Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
By Nolan P. Smith
(Victor Valley)– I can honestly say I never imagined I would be doing a review on a movie based on Marvel’s Doctor Strange. To see a character like Strange get the major motion picture treatment really hammers in the point of the age of cinematic wonders we now live in. But with having to follow the icons of the Marvel Universe, how does the good doctor measure up?
Directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister), the film centers around world renowned neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a cocky, wealthy man with one thing at the center of his universe: himself. But after a car accident caused by his own negligence, he damages his hands beyond repair. This sends the broken doctor to Katmandu, in search of a miracle. What he finds is a world full of mystics and sorcery, led by the Ancient One (Tilda Swintown). After being introduced to a reality he never knew existed, Strange doesn’t have much time to cope, as a sorcerer that broke bad, Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) is trying to bring the Dark Dimension to Earth, and will destroy all in his path to do so.
In his efforts to heal himself and learn the ways of the mystics, Strange is going to need help. Beside the Ancient One, Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), another sorcerer under the tutelage of the Ancient One, helps Strange learn the ins and outs of how to use magic. Another person aiding Strange in his efforts is the enigmatic Wong (Benedict Wong), who helps add some humorous times to the film. Of course, there were some times when the humor between Wong and Strange feels forced and falls flat, but the good absolutely outshines the bad.
The special effects seen here are beyond outstanding: think a superhero movie merged with the tripiness of Inception, and you have Doctor Strange. The main villain at the heart of the movie is no stranger to the Doctor Strange comic book counterpart, which makes for a film that feels epic and fresh. This is probably the best looking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and right up there as one of the top 5 of Marvel movies to date in my opinion. Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange, hands down, and shows why the good doctor deserves to have to a slice of the cinematic pie in the Marvel U.