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Movie Review: 'Doctor Strange' Complete Package

by Todd A. Smith

 

(Photo Credit: Marvel Studios) 

 

 

Visually Breathtaking; Brilliantly Acted 

 

1/2


Comic book movies often do not have it all.


Although the films entertain, many do not enlighten with a great moral to the story.


If they have great graphics, the storyline might not live up to the hype.


Even if the storyline is great, sometimes the acting performances come up short.


When all three merge together, something very strange occurs, which is a great theatrical film to match the great visuals.


After Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange,” the complete package might not be as strange or as rare as in the past.  Hopefully, it will become commonplace.


In the film “Doctor Strange,” Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) symbolizes all that is wrong with successful people in this world.


He is accomplished and brilliant.


Unfortunately, he is also arrogant and self-centered.


Dr. Strange is a highly respected surgeon.


But he only accepts patients that can add to his stellar resume of pulling off the near impossible, not patients who simply need good medical care.


His co-workers, like former girlfriend Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), put up with his hubris because they have to, not because they want to.


Strange is even arrogant when it comes to other aspects of life, arguing co-workers down when it comes to musical history and other unimportant trivia.


However, when Strange is severely injured while speeding in a car crash, his whole world turns from hubris to humility.


He loses the use of his brilliant hands, which have saved many lives.  And he loses all of his money trying to find the perfect surgery to repair his shattered hands and life.


However, when he learns of a paraplegic Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt) who regains full use of his broken back, he seeks him out to find out how the miracle on him was performed.


Strange is directed to a compound in Nepal led by the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), which specializes in the mystic arts.


The Ancient One teaches Strange to channel his inner belief, which allows him to control all aspects of his body and being, including his hands.


Initially skeptical, Strange learns how to maximize the power of his hands by tapping into deeper dimensions of himself and the world.


His hands not only become functional again, they give him superpowers.


However, when he accesses realms of the world, which should be off limits to human beings, he finds himself in a bigger dilemma than he found himself back in America.


Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), a former student of the Ancient One has previously stolen a ritual from her in an attempt to gain eternal life and access to the multi-verse.


By doing so, Kaecilius threatens the entire natural order of the world, which could destroy mankind.


The dilemma facing Strange is should he go back to his high profile life as a surgeon now that the Ancient One has cured his ailment and given him more powers?


Or should he use his powers to make a difference in the lives of others even if it does not bring him all of the glory?


“Doctor Strange” is truly mesmerizing from a graphics point-of-view.


The visuals will simply take one’s breath away.


Furthermore, Cumberbatch and the always-stellar Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo) are simply powerful in their performances.


Additionally, screenwriters Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill wrote the perfect script, with the right amount of comedy inserted into it, especially the references to Beyoncé. 


Unfortunately, “Doctor Strange” does seem to drag a little bit from the time Strange gets into the car accident to the time the fighting scenes break out.


But that can be easily forgiven because of the ground that “Doctor Strange” covers.


Derrickson, who also directed “Doctor Strange,” is able to accomplish the rare and strange feat of combining three great filmmaking elements into one superb superhero movie.


The film has a message of humility and selflessness.


The film has great performances.


The film has great graphics.


And the film has great fighting scenes.

 

It might be a strange combination, but those elements are the perfect combination for “Doctor Strange.”


REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

This article was published on Friday 04 November, 2016.
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