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10 Nov 2016

'Strange' Is Strange: The Latest Marvel Film Is Weird and Confusing—but It Works

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Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange. Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange is certainly one of the weirder Marvel movies, with Benedict Cumberbatch starring as the title character, a sorcerer who can cast spells and slip through passageways in time.

The film is an origin story, showing how Strange loses his surgeon’s hands in an accident, travels to India and learns about the mystical arts from The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). I have to admit … I didn’t always follow exactly what was going on, and I found some stretches a little convoluted and boring. But when the movie soars, it soars high, and Cumberbatch winds up being a decent choice for the role, even with his weird American accent.

Director Scott Derrickson (Sinister) seemed like an odd choice for a Marvel movie considering his horror-film pedigree, but he acquits himself nicely. The movie often plays like a Matrix/Inception mash-up with a little bit of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon thrown in for good measure. The special effects are first-rate.

Doctor Strange is a bit of an oddball character, and he’s supposed to factor into future Avengers movies. I’ll be curious to see how he fits into the mix with the likes of Ant-Man and Hawkeye.

Doctor Strange is playing at theaters across the valley.

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