Doctor Strange, a movie review

A movie review by: Lee Sonogan

(2016) 1h54min /Action, adventure, fantasy


A former surgeon after a car accident begins a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts. With a budget of 165 million, the movie made $673,407,172 at the box office. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiweyel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton. Magic, a mystical and spiritual movie worth watching.

In 1992, Wes Craven was set to direct. Later in 2001, David S. Goyer was going to write and direct. In 2008, Guillermo del Toro was brought on as director. In 2014, Mark Andrews, Jonathan Levine, Nikolaj Arcel, Scott Derrickson and Dean Israelite were on the shortlist to direct. In the end, Derrickson was officially announced to helm the film. Doctor Strange marks the fourteenth film to be released by Marvel Studios for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Benedict Cumberbatch was the first choice and was offered the lead role of Stephen Strange, but he initially had to decline due to his theatre commitments playing Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which clashed with the film’s proposed shooting date. When the release date was pushed back from July 2016 to November 2016, he was able to commit to shooting. Joaquin Phoenix was the studio’s second choice for the lead role but, after a few months of deliberation, eventually turned down the offer due to his reluctance to do a multi-picture deal.

While filming, Benedict Cumberbatch walked into a comic book store, in full costume, and bought an actual Doctor Strange comic. Benedict Cumberbatch states that the spiritualism of Doctor Strange is what appeals to him the most about the role. “I’m very excited about that spiritual dimension. It’s something that’s been a huge part of my life. I meditate a lot, that’s a huge tool in trying to calm myself, get away from the crazy circus of it all, have a focused mind as well as be a kinder, considerate person in the world,” said Cumberbatch.

Director Scott Derrickson is a big fan of Doctor Strange and spent his own money on a concept video he pitched to Marvel so that he could get the job of directing the film. Scott Derrickson admitted that the MCU films dedicate little time to developing antagonists, so he just hoped to show Kaecilius’s point of view, describing the character as a “villain of ideas with watertight logic,”.

The filmmakers defined the use of magic as based on dimensional travelling and shifting. “We didn’t want magic to simply be people throwing and blocking bolts of lightning; this is the ability to tap into different dimensions and pull aspects of those dimensions into our realm,”.

Astrophysicist Adam Frank served as a science consultant on the film, to advise on how to portray changes in the human experience of space and time. Frank also helped Marvel conceive their ideas for the multiverse, as well as suggest dialogue and belief stances for the characters.

Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance as the man on the bus reading “The Doors Of Perception” by Aldous Huxley. The book is a recounting of Huxley’s experience taking psychedelic drugs, with particular mention of their use in perceiving art. Dr Strange comics have long been associated with psychedelic drugs because of their use of surreal images to portray magical dimensions and beings.
This movie has gotta be one of the best Marvel movies I have seen. Filled with a deep story and amazing special effects. Some things are massive as compared to the Inception dream scenes with mirroring city’s/buildings. The story is developed well with many elements of magic, action, spirituality, comedy, life and meaning. Mads Mikkelsen also plays the villain very well in this movie. Bringing out his Hannibal type of acting made him look very good. The ending has many concepts to do with time. I recommend this movie to people who like themes of superheroes, magic, spirituality, Marvel, deep concepts and more.


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