After his horrible car accident, neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), struggles to get his life back to the way it was before. Wanting to regain the use of his hands, he heads to Nepal in search of Karmar-Taj, where he meets the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). In addition to finding a cure for his hands, he is introduced to a world of infinite possibilities that challenges everything he has ever known.
I have to admit – I was a little skeptical about Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the titular role for this film. Having seen all the films and TV shows that he’s done before, this was a completely new genre he’s taking on.
Oh, what a non-believer I was.
Cumberbatch not only handled this new superhero persona well, he completely SLAYED as Doctor Strange. It was a refreshing change from the usual characters he played and showed a more humorous side of the actor. He delivered his comedic lines on time and even added expressions that were met with laughter from the audience. His chemistry with his fellow actors were seamless, which didn’t leave any doubts about casting.
The film itself had mind-blowing CGI that would definitely look awesome in IMAX. Coupled with real landscape, it was almost easy to believe that any of us could become a disciple and do our own magic. From the astro-projection of the characters to the bending of buildings and cities, it is a visual feast that doesn’t disappoint. The CGI done for Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation was also pretty cool as it was blended in with a real-life person. The ability to give an inanimate object life in a realistic setting is truly remarkable.
Since it’s the first time Doctor Strange is gracing the movie screen (not counting the 1978 version), it is safe to say that this is an origin film. Though there were 2 plots running co-currently, I liked that the film didn’t take away the essence of Strange’s journey into the Mystic Arts. It helped that they didn’t dwell so much on the relationship between Strange and Palmer, which really helped with the flow of the film. The eventual collision of both plots was done brilliantly and made for a kick-ass climatic ending that really didn’t disappoint.
Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius really made for a fandoms-collide moment especially when he had a fight scene with Cumberbatch. (Hannibal vs Sherlock – *BOOM*) But, Mikkelsen definitely held his own, proving once again that no one does villain better than him. Though, it was nice to see that he wasn’t a menacing antagonist this time. Despite the nail-biting atmosphere of the moment in the scene where Strange and Kaecilius meets, he manages to deliver his lines with comedic timing that helped ease the tension.
Contrary to some disgruntled people about Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, haters gonna hate. Swinton not only proved that she was more than perfect to play the Ancient One, she practically commanded the scenes shared with her male counterparts. Her tone of voice made her lines sound truly zen-like and she even delivered her witty lines with such ease. In short, she was like a real-life age-old bad-ass grand master of Mystic Arts.
After the less than stellar Suicide Squad, I cannot rave enough about how brilliant Doctor Strange is. If you want to be truly mind-blown while treated to a bit of laughs, this is the perfect film for you. If you’re a Marvel fan, just watch it – you know you’ll like it.
Oh, and a little advice: Like all Marvel films, STAY TILL THE END.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I got to go practice my hand gestures now, in hopes of creating some magic.