What would you do if your purpose was taken away from you? The gifts and talents you identify with most and mastered, seemingly… gone. How would you then see yourself, perhaps… Strange?
Dr. Stephen Strange is the latest superhero welcomed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ready to take us on the wildest trip possible, as if the films the “Matrix” and “Inception” and had a psychedelic love child… and gave birth to the film, “Dr. Strange”.
As a movie, “Dr. Strange” is the most daring character and subject matter (magic) to be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the like to which we have never witnessed on the silver screen. A movie that is visually stunning, creatively dynamic yet intriguingly integral to the future of the MCU. So when you walk into the theatre… brace yourself for the hippest and wildest ride imaginable!
In a powerful way, Chiwetel Ejiofor who plays Baron Mordo provides perhaps the best instruction for the viewer when he tells Dr. Strange to… “Forget everything that you think you know!”
After forgetting, you’ll discover that at its core the film “Dr. Strange” is a well told origin story about a supremely skilled, pompous and arrogant surgeon who because of an accident, loses the ability to use his hands and searches for a remedy for his pain. His journey leads him to the orient where he encounters “The Ancient One” who proceeds to introduce him to the world of magic, and the many realms within.
Now the biggest star of this story are the mind bending and altering visual & special effects. A film that is best served to be viewed in IMAX or 3D, “Dr. Strange” is very colorful and beautifully designed expedition shown amongst many levels and angles, acquainting us to the many domains of the multi verse and magic realm.
Marvel Studios unleashes the full arsenal of special and visual effects to fabricate the world of Strange, yet the movie doesn’t succumb to the technology, the effects serve the story and to help… “change your reality.”
But the reality that soars highest in “Dr. Strange” is the acting of the world class cast which is filled with a who’s who of Oscar winners and nominees, perhaps the most talented cast you will find in a superhero movie, and it shows on the screen.
Benedict Cumberbatch embodies the character of Steven Strange… the Sorcerer Supreme. Strange is the guy who believes that he is better and smarter than everyone in the room… which usually is the case. Similar to Tony Stark/Iron Man, the confidence and intelligence of Strange is unparalleled… so i can’t wait until these 2 egos meet, pitting science vs magic.
Tilda Swinton as “The Ancient One”, was once vilified as the choice to play this character because it was being labeled as ‘white washing’ with a white actor playing an Asian character but she instantly wins you over and thus steals the movie with her acting acumen, allowing you forget that there was ever a controversy.
The previously mentioned Chiwetel Ejiofor, Baron Mordo, brings balance to the movie as his performance guides you through as the conscious of the film, the moral underpinning needed to manufacture… fantasy becoming reality.
As a villain, Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius) has the common bad guy syndrome of ruling the world but it’s the execution founded within compelling special & visual effects and his pristine acting that enriches his villainy and connects us eventually to his real motivation. Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer) and Benedict Wong (Wong) round out this stellar cast.
In the end, “Dr. Strange” as a movie does a fantastic job at drawing us unto the world of magic and the many realms that exists. The film will service well those who are familiar with his comic book yet is not over the heads of those to whom “Dr. Strange” is completely new. The film succeeds at expanding the world building and mythos of the Marvel Universe that will enrich the further development of their cinematic universe.
So… “By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth” … cast a spell and take a trip into the world of … Strange!
Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Luke Cage, Xmen: Apocalypse and Captain America: Civil War right here on MMT.