Fractals, neon colors, and rich symbolism make for meaningful eye candy in this latest entry into the Marvel Comic Universe. Doctor Stephen Strange, an elite yet arrogant surgeon, has his career cut short by a car accident. Failing to find any help from the medical world, he treks across the globe to seek spiritual means in order to regain the dexterity in his hands. What he discovers are a multitude of worlds, magic beyond understanding, and secrets of his newfound group. His talents are great, but will he have the conviction and drive to take up the mantle and responsibility of the Sorcerer Supreme?
The visuals are the highest quality; there are an abundance of Inception-esque world warping and clock motifs working overtime to strengthen the narrative, a remarkable feat when dealing with issues of style. The film is legitimately funny with tons of physical comedy, but perhaps too much of it and at the wrong times. The drama of internal and external conflicts, on the other hand, is spellbinding.
A star-studded cast gives quite nuanced performances; Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, and Rachel McAdams show range where lesser actors and scripts have plainly gone before. Mads Mikkelsen squeezes some pathos out of generic villain “Kaecilius”, while Chiwetel Eljiofor brings a twist to the Mordo storyline.
The tight script is faithful to the comics, if a little slow due to the nature of origin stories. The plot is a bit formulaic but still brings some gravitas to themes of choice, time, death, and meaning. “Doctor Strange” is a gem that hopefully won’t stay hidden. The story itself is nothing we haven’t seen before, but the execution makes this a truly magical film.
8.5/10 Bro Fists