The main reason my husband and I went to see the film Doctor Strange, which is currently showing in theaters, was to see Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. Doctor Strange is a Marvel Comics film, and we don’t usually go to see those types of movies. But this one seemed to have a spiritual basis to the story, and this intrigued us.
Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is an arrogant and self-involved neurosurgeon. He is condescending to his colleagues, and his expertise, that is apparently quite extraordinary, has led to the money and prestige he covets, but at the expense of love with his former girlfriend Christine (Rachel McAdams).
An unfortunate car accident leaves him with severe injuries, particularly to his hands, the tool of the surgeon. Desperate for the healing that is evading him, he follows a lead and travels to Nepal in search of solutions to his infirmities.
Here is where the film takes off in a supernatural direction. The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) finally agrees to school him in the ways of mysticism and energy. Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a kind mentor to Stephen as well. Stephen is drawn into this world and proves to be a ready and industrious student. His humor eases the tension that we feel in the austere surroundings of the school.
Where there is good there is also evil, especially in the supernatural realm, and Stephen soon finds himself in the throes of a battle between those who use the energy for their own selfish desires and those who want to keep the universe safe for all. The special effects remind me of those in the film Inception, buildings and surroundings folding into a sort of block puzzle. This is to signify the layers of dimensions that Stephen can now travel to and from.
The special effects throughout this film are really very good. The portals of fire where dimensions are accessed, and time stopped on a busy street in Hong Kong, are two of my favorites.
The film is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence. I liked this film. I like the actors, and Tilda Swinton played the role of the wise seer quite well. Benedict Cumberbatch goes through transformations that are believable in a fantasy world, growing into the hero he always has been, but just didn’t realize he was. I liked the cape, the weapon that chose him. Quite dashing he is, striding assuredly about with this protective and useful accouterment.
I’d recommend this film to be seen while in the theaters. It is big screen entertainment on a grand scale. I enjoyed the emphasis on spirituality and energy, even if the mystical bent soon morphed into the comic book universe that we knew we were in for.
I thought they left it open for a sequel, due to an interesting exchange Doctor Strange has with someone during the closing credits. Doctor Strange will not be fading away anytime soon.