Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It is actually quite some time since I watched Doctor Strange but somehow the movie must have slipped between the cracks since I appear to have forgotten to review it. So I am about to remedy that now. To put it in simple terms: This is an excellent movie. It is a wonderful display of magical fireworks with a decent enough story to keep it together.
I have to confess that I have not really read many of the comics containing Doctor Strange so it is a bit difficult for me to comment on the aspect of the film versus the comics. From the little that I have read I got the impression that the comic book version of Doctor Strange was a wee bit more dark, serious and mature. This movie starts from the beginning of his career though so I guess there is some justification for the less mature Doctor Strange in the movie.
Doctor Strange is a skilled neurosurgeon but a bit of an asshole. Actually more than “a bit”. He gets involved in a accident, that he pretty much causes himself due to his arrogance. Fast forward to the interesting chapter were we get to see Doctor Strange being, reluctantly, admitted into a scruffy looking monastery on the other side of the planet. That is when the fun starts. Doctor Strange is in for a ride. Slowly Doctor Strange gets knocked into him that magic exists and he is expected to practice it.
The time at the monastery, or perhaps we should call it a school, leads to a few funny episodes and I do like the head monk’s bantering with Strange and the way she does things. Talk about getting thrown into the deep end of the swimmingpool first. Strange’s continued arrogance and immaturity is a bit annoying from time to time though. That has to be said.
What is the use of super heroes if there are no bad guys around. So after Strange having trained for a while, and mostly failed miserably, the bad guys starts to crash the party. So no more pretty living room magic for Strange. It is time to go head to head with some serious competition. Unfortunately, for a good chunk of the first fights Strange mostly falls on his arse. They are still cool and beautiful to watch though.
Slowly Strange starts to get to grip with this whole magic thing and he also starts to shed some of that arrogance of his and take some responsibility. About time since the despicable bad guy are, of course, working towards freeing the real BIG bad guy, father of all evil and mother of everything else bad you can think of. Time for a showdown.
As the fighting escalates so does the user of special effects and personally I though the special effects were both beautiful and spectacular. I really liked them.
I am not sure Cumberbatch would have been my first choice for Doctor Strange though. To me he do not really project the image of the wise and skilled Wizard I expected. He is not bad though. The only other person that stood out for me was the chief monk and The Ancient One which I also quite liked. The rest of the characters, well to me they mostly lived in the shadows of these two, even though they were in general likable and sometimes fun.
There were a few rather hilarious parts where Strange has to reveal the truth about what he stepped in to his former girlfriend. I have a soft spot for the surprise moments in both movies and books.
I rather not get started on time travel since I generally hate it as a story element since it almost always leads to paradoxes or is simply so poorly done that it is blatantly obvious that someone tried to cover up for a lazy and shoddy story. However I guess I have to mention that screwing around with time is an important part of the plot in this movie. Luckily it is done in such a way that it do not, in my opinion, negatively impact the movie. Actually, to my surprise, it is used in a rather cool way.
So, bottom line, a movie I liked quite a lot. 5 out 5 stars kind worth of liking.