Not as well known as some of the more popular Marvel franchises that are currently in play (anything involving The Avengers most notably), Dr Strange is one of those films that has seemingly come out of nowhere, much like Guardians of the Galaxy, and has the potential to take off in the same way.
Although the film doesn’t present many knockout punchlines that have been present in much of Marvel’s last phase (GotG, Deadpool and Ant-Man), there are still enough laughs here to have you chuckling in your seat.
Scott Derrickson helms admirably; the opening minutes very quickly and easily setting up the premise of the story, providing an insight into the type of person Strange is, and how his journey starts.
Bumperstump Cabbagepatch is perfectly cast as Strange. He exudes the arrogance needed to have you not liking him at the start, which is exactly as it should be, although over the course of the film he does win you over and become the hero, if still a slightly cynical one. As for the rest of the casting, McAdams ably performs the role of love interest, with enough about her to not get overlooked as just a pretty extra. Ejiofor is brilliant as always, if criminally underused. Mikkelsen delightfully evil, and despite the hoo-hah surrounding the ‘whitewashing’ of the part, Swinton is a canny choice as the Ancient One; at once aloof, mischievous, with the threat of badassery simmering underneath.
The pace of the film moves well; the scenes at the temple not so slow as to drag the rest down, and the action is well judged.
The best parts of the film are the stunning visual sequences. The flowing landscapes that are manipulated in Escher-esque ways, the views of other dimensions, and the action that takes place therein. They are stunning, and a delight to watch.
A very well balanced film that doesn’t make you feel like you have been there the length of the running time, leaving you wanting more. Incredibly faithful to the comic books and a wonderful exploration of a ‘new’ character.
4/5 Eyes of Agamotto