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In spectacular Marvel fashion Doctor Strange knocks it out of the park. Without losing a beat the Phase 3 of Marvel’s MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) keeps it’s head above water, way above water.

(Spoilers Ahead, you’ve been warned)

In a huge shift from the normal marvel movie, including even Guardians, Doctor Strange takes us to a world that we have never seen in the MCU. Benedict Cumberbatch does a solid job portraying Strange, and you can’t help but be giddy to see him with fellow heroes of the universe. The visuals in this movie are astounding, making it seem like Inception on drugs. Director Scott Derrickson beautifully directs this mind bending film and the writing creates a mind bending story that stands tall in the MCU.

The plot of the movie is not hiding it’s mission, the origin of Dr. Stephen Strange is laid out like any origin story, but still does the job well. At first Strange is the wild and big headed neurosurgeon much like Tony Stark before his capture or Thor before his loss of power. His turning point was a car accident that destroyed nerves in his hands, forever halting his life as a surgeon.

Strange’s dark mood afterwards is brilliantly shown by Cumberbatch (maybe it’s the beard), his drive to fix himself by throwing away money and try anything even experimental surgery destroys him. The journey from the dark and depressed to the enlightened was a fun experience. Strange’s reserve to believe in the magic that the Ancient One tells him about is glorious put to rest after she punches his astral form out of his body. Instantly he wants to learn more and more, all he has to do is study and practice. With a photographic memory and willingness to be the best helps this.

The training montage of Strange in the temple is fun and witty. We see the evolution of his character shift immensely. West culture and East culture collide. The friendly quips from Wong and brotherly advice from Mordo make these character’s feel important making the movie even stronger in its diverse cast of characters. Magic comes easy to Strange but it’s the believing in himself that is tough. Learning to know that he has the power drives his origin.doctor-strange_2

After his training montage begins to subside, Strange learns of the Eye of Agamotto (which does house an Infinity Stone btw) and uses it to put lost pages back in a book. Which the villain, Kaecilius stole at the beginning to channel power from the Dark Dimension. This is Strange’s first tastes of true power. After being given a history lesson by the Ancient One about the Eye and the three sanctums that protect Earth from the big bad, Dormammu. Which is kinda like a version of the Devil.

In a last ditch effort to save the New York sanctum after accidentally being thrown into it by Kaecilius, Strange takes on three bad guys by himself. While still kicking ass we see that he still has a lot to learn. It’s amazing to see him fight then regret it later after he kills someone. He was a doctor for a reason. But after a (nope that’s too big of a spoiler). Admist all of this protecting and fighting Strange finds his old friend Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAddams) who helps him on occasion. Their relationship reminded me of Rhodey and Tony.

By the end of the film most of what we need to know is known, of course with such an open ending there is so much more room for story beyond this. Strange finally is understanding his path and though maybe not his first choice decides to join the fight with the help of Wong and be the new protector of the NY sanctum. And it wasn’t said but we can guess that Doctor Strange is now the Sorcerer Supreme, especially after the Thor after credit scene.

Rating: 7.9/10

Easter Eggs:

  • Avengers Tower
  • Brother Vodoo’s brother Jericho was the protector of the NY sanctum
  • 35 year old marine in an experimental metal suit with a broken back- Rhodey
  • Infinity Stone, pulling Strange into Infinity War
  • Stan Lee-Reading a newspaper in a bus as Strange and Mordo land on it in the Mirror Dimension
  • Thor in after scene credit-also his famous orange gloves were seen here for the first time
  • Mordo in after scene credit with Pangborn (the man who tells Strange about the Temple in Napal)

Best Line:

*handed a sheet of paper, reads shamballa* “What is this my mantra,” Strange asks. “It’s the wifi password. We’re not savages,” says Mordo.

Pros:

  • Humor-It’s not pushed and feels like regular Marvel fun. ex. Dr. Palmer being scared, Cloak of Levitation, Wong and Pop Culture
  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Side Characters are strong- no one resembles Hawkeye from Avengers
  • Story-does a great job explaining, keeping new and old fans interested
  • Visuals-felt like Inception on drugs.
  • Ancient Ones use of Dark Dimension magic-the character was layered for sure, Tilda did a great job
  • Fight Sequences-all the magic and hand to hand combat look beautiful and very well done.
  • Dark Dimension- Dormamu was amazing looking and reminded me of GoTG
  • 2 after credit scenes-easter egg for Thor Ragnarok and Mordo hinting more at a Dr. Strange 2
  • Open for a second movie

Cons:

  • Villains-While Mordo could be a great villain, Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius didn’t really have a clear motivation and seemed like generic ‘want a better world by killing everybody’ plot
  • Sorcerer Supreme- Strange seems to just be given the title, or not because we don’t know
  • Why is everyone hindered by not having that ring to travel place to place?
  • Not many Avengers or other MCU easter Eggs tying it to that world.