Movie Reviews: Doctor Strange




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     Disney/Marvel (2 hrs. 10 min.)
    A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.
     Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Wong, Mads Millelsen, Benjamin Bratt
Bottom Line:

Laurence Washington

“Doctor Strange” is “The Matrix” on crack. Or as senior critic-at-large Samantha Prince puts it: “Inception meets Harry Potter.” Buildings and locations become a dazzling kaleidoscope; you just can’t catch everything the first time around. I say, see this film twice.

Normally, I’m not a fan of 3D. It’s just a revenue maker for the studio, and should be brought out like fine China – on special occasions. However, “Doctor Strange” is a special occasion – a must see in IMAX 3D.

Like another Marvel superhero Tony Stark, Dr. Stephan Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a cocky and arrogant professional. Strange is the world’s best neurosurgeon. Just ask him. However, Strange’s inflated ego literary comes to a screeching halt after he drives his sports car off a bridge and permanently damages the nerves in his shattered hands.

No longer being able to operate, Strange’s medical life begins to spiral down, cutting him off from the world and his girlfriend. Logically speaking, Strange could have remained a doctor, but then you wouldn’t have a superhero movie. It would have been an episode of the TV show “House.”

Instead, Strange hears about a spinal cord injury patient (Benjamin Bratt) who quit going to therapy and miraculously could walk again after traveling to Nepal to study with a guru known as the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and her disciples Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Wong (Benedict Wong).

Strange makes the journey hoping to heal his hands, but instead is endowed with Eastern mysticism and caped crusaderism of daring do. Strange becomes a Sorcerer Supreme, able to jump through time and twist buildings and matter with a single bound. He even has a cape (Cloak of Levitation) that anticipates threats, and protects him like Captain America’s shield or Iron Man’s suit.

Strange is challenged by The Ancient One’s former student and interdimensional menace, Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), who threatens to destroy the world by conjuring forces not meant for man.

Quantum mechanics, Zen philosophy, traditional Chinese medicine, mixed martial arts and occult science abound in this better than average Marvel film. It goes without saying there are two after credit scenes, so stay until the houselights come on and you’re asked to leave.

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