Monday, November 28, 2016

Movie Review: "Dr. Strange"

Last week, I went to see the latest movie in the Marvel franchise- "Dr. Strange".

It was an excellent movie that was a departure from the typical "superhero" genre. It opened up the mystical dimension of Marvel cinematic universe, and was a compelling story in its own right.

It is the story of the transformation experienced by Dr. Stephen Strange, a brilliant surgeon who is egotistical and materialistic. His life is turned upside-down after being injured in a car crash, destroying the nerves in his hands. This accident results in his inability to perform surgery, and presents an existential crisis for the successful doctor. He decides to leave his comfortable life behind, in search of a way to heal that Western medicine can't provide.

Dr. Strange travels to the Himalaya mountains in Asia, and finds a mysterious school run by The Ancient One. Although rejected at first due to his skeptical attitude, Strange is ultimately accepted and begins learning the mystic arts from The Ancient One.

Because of the mystical tone, this movie dealt with themes that aren't very common in superhero movies- or any other movies, for that matter. Such esoteric concepts as chakras, magick, astral bodies, and multi-dimensional reality are discovered by Dr. Strange on his journey to become The Sorcerer Supreme.

The Dr. Strange comic book was created by Steve Ditko in the 1960's, and was illustrated with the psychedelic flair common at the time.

This movie successfully translated that aesthetic into mind-bending visual graphics that were absolutely amazing to watch in 3D. There were awesome sequences throughout the movie- such as New York City seen through the kaleidoscopic effect of an alternate dimension, and Strange's visitation of The Dark Dimension that brought the trippy artwork of the 60's to life.

The special effects used in these scenes, and for the magical powers portrayed throughout the movie, were spectacular. They were enhanced by the strength of the story and its message- that Western science and medicine are limited in our understanding of the true nature of reality.

I've always had interest in the mystical aspects of our world, and this movie was an exciting exploration of the possibilities that such a perspective presents.

"Dr. Strange" was a very enjoyable film that was visually & thematically in a league of its own. It's rare that a mainstream movie can be called enlightening, but this one is able to open your mind and make you think about the world in a completely different way.

I'd highly recommend Dr. Strange, and it might be my favorite Marvel movie yet!

Official Monkey Buddha Rating: 9.5

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