Doctor Strange - 04-Nov-2016
Release Date: 04-Nov-2016
Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Rachel McAdams, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong
Visually distinctive, classily cast and mostly coherent, this latest picture from the Marvel stable is that rarest of beasts, a comic-book movie that fully justifies its reliance on CGI effects. This superior hero-origin story nods to the spatial origami of Christopher Nolan`s Inception and has something of the baroque enchantment of the Harry Potter series. It`s also, at times, the most brain-meltingly effective piece of psychedelic cinema since Peter Fonda got himself comprehensively wigged out in The Trip.
You don`t need to know Dr. Strange to know his story. A tale of hubris - with foolish pride and an inevitable fall - it opens in contemporary New York, where Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), is flying high as a supersurgeon. After a crippling accident, he abandons his old life (partly embodied by Rachel McAdams, dewy and funny) for a grand exploit, traveling simultaneously into his soul and to the misterioso Far East. He meets leaders and fellow travelers, studies books and unlocks secrets, in time becoming a superhero with magical powers, a dubious goatee and a flirty cape that dries his tears.
Frequent comic book-style action violence includes large-scale destruction, a brutal car crash (the result of texting and driving), bloody wounds and scenes at an operating table, and a terrible fall from a height, crashing through glass. There`s also martial arts fighting, fighting with ``magical`` weapons, a beheading, and other brief, scary stuff. A couple is said to have been in a relationship, and there`s a mention of `sleeping together.` Language includes two uses of `a--hole` and a use of `ass.` The doctor is an unusual, but very entertaining, member of the superhero club, and the movie`s mystical elements provide food for thought as well as fun
Strange`s origin tale starts predictably enough, but upon reaching the Himalayan temple of Kamar-Taj, he and we embark on a phantasmagorical vision quest unlike anything the studio has done before. Forcibly ripped from his corporeal form, Cumberbatch`s physician is cast onto the astral plane for a two-minute sequence that plays out like Salvador Dalí`s wettest dream. We tumble into the void, passing comets and crystals before shooting into the event horizon of a black hole, along a tunnel of exploding fractals into a sea of kaleidoscopic colour. From there Strange is sucked down into his own eye while hands sprout from smaller hands at the end of his fingers and writhing naked bodies melt into the landscape of his mind. `Have you seen that in a gift shop?` quips Swinton`s magic monk.
Although Marvel Studios` `Doctor Strange` offers very few insights into the childhood of its main character, applying what we know about bullying on American schoolyards, it`s safe to assume it wasn`t easy growing up with a name like Stephen Strange. Perhaps that explains the complex that has driven Strange (that rare superhero who keeps his name after acquiring his incredible new powers) to become such an arrogant New York neurosurgeon, flaunting his skills at work and his Lamborghini Huracan outside the office.
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