Rajeev Masand’s Movie Review of Doctor Strange

Now listen carefully, and name the film. An arrogant genius is brought down to earth by a terrible accident that becomes the first step towards his reinvention as a superhero. You’re thinking Iron Man, aren’t you? Well yes, but no. What you just heard is the premise of Doctor Strange, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

To be fair, Doctor Strange is a somewhat different beast from the studio’s previous films – one with distinctive elements, particularly a unique and trippy visual aesthetic – even if it does seem awfully familiar at its core.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch fits comfortably into the role of gifted but cocky New York neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, whose privileged, glamorous life screeches to a halt when a terrible car crash crushes both his spirit and his hands. Failed by traditional medicine, his relentless search for a cure takes him to the fictional Kamar-Taj enclave in Nepal to seek out the less conventional healing powers of a wise Yoda-like figure, the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), who helps him harness great magic and educates him in the bizarre truths of the parallel multiverse.

Staying faithful to the blueprint of previous Marvel films – and frankly most films in the superhero genre – a chunk of Doctor Strange is devoted to Cumberbatch becoming comfortable with his new powers. But it’s the film’s visual audacity that truly separates it from other properties in the canon. Never shying away from the character’s psychedelic roots in the comics, director Scott Derrickson pushes for an entirely bold look and feel characterized by kaleidoscopic mind-scrambling visual effects, including stunning sequences of buildings and entire cities bending and folding in on themselves Inception-style.

It’s all particularly thrilling when experienced in IMAX 3D like I did; the colors popping, the landscapes literally coming alive. It’s a good thing Cumberbatch skillfully grounds the spectacle, delivering a smart and consistently funny performance as the reformed-but-still-smug titular hero. Bringing warmth and gravitas to the part of the mumbo jumbo-spouting monk, a bald Tilda Swinton steals virtually every scene she’s in. But both Chiwetel Ejiofor as her trusted second-in-command Mordo, and particularly Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius, the film’s villain from the Dark Dimension, never feel adequately fleshed out. The same is true of Rachel McAdams, grossly underutilized as a fellow surgeon and Strange’s ex.

Despite its hiccups, the film breezes through its less-than-two-hours running time and gives you enough reason to smile. The red Cloak of Levitation that claims our hero (yes, not the other way around) gets a few moments in the spotlight, including a bit where it takes on one of the villain’s henchman on its own. Benedict Wong, playing the earnest librarian at Kamar-Taj, is the secret sauce of this movie, offering some of the most genuine laughs through a mostly straight-faced performance.

In the end, Doctor Strange is entertaining despite its formulaic plot, but will need more than just good humor and snazzy CGI to justify a sequel. I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five.

It’ll be interesting to see what he brings to the next Avengers film where he’ll join the rest of the gang for what we can only hope isn’t merely another round of world-flattening destruction.

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*
Name:*
E-mail:*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Rajeev Masand

  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Omerta

    Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Keval Arora, Rajesh Tailang, Blake Allan Director: Hansal Mehta In his new film Omerta, director Hansal Mehta seeks to dive into...

    BMS EditorMay 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of 102 Not Out

    Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Jimit Trivedi Director: Umesh Shukla Let’s just face it Hindi cinema doesn’t know what to do with senior...

    BMS EditorMay 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Avengers: Infinity War

    Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe...

    BMS EditorApril 26, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Beyond The Clouds

    Cast: Ishaan Khattar, Malavika Mohanan, Goutam Ghose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, GV Sharada, Amruta Santosh Thakur, Shivam Pujari Director: Majid Majidi Iranian master Majid Majidi,...

    BMS EditorApril 21, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of October

    Cast: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, Gitanjali Rao Director: Shoojit Sircar October, directed by Shoojit Sircar, is a thoughtful, meditative film about...

    BMS EditorApril 13, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Blackmail

    Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh, Divya Dutta, Pradhuman Singh, Anjula Sathe, Gajraj Rao, Omi Vaidya, Vibha Chibbar, Neelima Azim Director: Abhinay...

    BMS EditorApril 6, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Baaghi 2

    Cast: Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Deepak Dobriyal, Prateik Babbar, Darshan Kumaar, Vipin Sharma Director: Ahmed Khan. A distraught young...

    BMS EditorApril 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review Of Pacific Rim Uprising

    Cast: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Cailee Spaeny, Burn Gorman Director: Steven S DeKnight I’m one of those who thoroughly...

    BMS EditorMarch 24, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review Of Hichki

    Cast: Rani Mukerji, Neeraj Kabi, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Harsh Mayar Director: Siddharth P Malhotra There is nothing original, nothing surprising, nothing even...

    BMS EditorMarch 24, 2018

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2018 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×
WordPress Popup