Doctor Strange Review

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange, or how marvel stopped worrying and learned to love cod spirituality was definitely not considered as a name for this new superhero yarn.

But it is on the money.

Someone else who’s on the money is Dr Stephen Strange, a supposedly brilliant neurosurgeon who struts around his New York hospital like he owns the place whilst turning water into wine, or whatever the neurological equivalent is.

His cocksure ways rub some people up the wrong way, just like a certain baker street based detective folk seem to love, but at least one of his fellow doctors likes the cut of his jib.

Judging from their easy back and forth, said quack – Christine – seems to be on first name terms with Strange’s jib too.

But when you’re as brilliant as Dr Strange, you don’t have time for relationships.

You do have time for keynote speeches though, as well as fast cars and all the trappings of a playboy lifestyle.

Strange certainly ain’t working for the NHS.

A horrible car crash is about to change everything Strange thought he knew about himself though, and open his mind to a whole new world that even includes a magic flying carpet.

Sort of.

Doctor Strange is the latest marvel shaped comic book hero off their cinematic factory production line.

I’m a little jaded by the whole superhero scene these days, but the mystical angle of Doctor Strange piqued my interest, as did the stellar ensemble cast.

Alas, the story doesn’t really hold up.

Strange’s origin story borrows heavily from Batman Begins, involving a bearded trip to the far east to meet his ancient mentor and discover his calling in life.

There’s plenty of Tony Stark thrown in too, as Strange is yet another moneyed and arrogant New York playboy turned superhero.

But Benedict Cumberbatch is no Robert Downey junior, so can’t pull this off nearly as well.

What Doctor Strange does pull off are some incredible special effects, taking the folding cities and gravity defying fight scenes from Inception and dialling them up to eleven for a new generation.

But the plot tries to cram too much into its two hour running time, with some ridiculous end of the world nonsense needlessly strapped on to the final act.

Spoiler alert, the world does not end at the end of this or any other marvel film.

Ever.

Strange’s story feels rushed as we hurtle towards the end game for this film, which is ultimately introducing yet another superhero to the never-ending marvel universe.

What we end up with is a beautiful looking film that doesn’t add up to much more than this despite the presence of Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelson, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor, as well as a plot that rips off elements from Star Wars, Aladdin and – bizarrely – Groundhog Day.

One thing that doesn’t need repeating, is that Doctor Strange will definitely be on the money for marvel and disney.

Jonathan Campbell

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October 2016
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