Doctor Strange: No Spoiler Review

Ever wave your hands and imagine you’re casting a spell? Well, Doctor Strange fulfills that dream, and fulfills even more geeky dreams.

Never had I thought that my dream of Benedict Cumberbatch being Doctor Strange would ever come into reality, but it did, and I have to say: viewing the movie is one surreal–or should I say strange–experience. The new aspects and concepts it had offered are what makes this Marvel movie distinct, bizzare, and a critical part of the MCU compared to the other Marvel movies.

In general, the plot is about a doctor named Stephen Strange, an arrogant, selfish, yet exceptional surgeon who cares for no one else other than himself and his reputation. After a freak accident leaves him virtually incapable of being a surgeon again, he approaches the world of mystic arts to heal his hands. However in his search for self-recovery, Strange discovers the inter-dimensional dangers that magic offers along with its benefits. Placed in the front line of a battle unknown to man, he must choose between going back to his old life or to embrace his role as the sorcerer supreme.

The film is an origin story, building the foundation of what Doctor Strange has to offer while delivering an entertaining eye-candy movie. It touches upon some philosophies and key values without fully immersing in it, giving space to wizardry and action.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays as Stephen Strange, whose attitude reminds me of Tony Stark albeit being his own character. Each person of the cast delivers an excellent performance, with Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo) being my favorites along with Eggs Benedict. Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius) better known from his portrayal as Hannibal from the Hannibal TV series, was somewhat monotonous and lacking in character.

Doctor Strange, in my opinion, has one of the best visual effects I have seen in movies. The effects blew my expectations around the first 10 minutes of the film, and only continued to get better as the movie progressed.


One out of many gorgeous shots from Doctor Strange.

The costumes in this movie are outstanding. I’ve always appreciated films where the production gives attention to small details. The very fact that they were able to translate Doctor Strange’s ridiculous costume from the comic into a modernized take on an old look. They were able to make Strange look like a sorcerer who lives in the 21st century.


While the film was exceptionally well-made and is special in its own right, the main villain just doesn’t seem too much of a threat. While Doctor Strange encounters the villain early on in the movie, there wasn’t enough physical presence to feel like he was a threat. When Strange meets his nemesis face-to-face, the way Strange won was clever, but the “battle” felt too short. The villain just wasn’t explored enough to feel like an actual character. Granted, this WAS an origin story after all: the main focus was on the development of how Strange became the sorcerer supreme, but in terms of the villain-writing area, it somewhat falls flat. Not to mention that the center of conflict involved the villain destroying the whole world. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: that plot’s been done a million times.

Despite that problem, the movie doesn’t fail to please. Doctor Strange is different, in the sense that it deals with aspects of the MCU that has only been hinted at before (an example is Ant-Man) while still following its comic roots. It expanded the MCU, and it does so in an incredible fashion. Doctor Strange is a movie about a sorcerer who lives in a world of superheroes, and once you watch this film, you’ll realize how much he’ll stick out to Spider-Man or even Thor. His costume itself is a sign of Strange’s disconnection to society and his deep connection to the universe. Overall, I think you’ll enjoy it.


P.S. Watch for the mid-credits scenes and after-credit scenes. It really sets up Strange’s involvement with the MCU, and quite possibly hints at a stronger, better sequel to this film.

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  1. JP · October 27, 2016

    Better than GOTG?


    • samwastaken · October 27, 2016

      Personally: nope! GOTG has a special place in my heart hahahaa


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