Film Review – Doctor Strange (2016)


Title – Doctor Strange (2016)

Director – Scott Derrickson (Sinister)

Cast – Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg

Plot – Famed self-assured neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) finds himself lost and seeking guidance after a horrific car accident leaves him unable to make proper use of his hands. Traveling to Kathmandu, Strange uncovers a mysterious magical society led by The Ancient One (Swinton) who will offer the great Doctor a chance to unlock a potential he never knew existed.  

“Stephen Strange, might I offer you some advice? Forget everything that you think you know”

Review by Eddie on 28/10/2016

The superhero genre is entering the stage where it will become increasingly hard to tread new ground and appease the masses, who over the course of a decade or thereabouts have been treated to a large contingent of high quality and highly entertaining outings filled with capes, dastardly world destroying villains, star studded casts and more quips than a John McLane Xmas party gone bad.

Kings of the superhero domain, Marvel have been leaders in developing box office behemoths as their counterparts DC struggle to maintain pace after their Nolan Batman trilogy came to an end, but even with the recent box office heavyweights Civil War, Age of Ultron, Deadpool and the well-received Ant-Man, Marvel too showed glimpses of the toll the superhero overkill has taken on the movie industry, trying to bring freshness and the wow factor that the genre once produced at ease is no longer as easy as it once was.

Then along comes Doctor Strange.

By no means reinventing the wheel, but using the wheel in different ways, Scott Derrickson’s film is very much an origin story that follows a well-trodden path, Doctor Strange, the story of the esteemed Dr. Stephen Strange who turns to the spiritual realm in search of healing from an horrific accident only to find himself our world’s newest protector from nasty other-worldly beings, is absolutely the superhero film we needed right now, filled with fine casting choices, quick smart humour, an often bizarre and unique playground to dwell in and enough eye watering Inception-lite spectacle that will have many eyes laid wide open gazing at the big screen.

Calling to mind the success of Marvel’s huge breakthrough Iron Man from 2008, with Strange bearing more than a small resemblance to the origin story of a one Tony Stark (arrogance and wise cracking included), Doctor Strange excels off the back of Benedict Cumberbatch’s impressive turn as the wonder-doctor and supported by the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton and the underused Rachel McAdams. Derrickson allows his cast to work their skills into the film while the director himself, who once seemed an odd choice (Sinister was beforehand his best film) showcases a talent for the imaginative that makes you hope he too will return for the next instalment in this magic infused universe.

Where Doctor Strange falls short is in the recently troublesome superhero ‘big bad” and despite the presence of esteemed actor Mads Mikkelsen (who sadly has become a bit of a villain typecast in recent years), the purple eyed Kaecilius, who wants nothing more than to meet a world destroying entity is anything but the adversary the unique Stephen Strange deserved, while the previously mentioned nature of this following the playbook origin story isn’t breaking much ground in the way it tells the story of a man at his lowest finally realising his true potential.

After the stale Batman Vs Superman, the disappointing Suicide Squad, the fun yet forgettable Civil War and the overrated swear-laden Deadpool, Doctor Strange is exactly the type of comic book movie we needed and a nice change of pace (keep your ears open to for Michael Giacchino’s un-superhero-like harp infused score) for the direction Marvel was and still is heading into.

A likely crowd pleasing experience that should be seen on the biggest screen available, this polished, inventive and most importantly fun thrill ride is yet another example as to why Marvel continue to pave out successes, where they should now be hitting bumpy roads.

4 Wi-Fi passcodes out of 5

19 responses to “Film Review – Doctor Strange (2016)

  1. Nice review Eddie, I would say this is a 3/3.5 wi-fi passcode for me (reviewed over on my blog). Cumberbatch is great and the visuals rather lovely but it’s a little formulaic and far too many gags for my liking.

    I thing it’ll certainly ultimately please the masses and ultimately, that’s where the dollars are at!

  2. The really important question about this movie that wasn’t covered in the review is did Scott Adkins get enough screen time? Where enough is him getting the call up for a big budget lead role as a result of this movie.

  3. I thought that the story was painfully cookie-cutter and Strange’s character arc wasn’t 100% convincing, but the movie really does excel when it comes to visuals. Very exciting and inventive, and it’s so refreshing to see a blockbuster where the hero outsmarts the villain rather than punches his way to the finish line.

    • Yeh I can’t disagree with the story comment to much mate, it was very much the generic man with everything loses everything then comes back bigger and better than ever but gee wiz was it a lot of fun.

  4. I saw it yesterday and enjoyed it. Lots of fun, great performances and special effects. I thought it was worth the wait. I enjoyed your review and agree that Rachel McAdams was under utilized, which I found disappointing.

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