Dr Strange Review (2016)

Keeva Stratton

Film Expert

Dr Strange (2016)

A brilliant surgeon loses his ability to operate, but gains a whole new set of mystical skills that may just be needed to save the world from absolute destruction, in the latest Marvel mega film, Dr Strange.
 dr-strangeImage via pinterest

Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is an extraordinary surgeon—and he knows it. His arrogance is part of his brilliance, as he saves the lives that should not be able to be saved on the operating table. But this arrogance is also his downfall, and as he speeds home one evening, his car crashes. Unable to operate, he loses all sense of purpose in his life.

During his recovery, and in his desperation, he starts pursuing any hope of a cure, no matter how remote. This finally leads him to a mystical temple in Nepal, where he encounters an even stranger monk (Tilda Swinton) known as The Ancient One, who teaches him to unlearn all the habits of thought he has learnt.

During his training, he must face his own inner demons while he acquires a set of metaphysical powers and magical knowledge. But when a former student wages a war against the Ancient One, Dr Strange must go into battle before he’s ready. And, if he is going to become the superhero we know he will, and save the earth as is par for course in the Marvel Universe, he had better get ready quick.

Dr Strange is the thinking person’s superhero. He represents the intellectual, thoughtful superpower among a series of otherwise buff and brawny ones. While the Marvel films are now running like clockwork, not just in terms of their regular release schedule but also in terms of the formula of their narrative, what stands out for me with Dr Strange is the quality of cast.

Tilda Swinton has a central role in this film, and it’s far better for it. Swinton, I would argue, is the most underrated actor of this generation, and she deserves to be held in the highest of esteem. That she can make a very Yoda-esque, monk on the mountain role, work so naturally is an accomplishment. She is ably supported by Benedict’s own acting chops, and Mads Mikkelsen as the evil revolutionary.

What doesn’t quite work here is the CGI—and there’s lots of it. To capture the metaphysical, psychometric powers of these world warping types, we are dragged through an avalanche of quick-moving, mind bending scenes that are a touch nauseating and overzealous. Where Swinton can very subtly tell the story with a wry smile and a tea joke, the CGI pummels us with its relentless bombardment.

Nevertheless, those partial to Marvel’s seemingly never-ending universe will enjoy this strange offering, and the various sequels it will no doubt foreshadow.


Director: Scott Derrickson

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams

Runtime: 1hr 55mins

Release Date: Oct 27

Rating: M

Reviewer Rating: 3/5


Feature image via pinterest

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