Doctor Strange is the 14th film from the Marvel Comic Universe juggernaut and in case you’re wondering if it strays from their seemingly winning formula – it doesn’t.
The eponymous lead – portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch – is a high-flying, Tony Stark-esque doctor who suffers a debilitating car accident. In order to regain mobility in his hands and become ‘Uber-Surgeon’ once more, Strange travels to the Himalayan temple of Kamar-Taj, where his mind is opened as he is shown new worlds and unbelievable powers.
It’s standard origin-movie fare that refuses to stray from a template that has proved successful since Iron Man and there is little originality the rest of the film’s storytelling.
What sets Strange apart from its siblings however is the film’s astonishing visual effects. The combat scenes are, as you’d expect, exhilarating and superbly-choreographed while the psychedelic astral plane scenes are so trippy I wondered if somebody had slipped something into my popcorn.
These sections are the most imaginative parts of any Marvel film and arguably make the film worth watching on their own. It’s all wonderfully realised and executed and the visual effects team deserve real credit.
The cast also do a superb job. Cumberbatch suits Strange’s arrogant genius persona perfectly (although it strays close to Sherlock territory at the start) while Tinda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor are great as fellow sorcerers and Mads Mikkelsen excels as the antagonist. Indeed the acting is so good, it feels a shame the characters aren’t more developed as they touch upon interesting moral issues that are never fully-realised.
This isn’t something the majority of movie-goers will focus on however and while it won’t win non-Marvel fans over, Strange is an entertaining visual treat that will appease those who are already on board.