Movie Review Example
Review on Doctor Strange (2016)
Doctor Strange (2016) is the story of a brilliant but arrogant surgeon who lost full control of his hands after an accident. He discovered that there is a reality far larger than himself and learned the lesson of humility. It showcases a story of falling from grace and finding the way back up, becoming a better person. The actor Benedict Cumberbatch played the main character of Stephen Strange while actor Mads Mikkelsen played the antagonist Kaecillius. Both were powerful but arrogant individuals, focused only on their own selfish needs. Director Scott Derrickson directed the film who is also known for his work on “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and “Deliver Us from Evil”.
The first 20 minutes of Doctor Strange (2016) showed how Stephen Strange lost full control of his hands after a car accident. He began looking for ways to heal himself which led him to a group of sorcerers and their leader called the Ancient One. He trained with the Ancient One and quickly excelled in controlling magical forces. He then learned of a student called Kaecillius who has begun a crusade to summon a powerful being that can destroy the earth. When Kaecillius attacked the sorcerers, he crossed paths with Stephen Strange who despite all odds managed to beat Kaecillius. However, Kaecillius escaped and was able to successfully summon the being Dormammu. Stephen Strange made a risky move by imprisoning himself and Dormammu on a never-ending time loop. Dormamu later succumbs to Stephen’s torment and agrees to leave earth in exchange for his freedom.
From the beginning of Doctor Strange (2016), it showed how arrogance can be a dangerous thing. Stephen was driving his sports car at a dangerous speed in the rain and was also talking on the phone. Due to his arrogance, he fell into an accident. He also pushed people away during the time that he was recovering. He was broken due to the fact that the very thing that made him special — his hands, are now injured. This was his life’s lowest point and Benedict Cumberbatch successfully portrayed a broken and desperate man.
The director then showed the incredible skills and abilities of Stephen Strange when he was able to quickly progress as a skilled magician. At first, he was having a hard time creating simple spells but when he successfully cast his first spell, a domino effect transpired. This for me was the weakest part of the plot and whole of Doctor Strange (2016) itself. It showed that his arrogance and high opinion of himself were not without reason. However, it made the character archetype so generic. The main character was the chosen one. He has a gift and fate seems to be in his favor. This is also depicted when he was able to defeat the antagonist Kaecillius during their first fight. Kaecillius was a sorcerer far longer than Stephen Strange yet the latter was able to beat him.
One of the best parts of Doctor Strange (2016) for me is when Stephen Strange was talking to the Ancient One’s spirit. The Ancient One was on the verge of death and she was telling Stephen that he has a choice. To go back to his life and use his magic to become the best surgeon once again or serve something greater than himself. This was a crossroad for Stephen Strange and the last moments of the Ancient One. What made the scene great for me was the emotion that the actress Tilda Swinton who played the Ancient One expressed during her last scene. She was dying and in her words, she said “You would think after all this time I would be ready. But look at me, stretching one moment out to a thousand, just so I can watch the snow.” Her spirit, once beside Stephen Strange, was now gone. The scene, for me, was perfectly directed and acted. The refutation of the concept of death, of a dying soul, gently clinging to life, was perfectly captured in that well-directed and acted scene.
Doctor Strange (2016) was a moving picture that attempted to teach the lesson of humility. For me, the film failed to do this simply because it ended with Stephen Strange becoming a master magician. Though he chose to become a protector of the earth instead of pursuing his surgeon career, he is now more powerful. Though he learned about humility and that he is just a smaller piece in a bigger puzzle, he is now a guardian of the earth and can bend reality through his will. I would recommend Doctor Strange (2016) to any Marvel fans who have not watched it yet. For those who are not Marvel fans, if they are interested in magic or a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, then perhaps they can give Doctor Strange (2016) a try.
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