First Published with Starskify – 9th December 2016
Following a life changing incident, neurosurgeon Steven Strange undergoes masses of surgeries in an attempt to regain full working control over his hands. When traditional medicine appears to provide no hope, the doctor searches for help elsewhere. Under the guidance from the Ancient One, he then learns the true powers from within himself to conquer inner demons and protect the mystic realms.
There is so much that triumphed within this latest Marvel epic. The most prominent in my eyes has to be the visual spectacle that is evident throughout. From the get go, the screen is graced with stunning and elaborate scenes of structural manipulation. The distorting flip of buildings and architecture assorted around the movement and action of fight scenes brings a whole new dimension to the scenes. The effects are mind-blowing, intense and thoroughly engaging for any viewer. Due to the extensive detail and precision in visual implicants, it can easily find itself at the top of Marvel’s fine ranks of comic adaptions.
When Strange is first introduced to the way of life of the Ancient One and the powers that obtainable, he is exposed to extensive sights of magnificence. Thrown around extensive multiple dimensions, such visuals encouraging him to follow the spiritual path. It’s a true wonder to experience. Vast layers that are visualised and constructed on screen overturn flawlessly, dazzling to witness.
New Marvel Flair
It’s a unique, stand-out performance from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Abundant in mystical capabilities, with the capabilities to keep the atmosphere engaging and entertaining, rather than pulling it over the edge with spiritual voodoo. Typical Superhero sagas display protagonists with physical powers to protect the world, yet this particular hero takes a leap in the direction of a sorcerer. It puts forward a fresh and unique narrative that hasn’t been explored much in cinema. Other overused characters are frequent within media and cinema. Exploring an alternate origin story different to the ones that are excessively evident such as Spiderman or Captain America provides a stimulating and invigorating appeal.
Nevertheless, it still holds a true Marvel charm that is so widely adored. Our protagonist undergoes an adventure of self-discovery in which he converts into a new and refined individual for the greater good. This is indeed a different persona from what was first established. Thus encouraging viewers to change their fundamental judgement on the flawed hero. The vast world that is traversed identifies a rightful place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s not all serious supernatural arts though. There is a fluent attempt to keep morale high and pleasure attentive for viewers. Particularly evident is the communications between Strange and the keeper of the relics and books, Wong. Together, they exchange whits that demonstrates a light hearted side to the uncompromising Strange. There are moments of humour that does indeed qualify for a brief chuckle. Yet it doesn’t qualify for much more than that. MCU are noteworthy for their ventures to keep comical aspects a part of the overall facade of their cinematic endeavours. For the most point, Doctor Strange appears to place certain gimmicks where it may not necessarily be needed. Comments such as the regard to the wifi password simply didn’t belong in the cryptic world.
The Doctor is in
Despite the flawed speech at times, it is thanks of Benedict Cumberbatch that some of the script did come across appropriately. There’s no doubt in the confidence that is Cumberbatch’s portrayal of our stubborn hero. A widely admired actor, whom of which brings forward his classic Sherlock sharp whit and headstrong characteristics to another strong persona. He portrays a character that deems himself as a over-confident fascination, an infuriating individual to others around him. It seems accurate to assume this role to be perfectly cast. Coupled with an American accent, Cumberbatch grandly takes centre stage with superb dominance. Thrusting himself through turmoils of sorcery to achieve his desires for his stolen past life.
The supporting cast provides considerable sustenance and depth around the hero. Each guiding his story in the right direction. The enlightening Tilda Swinton aides the narrative brilliantly. Cautious with her speech, yet definite with her actions. Her portrayal of the Ancient One holds a strong depiction of the mysterious kind. Rachel McAdams lays a dependable foundation in the form of co-worker and old flame, Christine Palmer. Deciding to stray from a romantic relationship between the two is a commendable inclusion to the tale. A divergent occurrence from regular Superhero character developments.
A particularly well built superhero endeavour, distinct from previous instalments. Displaying marvellous visuals and brilliant character developments. Truly an epic to admire and marvel over.