Within less than ten years we are now already up to the 14th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Benedict Cumberbatch starring in the lead role in the film named after his character, Doctor Strange. After the wonderful film Antman last year and the best popcorn movie of the summer of 2016, Captain America: Civil War, we now get to enjoy another origin story about another important player in the coming infinity war, Doctor Strange. Cumberbatch is well cast in the lead role, which also features Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, and a subdued Mads Mikkelsen as the villainous Kaecilius. The film introduces the multiverse to the MCU and an infinite number of dimensions and worlds where some are wonderful and others are dark and malevolent. After a car accident leaves Strange with severe nerve damage in his hands and cuts short his career as a brilliant surgeon, he eventually travels to Nepal seeking a cure, but instead finds new purpose training to become the Sorcerer Supreme, protecting the Earth from existential threats. In the film, Doctor Strange must stop Kaecilius from enabling an immortal being of darkness to enter our world. The acting is very good for a supernatural superhero movie, with Mikkelsen bringing some humanity to his villain because the best villains on and off screen operate from a point of view that they are acting for a greater good and often are tragically mislead victims in their own right. That makes them more relatable and creates layers of character development that we may not see completely, but never the less, prevents their characters from being flat.
The action at times reminded me a little bit of the Alec Baldwin starring feature film, The Shadow and more than once even though the film is not a comedy, I almost could imagine Eddie Murphy's character from The Golden Child stumbling within the Nepal sanctuary where Strange trains in a cameo. Mikkelsen's character and motivations also reminded me a bit of Malcolm McDowell's mad scientist role as Doctor Soren in Star Trek: Generations. The effects are top shelf and the two stingers at the end yield important clues for things to come.
Overall, I really enjoyed Doctor Strange and think it belongs up there with the best of the origin stories produced by Marvel Studios thus far. Doctor Strange opens in the United States theatrically on November 4, 2016.
(C) Copyright 2016 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.