I feel like the people who made this movie watched Inception and said “Oh yeah? Bet we could top that” afterwards. Let’s break down the last comic book movie of 2016, “Mr.” Doctor Strange.

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Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson and is the newest addition into the ever popular, Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Stephen Strange, a very successful, but pompous neurosurgeon whines up in a terrible, career-ending car accident that causes him to lose complete use of his hands. After multiple failed attempts to fix his hands, Strange hears about a place in South Asia that could have the cure to his disability. Once there, Strange is brought into the world of Mystic Arts and then must defend the world from otherworldly threats.

That’s Doctor Strange in a nutshell, this is his origin story and it’s some story alright. Marvel Studios and its writers have done it again and brought another lesser-known character into the fold successfully.

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Benedict Cumberbatch is now in my mind, the quintessential Doctor Strange. I can’t see anyone else playing this role besides him because he absolutely nailed it. Cumberbatch brought the right amount of humanity, wit, and humor to Doctor Strange and completely embraced this dynamic character. Strange, at first, is somewhat of a prick; he’s very “about himself “until he embarks on this journey to fix his hands. It’s that character progression throughout that made me consistently intrigued about Strange’s identity, what kind of person he will be in the end.

I can’t disregard the rest of the cast because at a whole, the performances here are all great. The standouts have to be Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One and Mads Mikkelsen as the main villain, both really brought it in this film. Also, I’ll say that Mads Mikkelsen isn’t the strongest villain in terms of development, but his performance alone deserves the credit.

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If you’ve seen any promotional clips or commercials for this film, you’d probably think it looks really cool. But believe it, they don’t even compare to actually being in the theater and watching it in that moment. In short: the special effects of this film blew me away. Like I said before, very Inception-ish but in my opinion, I believe this film slightly topped Inception. It’s not in-your-face annoying effects, but its got the right amount to pull you in.

It may sound like I’m gushing over this film, but there are some problems with it. For me, I don’t think a lot of the humor really hit like I think it was suppose to. Maybe it was the delivery, but some jokes did feel a little forced. However, some of the comedic beats do work really well. So it’s hit and miss. Also in regards to the storytelling, it’s not bad at all, but you never really get a sense of how much time is passing in the story arc of the film. I just wish it was a little more clear in retrospect because you won’t think about it when you’re watching, but afterwards you’ll be like “well wait a minute”.

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All in all, I was extremely entertained by Doctor Strange. Is it one of the best that Marvel has put out? No, but it’s incredibly engaging to learn about this mystic sorcerer’s origins and gets me very excited to see how Marvel will use the character of Strange in their upcoming projects. Coming from the guy who didn’t know squat about Strange, I’m dying to see more.

I’m going to give Doctor Strange a “B+” on the movie grading scale. I’d highly recommend checking this film out in 3D if you can, it’s well worth the extra money. It’s a fun, exciting, and seriously trippy experience in the theater.

As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.

– Frank

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