Doctor Strange is New and Fresh
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“Doctor Strange” Movie Review
What Robert Downey, Jr. is to “Iron Man” and Ryan Reynolds is to “Deadpool” that’s what Benedict Cumberbatch is to “Doctor Strange”. By that I mean, he’s amazing. Benedict Cumberbatch in the movie uses an American accent. “Doctor Strange” is the creative spark that ignites this new entry in the Marvel cinematic universe. “Doctor Strange” has kicked it up a notch with a visually stunning and witty film. See it in 3-D IMAX, people, and you’re in for the biggest mind blow of the year. And having Cumberbatch around really raises the bar on what’s possible in comic-book fantasy.
“Doctor Strange”, the first in what looks to be a killer film franchise, is an origin story. It feels a little bit like some other movies in the Marvel playbook of arrogant jerks who see the light, however, Cumberbatch plays it fresh, funny, and fierce. His Stephen Strange is a neurosurgeon with miracle hands and a grand ambition to match his gargantuan ego; he won’t even treat patients he thinks he can’t cure. Rachel McAdams plays Christine Palmer, the ER doc who loves him, despite the fact that Strange thinks a romantic evening is inviting her to hear him deliver a lecture. Then, one dark night, Strange texting while driving crashes his fancy car and emerges with his hands mangled and shaky.
He finds help for is hands in the Eastern mysticism of Kathmandu, where he meets the Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton. Swinton radiates mysticism with a certain humor. Chiwetel Ejiofor brings energy to Mordo, one of the masters in the Ancient One’s service.
Cumberbatch, Swinton, and Ejiofer are not slumming at all here, and these top-of-the-line actors giving the blockbuster a riveting, resonant send-off, whooshed along by Michael Giacchino’s propulsive score. Add Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius, the Ancient One’s traitorous former disciple and Benedict Wong as Wong, the protector of the Ancient One’s secret books. This makes this movie a strong powerhouse of wonderful actors.
“Doctor Strange” is similarly unique, deviating just enough from the cookie-cutter Marvel pattern to become its own living creation. Wait until you see his Cloak of Levitation which seems to have a personality of its own, his encounter with the Dark Dimension, and the fight scene on the streets of New York that melts into a kaleidoscope of melting images. Through it all, there’s Strange, a character that Cumberbatch catches in the fascinating act of inventing of himself as a new sorcerer supreme. Stick through the film’s final credits and you’ll see a bonus scene that suggests Strange inching into the world of the Avengers. But for right now, “Doctor Strange” creates its own world. And it’s a beauty. A rating