“Doctor Strange” is the fourteenth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which is also the seventh eponymous superhero character to receive an origin tale, and the most oddball among the rest. Perhaps the most distinguished features of all is the fact on how close we are to the use of “magic”.
|Source: Rolling Stone|
Nevertheless, as the story goes, “Doctor Strange” follows a story of a stubborn-yet-accomplished neurosurgeon Dr. Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) whose horrifying traffic accident effectively ended his successful career as both the healer and researcher. Probably no one in the world could bothered with his downfall, but at least, Dr Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) does. Desperate and fuelled by ego, he distanced himself from Christine, chooses to seek for alternative medicine after countless of unsuccessful operations left him remain impaired.
He finally comes across a secret legion of sorcerers in Nepal whose practice with spiritual entity allows for “miracle healing”. Although he initially just wants to use the newly learned spiritual art to heal his wound, he is quickly drawn into a world of mysticism between the legion of spiritual masters led by The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and a rebel sorcerer group led by Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) who bends into using the dark entity known as Dormamu to “heal” the world. With the help of Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Wong (Benedict Wong), Strange encounters his first test in magic fight to fend of Dormamu.
In a year with already five superhero comic book movies released to the mass spectrum, “Doctor Strange” stands out quite differently than the rest. In fact, it does not fall into the same category of disappointment much like the double DC doses or the band of mutants’ blasphemy. Yes, it is correct to assume that Marvel will deploy its usual three-act tricks in setting up an original character story – with hero egoistic mix with the usual zero-to-hero subplot, opposing a little to offer villainous motivation. But this is one of those better offerings from the MCU so far.
Of course, some liberal creativity involved during the comic-to-movie translation and along with it the customary Marvel recipe are also in place, but these effectively go down to how well the story set-up has been done to give us plenty of reasons to watch characters like Strange, Mordo, Wong and The Ancient One. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor are simply amazing in their roles, which for the titular character itself, is an almost exact printout from the source. It is apparently shame to see the talented Mads Mikkelson’s bigger-than-life villainous outfit runs short of steam and impact – something to do with the constraint in the running time, it is.
“Doctor Strange” it is and MCU Phase 3 is shaping very well at the moment, after the spectacular “Captain America: Civil War” last May. Rating: A- (4.0/5.0)