Doctor Strange certainly lives up to its name. It’s yet another rollicking ride from Marvel, but this one is more concerned with the more existential instead of physical defence of Earth. It makes your brain twist sideways with some of the possibilities, and holds a vivid similarity to Inception for brain spinning.
It stars Benedict Cumberbatch (of Sherlock fame) in the title role as Doctor Stephen Strange. He’s an egotistical neurosurgeon who one night has a dramatic accident which changes his career forever. There’s some very interesting psychological fallout as a result, as he struggles to come to terms with what has occurred. He’s trying to find a way out, a way back to what he had. His search leads him to Nepal, and a secret group. Where he learns that the world is not what he thought it was.
Tilda Swinton shines as the guru that teaches Dr Strange the truth of things. She portrays so much with a small muscle movement. She was wonderful in her role. Chiwetel Ejiofor (known for Serenity, 12 Years a Slave, and The Martian) also joins the cast as Mordo, a friend Strange makes in Nepal. Benedict Wong appears as Wong. Also met in Nepal, Wong provides some comic relief at the right time. Rachel McAdams stars as the love interest for Strange, who is also a doctor at the same hospital. Mads Mikkelsen rounds out the cast as the rather standard villain to beat in this interesting origin movie. For my money, however, the best sidekick in the movie is not a human, but Strange’s new Cloak of Levitation.
The group in Nepal that Strange joins appears to span New York, Hong Kong and London for bases, and they actually did do a lot of on location shooting. It shows. The authenticity of the scenes is a notch above the everyday movie, and I’m speaking as one who has been to all 3 cities. It was also shot partly in Nepal, and all of these locations add richness and credibility to the tapestry of the movie.
This is another in a long line of wins for Marvel. There is humour, poignancy, and a lot of action. It does not disappoint. There are references to the other Marvel movies – keep an eye out for the Avengers tower and of course Stan Lee’s cameo during a particularly mind-bending sequence. Also remember that there are not one but two extra scenes during and after the credits, so don’t leave early.
I’ll leave you with one of the best quotes of the movie – “What mysteries lie beyond the reach of your senses?”
Doctor Strange, from Marvel Studios, stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton and Rachel McAdams, and makes its U.S. debut on November 4.