Strange is right.
A former neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.
Fresh, different, throw in a few crazy visual effects and we’re onto a winner.
Ol’ Cucumberbatch nails it as the cynical and quick-witted super doc. Imagine if House had super powers and you pretty much have Steven Strange.
The opening sequence left me in awe. The visual and special effects were incredible. Imagine all the dream welding sequences in Inception and crank that up to 11! It really was a feast for the eyes and that was before Strange got to mess with the dimensions!
The fight sequences were brilliantly choreographed as the masters manipulated time, space and every object possible to gain the upper hand. Twisting and bending skyscrapers to their will.
The film didn’t really mess about. It zipped along. Jumping from one thing to the next. Establishing the egotistical Strange early on and channeling a little bit of Sherlock. Only taking the cases that interest him. Showing off his talented surgical abilities at any opportunity. That was (Of course!) before tragedy struck.
I could feel the pace lagging a little when Strange went through his self-loathing phase before discovering Kamar-Taj; a spiritual Tibetan safe haven that would set our hero on his true calling.
Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin) was on scene stealing form as The Ancient One (No seriously, that’s her name). She rocked the Avatar/Morpheus look.
Frankly, she wasn’t in it enough. I was a little disappointed after having such a heavy involvement in Strange’s training that she just disappeared into the background. Shame.
Mads Mikkelsen was brilliant as the sinister Kaecilius (Even if his name was a little silly-ous). I don’t think you could have had anybody better than Hannibal Lecter to play the maniacal nutter hell bent on summoning a powerful demon to harvest the energy of the planet. Armed in tow with a cult of warped followers (wearing some crazy eye make up); Strange was up for a challenge.
After watching so many Marvel movies, I was worried that I’d get bored of watching another origin story and enduring another training montage BUT Doctor Strange brought something new to the table. All the portal conjuring and space shifting stuff subdued my griping.
There was one sequence in which Strange was having an out of body punch up with another adversary while a doctor was trying to resuscitate him. It was mental. Exhilarating, funny, riveting. I loved it. All aided by another fantastic movie score from Michael Giacchino.
There was the right balance of humour and trippy dimension bending. And that Cloak of Levitation . . . Seriously, it was like Aladdin’s magic carpet. Choosing the stubborn doc as its new host. Coming to his aid at the best time.
Benedict Wong (The Martian) was hilarious as Wong (No typo), the sworn guardian of the Ancient One’s library. I loved the awkward banter as Strange attempted numerous times to make the stern faced monk crack a grin.
Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) was tragically reduced to playing the love interest left waiting on Strange’s beck and call. A waste of a very talented actress.
Tragically, the incredibly repetitive finale with all the timey wimey guff left things on a bit of bum note. Once you’ve seen Strange pulled about into various shapes and sizes through all the multi-coloured shapes and dimensions, I did get a little fidgety.
Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor were a great pairing BUT they didn’t quite get the screen time that I wanted and the 12 Years A Slave actor got a little lost in all the chaos.
However, it was still entertaining, funny and enthralling. Doctor Strange showed enough promise for things to come and is most definitely a welcome addition to the ever growing Marvel movie-verse.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a school teacher drolling on. BUT it’s a Marvel movie; so what do we do when the credits roll?
That’s right. You park your butts on the seat and wait for the teasers. I won’t spoil any BUT there are TWO! So don’t get up after the first one.