Doctor Strange – B+
Obscure super here to most of the world? Check. A story that one has to accept and not over-think because it is a comic book movie? Check. Best superhero movie of the year? Almost.
First off, I have to say, that this is my second favorite movie of the year for comic books and it was almost #1. Civil War still takes the top spot but I thoroughly enjoyed this over Deadpool. When i first saw Deadpool, another obscure character most non comic book heavy readers do not know about, I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it like a lot of others. That being said I watched it again last week and enjoyed it upon the second viewing so much more that I can now say I love the movie.
With Doctor Strange though, we get a movie that is unlike any comic book movie we have had yet. Yes Guardians was very obscure as we well and became a massive hit. That movie though didn’t involve much thinking or having to make the audience believe in mystical things as much as this movie.
Dr. Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brilliant, self-loving, arrogant…and many other things type of doctor. What his not, is gracious and a team player. Even his soft spot for a colleague/ex-girlfriend, he is lacking in charm. After being involved in a self-inflicted car crash, which to be honest, no way in hell anyone would have survived, and yes I know it is a movie, but if you are trying to get me to believe in an alternate universes, the car crash was a bit overdone…. Strange has now lost the use of his hands. As brilliant in mind as he is, he can now no longer perform surgeries. Strange, refuses to accept defeat and attempts to heal himself with several more surgeries that do not prove successful.
Upon hearing about a miracle case from his PT trainer, Strange searches out this man to find out how he was healed from an injury that should not have been corrected. He’s told of a place where his miracle happened.
Strange heads to Nepal and upon arriving, finds what he has been searching for. Still a disbeliever because he is a man of science and fact, the Ancient one played by Tilda Swinton and her assistant Mordo, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, decide to still take Strange on to help him find his way. They know a battle is coming and after seeing that Strange does posses a gift to the mystic arts, will try to convince him to join and not just think of himself and his cure for his hands.
The battle that is coming is with the Ancient One’s ex-pupil, Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelsen. Kae, has stolen an ancient text regarding immortality, but does not fully understand what comes from using the power. As a man who has lost everything in his life before going to the Ancient One, he is hell-bent on trying to get it back.
As Strange becomes more powerful and knowledgeable about the mystics, he learns that he is being trained for war and refuses to be a part of it. He is called out on his selfishness and is forced into making a decision as Kae has now broken realms that should not have been entered and is about to start destruction of unspeakable levels.
The multi-verse or other universal dimensions are what allow these mystics to do their magic. The special effects are amazing at bringing it to life. Yes the vocab may trip you up a bit, but if you just take it in at the simplest level…. in this movie there is more than one universe, one dimension. The mystics can enter these, change them without notice from the regular universe. Though there are rules. One is not supposed to change time and surroundings. Dark magic is seen as unstable. The one thing is though, the rules are there for a reason and as in the movie, especially at the end, the rules come back to work in a great way. It is not a heart stopping, ending. It is actually a quite fun ending. The movie uses the rules set up from the multi-verse and we are given a very non-superhero type ending, which I ended up loving.
I know some reviewers thought the humor was hit or miss. I only thought there was one flat joke, the others worked. The audience I saw this with “got” the humor and laughed as I laughed. That is how you know the humor is working. It doesn’t have to be Big Bang Theory-type humor were it obvious nerd humor. This is mostly clever humor and some physical humor.
I hope you will go see this movie.
Remember; do not over-think the other dimension stuff. Just go with it!