Brilliant neuro-surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) destroys his hands in a terrible accident.
Unable to live up to his calling and having given up on modern medicine to repair his hands, Strange seeks out a more mystical solution, discovering a magical world of sorcery beyond his imagination.
Under the guidance of The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), Dr. Strange hones his powers and learns enough spells in time to save the world from dark beings threatening from other dimensions.
We say, “As comic book super hero movies go, it is unique.”
TAYLOR: In this film there are things that I liked and didn’t like. For the most part, Dr. Strange isn’t boring and that’s a good start. The things that annoyed me the most were simple matters of taste. I wouldn’t have had fist fights between spirit beings, for instance. They’re meant to be non-corporeal. How are they punching?
HOWE: They are obviously using a special type of spirit force. You are taking it way too serious, Mr. Taylor. It’s a comic book movie, let it do its comic-y book thing.
The thing I didn’t like about it was the changing of the buildings/landscape. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why it was happening, I just felt they didn’t need to do that and to me it looked a little messy.
The story line, on the other hand, is very entertaining and kept me glued to the screen from start to finish.
TAYLOR: I say, other than being a bit silly in its execution of plot, Dr. Strange is still fun and interesting. It’s Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings wizardry meets Matrix/Inception control over reality, with a touch of Doctor Who.
The original comic was written in the time of psychedelia and in the film, the obligatory Marvel Studios cameo of Stan Lee features him on a bus, reading Huxley’s Doors of Perception muttering, “This is hilarious.” The 3D does feature well in this purposely mesmerizing film.
FENIN: I really liked his magic cloak; the way it helped protect him and helped him fight. I also liked the popcorn, it had just the right amount of butter on it.
TAYLOR: Ah! Where did you come from?
FENIN: Hey Dad, Brian, did you find it strangeeee?
TAYLOR: Well, it was a bit trippy, but wait, did you just say the popcorn had the right amount of butter on it?
HOWE: It did have a few strange and trippy moments dotted throughout it, but the acting was more notable, especially for a comic book movie (did we really expect any different from Mr. Cumberbatch?). Unlike some other movies we have seen, the rest of the cast didn’t let the film down either.
TAYLOR: Take out the psychedelia, the eastern philosophies, we’re all left with just another superhero inception story, achieved in time to save the day. Same old, same old. Luckily, it just works.
– Fenin gives Dr. Strange 3 D glasses out of 5.
– Howe gives it 4 watches out of 5.
– Taylor gives it 3 glowing jewels out of 5.
– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday in The Morning Star.