Hello Hero Club, this is Darkon633 and I am here with a movie review. I watched Doctor Strange on opening day and I have to say it was a blast. However, while the film was pretty great, plot of the film was not. Instead, the film was stronger in its visual effects and the lessons than what Stephan Strange learned throughout the experience. Anyways here is my review for the film. It is a spoiler filled review, so turn away right now…
The film opens up at Kathmandu, Nepal where the powerful sorcerer Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) and his followers find their way into the secret sanctum called the Kamar-Taj. Kaecilius and his followers enter the library and murder the current librarian in order to obtain a spell from one of the Ancient One’s books. As they leave the library The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) follows pursuit, but they manage to escape.
The scene changes to Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is an acclaimed neurosurgeon, finds himself in an accident that takes his ability to use his hands. His old friend and past lover, Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), tries to comfort him, however in his own arrogance he pushes her away in hope of discovering a way to help himself. Stranges pursuit for a cure leads him to Jonathon Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt), who was once a paraplegic. Strange manages to track him down and he tells him that there is a way to find a cure at the Kamar-Taj. As he reaches his destination he begins to feel that it wasn’t what he expected. The Ancient One and Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) explain and show him the astral plane and the existence of other dimensions. After their explanation, the Ancient One kicks him out due to his arrogance since he reminded her of Kaecilius, but eventually agrees to help him.
After some time, Stephan Strange begins to get good at his magical abilities and learns from the new current librarian, Master Wong (Benedict Wong). He explains to Strange that there are three Sanctums in New York City, London, and Hong Kong that protected the world from supernatural forces. Strange learns that the purpose of the sorcerers is help protect the world from the supernatural and that Pangborn decided to use this ability to keep himself walking instead of taking this responsibility. Some time later Strange uses a spell which allows him to see what the missing spell pages stolen by Kaecilus showed, but he soon gets stopped by Mordo and Wong. They explain to him that what he was doing was against the laws of nature and that Kaecilius also used similar powers in order to have eternal life.
Their talk gets cut short when they soon discover that Kaecilius and his followers were able to use the pages in order to summon Dormammu from the Dark Dimension, which has the power to grant eternal life. This event was caused by the destruction of the London Sanctum, which causes Strange to get pushed into the New York Sanctum. Strange manages to fight off Kaecilius and his followers with the help of the Cloak of Levitation, although his advantage soon breaks down. Mordo and the Ancient One appear to help Strange. Strange explains to Mordo that Kaecillius revealed to him that the Ancient One was using the power of the Dark Dimension to keep herself alive for many years. Although he doesn’t quite believe him he continues to fight off Kaecilius. Kaecilius manages to fatally wound the Ancient One and before she passes she tells Strange that he will be forced to break the rules in order to balance out Mordo’s steadfast nature.
After she passes Strange and Mordo quickly arrive in Hong Kong only to find out they are too late and that Wong was killed along with the destruction of the final sanctum. Seeing as he has no choice, Strange uses the power of the Eye of Agamotto to turn back time and save Wong from his demise. He then quickly makes his way into the Dark Dimesion where he initiates an infinite time loop to bargain with Dormammu. Dormmamu eventually agrees to spare the earth and in exchange he takes Kaecilius and his followers into his dimension.
Unhappy about Strange and the Ancient One’s disregard of the rules of natural order, Mordo departs from the sorcerers and goes on his own. Back at the Kamar-Taj, he returns the Eye of Agamotto, which Wong explains its an Infinity Stone. Strange decides to stay at the New York Sanctum to continue his studies. The mid-credits scene features Doctor Strange talking to Thor and asking him why he has brought Loki to New York. He tells him that he is currently searching for their father Odin and Strange agrees to help him. The post-credits scenes shows Mordo tracking down Pangborn and takes his powers proclaiming that Earth has too many sorcerers.
While I think that the film doesn’t have the best story, I personally think it evens out since its simplicity didn’t lead into many plot holes if at all. I did enjoy that Strange’s character development was really well done in the film and in my opinion I think is one of the better character growth stories I have seen in the Marvel Cinematic universe so far. While his back story was similar to Tony’s I think Strange’s backstory was much better panned out especially since he had to get out of much harder struggles.
The visual effects were phenomenal and it was amazing to see what was coming next. Every scene where magic was involved it literally felt like you were in another world and each scene after the other was more spectacular than the last. I think the first scene involving the Ancient One showing Strange the wonders of other dimensions was a good preview of how far the visuals get in the film. While the previous scene that is seen in the trailers featuring The Ancient One fighting off against Kaecilius and his followers was cool I didn’t think it was as good as the following scene.
However, the film did suffer from some minor problems. First, while Kaecilius was a strong villain and they tried to make him intimated he just wasn’t that memorable in my opinion. His followers while just as strong were pretty pointless especially since they were never named in the film. Another problem is with Dormmamu himself. To my understanding he is an extremely powerful villain in the comics so I can understand why he was a bit sidelined. That being said I don’t really like how he was approached since it seems like he is just another “giant cloud of darkness” characters we have been getting with some of the live adaptation of comic villains. Overall I still thought this was a fantastic movie for the visuals and the character growth of the Doctor throughout the film and it is amazing to see another standalone movie be strong in the cinematic universe. The whole character growth of Strange I felt was another great part of the film and I cannot wait to see more of the character in future installments of the cinematic universe. Also with this film the supernatural is now apart of the MCU so the possibilities are endless. In conclusion this is definitely one of the films that should be seen in theaters and I personally think the 3D/ Imax version was worth the watch since I personally thought it helped with the effects of the film.