MOVIE REVIEW: Doctor Strange

Thursday March 16 2017

Screen grab shot of the movie Doctor Strange

Screen grab shot of the movie Doctor Strange which is about an actual doctor called Stephen Strange (that, of course, should have been the first clue) who is a brilliant surgeon, top in his field, and just as arrogant. PHOTO| COURTESY  

By ABIGAIL ARUNGA
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Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Jennifer Garner, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Is it terrible that I have only just watched this movie? For some reason, I didn’t hear much about it when it came out – either it was drowned by everything else that came out at the same time, or people weren’t actually talking about it, or I wasn’t paying attention.

Either way, it finally made its way to me. Doctor Strange is about an actual doctor called Stephen Strange (that, of course, should have been the first clue) who is a brilliant surgeon, top in his field, and just as arrogant. He plays games with his patients, only taking on, it would seem, the ones who give him prominence and fame. Until one day he is in an accident that causes him to lose functionality in his tools of trade – you can’t be a surgeon with shaky hands. So he starts finding a way to get his hands back to what they once were – he tries all the methods he knows of, even experimental ones, and tries to use his connections in the medical field to somehow fast track his progress, but past a certain point, no one will touch him. Eventually he meets someone who had the same problem as him and asks him how he managed to get better. This leads him to a solitary temple in Nepal and there, he meets the Infinite One, who sets him down a path of mastery that he was not expecting, but the stakes are much higher than his career.

I feel like this was a run of the mill Marvel movie. It had the characteristic humour-filled script – like in the trailer when Benedict is getting the Wi-Fi password. And of course I love to watch Benedict Cumberbatch on screen, in human form as opposed to my usual favourites live action sequences, and this is different from other characters he has played (though Dr Strange’s arrogance is reminiscent of Sherlock). But in terms of plot building, story and conclusion, it felt like a toned down X-Men Apocalypse, but of course, better. The ending felt inconclusive and rushed, and they threw in a teaser after the credits as if to placate you after what they knew wasn’t that great a movie. I’ll be in the corner waiting for Thor Ragnarok.