Rating: 3.5/5 (Visual Feast)
Benedict Cumberbatch, a naturally talented Englishman has bagged perhaps his biggest role yet in his career. After stunning audiences with his incredible performances in BBC's Sherlock, Cumberbatch has now taken on the iconic role of Dr. Strange from Marvel Comics. How does the film fare? Find out in this review.
Story: Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a reputed neurosurgeon who is witty and the best at what he does. He has a romantic interest in his colleague Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). One day while going to an event, he meets with a freak accident and almost loses his entire life and his body is somehow salvaged. With the help of a man, he takes a trip to the Himalayas and finds the Ancient One (Tilda Swindon) who grants one the ability to unlock the mind and spiritually heal through magic. Strange however finds out that there's more than meets the eye at the monastery and how he saves everyone from Kaecilius forms the rest of the story.
Performances: Benedict Cumberbatch is superb as Dr. Strange. He breathes and lives the character and gives a splendid performance as the conflicted neurosurgeon. He looks perfect in the costume from the comics and does a great job for the villain Dormammu who he provides a voice over for. It is odd however to hear him speak with an American accent for the whole film considering how used to one would get to his English accent.
Rachel McAdams is decent as Christine Palmer. Tilda Swindon as the Ancient One does an excellent job. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo is also very good in his role.
Benedict Wong as Wong provides comic relief from time to time and he is good. Mads Mikkelsen as the villain Kaecilius has some very odd makeup and is a pretty poorly written villain honestly speaking. Benjamin Bratt has a short yet vital role to the proceedings.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Micheal Giacchino is excellent. Cinematography by Ben Davis is incredible. Some of the shots during some action sequences are simply breathtaking. Editing by Wyatt Smith and Sabrina Plisco is fine. Dialogues are good and funny at the right intervals. The script is perfect as the film does a great job of executing it. Production Values by Kevin Feige are spotless as usual. The man hasn't tasted a flop since he started the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2008 with Iron Man. Direction by Scott Derrickson is very good. Visual Effects by Stephane Ceretti is mind blowing. The graphics in this movie are just amazing and breathtaking and watching it in 3D only made it better. This film is technically sound throughout.
Analysis: Simply put, if you like Marvel movies, then you will like Doctor Strange. If not, then vice versa. Doctor Strange isn't necessarily an origin story but rather an interesting take on the classic superhero.
The film starts off a bit slow but picks up as soon Strange meets the Ancient One. The film is pure entertainment from that point on to the climax. Benedict Cumberbatch's performance propels the film and keeps it going at a jet speed pace and the narrative is also told in a racy manner. The only minus point would be that the hero-villain conflict isn't that strong and the conflict stems from the Ancient Ones' mistakes.
To sum it up, Doctor Strange is another blockbuster in the offering from Marvel and it is a visual feast. Cumberbatch's performance plus the visual effects and the cinematography are the highlights of this film. Go and watch it.