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Film Review: Doctor Strange

1 November 16 words: Hannah Parker

First they gave us a man in an iron suit, and then came a demi God, quickly followed by a soldier from World War 2.

First they gave us a man in an iron suit, and then came a demi God, quickly followed by a soldier from World War 2. Since then, we’ve had a spider-like teenager, a friend of ants, and a huge mass of green anger. Now, Marvel has introduced us to a magic manipulator of multiple realms.

Stephen Strange isn’t your typical superhero. In fact, when we first meet him, he has next to no heroic qualities at all. An arrogant, materialistic, egotistical surgeon isn’t the easiest character to like. But Marvel has somehow accomplished the impossible. Even if it is a long ride in order to get there. After he loses his hands, we’re introduced to more unlikeable traits: Impatient, angry, and at some points, nasty. However, the director, Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose), managed to break Strange to the point where you’re almost cheering him on before he’s even been accepted into Kamar-Taj.

As per usual with a Marvel film, the cast list is impressive. Not only does Benedict Cumberbatch bring life to this mystical and magical superhero, but his supporting actors are just as infectious to watch. Mads Mikkelson brings the villainess aspect to the film. He has created chemistry with not only Strange, but also the Ancient One, and Mordo, that keeps your eyes glued to the screen.

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Kinky Boots and 12 Years a Slave) conveys Karl Mordo, a character that both helps Strange, but doesn’t always agree with him. Towards the end of the film, he brings a Loki-esque feel to his character with the question of which side he’s truly on. This adds to the many layers that keep the intrigue of Mordo alive.

Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls and Spotlight) plays Christine Palmer, the main love interest for Strange. The wonderfulness about their relationship is that they don’t need to show much affection in order to express their feelings to the audience. Her character is instantly likeable, and not just because of her caring sweet side. She also has a strong independence around her that works perfectly at challenging the strong character of Strange.

The Ancient One is controversially played by Tilda Swinton. There has been some uproar around the choice to cast a white female rather than a Tibetan male. Derrickson made the decision because the character is extremely stereotypical in the comic books, and therefore decided it would be risky to bring him to the big screen. It has to be said that Swinton made a blinding performance, and created a character that you can’t wait to watch more of.

The MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) has yet failed to bring out a film that lacks in the effects department. That doesn’t change in Doctor Strange. The mesmerising colours and trippy scenes while entering different realms makes it the best-looking superhero film yet. It must be said, however, that you have been warned if you’re going to watch the film in 3D. If you’re a bit hungover or ill, you may want to look away at times. The effects are so realistic that at times you feel like you really do live in this Universe and become immersed into the different realms.

If you still need some convincing to watch this film, think Harry Potter meets superheroes. Doctor Strange is also going to be appearing in some other Marvel films in the future. And if that isn’t enough, there are two post-credit scenes, yes, TWO! So, make sure you keep your butt’s parked in those seats.

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