Saturday, November 05, 2016

Doctor Strange

        Marvel Studios gets it right with this big screen incarnation of Doctor Strange, one of it's oldest characters. Benedict Cumberbatch is the perfect choice for the role, completely inhabiting the character. The film works because of him and the fantastic special effects (for the most part) that really pop in 3D.

        Much has been said about casting Tida Swinton as "The Ancient One" since that character is an Asian male in the comics. Don't hold it against Ms. Swinton as she does an admirable job in a key role. The rest of the cast includes Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer, a love interest and "go to" surgeon when Dr. Strange needs medical help, as well as Mads Mikkelsen as the central villain, and Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong as disciples of The Ancient One.

         This is an origin film and as such, has its share of dull moments as Dr. Strange learns to harness his mystical powers. Most of the action kicks in later in the film but, throughout, Mr. Cumberbatch brings a self effacing humor that adds laughs and keeps things interesting.

        As special effects go, the film takes the effects of "Inception" to a new level and the astral ride that starts Dr. Strange on his journey rivals the trippyness of "2001: A Space Odyssey". The dark dimension is a bit disappointing but the time spell Dr. Strange uses to his advantage redeems the effects team. And this is a film that actually works best in 3D to really appreciate the visuals.

       You can argue logically about plot points but remembering this film is based on a comic book may help you overlook your issues. It's simply a fun ride.  Make sure you stay through the credits for two good (for a change) extra scenes.

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