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Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange: Marvel’s Most Daring Film Yet

  • Benedict CumberbatchMads Mikkelsen...
  • Action & AdventureScience Fiction
  • Scott Derrickson
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Doctor Strange: Marvel’s Most Daring Film Yet

Alternate dimensions and mystical spiritualism make up most of the narrative of Doctor Strange; the fourteenth – and what proves to be the most experimental – addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. Directed by Scott Derrickson – see Sinister – there’s a lot to love about Marvel latest production, which offers just enough magic and psychedelic charm to make it a little different to the studio’s well-established house style.

Meet Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch not missing a beat); a high flying neurosurgeon who enjoys performing miracles on hopeless cases no one wants.  However, his motivation to help is not as selfless as one might think as there is nothing more that the super doctor loves more than the fame and fortune that comes along with the job.

Unfortunately, his ego is soon silenced when Stephen’s car is swerved off of the road late one night, damaging his hands in the process. After a series of surgeries, Stephen still finds himself impaired with severe nerve damage. Desperate to find a solution, Stephen travels to Nepal to seek help from the Ancient One (the marvellous Tilda Swinton); a spiritual mentor who helps her students by teaching them the way of Mystic Arts, something that naturally, Stephen initially refuses to accept. However, things soon change when Stephen finds a way to tap into his own hidden powers which are soon put to the test when Kaecilius (Mikkelsen) arrives to the scene.

The imaginative world-building of Doctor Strange is packed with colour and complexity which, unlike the straightforwardness of the studio’s other superhero tales, is a unique feat for the production and the viewers alike. Delivered through trippy and mind-altering visuals, Doctor Strange is definitely one of the studio’s most daring pictures, offering plenty of exciting and physics-bending action sequences that puts Christopher Nolan’s Inception ­to shame.

Going from an arrogant doctor who saw the world through his own limited and highly egotistical viewpoint to a magical wizard who can bend time, Benedict Cumberbatch is a fantstic choice for the role. His cocky yet charming attitude is a perfect fit, despite the British actor struggling somewhat to sustain an American accent. Another great performance comes from the Tilda Swinton who, away from the white-washing controversy, brings a great deal of gravitas to her role. As for the rest of the cast, McAdams is pleasing enough, but just like Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius, who plays Ancient One’s former student, is not fully fleshed out.   

All in all, it’s a refreshingly weird and a fun addition to the MCU which although definitely on the strange side, doesn’t stray too much from the superhero formula.  Exciting, mind-bending and full of little twists, it will be most interesting to see where Doctor Strange is taken to next and how he will fit into the big picture of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Like This? Try

Thor: The Dark World (2013), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)­, Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

360 Tip

Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy were considered for the role of The Ancient One

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