A dazzling feat in visual effects, fantasy and mythos, ‘Doctor Strange’ may be plagued by typical notions of adventure cinema, often pushing the narrative forward using contrived and familiar development, but the characters the audience go on such a journey with, are intricately crafted.
Nearly every character (excluding the under written, pawn of a villain whose motivations are interesting but lack any greater consequence), is provided with a riveting, thematically powerful arc. The notions of time, egoism, and loyalty to one’s values, are carefully crafted, with strong dialogue and relationship building. The humour also doesn’t feel forced, but organic to how characters deal with conflict. For example, Strange uses it as a defense mechanism to hide any challenge to his ability or intelligence. The cast is also incredible, giving one of the greatest ensemble performances in a comic book film.
The Doctor himself may develop his magical skills rather too quickly, with the script providing little reasoning for this, but the resulting action sequences are spectacular, a leap in visual storytelling*. The lore and mythology is beautifully weaved in as well, meaning that while this often does feel like set up to something of greater scale, there is enough enticing the viewer to follow along. 4/5
*I saw this in an IMAX cinema, and I would plead to anyone with access to such an experience to pay the extra price if possible. It truly is a visual masterpiece that must be experience in a cinema.