EDITOR’S NOTE: We were in attendance for the special showing of DOCTOR STRANGE this evening at the Westown Movies (Middletown, DE), sponsored by Captain Blue Hen Comics (Newark, DE). Here are some initial impressions, as spoiler free as possible.
It seems that Marvel Studios can do no wrong. DOCTOR STRANGE the film is flawless. We can’t find a single thing wrong with it.
The introduction is stellar. The following transformation of renowned medical surgeon Stephen Strange into master of the mystic arts Doctor Strange is staged and paced just right so that it doesn’t overwhelm the viewer. The final act is relentless and suspenseful, with some neat surprises. The cast, including supporting actors, is excellent. The special effects are incredible. Everyone needs to experience the psychedelic wonders, cosmic landscapes, and mystical vistas it presents on the big screen. Don’t wait for the DVD release. See it now. (However, if you get nauseous riding roller coasters, skip the 3D version and spare your stomach.)
The story stays true to the Marvel Comics canon and borrows from both classic Stan Lee / Steve Ditko era Doctor Strange as well as the superb 2004 STRANGE mini-series written by J. Michael Straczynski (especially the sections relating to his origin and early days of training). The plot introduces a whole new conflict to the Marvel Studios universe and is done in a way that will make it easy to blend into the super-team movies of the Marvel film universe. Stay after the credits to get a glimpse of what Doctor Strange will be involved with in future films.
Benedict Cumberbatch is the perfect Doctor Strange. He has the look, the mannerisms, with just the right amount of intelligence and sarcasm/humor to be convincing. The rest of the cast fit into their roles equally well, especially Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, Mads Mikkelsen as primary protagonist Kaecilius, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo, and Benedict Wong as Wong.
The digital and animation effects are incredible and look realistic, blending the incredible images of comic artist Steve Ditko with the multi-dimensional surrealistic visuals of artist M. C. Esher. The scenes involving battles with revolving city scapes are the most impressive of all.