Doctor Strange is about a cocky neurosurgeon who, ironically, gets his hands mutilated, and goes East, seeking a guru to heal him. At its worst, the movie is hard to follow and visually derivative of the superior Inception and Matrix movies; at its best, it’s psychedelic and kaleidoscopic. As many Marvel movies, it can be read politically: Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and The Ancient Being (Tilda “can do no wrong” Swinton) are loose constructionists, ad hoc liberals, whereas Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a dogmatic strict constructionist, while the villainous Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) is an anarchist. Also, as in many Marvel movies, cities are demolished and there’s plenty of cartoonish violence that doesn’t leave much of a mark. Yet, the climax hinges on brains, not brawn. What else would you expect from a neurosurgeon?
By Alec Julian & Carrie White