Doctor Strange Review:Dinithi O’Gorman’s Verdict

October 26th, 2016

Directed by: Scott Derrickson

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor

I went to see this film on opening night (25th October, 2016) at the Showcase Cinema de Lux in Leicester, in 3D after deciding against seeing Girl on the Train because I haven’t yet finished listening to the audio book of the Paula Hawkins thriller. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting into with just on a whim deciding to see Doctor Strange. Earlier in the day I said to a friend that “I’m pretty sure it’s just Benedict Cumberbatch being some kind of space wizard”; this wasn’t too far wrong, but it’s not entirely correct.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Stephen Strange, an arrogant neurosurgeon injured in an accident which causes him to lose the ability to practise as a surgeon any longer. Trying to find a way to heal himself, he meets the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and is cast into an adventure which bridges a bit of insanity with a fair bit of magic.

Visually arresting, Doctor Strange sees touches of Christopher Nolan’s Inception and Interstellar in its city folding and timey-wimey space tearing. The colours are vibrant and lively and eye-catching and the 3D element enhances the viewing.

For someone who isn’t a huge comic book fan, Doctor Strange was easy to follow and the story was engaging. I was rooting for Stephen Strange, and Tilda Swinton’s performance as the Ancient One is effective; playing serene, wise and badass all at once. However, both Mads Mikkelsen and Rachel McAdams are underused in their respective roles as the villain and love interest respectively.

All in all I felt that Doctor Strange felt like its own little slice of weird and wonderful sat within the larger Marvel-verse. I’m excited to see how Strange will fit in with the larger story arcs that have been building up with the Avengers, Thor, Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy (let’s not forget Ant-Man or the Incredible Hulk either) and with three films in 2017, including the upcoming Spiderman reboot, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and the third Thor film, it should be an interesting ride.

Well worth a watch! 8.5/10

Dinithi O’Gorman