Thursday 3 November 2016

Film: 'Doctor Strange'

I wasn't familiar with this comic book character, but I don't think it's relevant. Word is that the main attraction is the special effects, taking this film onto quite another level. I agree, and that is after seeing it on a less-than-large screen and in 2D. It could well be visually mind-blowing in Imax and with 3D specs, in which format it is also released.  
As to the content of the storyline, well I thought it began in fairly interesting fashion and maintained its hold for the first half of its almost two hours. Thereafter it hit the formulaic buttons resulting in my soon becoming weary. 

Benedict Cumberbatch, leading a stellar quartet of actors, is an arrogant, cocksure, New York neurosurgeon, Dr Stephen Strange, tapping his foot to music whilst performing an intricate operation. While driving home he undergoes an horrific accident resulting in multiple injuries, most notably his hands, rendering him incapable of continuing his work, and which looks like pulling the curtains down on his career. He hears about a man who had similarly extensive neural injuries but was now re-functioning normally. On seeking him out he's told that he was put right by a visit to a place in Nepal. So Strange decides to go there himself (and why not?) and is there overheard making enquiries by Chiwetel Ejiofor who takes him to a building dedicated to esoteric arts presided over by Tilda Swinton as the mysterious and super-powerful 'Ancient One'. He gets a crash course from her on the development of these powers - powers of attack, defence, manipulating reality, time suspension, visiting other dimensions, and many more. He laps it all up and quickly becomes adept, avidly trying to achieve more than is normally allowed for a novice. 
Meanwhile, these forces for 'good' are being challenged by arch-villain Mads Mikkelsen and his gang. Cue many conflicts, fights between the positive and negative , both in the real world and in other dimensions where buildings are tipped and folded over onto themselves, as we saw in 'Inception', now achieved with even greater flawless proficiency. I was impressed.

However, the basic story is quite routine. We all know who is going to win so it's only a question of waiting for him to do it.

Director Scott Derrickson delivers the goods, though there's only limited scope for the cast to display any emotional interaction.

If it wasn't so spectacular and noisy I might have fallen asleep, though I do repeat that it must gain a lot by being seen in big, BIG screen - and additionally in 3D......................5.5


  1. I am shallow enough, Ray, to admit that I would go see this if only to gaze at the beautiful Benedict for 2 hours...

    1. If that's what draws you, Elle, fair enough. You can see him here in clean-shaven mode as well as various levels of face-fuzz. 'Fraid that none of them appeals to me, but he does get to let himself go, acting-wise, in this film more than I've possibly seen him in any film yet.