Taking first place in weekend box office ratings both domestically and internationally, “Doctor Strange” shifts the superhero franchise into a far stranger direction.
With all the wild and crazy themes that Marvel integrates into their stories that scream fiction, they also have that realistic vibe infused. “Doctor Strange” introduces the concept of magic into the superhero world to create a powerful sense of realism.
Doctor Stephen Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is renowned neurosurgeon who could work magic and wonders that other neurosurgeons could not.
The opening of the movie illustrates this perfectly with Strange identifying a fellow surgeon’s error of pronouncing a patient deceased while they were in a comatose state. Strange saw through the error that the man was still alive but dying quickly and that they would have to perform the surgery immediately to save his life. Strange performed the operation without flaw and saved the man’s life.
The miracles that neurosurgeons perform is not strictly a Marvel idea. Neurosurgeons are renowned for their skills and mostly the calm stability and accuracy of their hands.
This is true in the film as well. Strange’s hands play a huge role throughout the film because they are what define him when he is involved in a car accident that ends his career and leaves him as a cripple with no control over his hands.
Strange’s life is thrown into turmoil after his career comes to an abrupt end. After countless procedures, his hands are never the same and constantly tremble due to extensive nerve damage.
Losing faith in ever becoming whole again, Strange hears about a case of a paralyzed man who could never walk again, but after traveling to a sacred place called Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu, Nepal, the man is able to walk again as if the incident that paralyzed him never happened.
Upon hearing of this and meeting with the man, Strange sets out to find Kamar-Taj where he learns that by allowing himself to serve something far greater than himself that he could become healed. Through this, he learns magic.
Strange becomes a superhero and fights against other magic users who decided to betray their teachings in pursuit of the power of immortality.
“Doctor Strange” utilizes a perfect blend of action, humor and the mystic element to create something completely new to the Marvel world.
The film shares similar visual effects to “Inception” with the mind-bending and distorting sequences that make the physical elements of the world seem more malleable than rigged. There is no easier way to put something like that into context. The visual effects have to be experienced.
The storytelling and visual effects are nearly flawless, and Cumberbatch’s acting along with the acting of all the other cast members was simply breathtaking. Cumberbatch has always been an amazing performer, but “Doctor Strange” was by far his best yet.
Should you watch it?: Yes
“Doctor Strange” is a definite must see for every Marvel fan and any casual movie-goer.
Side note: Now that Marvel has Cumberbatch and Robert Downy Jr., who both played Sherlock Holmes, I would thoroughly enjoy seeing their characters meet in a movie with a Sherlock reference written into the script.