Film Review – Doctor Strange

4 Piranhas

“… a great way to spend a couple of hours in the cinema and I was pleasantly surprised!”

I have to admit I’m not a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, so I went to see this movie with fairly low expectations.  But actually, I rather enjoyed it!

Movie poster from www.iMDb.com

Movie poster from http://www.iMDb.com

Dr Strange is yet another instalment in the Marvel ‘universe’ and I’m assuming he will be fighting evil together with the other superheroes at some point.  Judging by this film, he’ll be a great asset to the Avengers team.

The story started off with Dr Strange as a rather egotistical neurosurgeon with amazing skills and complete belief (to the point of overweening arrogance) in his powers to fix things other surgeons wouldn’t even attempt.  He picks and chooses those he operates on as he only wants patients whose recovery will be spectacular (and thus, presumably, enhance his status as a miracle-worker) and refuses the more mundane operations.  And then, just when everything is going so well for him, he has an accident which breaks just about every bone in his hands and they don’t heal well …

Ok, so he deserved his come-uppance and the viewer is pleased, but that’s the point where he starts to become more likeable.  He has to eat humble pie.  Good.  He tries to find a cure for himself – being a surgeon he believes it’s possible – but in the end, he has to resort to more drastic means.  He goes to a sort of monastery/mystic order in Nepal where he meets ‘the Ancient One’ (played brilliantly by Tilda Swinton) and learns about the mystic arts and alternate dimensions.  He has to put aside all his preconceived notions and expand his mind, although he does so in his own fashion, which was fun to watch.

I don’t want to give away the whole plot, but from this point on the movie has some spectacular special effects which are worthy of an Oscar IMO.  And there are some great secondary characters – I especially liked Wong (librarian of the order) and the villain, played by Mads Mikkelsen in a spine-tinglingly evil way.

I knew this film was just setting the scene, as it were, for Dr Strange to join the other Marvel superheroes in future movies, but it was a great way to spend a couple of hours in the cinema and I was pleasantly surprised!  If you’ve got nothing better to do, or you’re a Marvel fan, then I’d recommend you go and see this.


Pia Fenton writes contemporary romantic YA stories and her Northbrooke High series features UK heroines clashing with US heroes in an American high school setting.  The fourth one in the series – New England Dreams is out now!

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