The Doctor is in.
Now that the fun jokes are out of the way, has Marvel continued its success with the introduction of a character that may only be known to comic fans?
Can the “panther in a flute” voiced Benedict Cumberbatch lead a film as the American Sorcerer, Stephen Strange?
And just how funny can an egotistical asshole be, surrounded by people with powers from a gift shop?
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.
The answers to the above are:
Yes. Yes. And very funny.
Tasked with bringing the ‘Mighty Magician’ to the big screen, Cumberbatch finds himself surrounded with the formula of success that has been brought to the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception.
A strong support cast + Humour offsetting the darker moments x Wonderful worlds = Another blockbuster film joining the cadre of films under the brand.
Which means if you love Marvel, you’ll see this film and love it.
Story-wise, it’s as Marvel as can be. A grandiose magic battle introduces us to the other worlds that lay under the physical world, and our hero is led on his path of change.
Cumberbatch succeeds in presenting the douchbaggery that comes with being the first version of Strange we meet, who finds himself slowly changing after meeting the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton acting amazingly once more).
Chiwetel Ejiofor is steadfast in his portrayal of the stoic Mordo, with Benedict Wong‘s Wong (not even joking) providing many of the best jokes throughout.
Mads Mikkelsen continues his career as the villainous Kaecillius, with Rachel McAdams rounding out the cast as Christine Palmer, leaving the world of Strange more than capable of standing on its own two feet.
The magic presented on-screen is beautiful; sparking away with an urgency that wants to burn through everything, and buildings fold like paper origami mixed with magic eye illusions.
But at the same time, some of the battles are presented in such close quarters, that you lose the mysticism and beauty of them.
I’ve seen the comment “like an acid-trip meets quantum physics” thrown around when explaining Doctor Strange, and that’s a great place to start, especially with regard to a sequence where Strange experiences the truths of his universe.
While their layout is starting to become formulaic, it’s hard to fault Marvel’s system for delivering quality blockbuster experiences.
And because of this, you’ll find yourself once more spellbound by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The House Of M follows their successes and adds another character to their growing universe with ease; Doctor Strange is a fun magic trick.