let others fool you into thinking that this is as bad as Green Lantern.  Take the red pill and enter the “Matrix” with me, err I mean world of Doctor Strange.  Enjoy and stay around DURING and AFTER the credits!

Doctor Strange Poster


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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