Once again Marvel delivers a new style into their cinematic universe with Doctor Strange, a very trippy magic based movie staring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange. Following in the vain of Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man, Marvel attempts to mix up their current Avenger filled movie slate with a new property and like the above movies they hit their mark. The introduction of magic to the predominately sci-fi series of films is refreshing and feels like it could have been a stand-alone movie. Benedict Cumberbatch delivers a strong performance as an arrogant doctor who due to a car accident loses his ability to be a surgeon. When western medicine fails him he turns to the Ancient One played by Tilda Swinton and the other sorcerers to gain the use of his hands again. It does not take long however for Strange to be caught up in magical conflict between the Sorcerers and the Zealots lead by Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen).
This movie is not as good as Guardians, or in the top echelon of Marvel movies like The Avengers or Captain America: Winter Solider and Civil War but it is a very entertaining and visually stunning. It fits in the middle tier with movies like Ant Man and Age of Ultron. One interesting aspect about this movie is the villain. Many people criticise Marvel for their generic villains but what is interesting regarding the big bad in Doctor Strange is the final battle. In the comics the villain is an all-powerful being and Strange has never been able to beat him in a straight up fight, so he needs to find alternatives to combat and that’s exactly what happens in the movie. A clever climax that shows the writer and director understood the source material, which is not always the case with comic book movies. A downfall that this movie has is the training sequence and how it felt rushed. Whilst Strange does not gain his powers immediately and he is by no means a master by the end of the film there is a feeling that it all happens rather quickly. Sometimes this is an issue you can experience with an origin story, that the film may feel it is being rushed to get to the main story but overall it is not a major drawback. The action and the set pieces in this film look amazing and are far from many of the typical comic book movie fights that are often seen. The different fighting styles mixed with the bizarre visuals makes for some very entertaining cinema. Scott Derrickson, the director of Doctor Strange appears to not only understand the source material but appreciates it with many callbacks to the original stories and clever little Easter Eggs that may need some explaining.
Overall this was a really fun film, with visuals that rival the likes of Inception and brings in the talent of Cumberbatch into the MCU (because he is in everything these days). I would recommend that people experience this film in the Cinema or even IMAX if that is possible. As stated above this sits in the upper middle tier of the Marvel movies and should definitely be seen by any comic book movie fan.
Doctor Strange scored a 75%