It seems like we’re 50 films into the MCU and it still amazes how they manage to make one great film after another. With each following year they seem to dig up weirder and more obscure characters for big-screen adaptations and somehow they manage to pull every single translation off. Last year they threw a home-run with the fun adventures of Ant-Man and this year they triumph in adapting the cosmic wonders of Doctor Strange.
As I mentioned in my Most Anticipated of the Year List, ever since the MCU began I’ve been eagerly anticipating Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, especially the latter. Always having loved this strange character, I can now profess they’ve done justice to the source material by adapting a wickedly clever tale of his to the big screen. Not only do they perfectly capture his story arc and persona, but director Scott Derrickson also does a marvelous job in capturing the psychedelic Steve Ditko 60’s vibe on the big screen. Somehow, Derrickson manages to balance the unusual with the commercial side of things and craft a Marvel blockbuster that feeds off the character’s outré background. Derrickson achieves the introduction of magic to the MCU in stupendous fashion by going all out there from the instant we meet The Ancient One.
Before I delve into my usual lengthy paragraph about how fantastic everyone was in this film, I must first hail the groundbreaking job the special effects team did for this movie. Crafting kaleidoscopic action sequences and a mind-boggling trippy sequence through multiple dimensions that should be held up there with the likes of 2001’s, Enter the Void’s and Easy Rider. Not only do they manage to craft these monstrous magical dimensions, but they also manage to make it look as best they can, guaranteeing Doctor Strange at least an Oscar nom. if not the trophy.
Ok, now I can delve into stating the obvious, everyone in this film does a magnificent job with their characters. Not only does Benedict Cumberbatch embody the snarky asshole that was Dr. Strange, the surgeon, but he also manages to pull off something incredible in converting that arrogant egomaniac into one of the coolest, most self-less heroes the MCU has to offer. Must I really saw Tilda Swinton was great in another movie, the woman has never turned in a bad performance ever since her acting career begun. As for the villain, although he is your generic Marvel bad-guy, there’s something about Mads Mikkelsen’s scowling look that adds to the villainy and menace that this character brings with him. And then there’s your glorious supporting cast formed by the likes of Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Benedict Wong who all do a marvelous job in adding their own special flavor to the already wonderful Doctor Strange.
What can I say, Marvel’s done it again. They managed to translate one of their wildest characters on to the big screen by perfectly interpreting the nature of the comic series in its entirety onto the film. Benedict Cumberbatch’s casting was a stroke of genius and the casting of the rest of the crew on board just reinforced that Finn & Poerscout-Edgerton are casting virtuosos. Jon Spaihts’s script is also displayed as very astute judging it from the final product. As I said before, Scott Derrickson works marvels as a director, accomplishing the task of finding that mid-point between weird sci-fi and a commercial blockbuster. All in all, Doctor Strange marks another triumph for the MCU and a great step forward in a brand new direction that grants them the ability to explore a variety of novelties.