By: Anton Massopust III
“The Avengers defend the world from natural threats; we defend it from magical ones.” – Master of the Mystic Arts
Dr. Strange is a Marvel character that most people have never heard of, and even Marvel fans know of him but not a lot about him. Dr. Strange is the creation of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. While they were working on Spider-Man, they also wrote for Strange Tales comic books. They based the character of Stephen Strange on Mandrake the Magician as well as old time radio characters. As one might expect, this is an origin story, so it begins with Dr. Strange the surgeon, who is always looking for the next big case. He doesn’t really look at people as people, he just looks at the prestige that healing them can bring him. After an auto accident leaves him with extensive nerve damage, he is unable to do the complicated surgeries that he used to.
Strange goes on a quest in the hopes of finding a way to get back to the way it used to be. Traditional medicine will not heal his nerve damage, so he travels to the far east where he finds the Ancient One, a mysterious figure who taps into the energy of the universe itself. In standard origin story fashion he discovers that there are larger problems that must be faced and I won’t reveal further but assume that there are bad guys, huge threats to the world and even the universe as we know it and Strange must face them down.
Dr. Strange is a great movie and has plenty of humor as well as really wonderful acting. Benedict Cumberbatch is amazing as Stephen Strange, and the supporting cast is phenomenal too. The real star is the special f/x that really makes you believe in the Inception-esque world altering powers that many of the characters’ possess. The movie shifts around from locals such as China, London, and New York City and makes excellent use of them. Many reviews suggest, if not insist, that you see it in 3D and I’m not convinced. IMAX, yes, but 3D might be a bit disorienting for some viewers. As always, stay to the end to watch the extra credits scene, and watch for Strange’s return in the next Avengers movie.