Dr Strange review

Dan Buser, Section Editor

Dr Strange is the newest movie to be released in the Marvel cinematic universe. It is directed by Scott Derrickson and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular hero. With five other major superhero movies being released in 2016 alone, Dr Strange is entering a crowded genre.

Photo Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Photo Courtesy of Marvel Studios

The film starts off with Dr. Stephen Strange, (Cumberbatch) a very successful neurosurgeon whose life is quickly derailed after a crippling car crash. In typical Marvel fashion, Strange seeks help from all corners of the globe to repair his damaged hands. Eventually he ends up in Kamar-Taj, a magic temple where he finds the Ancient One, portrayed expertly by Tilda Swinton. After a brief while, the Ancient One begins to teach Strange a variety of magic that he can use. Unfortunately, a old student of the Ancient One returns bent on world destruction, and it’s up to Strange to save the world.  

Dr Strange’s greatest strength also happens to be its greatest weakness. This being that it’s a Marvel movie, and it checks every Marvel box that you would expect: including both the good and the bad.

Cumberbatch is a very charismatic lead and appears to be very comfortable with the material he’s given. Clever dialogue and Marvel’s typical tongue and cheek humor help keep the tone of the film very light and enjoyable the entire way through.

Most of the supporting cast is very enjoyable, although some of their roles are wasted. This is most glaringly a issue with Mads Mikkelsen’s villain Kaecilius. He is under developed, uninteresting, and extremely cliche. The same could be said for Strange’s love interest, a subplot that seems forced and is wholly unimportant to the character or the events unfolding around them.

It also feels like we’ve seen Strange’s story before in the MCU. While this isn’t entirely the film’s fault (after all it does have to show how he gets his powers) it could have been done in a more inventive way.  

Fortunately, Dr Strange is saved from mediocrity by outstanding visual effects work. Truly unique and refreshing visuals fill every scene and help give Dr Strange an original experience. The outstanding visuals truly compensate for some of the films shortcomings.

Dr Strange is another very enjoyable entry in the Marvel cinematic universe. While the material is familiar, great acting, fun dialogue, and inventive visuals help keep Dr Strange different.

Score: 7/10