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Doctor Strange
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Doctor Strange (2016)
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Movie Review by Mike Thomas
November 19th, 2016

A Magical Inception

Favorite Movie Quote: "I SAVE LIVES! No, you saved yourself"

A brilliant, but arrogant surgeon (Benedict c*mberbatch, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS) is in an auto accident while texting (Marvel's anti-texting PSA), and takes away his ability to do any surgery again ever. Determined to regain his skill, Dr. Stephen Strange explores every practical method to regain his skill, only to face disappointment after disappointment. With all his options gone, Strange hears of an unorthodox healer who cured an incurable condition. What he got was a lot more than he expected.

Roll Credits.

DR. STRANGE, the highly anticipated sorcery epic, that Marvel has touted to be the Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will be to most a head scratcher. This reviewer takes this as a business decision, as the true canon of Dr. Strange could only be appreciated by those who had been to marijuana-friendly Colorado recently. Loaded with eye-popping visual effects, the film was poor in story and development. Those familiar with the canon will be disappointed at the treatment of the familiar characters in the story. Tilda Swinton (CONSTANTINE) is the Ancient One, the so-called Sorcerer Supreme and Strange's mentor. Chiwetel Ejiofor (SERENITY) is Mordo, Strange's instructor, and a staunch believer in the teachings of the Ancient One. The Big Baddie come in the form of Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen, "Hannibal"), a former student of the Ancient One, who brings a modicum of a story to the film.

And there lies the fault of the film.

DR. STRANGE, trying to be commercial, forces a combination of Indiana Jones and INCEPTION, making c*mberbatch and action hero into the storyline, rather than creating the headache-inducing visuals that Marvel artist Jim Steranko made famous, and surreal plots that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko originally created. This reviewer was disappointed that Strange's Cloak of Levitation was reduced to comic relief, portraying it as Strange's "pet dog," protecting him autonomously. One thing this reviewer did appreciate was that the writers did not make the mistake of FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE of the SILVER SURFER, and showed the omnipotent bad guy, Dormammu, a little larger than portrayed in the comics, but it was a relief to actually see him.

On my personal rating scale, with "5" being drop everything and see the video now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and "0" being burn down the theater, murder the staff, and violate their dog, this movie earns a "3.5." Audience reception at the morning screening this reviewer attended was at best lukewarm. This reviewer was reminded of AVATAR, where the visual were exciting, but the story was a yawner. Rachel McAdams is also on hand as the peripheral love interest for Strange, and provides some comic relief.

DR. STRANGE stars Benedict c*mberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton. Written by Stan Lee (based on the comic book by) & Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill, and directed by Scott Derrickson, the film is in wide distribution now.

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