The 433rd film I have seen in theaters…
World famous surgeon, Dr Stephen Strange is injured in a car crash. He has lost the precise use of his hands, essential for medical procedures. Spending all of his money on a cure, and losing hope, he hears of a place in Nepal that heal nerve damage. There he learns of the mystical arts, learning from The “Ancient One”; the Sorcerer Supreme and protector of Earth from The Dark Dimension and it’s evil God- Dormammu. As a former pupil of the Ancient One allies with Dormammu, Strange must embrace his new role as protector of Earth from extra-dimensional threats.
Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the top actors working today. He never turns in a bad performance. This streak continues here. He embodies Doctor Strange to an insane level (even getting the silly hand motions correct). This role required quite a bit of emotion, and he was an excellent choice.
Chiwetel Ejiofor, another stunningly talented performer, plays Strange’s ally Karl (Baron) Mordo. His character follows an interesting arc, coming to fruition in the post-credits scene. Another strong casting choice.
Man, I loves me some Tilda Swinton. I’ve been following her since Orlando came out back in the 90’s. I love/hate that she has been embracing more mainstream roles lately. At the end of the day, more people get to see her work, so it’s a good thing. Despite the casting controversy, she made a great Ancient One.
Mads Mikkelsen too?! This movie has some serious talent. He plays Kaecillius, the renegade student who teams with Dormammu. This guy has been on an acting tear since Casino Royale, and it shows no signs of stopping.
From Mean Girls to this. Rachel McAdams has come a long way. This is an actor that is clearly on the way up. Her choices since 2010 have been phenomenal. She plays “The Girlfriend” here, but her superior ability elevates every scene. She nabbed an Oscar nomination this year for Spotlight. I think she has several more to look forward to.
Benedict Wong plays “Wong” (this movie practically casts itself). Wong is a Monk working for the Ancient One. In the comics, he is Doctor Strange’s Butler/Sidekick. He also does a terrific job.
I am miffed that I cannot find a still from the film, but the always fantastic Michael Stuhlbarg appears as Dr West- rival surgeon. Honestly, all of the acting in this film was top notch. Marvel did great this time around, even on minor roles like this.
All I can say is WOW. This was another home run for Marvel. I always thought this would be a difficult character to adapt to screen, but they did it. Now, you may notice that all of the photos I used for the cast were fairly simple, normal shots. There is another “actor” in this film that must be mentioned: The effects.
This movie was like a long acid trip. The conception and execution of this work deserves an Oscar next year. I can’t see anything else topping it. Stunning work. Here is a small taste of it from the trailers, though the best scenes are not in the trailers (a welcome surprise).