Doctor Strange [Blu-ray]
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From Marvel Studios comes DOCTOR STRANGE, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident renders his hands useless. When traditional medicine fails him, he travels to remote Kamar-Taj in search of a cure, but instead discovers the mystical arts and becomes a powerful sorcerer battling dark forces bent on destroying our reality.
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Top Customer Reviews
1st: Cumberbatch at the height of his powers giving us a seamlessly brilliant performance - physically, intellectually and emotionally. Not to mention comically. He's never looked better, been more perfectly cast, or given us a subtler or more believable character arc..
2nd: The special effects. The world-bending is impressive, of course. But the "simple" effects of astral bodies and mandalas of light immerse us in a reality that becomes our own. The Cloak of Invisibility deserves it's own Oscar.
3rd: The story. This is the origin story that truly captures the sense and tone of Marvel, that set it apart, always, from all other comic purveyors. Doctor Strange was always the most unique, because nothing came from outside. He was not bitten or radiated or alien or a mutant. He's a man, just a person, and his power was always inside him. He'd already chosen the path of serving and saving. Now, he only has to overcome ego to actualize his true power.
4th: The Cast. It's a wonderful thing to be surrounded by this deepest bench of amazing talent. Every line, movement, interaction rings true to the world of the movie and connects the audience to the characters.
It just doesn't get better than this.
Director Scott Derrickson and his VFX team visualize the multiple plains of existence with jaw-dropping splendor, the Inception-esque world-shifting of the dark dimension is awe inspiring and lends itself to a superb action sequence in the final act. What the climactic battle lacks in originality – an otherworldly entity wants to destroy Earth – it makes up for in sheer visual awesomeness, with our human heroes and villains going at it whilst a recently demolished town in Hong Kong mends itself in reverse. If the action is A+ then the story is a respectable B+. The pre-powers backstory of the titular hero is mercifully brief and there is a plethora of jokes that hit the mark, however there's some clunky exposition serving as narrative shorthand and the odd bout of dire-logue that could have been cleaned up.
As for Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch plays him with a dash of Tony Stark's arrogance, a pinch of Steve Roger's sincerity and a sprinkle of Scott Lang's what-the-hell-am-I-doing bewilderedness, all the while adding a touch of the rock 'n' roll to his brain surgeon turned sorcerer. It's a mixed bag elsewhere though, Tilda Swinton's mischievous Ancient One and Mads Mikkelsen's malevolent Kaecilius are compelling, but Rachel McAdams is given little to do as Strange's love interest Christine and Chiwetel Ejiofor is frustratingly dour as sidekick Mordo.
All in all Doctor Strange is a hugely entertaining blockbuster that once again cements MCU's position as the preeminent superhero series.