Cumberbatch embodies “Doctor Strange” in Marvel flick

Rasheed Wesley

Staff Writer

Fight scenes in Doctor Strange are revolutionary and seem like live-action shots. (Photo Courtesy of DigitalSpy.com)
Fight scenes in Doctor Strange are revolutionary and seem like live-action shots. (Photo Courtesy of DigitalSpy.com)

There are every few traditions that Americans hold paramount above all other: Black Friday shopping, Eagles vs. Cowboys games, and seeing every Marvel movie on opening weekend.
“Doctor Strange” premiered this past weekend and many students found it appropriate to pry themselves from classwork and head to the theater.  As per usual with any Marvel production, audiences did not leave their seats disappointed.

Let’s start with the basics: the story. “Doctor Strange’s” plot was well thought-out, allowing relative newcomers to the character to be easily introduced to the Sorcerer Supreme’s origins.
It flowed almost seamlessly, beginning from Stephen Strange’s place in society as a world-renowned although arrogant surgeon, including his tragic downfall in a car accident, which render his life-giving hands useless.
The writing does well to not skip over his struggles in physical therapy, as well as his search for a remedy to cure his now constantly shaking hands—something some feared they would do in order to pack the movie with more action.They almost perfectly detail his stumbling into the world of magic as well as his profound skepticism.
From that point on, it’s a non-stop bonanza of visual delights as he trains in the mystic arts, learning from The Ancient One as well as his new friend Mordo.
The Ancient One briefly explains the multi-dimensional being Dormammu, as well as the multi-verse, allowing them both to be looming figures for not only the movie, but for the entire Marvel franchise as well.
After this, the plot picks up as the villain, Kaecilius, quickly begins his assault on Strange, along with how Strange grows in his confidence as well as his powers—once again done with speed but also masterful attention to detail.
But, as we all know, no amount of superb writing means anything if the acting is less than perfect. And let’s be honest, comic book fans are the hardest to please. However, the urge to tear actor limb-from-limb was averted thanks to a great performance from all involved.
Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t just a good, or even great, Stephen Strange. He was Stephen Strange. His portrayal of the titular character was nothing less than perfect. Watching his transformation from know-it-all surgeon to Sorcerer Supreme was spot on.
The supporting cast was not lacking either. Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo provided the perfect hands to guide Doctor Strange on his journey to becoming the world’s mystic savior. In fact, it made me weep a little. Remember that “bonanza of visual delights” mentioned earlier? Yeah, that might’ve been an understatement.
This film not only changed how Marvel fight scenes are done, but may have shifted how the film industry does fight scenes in general. Think of how The Matrix changed fight scenes in 1999.
The visuals perfectly captured the essence and magic that is Doctor Strange, allowing the viewer to be sucked into the movie without feeling as though the FXs left something to be desired.
For instance, the fight scenes in the New York Sanctum and the Mt. Everest trial made audiences feel as though this was a live action film rather than being reminded that there’s a green screen being utilized.
In short, this film was amazing. Or in other words: bruh…it’s lit. And for the love of all that is pure, don’t leave your seat until the next set of people come in! It’s been almost a decade, you’d think people would remember there is always an end credit scene or two…

Grade: A