Doctor Strange – Marvel Wins Again – Review

Courtesy Disney

The unlikely superhero superstar Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Doctor Stephen Strange – a talented, cocky, selfish neurosurgeon.  His life is decimated after a horrifying accident leaves him physically unable to perform surgery anymore, so Strange sets off desperately looking for any experimental procedure possible to make him whole again.

The journey leads to Nepal, where he starts to learn about powers and abilities he never knew existed, and can’t quite comprehend.

Of course, this leads him into the middle of a battle between good and evil that could destroy Earth and the universe as we know it.

Doctor Strange turned out to be much more entertaining than I thought it would be.

Sure, it’s another Marvel masterpiece from the movie factory that doesn’t seem to be able to do any wrong, but the previews and promotional materials made Doctor Strange seem like a dark and brooding movie as if it was made by those dudes with DC Comics (still can’t and won’t forgive them for Man of Steel).

Yet, Cumberbatch and the creative team fill Doctor Strange with plenty of humor and spirit.  Our star excels as the smart aleck with the attitude and sharp tongue to match as the audience revels in his mockery of that which he doesn’t understand, and his dumbfounded reactions as he struggles to comprehend what he cannot deny after seeing it with his own eyes.  His exasperation and struggles to become the man and hero he will need to be to save the planet become inspiring after witnessing how far he has come.

Most of all, Doctor Strange will visually blow you away as director/co-screenwriter Scott Derrickson and the visual effects team bring the audience into unimaginable new worlds and dimensions which change shape and bend to the will of these powerful beings who control time, space, the tangible items around us and even their own souls.

However, Doctor Strange is not a perfect movie.  His development into a hero is the same, typical, obvious, formulaic story we have seen in just about every superhero movie ever made.  He starts off as a person who is broken emotionally and physically, begins to doubt everything around him, slowly learns to control and harness his powers, and struggles until he gets it.  Then, takes on an imposing villain bigger and more powerful than he believes he can defeat.

Mads Mikkelsen deserves some praise from keeping a ridiculous character from spinning out of control.  Our villain has a silly name, Kaecillius, and silly makeup to make his eyes look like he hasn’t slept in a month.  Moviegoers have been watching Benicio Del Toro rocking that look for almost twenty years, so Mikkelsen has to reach deeper to make the dude seem imposing.

Doctor Strange is another fantastic entry into the Marvel universe and just hold onto your hats when you get to see the massive battle fought while the world is moving in reverse, which is one of the most imaginative and shocking you will see all year.

3_5waffles_sml3 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)

Doctor Strange is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence.