This is hands down the best Marvel movie yet…
DOCTOR STRANGE tells the story of Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch), an acclaimed neurosurgeon who uncovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions after a near-fatal car accident.
I’ve always been a fan of the Marvel films, they’re fun, entertaining and just easy to enjoy. However, until this point they’ve often had character flaws, plot flaws or sometimes poor visuals or just bad performances - there’s always been an obvious fault. For the first time with Doctor Strange they’ve managed to present a clever, riveting story, that’s visually fascinating, sublimely acted and has interesting, multilayered characters.
Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill have written a fantastic script and my only issue (where the missing 1/2 star went) is that once again the villain is weak and easily defeated. However, you can easily argue that this movie isn’t about the villain, but instead focuses on Strange and his abilities. It’s actually a very good origin story. Ben Davis cinematography is brilliant and the whole visual effects team do an extraordinary job - it looks like Inception.
The casting here is also excellent, Benedict Cumberbatch is great as Strange - though his accent does closely resemble Hugh Laurie’s from House and that can be a little off-putting at times. Chiwetel Ejiofor is dynamic as Mordo and while his character was more of a sidekick this time round I’m very curious to see his character’s arc unfold in future films. They couldn’t have chosen a better actor for the role. Rachel McAdams and Benedict Wong also offer great performances in the ensemble cast. Tilda Swinton is an incredible actor and her performance, even in a superhero movie is Oscar worthy. However, when cast controversy surrounded why the iconic Asian character was played by a caucasian woman. While I can clearly see why some fans were upset, her performance should make up for the fact - she really is brilliant. It’s also nice to see Stan Lee in his obligatory cameo.
Overall this is Marvel’s best, darkest, most visually interesting and dynamic film yet. A fantastic way to move into Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Walt Disney Entertainment