Doctor Strange, created by Steve Ditko, is the latest Marvel superhero to hit the big screen. As his name suggests, he is a slightly more unusual character. Steven Strange is the world’s top neurosurgeon until he is involved in a car accident that crushes his hands causing severe nerve damage. With the source of his ego and wealth taken now away from him, he’s desperate to find a cure. After searching all conventional means, Strange travels to Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu, Nepal to try and find a way to fix his physical injuries through a possible more spiritual means. This is where he meets the immortal ‘Ancient One’ who albeit reluctantly offers him a chance to become a powerful sorcerer and learn to travel into alternate dimensions.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the very arrogant but annoyingly charming Doctor Strange with ease. He’s simply an inspired choice which left me that ‘can’t imagine anyone else playing this character’ feeling. Mads Mikkelsen’s plays Kaecilius, a former student of the Ancient One now gone bad. His talent is slightly underused here but the villain has always been Marvel’s Achilles. Tilda Swinton is a perfect choice to play the androgynous monk-like figure known as the Ancient One. She is both likable and intriguing. Benedict Wong as Mystic master Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor as fellow student Karl Mordo complete this brilliant line-up of actors.
Along with an outstanding ensemble cast, this is a tightly paced film with a brilliant script that has just the right amount of humour. This is a visually stunning film from its opening fight sequence between Swinton’s the Ancient One and Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius. Then there’s the wonderfully psychedelic Steven Strange acid-trip-style-intro into the world of the Mystic Arts. A lot of films boast that you’ll see something new and unique they really deliver on those eye-popping moment.
By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth Marvel have done it again. I count six outstanding films in a row for the comic book movie kings (saying that even their slight missteps have been enjoyable).
Doctor Strange is like Harry Potter meets Inception on steroids and LCD. It’s an enjoyable ride that will leave you wanting more.
Reviewed by Ian Wright.