Wednesday, October 26, 2016


"You wonder what I see in your future?". That's easy! I foresee you watching Dr Strange at the first opportunity. There has never been a Marvel movie quite like this one and you certainly don't want to miss it! I highly recommend catching it in 3D. The visuals are stunning and it is definitely worth the price of the ticket. Read on if you would like to know more.

It's always a joy for me to see a comic character come alive on the big screen and it's no different with Dr Strange. The experience was much better in fact. I was thrilled and excited. As not only are we introduced to a powerful new character but we also get a look at the mystical side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). We finally get a glimpse of various realities, dimensions and realms. And are introduced to the concepts of astral projection and portals. This opens up lots of possibilities! Will we be seeing Shuma-Gorath? How about Mephisto? Or can there be a gateway for the Fantastic Four and X-men to make their appearance? And... Sorry I was getting ahead of myself there. Dr Strange is only just hitting and here I am already playing out scenarios in my head. 

Now let's see... The movie is very much an origin story. When we first see Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) he's a brash, cocky, arrogant and egotistical doctor who only cares for his fame and career. His world suddenly comes crashing down after a horrific accident robs him of the use of his hands. His hands are the most important tools to him as without them he can no longer perform any operations. After exhausting all known and experimental procedures his desperate search for a cure leads him to Kamar-Taj, a mysterious place in Nepal. There he finds Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), practitioners of the mystic arts which could help him. Though initially sceptical he quickly acquires magical abilities. He inevitably gets drawn in the battle against dark forces who are hell bent on conquering Earth.

There's a good deal of character development. A lot of credit has to go to Benedict Cumberbatch who really brings out the character. It is no wonder Marvel held out as long as they did to get their man. He just has that certain charm. He gets to be funny too which we don't often see in his roles. He gets in several quips throughout the movie and I especially like the exchanges between him and Wong (Benedict Wong). I also got a chuckle out of his constant insistence of being called Doctor which reminds me of a certain pirate.

Much has been made of Tilda Swinton being cast as The Anicient One, a role which is originally an old Asian man in the comics. I didn't mind her one bit and felt she fits right in to the overall picture. She actually brings a unique presence to the character and boy does she kick some ass in the movie. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a strong performance as Mordo. He's a different take than what we are used to in the comics and it's because of that you just can't help but feels he's being set up for future developments. I have yet to mention Rachel McAdams who plays Christine Palmer, a fellow surgeon of Dr Strange. Her role is a little limited. But she does help flesh out the kind of person the good doctor is and has an important part to play in one scene.   

Kaecilius is the villain and he's played by Mads Mikkelsen. Marvel movie villains tend to be lacking and underused but I think Kaecilius fares a bit better than some others. We do get a bit of his back story and I can see his motivation for doing what he does. He is also the hands on type, personally leading the attack on our heroes on several occasions. The action sequences are fun and exciting. Where magic is involved you not only have to worry about your opponent, but also your surroundings. You thought the Matrix was good, this takes it up a notch.  I feel the magic used in the film is sufficient. That said, I hope to see more varied forms of magic combat in his next outing. Familiar artefacts are also in play and I got a kick out of seeing the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation.

Like I mentioned before the visuals are stunning and the movie is best watched in 3D. We get a taste of what's to come right at the beginning of the movie. Buildings fold away and change configuration as if they were paper. The psychedelic trip through the many realms and dimensions is amazing. With battles fought across the globe as well as on the Astral Plane and in the Mirror Dimension, get ready for a visual treat.

Dr Strange is a great movie! I thoroughly enjoyed it. The cast is exceptional. The visuals and the action are great. Do stay behind after the show as they are two end credit scenes.

Dr Strange opens 27 October 2016 locally. Be sure to catch it and get acquainted with the MCU's newest hero! 

*All images courtesy of Disney SEA


Singapore Release Date: 27 October 2016

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, with Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton 

Director: Scott Derrickson 

Producer: Kevin Feige 

Executive Producers: Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Charles Newirth, Stan Lee 

Written by: Jon Spaihts and Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill

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