Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a rich, smart and handsome neurosurgeon with a world of opportunities ahead of him, but perhaps not the ones he was aiming for. What comes across as a Bond film at the start with the flashy car and technology, money and great job, Stephen quickly becomes involved in a horrific car accident leaving him unable to use his hands, therefore unable to continue his profession.
Much like your Iron Man (Tony Stark) figure, Stephen doesn’t actually exhibit any super powers as such but learns to find an inner power, spiritual as you may put it. Stephen falls into a deep hole of depression after his accident resulting in losing his former lover Christine Palmer (Rachael McAdams) and contacts various surgeons and specialists in hopes they will accept his request of undergoing risky surgery to enable him to have better use of his hands. He has this surgery, but unfortunately it did not give him the results he hoped for and the recovery process was still long and difficult. This is when he turns to the higher powers and ventures to Nepal, a place called Karma-Taj. Upon arrival his sarcasm and pessimism towards the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) gets him thrown straight back out again on to the streets of Nepal, however she soon lets him back in and shows him things he never thought possible. This is when Stephen Strange becomes Dr Strange and you are opened up to a whole new psychedelic view on cinematography. It’s space meets a much broader version of inception.
I honestly feel the casting for this film made it what it is, Cumberbatch doesn’t fail to deliver on the know it all, arrogant man that people want to hate but can’t help but love. The excitement of Mads Mikkelsen playing a MCU villain (Kaecilius) also had people jumping for joy, his perfect portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter gives him the wide selection of villains he would suit, Kaecilius being one of those. Mikkelsen plays the villain on a power trip to take the world into his own hands using the powers possessed Dormammu, a being bigger than any other, capable of consuming all life forms.
McAdams is also a strong character in the sense she’s sweet, undeserving of the way Strange treats her when he’s in his egotistical stage of life. You can’t help but invest in her and the love she clearly has for him, but having to let him make his own mistakes and choices. She does come through in the end to patch Strange up each time he appears through the portals in the hospital she works at, our heart aches for her as we watch she and Strange part ways more than once.
Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is our next powerful sorcerer who was once in Strange’s place before he met the Ancient one. He helps Strange push his powers to the limits but in fact battles Strange in the comic book series. Wong (Benedict Wong) who is your lovable good guy with no knowledge of the 21st century, Beyonce who? Both of these characters show Strange things that quickly overcome his initial skepticism.
The Ancient one (Tilda Swinton) was originally an Asian male in the comics but Derrickson’s choice of casting Swinton was nothing to regret. Ancient one is much like a reflection of Strange in his stubbornness and strong willed mind and this is what made her being a female rather than the original male character work well with Strange’s personality and they very much mirror one another.
A handful of characters who in my opinion couldn’t be replaced. Although the MCU is 14 movies in and could pretty much throw anything on to the screens and we would be glued to it and probably sit through 10 minutes of credits to watch somebody eat a hot dog, producer Kevin Feige, writers Dericckson and C. Robert Cargill portrayed the character of Strange in a pleasant lighthearted way, with plenty of comedy crammed in but still gripping us to the story. There is room for improvement here and a lot of reviews on Dr Strange have a similar view on this film being just another “echo” of previous MCU movies according to a review on IGN.
Despite the negative reviews however it’s got a whopping 90% (7.3/10) on Rotten Tomatoes and 8/10 on iMDB. In my opinion, Marvel hit it the nail on the head once again, there’s rarely a MCU movie I don’t like, but this one is now up there with my top three. The comedy was well placed along with the serious side of the story, it wasn’t taken over by a love story it kept it real, this was about the Ancient one and how Strange was going to continue that role for Swinton. Of course the after credits scene was an exciting one, we see Strange and Thor chatting over a beer about how they are going to get Odin back to Asgard, so time to start counting down the days to Dr Strange 2!