Film - Doctor Strange

Steve Taylor-Bryant asks you to Expand Your Mind and manage your expectations as he watched Doctor Strange...

Expectation is a funny thing as I hope this review of the latest Marvel Studio's film will prove. So basically, with MAHOOSIVE SPOILERS...

Sherlock is a brilliant know it all and likes to rub that in people's faces but then Sherlock has a bad car accident (don't use your phones whilst driving kids) and becomes an angry recluse but then Sherlock goes to a mystical place, Kathmandu, and a bold/bald wise Dr. Watson puts him through quite a lavishly expensive Doctor Who opening sequence where upon Sherlock becomes a master of the Mind Palace and defeats Augustus Magnessen's younger, long haired brother in more timey wimey Mind Palace shenanigans that makes me wonder why Twitter are shutting down Vine.

That's what I got from Doctor Strange and do you know what? It's sort of what I expected, which is absolutely fine, as Doctor Strange is now up there in my affections with Guardians of the Galaxy. If you go in expecting something else, though, you might be disappointed.

As a film it's okay. The mind bending realities on screen are a bit too 'Inception' without actually being as good as Christopher Nolan's story but, as far as origin stories within comic films goes, it's pretty good. Benedict Cumberbatch is highly watchable, as he always is, but his accent is reminiscent of Hugh Laurie as he struggles to not be posh English and try American doctor speak and, in some scenes, really does come across as Sherlock in fancy dress, but I can't wait to see him in another Doctor Strange film so his job is done. Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius is woefully underused and so comes across as a petulant Hannibal, which is a shame but, on the flip side, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo is more than a capable sidekick and I really enjoyed him in the role. The other Benedict, Wong, played the stern librarian, er... Wong, and was a real joy, the Beyoncé scene was particularly amusing and not the sort of thing you'd expect in a Tibetan type temple. The highlight of the film for me though, as she is in most things, was Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One and I can't think of a better person to play the role. Her wise teachings yet cutting down of Strange's ego were played out with a dry humour that really tickled my fancy. The practical effects, scars on Strange's hands in particular, and costumes were really of a high quality but I think, for the reputed budget, that the CGI wasn't perhaps as top notch as it could have been but very pretty none the less.

If you want a film with depth, a look that shows its huge budget, and flawless storytelling by actors at the top of their game then Doctor Strange won't please you. If you're expecting a film better than Thor 2 and Cumberbatch playing Cumberbatch in a cape then it's the best film you'll see this year. You know when Doctor Who did Children in Need a few years back? It was brilliant, fun, told a story but laughed at itself. Doctor Strange is Marvel doing a 2 hour Children in Need sketch and it's brilliant for that. Before picking Doctor Strange, pick your expectations.

Follow Steve on Twitter @STBwrites

Image - IMDb

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