Doctor Strange (2016)
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1 hr. 55 min
On this trip to the movies I was joined by my brother, Andrew. Neither one of us knew a whole lot about Doctor Strange, other than what we’d seen in the odd Marvel cartoon.
Doctor Strange comes to us via a dream within a dream, combined with a set of Penrose stairs on acid. It’s a visual treat loaded with humor and action, and delivers a decent introduction to one of Marvel’s lesser known superhero entities. Yet another piece of the larger ‘phase III’ Marvel cinematic universe; I hope you’re keeping up!
Benedict Cumberbatch does well in the titular role, and is ably supported by Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Mads Mikkelsen’s, Kaecilius, is also developed enough to be a convincing villain. Sporting some wicked eye makeup and a credible set of motivations fueling the movies admittedly standard end-of-the-world plot.
That being said, Doctor Strange could have been longer. As an origin story, world building exercise, and end-of-days plot, this movie occasionally feels rushed. It skips through the introductions and training in a rush to get to the action and cool visual tricks. Which while dazzling, often feel a little vapid as the individual character’s stakes in the big game are a touch shy of fully developed.
This is Marvel meets grown up Harry Potter! Expect dazzling visuals, a healthy amount of humor, but little depth. Doctor Strange is rated PG-13, for mild sci-fi action and violence.
Doctor Strange’s cape, the Cloak of Levitation. A magical piece of clothing with a mind of its own that genuinely seemed to care for Mr. Strange.