A Strange Review

Marvel has been using the best actors, directors, and stories they can come up with. Doctor Strange is no exception. Let me warn you, this may contain spoilers. I’ve only just started writing so we’ll see where this goes. First let me start with a synopsis.

Doctor Stephen Strange is a neurosurgeon. A damn fine surgeon at that. He recognizes ailments like House and has a similar demeanor. Cocksure and arrogant, Doctor Strange both saves a patient from another doctor’s mistake and humiliates the man in the process. Even though Doctor Strange has long been one of my favorite Marvel characters (along with Deadpool, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Ghost Rider, and Captain America), I could not care less for Doctor Stephen Strange the neurosurgeon. I felt like they tried to make it appear as if Strange were the best of the best, but they only exceeded in vilifying him for the first quarter of the movie.

In typical cautionary fashion, the movie depicts Strange driving his fancy sports car down a winding mountain highway, while trying to read information on his phone. He clips another car and has a horrible accident. While I am all for the don’t text and drive mantra, can we stop trying to put this into every movie and television show? If people haven’t gotten the point by now, they’re not going to. Cliched (overused) drama aside, the accident had plausible consequences for Stephen Strange. Suffering severe nerve damage in his hands, he could no longer be a surgeon. This is an excellent example of a tragedy to befall a character as his hands (and his mind) are the tools of his trade. In losing his hands, we see Stephen drawn into a melancholic despair, which inevitably causes him to take leave of his senses as well.

For me, this is where the movie started. The first quarter of the movie was about backstory, nearly vilifying the Doctor, and giving a tragedy that sends him on a quest to be healed.

Unable to regain full use of his hands, Doctor Strange ends up in Nepal, seeking help from mystic forces.

Insert ’70s psychedelic acid trip.

Insert typical ’80s action hero training montage.

By the second half of the film, I was smiling and rooting for Doctor Strange. His rebellious fly by the seat of his pants is toned down slightly, but you can see it evolve when he begins to delve into the magical arts. There are some witty one-liners and a serious/funny fight scene with the film’s main baddie, played by Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal). It’s clear from the start of his training, Doctor Strange is not the average Joe, on the contrary he is contradictory, sassy, and at some points downright rebellious. However, it appears that he learns his true purpose by the climax of the film. Challenging an entity by entering its realm and forcing the entity to feel the effect of time (you’ll have to see it to understand that) thereby forcing the entity to make a bargain with Strange.

Overall, I recommend seeing Doctor Strange, it is an excellent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and introduces a great character.

I give Doctor Strange a 4.5 out of 5 rating. The only thing keeping this from being a perfect score is the somewhat cliche of genius doctor who’s arrogant and the now ritual PSA for all movies with any type of technology or motor vehicles. Until next time folks.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Author,

DJ Morand