The Reel: Doctor Strange

By Alex Belovich, [email protected]

Film: Doctor Strange


Doctor Strange is a refreshing new start for the Marvel movie franchise and for the Marvel Universe. Set in the present day, the movie tells the story of Dr. Steven Strange, portrayed by the dynamic Benedict Cumberbatch, a world-class surgeon who specializes in life-saving operations.

After a high-speed accident renders him unable to perform surgery with his hands and ends his promising career, and finding no other doctor who is willing to attempt unproven surgeries to fix his hands, he is directed towards an unknown, obscure healer in India.

I won’t give the rest away, but I will say that this is one of the few movies that doesn’t just try to be 3D to fit the status quo, but actually uses the 3D features to enhance the movie as a whole. From the 3D special effects to the depth of the wormhole when Dr. Strange first learns of the power of alternate universes, there wasn’t a moment in the movie where 3D was used without serving a purpose.

If you are really looking to spoil yourself and dish out an extra few bucks for the movie, catch the movie in Cinemark’s 3D XD experience in their Luxury Loungers. You can feel the sound move around the room in 360 degrees and the whole theater becomes a vibrating crescendo when the sounds kick up in decibels.

Dr. Strange’s story, while still fitting the mold of a Marvel Universe Hero character, is also more dynamic and doesn’t follow the rigid arch of most superheroes. The movie is a refreshing departure from the macho, confident superheroes like Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man.

Of course, Benedict Cumberbatch lends Dr. Strange some of his Sherlock-esque arrogance that makes Cumberbatch so easy to gravitate to as a viewer. While Dr. Strange’s arrogance can be a hindrance, it’s balanced by his sole desire to save people, whether as a surgeon, or as a superhero. The one main difference Strange has from his other Marvel counterparts is that once he gets in his accident, he can no longer be both a superhero and a surgeon. There is a point in the movie where he can choose to fix his hands and go back to becoming a surgeon, but doing so may cost humanity its existence.

Overall, I went into Dr. Strange expecting another Marvel movie prefabricated by its franchise machine. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by Marvel’s latest superhero storyline. With Dr. Strange, it seems Marvel has succeeded in bringing in a lesser-known superhero into its franchise. And based on the success of the movie, which finished No. 1 at the box office this past weekend, it’s safe to say that Dr. Strange will get a second movie and will be enthusiastically incorporated into the other Marvel storylines.