Title: Doctor Strange
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)
Review: Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the top neurosurgeon in New York City, maybe the whole country. All you have to do is ask him and he’ll confirm that opinion, because in addition to being enormously talented he is supremely arrogant and egotistical. His talent brings wealth, and he enjoys a penthouse apartment with a view, a dresser drawer with a dozen or so uber expensive watches, and he tear asses out of his private garage in a Lamborghini Huracan.
Yes, Doctor Strange has the world at his beck and call, even maintaining a close relationship with former lover Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). Nothing ever goes wrong, at least until that horrific accident, that is. Then the great Doctor Strange is humbled, broken, unable to function as a doctor, and ultimately financially destitute. Then a chance remark from a physical therapist sets him on a trail to Kathmandu in Tibet, on a quest to find a place known as Kamar-Taj.
The Doc shows up in Kathmandu and that’s when things start to get really strange for Strange. Enter a very powerful and mystical individual known only as The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). She starts Strange on a path of enlightenment to open his eyes to other dimensions, astral planes, and amazing powers he never knew were possible. He is aided in this journey by another disciple named Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and soon makes the acquaintance of former disciple Kaecillus (Mads Mikkelsen), who seems to have gone over to the dark side. Apparently the universe, with its multi dimensions, is not big enough for the forces of good and evil to co-exist.
This is one rip snorting action film, and Marvel has shown once again that they are the masters of bringing comic book heroes successfully to the big screen (yes DC Comics, this is a put down on you). Benedict Cumberbatch is an A List actor, and brings the origin story of Doctor Strange to life in a way that allows us to see the complex human that he is, as well as the complex action hero he evolves into. A masterful performance that keeps us glued to the story line, which is what makes this film special, in that it doesn’t have to rely only on special effects to carry the movie like so many other comic book movies. Having said that, the special effects are mind blowing, and worth a few extra bucks to see this movie in a 3D theater. In fact, this movie is so dang good it has a decent chance to get a Best Picture Oscar nomination, a rare feat for this film genre.
Dialogue Nuggets: Doctor Strange to Dr. Palmer – “There’s the problem. You left a bullet in his head.” Dr. Palmer – “I needed a second opinion.” Doctor Strange – “You had a second opinion. You needed a competent one.”
Doctor Strange to Dr. Palmer – “We are not friends, we were barely lovers.”
Therapist to Doctor Strange – “I’ll have to go to the archives, but if it proves your arrogant ass wrong it will be worth it!”
Doctor Strange – “Just how experimental is your procedure?” Ancient One – “Quite.”
Doctor Strange – “We’re just a momentary insignificant speck in an indifferent universe.”
Doctor Strange – “What is this, my mantra?” Mordo – “The Wi Fi password. We’re not savages.”
Ancient One to Doctor Strange – “Your ignorance and fear prevent you from learning the most important lesson of all.”
Mordo – “You think there will be no consequences, no price to pay? The bill…will…come due!”
Hot Wheels: Dig that crazy sports car that Doctor Strange tools around in, a Lamborghini Huracan that sells for a cool $200,000. The crew wrecked two of these beautiful machines to make the movie.
Cameo: Keep a sharp look out for Stan Lee’s quickie cameo.
Post Credits: Yes! Don’t leave early, and stay to the very end, as there are two extra clips to see.