Doctor Strange was a brilliant but egotistical surgeon. After a car accident destroys his hands and hinders his ability to perform surgery, he searches the globe for a way to repair them and encounters the Ancient One. After becoming one of the old Sorcerer Supreme's students, he becomes a practitioner of both the mystical arts as well as martial arts. Along with knowing many powerful spells, he has a costume with two mystical objects—the Cloak of Levitation and Eye of Agamotto—which give him added powers. Strange is aided along the way by his friend and valet, Wong, and a large assortment of mystical objects. He takes up residence in a mansion called the Sanctum Sanctorum, located in New York City. Later, Strange takes the title of Sorcerer Supreme.
Here we are at the third Marvel movie for 2016. Full disclosure, I am not a big Doctor Strange fan or follower. I read a few of his comics but I mostly saw him with the Defenders other small appearances as well as later own when he was part of the consulting genius group called the illuminati (tony starks, Reed Richards, Prof. Xavier). So the movie prompted me to go back and read his origin story and how he became the master of the mystic arts. Luckily like most of the Marvel hero’s, a simple story line of an arrogant surgeon who loses his ability to perform surgery when he is in an accident that ruins his hands. He searches the world for a cure spending all his money swearing he will return to be the great surgeon he use to be. All of this to no avail until he is told about an eastern remedy that helped someone else with a spinal injury returns to full form and function. He travels to this unknown place and is humbled to the point that he has to conform or just give up. He is welcomed by a splendidly acted Tilda Swinton as the ancient one. She tells him to let go of everything you have learned and open your mind to everything new. The graphics and special effects are amazing. I saw it in 3D and IMAX so this was a special treat. Here he learns the mystic arts and joins unwittingly a band of others fighting the enemies the Avengers are not aware of and is moved to be the best as he could be. Whew. I think that’s it. So I came in with a small sliver of information and a few memories to what this new character was going to bring to the Marvel Universe. But I came out very, very pleased with the outcome.
There are two things that make this movie pretty damn good. The acting and the vision the director, Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Deliver us from evil, The exorcism of Emily Rose) had for this film. This horror film director took on this movie and showed us he had a natural feel to what the film had to be. You heard the buzz on the similarities of Inception and the look of it. Yes he did an amazing job of warping reality whenever he had a chance. He actually made the reality around them an essential part of the film. Perhaps another character to play along side of them as the movie moves along.
Next, the high caliber actors that played the starring roles in the film. Tilda Swinton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel Adams, and Mads Mikkelsen does a very good job with their acting roles for a superhero movie. Just like any origin movie, we go through the learning and the mental struggles of becoming someone they did not dream of becoming. We are introduced to cosmic mystical juggernauts that have only been introduced in Fantastic four (Galactus) and Thanos with the GOTG. Dormammu lord of the realm of Darkness will give you a hint on what the cosmic universe has in store for us. But as a comic book fan, this is a welcome addition of larger than normal villains that can be defeated but can not be killed. Easily. Looking at the future of this series, Doctor Strange dealings with the dead, other dimensions, demons and other outer dimensional beings, I wonder how Marvel will begin to introduce other characters like Morbius and ManThing. They are doing a very good job with the second iteration of Ghost Rider on agents of shield but not to the extent of what a movie can do for that character or the rawness of the NetFlix characters.
Doctor Strange is a good entertaining movie and a very good introduction to one of Marvel’s stronger leaders in their Universe. With great acting and directing, we should see lots of good movies from this character in the near future, plus some interesting special appearances.