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Review Doctor Strange (2016): Mysticism Marvel style and it's wonderful!

genre: action, adventure, comic book adaptation, fantasy, super hero

If you have any doubts about this title then let me put you at ease. Doctor Strange will guarantee you a fun night and spectacle of epic proportions. 

For most of you this will be the first introduction to Doctor Strange. But I can assure you it will be a pleasant one. And there is a good reason why he is entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But I will let you find out for yourself why that is. Most important to realize is that Benedict Cumberbatch does one hell of a job making the character his own. Now I haven't really read or followed the comic books but I have seen him appear in several other Marvel comics so I kind of know what he is about. BTW I can recommend the animated movie Doctor Strange (2007) since it's a good origin story as well. One thing you will have to be aware of is that like the animated movie we speed through the origins in quite a fast pace. Like the other Marvel films this one is focused on the action and the spectacle and not once will you find yourself bored. Actually like with the animated film I could not get enough of it and wanted more. Much more. It is understandable that they skipped on some details to save time but I would not have mind seeing more of Cumberbatch learning the mystical arts. I just love that type of thing. I do need to point out that for some the big CGI scenes might be reminiscent of scenes in Christopher Nolan's Inception. Only I thought they did a much better job of fusing the weird with the action. Also the pretension is left out. And that strangely enoughs becomes more functional to the viewing experience since the fantastic is just another way to intensify the action. Although I do think that there is no reason for you to see this is in 3D. I did but it's obvious that it was not filmed but converted to 3D. On one hand that makes me happy since while I do love 3D for a film like this is would be murder on your eyes. There is only so much you can handle. And the amount of spectacle is huge in this one. On the other hand it does feel as a missed opportunity because there certainly are quite a few scenes where 3D could have made a real impact. Even more so than for example Avatar. 

In an early review I read that Mads Mikkelsen is underused as villain Kaecilius. But in all honesty I think this is not the case. He is there to move the plot forward and to motivate Dr. Stephen Strange in becoming a hero. Kaecilius was never meant to be a huge or important villain. Like always though Mikkelsen does a good job so he won't disappoint. While Benedict Cumberbatch definitely commands scenes he is in, he is no match for Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One. She is magnificent and will make you forget about The Ancient One originally being male and Asian in the comics. Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer is excellent also because through her we learn more about Stephen Strange. Plus most of the interactions between them later in the film are hilarious. 

So do I have no criticism towards this film whatsoever? Doctor Strange offers exactly what I wanted. It never disappoints or is boring. Like I said I never wanted the film to end. But of course I would have liked to learn more about the mysticism, about The Ancient One, about their fights and adventures. Doctor Strange is hardly a perfect movie and perhaps one could critique the fact that to the core this is your standard super hero film. But guess what? For me Super hero films with simple tales about good versus evil is what makes them most appealing. For the duration of the film you will be launched into a magnificent adventure where good overcomes bad and makes you feel very good. Escapism at best. Sometimes it is nice to just to forget about real life for a few hours. Especially in this world that seems to be getting darker and more cynical. 

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