Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton.
Plot: Nurosurgon Stephen Strange loses the use of his hands in a car accident and travels to Nepal to seek out a cure for his affliction. He finds much more.
Another year, another movie from the Marvel studios production line. One may be forgiven for becoming quite cynical about Marvels output if the startling level of quality they adhere to wasn’t upheld with every release, Doctor Strange is no different.
Firstly, Doctor Strange is bloody gorgeous. It is possibly one of the most visually impressive Marvel films to date, be it the more contemporary jaw drops of the startling vistas of Napal , the psychedelic scenes where Strange experiences the world of the mystic for the first time or fight sequences in a literally folding New York City, simply mind blowing visuals. Let’s say, not that I’m condoning such actions but some parties watching Doctor Strange may find it the type of movie that may be expanded in it’s spectacle with a little “herbal enhancement”.
As is almost always the case with Marvels movies, the cast is excellent. Benedict Cumberbatch is brilliant as Doctor Strange, funny, arrogant, sardonic and eminently watchable, he owns this role much like Robert Downey Jr owns Iron Man. Mads Mikkelsen gives a worthy turn as the villain of the piece, Tilda Swinton is her usual unique self as The Ancient One, Stellar support is also offered from Chiwetel Ejiofor as future Strange antagonist Mordo and Liverpudlian ‘It’s that guy out of..’ Benedict Wong provides the exposition with a side helping of humour.
Doctor Strange is a Marvel character the general cinema going public may not be overly familiar with, the same as previous gambles such as Ant Man and Guardians Of The Galaxy. They really aren’t gambles at all though, Marvel Studios is now too well an established player to take gambles, they have incredibly talented writers and hire capable directors and cast fantastic actors. They know what they are doing. There is a case to argue that origin stories are the slog we must get through to get to the meat of a character, I didn’t really find that with Doctor Strange. It was an engaging, fun and effective story enough to keep you engrossed for the full run time.