Movie review: Doctor Strange explores the paranormal side of superheores

Comic book movies have taken the world by storm. By now, you’ve probably heard that Doctor Strange has opened around theaters in the United States. While this offering from Marvel is a slight departure from the normal (you could say it is paranormal), it is still highly entertaining and yields all the quality we have come to expect from a Marvel movie.

Doctor Strange is a tale of a brilliant surgeon, Stephen Strange, who loses the use of his hands. Through his trek to regain his livelihood, he enters an unknown world of magic and mysticism. In a very broad sense, it is Harry Potter meets Inception meets M. C. Escher wrapped in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although you can view Doctor Strange as more of a standalone movie, similar to Ant Man, you can definitely see where potential team-ups and crossovers will come into play in future movies. Also, as with most of the Marvel hero movies, there is enough comic relief to keep you interested in the movie and give the characters dimension and depth.

Visually, many of the movie’s scenes are beautiful. Much of the movie was filmed on location in Nepal, but other locations include Hong Kong, London, and LA. However, the most impressive aesthetic of the film comes from its digital arts department – many scenes look they were filmed through a kaleidoscope while others feel like you’re traveling through the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the titular character and turns in an excellent job, showing quite a range of emotions as his character transforms from an arrogant know it all into a bona fide hero. At first, I had trepidation about Tilda Swinton playing the part of the head mystic known as The Ancient One, but she pulled it off flawlessly. But, to me, the actor who stole the spotlight in his scenes was Benedict Wong, who played the character known simply as Wong. Wong’s sternness contrasted Doctor Strange’s wisecracks so much that you can’t keep from smiling every time.

If you are going to see Doctor Strange, come early and stay until the very end. The preview lineup includes Rogue One, Logan (which seems to follow the Old Man Logan storyline from the comics), and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. After the movie, there is both a mid-credits scene and an after-credits scene, both of which look to set up future movies.

Doctor Strange is offered in standard definition, Real D 3D, GTX Extreme, and Digital 3D GTX Extreme. I viewed the movie in GTX Extreme, which was beautiful, but the magic effects could be quite stunning in 3D. With a PG-13 rating, the movie is great for most families and holds with the same level of action, violence, and language as most of the other Marvel movies. So, if you’re looking for a highly entertaining movie to see this weekend, keep Doctor Strange in mind.

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