Marvel pulls off captivating experience with ‘Doctor Strange’

Even if every comic movie origin story is bound to follow a similar formula, they all have unique touches that can make them, or break them, whether it’s “Ant-Man'”s heist genre or “Guardians of the Galaxy'”s homage to the ’80s.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest entry, “Doctor Strange,” is no stranger to this technique, pulling off yet another incredibly captivating and insanely fun origin story for a long-running comic book hero.

The film follows its titular character (Benedict Cumberbatch) an acclaimed neurosurgeon, as he studies mystic arts and finds himself in the middle of a centuries-long battle to protect the Earth from dark forces after losing the use of his hands in a car accident.

Now, the story does go through a lot of the same steps as previous Marvel origins have, feeling very similar to the very first entry into the universe, “Iron Man.” However, this is redeemed thanks to its delving into the mystical lore that drives the character and his powers.

One of the biggest strengths in this movie is the film’s visual effects, which offer a bizarre and unique framework that shapes and reshapes the world around the characters. Whether it’s the little details of a slow-motion bolt of lightning or the mind-bending chase through New York City that sees buildings split in half and the laws of gravity broken, the visual effects team does a stunning job delivering one of the most intricate visuals since Warner Bros.’s “Inception” or NBC’s “Hannibal.”

In addition to the stellar visual effects, the film is supported by stylish direction and solid performances from its cast. Derrickson, well known for his horror work on “Sinister” and “Deliver Us From Evil,” shows some stylish range in his work with some stellar direction and fast-paced filming in this comic book action thriller.

With a main cast of less than 10 people, each performance is truly captivating and moving. Cumberbatch expertly balances arrogance and desperation and Mads Mikkelsen continues his successful villainous streak with this film, delivering a villain that would be great to see continue on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Overall, Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” touches on a few familiar plot elements, but sets itself apart from other similar origin stories thanks to its unique visuals, stylish direction and solid performances.