Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he looks for healing, and hope, in a mysterious enclave. He quickly learns that the enclave is at the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality. Before long, Strange is forced to choose between his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.



Review

Taking the frame of a standard origin story and cloaking it in the most exhaustingly inventive and mind-bending visuals seen in a Marvel film to date, Doctor Strange is certainly the most striking and, at the risk of being too corny, strangest offering from the comic book studio yet.

From its opening London based set piece to its world threatening climax, director Scott Derrickson and the special effects team have as much fun as they can manipulating the various worlds and dimensions and the possibilities they hold.

Overwhelming at times perhaps but excitingly so. Also If you loved the city bending visuals and gravity defying fights of Inception but wished the people creating them had dropped more acid then this is the film for you (if there's any doubt that the trippy effect is not accidental, then check out the book Stan Lee is reading and chuckling over in his traditional cameo).

For once it's a film where 3D works in its favour.

While an impressive cast take all this magical nonsense about as seriously as they can, injecting a surprising amount of humour even when you least expect it.

Benedict Cumberbatch is the right amount of arrogant and cynical for Doctor Stephen Strange, the rich entitled surgeon that we are first introduced to, without being too smug and charmless. There's also thankfully a bit more warmth on display than he usually gets to show with Sherlock. Tilda Swinton brings gravity and presence to what could have been the archetypal master role to Cumberbatch's troublesome student, approaching The Ancient One with a playfulness that makes her initial scenes with Strange so wonderful.

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong are solid and both share excellent scenes with Cumberbatch, though are sadly a little side lined nearer the end. A fate also shared by Rachel McAdams' potential/former love interest, though her reactions to the new Strange and the powers he brings back with him are priceless. Mads Mikkelsen makes for a memorable bad guy, which is always a rare bonus in such films. I mean he's no Loki but then who is.

Look too closely perhaps and the story reveals itself as fairly routine stuff but it comes dressed up in such wonderful and flamboyant clothes that it's almost impossible not to be swept along.

By the end it’s obvious that they've only scratched the surface in regards to what this character has to offer, while the obligatory mid and end credits scenes teasingly hint at what that might entail.

Exciting, imperfect, bold and dizzying, Doctor Strange is a film to see on the biggest screen you can.



By Kevin Knapman




Doctor Strange (12A)

1h 55m


Starring
: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton


UK Release: Friday 28th October 2016

marvel.com