An arrogant surgeon travels to Nepal in search of healing, only to be
drawn into the mystic arts by an ancient sorcerer who trains him.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Written by Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor,
Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton,
Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
Oscar Nominations - Best Visual Effects
It should come as no surprise that after eight years of churning out hit after hit, Marvel has scored again for the fourteenth time. Having introduced us to Earth's mightiest heroes and taken us beyond the stars, Marvel brings its audience into the realm of the mystic arts with Doctor Strange, a film that is every bit as bizarre as its title suggests. Following the flawless Marvel formula, we meet arrogant surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, who destroys his hands in a bad car accident. With no help from modern medicine, Strange travels to Asia to find a more unorthodox method of healing. It is here that Marvel's most otherworldly story begins and the MCU finally branches out into the world of magic.
Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the titular sorcerer, in what may be Marvel's best casting since Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Cumberbatch brings a sense of class, charm, and intelligence to the role that few actors have the gravitas to pull off. He also does a near perfect American accent, doing the character justice. He's joined by Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo, the loyal but silently angry top student of the Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton. Marvel got a lot of hate for casting Swinton as a character who is Asian in the source material, but I for one think she did well. While Mads Mikkelsen's villain Kaecilius may not have broken new ground in the MCU, his performance was fantastic and for that, he cannot be faulted. I was also surprised at how little arch-villain Dormammu appeared in the film, but I suppose they're saving him for the inevitable sequel.
For a film that travels through dimensions and manipulates time itself, Doctor Strange fits snugly into the MCU's overarching plan and is yet another fine addition to their Phase 3. The story is familiar yet refreshingly original and the digital effects are some of the most incredible I have ever seen. This film is incredibly entertaining and quite a wild ride. I don't know when Marvel will trip up, but I hope it's not for a long time, at least until after Doctor Strange 2.