Sunday, November 6, 2016

Doctor Strange

Movie Name: Doctor Strange
Year of Release: 2016
Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Zara Phythian, Katrina Durden
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
View Trailer Here

Marvel's output continues, this time around with a lesser well known character adaptation, which also takes the concept and execution of their traditional films in a different direction. The film focuses on Doctor Strange a character created by Steve Ditko in 1963, and who has since become a staple in the Marvel universe, appearing across multiple storylines and alongside diverse and iconic teams. The film introduces us to Stephen Strange, a highly successful and arrogant neurosurgeon, who suffers a horrible car accident, which leaves him with serious medical problems in his hands. After exhausting all available help and his financial resources, Strange goes to Nepal, seeking a place where assistance can be found. That help and new awakening come through the aid of the Ancient One, a master in mystical arts, who has long been a protector of Earth, and who introduces Strange to different arts, while simultaneously empowering him to defend threats that are looming.
Director Scott Derrickson who rose to fame with "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", finally manages to distill enough wonder and audacity in the typical Marvel film. "Doctor Strange" benefits from being a well written introductory tale, one that is filled with typical comic book cliches, including the arrogance of the central hero, who has to learn the price of humility through hardship, to the presence of the mentor who guides the hero through perilous tasks. Where this film jumps qualitative hurdles, lies in the smart casting, particularly with Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton elevating the quality of the film, adding gravitas and depth, alongside the fantastic visual style, where the dazzling visual effects really become an intricate part of the universe that is being presented and showcased. This film contains humor and simultaneously a sense of wonder into this new universe, that makes it feel fresh and different. It's a colorful splash into a genre that is starting to feel stale. Worth watching.