By LAYANN BASILEH
With the recent string of less than satisfactory superhero films, audiences have been eagerly and anxiously waiting to see if Doctor Strange, which was released in theaters on Friday, November 4th, would bring glory back to the genre. The film stars the acclaimed Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch as the opportunistic Marvel superhero Doctor Strange.
The movie opens with Strange at the height of his career as an exceptional neurosurgeon. However, after a horrific car accident (and a reminder to keep your eyes on the road), Strange loses the ability to use his hands. Although he goes through physical therapy and spends his sizeable fortune on experimental medical procedures, the state of his hands does not improve. Despite the efforts of his former lover, Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), Strange refuses to give up. He eventually uses the last of his money to buy a ticket to Kamar-Taj in Tibet after hearing the account of a formerly paraplegic man who claims to have walked again after visiting a temple located there. Strange travels to Kamar-Taj and meets the “Ancient One” (Tilda Swinton) who teaches him about magic and the existence of multiple dimensions, some of which threaten to consume the human world.
Doctor Strange largely revolves around magic and dimensions, and depends on the use of special effects and CGI to create stunning, almost psychedelic visuals. Reality literally bends as buildings turn sideways and the world seemingly flips upside down. Characters run across twisting streets while they fight with golden sparks of magic, tracing out glowing weapons in thin air.
The film’s story and dialogue hold up to its breathtaking visuals. Marvel has managed to successfully replicate its trademark lightheartedness, the film is filled with humor that easily draws laughter from a crowd, but also manages to contain genuinely emotional and heart wrenching scenes that the actors deliver perfectly. Although the film’s comedic tone is typical of Marvel productions, do not be mistaken into thinking that Doctor Strange is simply a magical version of a formulaic superhero tale. It does contain some superhero tropes, but the film significantly differs from any other Marvel or even DC production, featuring a unique climax done in a fashion that has never before been seen in the genre.
Doctor Strange is an incredible film, combining talented actors with masterful writing and the highest quality of visuals. Even those who are not typically fond of superhero films are recommended to give this one a chance. Students have responded positively to the film. Conner Martino (Sr.) said “Overall, it was one of the most enjoyable movies I’ve seen recently.”
Doctor Strange also currently holds a 8/10 on IMDb and a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.