‘Doctor Strange’ is creatively multi-dimensional, provoking the audience to survey their own relevance.
Time is of the essence. And no one stands the test of time more than Stephen Strange. Over the past decade or so, Marvel has cemented a level of unpredictability in its own cinematic universe. Between unforeseen casting choices and even more unique greenlights for certain “lesser-known heroes,” the studio continually thrives in its niche of the shock factor. Sure, one may argue that the flame is dying out for the massive brand. However, others would fight that theory with Doctor Strange, the (ironically) strangest of the Marvel bunch to-date.
Doctor Strange follows the journey of esteemed neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), with a knowledge as vast as his ego. Nevertheless, when his hubris gets the best of him and leaves his feeble hands begging for a miracle, Strange travels to Kathmandu to undergo spiritual training underneath the “Ancient One” (Tilda Swinton) and her protégé, Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). There, Strange learns the meaning to further dimensions and how time is a precious tool towards selflessness, even in the face of sorcerer-gone-evil Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen).
This new realm of the Marvel universe proves itself to be taken seriously. With strong acting performances and visual effects worthy of your extra buck (an IMAX must-see), Doctor Strange is a dazzling effort to strike up a new conversation among the ever-growing Avengers. The hero’s journey might feel prolonged in the sense that it abides to the Marvel law of existence. However, don’t let the story efforts fool you; despite light comparisons, this action-packed adventure holds its own weight among the royalty.
How so? Doctor Strange looks past its own spotlight to better-understand itself. This flawed hero struggles with letting his reputation go for the sake of others around him. It’s a simple truth told in the most complex of ways, making the audience look deeper into their own balance of time and self-consciousness.
“The storyline might have dragged to an extent, but there is certainly enough to leave you thinking,” said Julia Zang, a Garfield native and avid Marvel fan. “Doctor Strange builds up enough excitement and visual effect to get you excited for a sequel.”
Doctor Strange layers itself with a conscience. Underneath the razzle-dazzle, it might look familiar based on our understanding of the world that Stephen Strange lives in (just ask Tony Stark). Nonetheless, this sense of familiarity could just be our own input, with us trying to comprehend this kaleidoscope of existence. We have all battled our mirror-images in one way, shape or form. It’s a constant battle that goes past the closing credits, for better or for worse.
Stranger things have happened, I suppose.
Doctor Strange is now playing in movie theaters worldwide! Some local venues include AMC Clifton Commons, AMC Essex Greens in West Orange and even Bow Tie Bellevue Cinemas in the heart of Upper Montclair. For a list of even more theaters and show-times, visit fandango.com and start planning your next trip to the movies today.