Top neurosurgeon, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch – Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Imitation Game, The Fifth Estate) has an unfortunate accident, partly brought on by his self-absorbed ego. Devastated, and with western medicine unable to help him, he embarks on a journey that eventually leads him to a world of mystic arts.
As an origin movie, Doctor Strange will not disappoint. It fits snugly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), so as with all other Marvel movies, wait until the end of the credits for any post credit scenes containing easter eggs and hints to what is next in the story of Stephen Strange.
As for the film itself, the cast does not disappoint. Well rounded, and three dimensional characters. We have Mondo (Chiwetel Ijiofor – 12 Years A Slave, The Martian, Triple 9). A master of the arts, but torn between what is right, and what he has been taught. The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer, Hail, Caesar!) in her usual brilliance, and commanding presence on screen. And Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen – Casino Royale, Clash of the Titans) brings a special kind of evil to the role. Each supporting acting is at a level one would expect of such a film, with Cumberbatch bringing nothing short of his A-game once more.
The effects in the film are mind-blowing, conjuring up thoughts of Inception in some cases. However, as marvelous as they are, they feel right at home, as if all the craziness, mystic spells and supernatural events are an everyday occurrence.
Doctor Strange is a thoroughly entertaining film. It has some very well choreographed action scenes, with awesome effects. A storyline that while part of the Marvel Universe, can happily stand on its own. The film has more humour than one would expect. So with all these positive traits, it will appeal to a very wide audience, to be enjoyed by all. One caveat however, is to be aware of the cinema that one is viewing it in. There are far too many cinemas in South Africa that either do not have the correct equipment to show a film that is not very close to totally dark, or they do not have the know how to use or install said equipment. Having a film screened that is far too dark robs audiences of so much detail, and disconnects them to a large extent from the movie. Add to that, that some cinemas are not able to actually project the entire picture, having a portion cut off on either side of the screen, and this does not bode well. A better choice would be to see the film in all its glory, in Imax.
Doctor Strange, a fun trip to the movies, for the whole family, with lots more on the horizon for the films universe. The film opens 4 November 2016 in South African cinemas.