Review: Doctor Strange (No Spoilers)

By Angel:

Movie Description: 

“A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.”

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Anticipation:

It’s really mind blowing to me that I’m writing this review right now about this character, Doctor Strange?! The man who protects the very fabric of reality. I really love this character because I’ve always appreciated his development and discovery of magic which leads him to become the Sorcerer Supreme.

I was very nervous this character would be handled poorly because he’s one of the most difficult characters from Marvel to portray onto the big screen, but the studio had my complete trust because of their consistent excellence with their films. I had my Cloak Of Levitation prepared and I was ready to go. Forget everything that you think you know…and let’s get started!

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Story: 

From the first second of the film, to the very last second of the end credit scene I was completely invested with the narrative. This was about an arrogant man who finds himself through the power of spirit and mastering the arts of mysticism. The development was impressive, I cared about the characters, and the pacing was great.

This Marvel Cinematic Universe was evolving right before my eyes with reality distortion and dimensional travel which gave us the most innovative setting that any of the previous Marvel films offered. The story flew by because I was having so much fun and I just wanted more. This film had everything that I look for in a great story: a hook, crisis, discovery, progression,conflict, and change revolving around the characters.

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Characters/Performances:

Benedict Cumberbatch was perfect as Doctor Strange. He was able to deliver a performance filled with intelligence, arrogance, and power. A vital aspect to Doctor Strange’s character is the voice and Cumberbatch nailed the accent. He managed to showcase what kind of person Strange was with his presence and attitude. I was able to believe he was this egotistical man who became the Sorcerer Supreme.

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Chiwetel Ejiofor gave a great performance as Mordo because he added more depth to that character. After a brilliant performance from 12 Years A Slave, I never would have imagined him doing something this bizarre, but he committed one hundred and ten percent on all aspects such as body language, facial reactions, mentality, listening, and charisma.

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Tilda Swinton was the most interesting casting choice as the Ancient One. She is a fantastic actress who I never expected to take on this role and she totally sold me! I believed she was this powerful and wise being. I really enjoyed the direction they took with the character as well.

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Mads Mikkelsen gave a great performance as Kaecillius. A lot of people may feel underwhelmed with him as a villain because it may have just seemed that all he wanted was evil power and lack of screen time, but I got more from his character than I expected. He gave this monologue that really gave me what I needed, which was to understand his motivations. His character lost a lot in his life, and all he was doing was evading time, fear, and seeking truth. He also probably just needed to check that eye infection out, yikes!

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The rest of the cast was strong and they were all dedicated to their roles. I enjoyed seeing everyone on screen bringing each character and the story to life.

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Themes:

I absolutely loved the messages of the film because I related and found them to be thought provoking. The themes I interpreted from the film were fear, time, and death. Doctor Strange was a fearful man, someone who feared failure which is what made him a brilliant Doctor. As a result, he became selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. This ego is something we can all relate to, as we are all innately selfish unless we really tap into our spirituality to be a humble person, elevating our mind. What allows us to do that is when we think about how important life is and the decisions we make as we treat others, not just ourselves.

I loved the quote that the Ancient One had, she said, “Death gives life meaning,” which is completely true because our days are numbered. How we spend every second is up to our mind and not the objects or accomplishments we own. Time is our greatest enemy and our greatest gift. We can either fear it and take it for granted or embrace it and live. I loved that all these themes were incorporated into the development of Strange’s ideology. It’s something we can all take out from this film to reflect on and learn.

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Visuals:

The visual effects were breathtaking and some of the most effective ones I’ve ever seen put to screen. I love it when I can watch a film and not think to myself, “that’s CGI right there!” The effects were brilliantly detailed and I never thought it could be handled the way they were. I thought inception was amazing when it came to spectacle….wait till you see this! It’s very easy to destroy a movie with these kind of effects, but my mind was blown.

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Negatives:

I was watching the film and I didn’t have any flaws with it. I do feel that a minor nitpick could be that there was too much comedy forced, especially during serious scenes, but the jokes worked for me, I laughed! It also just really fits the tone of the entire universe, especially as an origin film for the MCU. I was extremely surprised throughout the movie that nothing stood out to me as a flaw. I loved every second!

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Overall:

I’m really happy I loved Doctor Strange because he’s such a fun character with astonishing powers. I was impressed with the story, the dialogue, the mythology, the pacing, the performances, the music, themes, and the visual effects. It was easily one of the greatest experiences I’ve had at the theaters this year. Doctor Strange is a film you NEED to go see on the biggest screen you possibly can even if you don’t believe in fairytales about chakras or energy or the power of belief. I hope you have a great time and thanks for reading my review. My rating for this film is 10/10! 🙂

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