Doctor Strange Review

(Spoiler Free)

After seeing Doctor Strange in IMAX 3D I’m happy to inform everyone that I have both good news and great news. The good news is Doctor Strange is arguably one of the top three films in the MCU. The great news is if you love bath salts but hate waking up in aquariums/zoos you don’t have to do bath salts anymore, all you have to do is see Doctor Strange in IMAX 3D.

Many people like myself were excited if not amazed by the trailers which left us praying for a sliver of what they promised, and its great to see that they more than delivered. Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson (director of Sinister), and starring Benedict “My BFF is Bilbo” Cumberbatch as Dr. Steven Strange the genius surgeon turned genius sorcerer, has an incredible cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen (Mads is a favorite here at dusty DVD, see Pusher or Pusher 2), and of course Benedict “My BFF is Marco” Wong.

Doctor Strange succeeds in making itself distinct and unique in a slew of superhero movies. It’s hilarious, suspenseful, clever, trippy, and above all it’s cool. I’m unfamiliar with Strange from the comics but the one gripe I could see people having is that there is a definite similarity between Steven Strange and Tony Stark, at least initially. They’re both cocky and brilliant in their own ways. But there are clear differences between Tony Stark and Steven Strange that become much more evident as the Doctor evolves throughout his journey into one of the most powerful heroes in the MCU roster.

Strange starts out a cocky yet brilliant surgeon who maims his hands in a horrific accident. In search of a cure for his crippled hands and spirit he stumbles upon a temple occupied by The Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton, who I thought did a fantastic job. Initially when the news hit that an old Asian dude would be played by a middle aged British lady people had mixed reactions, but I think people will have a hard time hating her performance. The Ancient One teaches Strange the art of cosmic mystical trippy bath salty sorcery, some bad guys come into the picture and cause a ruckus, wizards wage war, and as a result we get to see some of the best 3D Tom Foolery since (take your pick Avatar, Tron 2, Inception, I thought Mad Max Fury Road was pretty cool). It doesn’t take long for the movie to get Strange either. Doctor Strange doesn’t burden us with an overlong pre-super story but it still gives us a perfect picture of who Strange was, is, and will become. Cumberbatch is now Strange, thats that. He comes out of the film a memorable and iconic hero, like Downey Jr. with Stark or Chris Evans with Cap or even Hugh Jackman with Wolverine. The character of Doctor Strange will be Cumberbatch’s for the rest of time…and space.

That previously mentioned bad guy is Kaecilius, a jilted sorcerer hoping to harness some evil world ending power. He’s played by Mads Mikkelsen, and as always, he makes the character intimidating and interesting and we’re barely given a satisfying dose of his character. That’s definitely something I would have liked to see more of. A little more Mads never hurt anyone, except technically maybe all of humanity…

A key element to Doctor Strange and hopefully future Strange movies and Marvel movies is Mordo played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. He starts out as another student of The Ancient One and a mentor/coworker to Strange, yet it’s clear from the film, and from anyone who knows literally anything from the comics, seeds are planted that lead one to think Mordo may be heading towards the dark side. Chiwetel plays Mordo perfectly, convincing of us of his bad-assery and his “moral conflict”.

Rachel McAdams plays Christine Palmer, the “doctor peer/former and or current lover” of Strange before the accident. Throughout the story she makes herself an important and capable figure who is far from a superhero love interest in need of saving because of Lex Luther’s nonsensical schemes. One has to wonder how their relationship will develop while the Doctor galavants through 3 dimensional 2001 Space Odyssey lands.

Benedict Wong plays the sorcery temple’s librarian and in a way he’s sort of like the old Walder Frey Harry Potter librarian combined with Idris Elba from Thor mixed with a little bit of Drax. In any case he’s a great character that I hope remains a staple to the Doctor Strange series.

And of course there’s Doctor Strange’s cape, played by the ghost dog Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas, one of the best performances of the film by far.

Doctor Strange separates itself from the average superhero movie by giving us a hilarious and jaw dropping mystical adventure that is actually intelligent. It’s truly a clever movie which you don’t usually get when you get a movie with mind blowing 3D. Which reminds me, see this movie in 3D or IMAX 3D if you can, its nuts. Doctor Strange cements itself and himself as a powerhouse in the Marvel Universe. There will definitely be a future for Strange in the Marvel universe, if you stay for the two post-credit scenes you’ll know what I mean (thats right two, both fairly solid). Think of it as Iron Man meets Inception meets Harry Potter meets a Rick and Morty episode meets Benedict Cumberbatch. Like I said, I think Doctor Strange just pushed its way into the top 3 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if you haven’t experienced it there’s no better time than now to get a little Strange…

Doctor Strange gets… 4.5/5 Stars

What did you think of Doctor Strange? Let us know where you think it ranks among the Marvel movies? And thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: Snagged from screenrant.com


Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two (Iron Man 3 / Thor: The Dark World / Captain America: The Winter Soldier / Guardians of the Galaxy / Avengers: Age of Ultron / Ant-Man)(Amazon Exclusive) [Blu-ray]

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