‘Doctor Strange’ moves from comics to cinema with humor

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange

As I don’t follow Marvel comics, or any comics for that matter, I feel sort of at a loss when they become movies and I’m not aware of the backstory.

“Dr. Strange,” for example, may have been a comic book to read, but as a movie I’d say it was pretty entertaining. Although the theme isn’t anything new, the scenery, methods and tools used by the characters do venture off into new territory.

No, it’s not another Harry Potter film. It’s a story about a genius with an oversized ego who is a brain doctor with a God complex. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Dr. Strange.

Strange gets into a car wreck and his hands are badly injured. He tries everything humanly possible to regain the full use of his hands, but to no avail.

Rachel McAdams plays Christine, also a doctor, and she is his on again/off again love interest.

When Dr. Strange finally realizes he has no more options to repair his hands, he really goes off on McAdams. This is the only part where I felt sorry for a character.

Lo and behold, Dr. Strange learns from his physical therapist of a case where a paraplegic walked again and is leading a normal life. Strange contacts this once paraplegic, played by Benjamin Bratt, who tells Strange to go to a mystical city in India.

Then he meets the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). I really liked how the movie used a tired stereotype, but then switched things around in introducing Swinton. She even had sarcastic and funny jabs to fire at Dr. Strange, which lightened up the story. Throughout the rest of the movie there is more comic relief through sarcasm and irony, which definitely added to my enjoyment.

Swinton is the grand wizard of the entire bunch. There were times where I almost expected her to say “Grasshopper, snatch the pebble from my hand.”

If you remember the assassin from the movie “Serenity”, Chiwetel Ejiofor, you’ll see just how well he fits in his role here. Don’t worry, I couldn’t place his name either, but you’ll recognize his calm, authoritative tone and lack of facial expression. He is sort of a mentor for Dr. Strange.

As luck would have it, Dr. Strange excels in his studies and quickly surpasses other students in the use of magic.

Here’s a teaser: Ejiofor is teaching Dr. Strange some form of martial art and suddenly grabs a weapon. Dr. Strange had no weapon and asked where his was.

Ejiofor tells him the weapon will choose you. In a later fight sequence, a red cape “chooses” Dr. Strange and there’s another piece of comedy relief in the ensuing fight.

Although the storyline is fairly common, the graphics are awesome. During a chase scene buildings, roads and intersections folded upon themselves or rolled into others. I almost had to reach for the Dramamine.

Luckily, the scene didn’t last longer.