Doctor Strange: "Stephen Strange, May I Offer You Some Advice"

Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer:     Scott Derrickson
                C. Robert Cargill
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch
                Chiwetel Ejiofer
                Rachel McAdams
                Benedict Wong
                Michael Stuhlbarg
                Benjamin Bratt
                Scott Adkins
                Mads Mikkelsen
                Tilda Swinton
Rating:    ***

Release Date: Out Now
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an ever growing titan, that is slowly enveloping movie theatres around the world, and with each new release come as new story and world that is slowly drawing us nearer to Avengers: Infinity War. It could be considered a bold decision to continually introduce us to new characters and worlds that mainstream audiences are unfamiliar with within this, now, 14 movie strong franchise; but somehow Marvel pull it off.

The talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) is in a tragic car accident, and in order to heal he must overcome his ego and discover the secrets of a secret word filled with mysticism and other dimensions, shown to him by The Ancient One (Swinton). With his life in New York City's Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange is forced to become a way of connecting these two worlds and must utilise his powers and metaphysical abilities to protect the Marvel Universe from Kaecilius (Mikkelsen).

Tilda Swinton & Benedict Cumberbatch
I've only seen a handful of the MCU movies, but it is very clear that Doctor Strange is a completely independent film that needs no prior knowledge of the many other films. The one thing I have noticed from seeing this film and the few others, is that this one feels detached from the rest. This is 14th film in the franchise and at this point people have their favourite superheroes and characters, they've grown attached; so to add a new thread to the story feels unnecessary and awkward.

The character of Stephen Strange is portrayed superbly by the uber talented Benedict Cumberbatch. He is dry, arrogant and suave; mixing his narcassism with a genuine wonderment with the new things he is learning, something that humbles him throughout. He gets to take the character on a full journey throughout the film from his high-flying begginnings, through his awful car crash and then straight into his otherworldly travel where he learns and develops his new skills. It is a brilliant performance, and not many of these characters in this franchise have got to go through such changes all in one film. 

Rachel McAdams
It will be interesting to see Doctor Strange slot in with the other Avengers, as they are there to 'protect the world against physical threat', while these new characters look after people against spiritual and mystical enemies.It feels different from Avengers movies past, but feels siilar to Guardiand of the Galaxy, as they are the only films that I have seen that feel so different from the others I've seen. All that it lacks, that Guardians is packed with, is heart and soul.

The supporting characters are also severely underused, especially the females. Rachel McAdams is the perfect example of this. Her former lover/less talented surgeon to Dr. Strange character, Christine Palmer, does very little but do as she is told by Stephen, she at no point has her own independent thought process. Also the antagonists don't fair much better with Mads Mikkeksen's Kaecilius, the main villain for most of the film, only given a hinted-at half-back story. Villains in past MCU outings have been fully fleshed out characters, but Mads Mikkelesen is not given this honour, a shame as Mikkelsen has more than enough acting talent to carry it given half the chance.

The biggest success for m within this film are the immense visuals. Very similar to the film Inception, you are sent through other dimensions where skyscrapers fold in half and people defy gravity and send you on dizzying chases. It truly is astonishing to watch, and it is one film that might genuinely benefit from being watched in 3D if ou want to risk it. Thee script is also full of some genuinely funny one liners, that have become synonymous with the MCU, and that fits in perfectly. Scott Derrickson has created a spellbinding and mindblowing film to look at, but I fear that it does very little to engage you with it's characters and story.

Doctor Strange - Trailer