Doctor Strange – new to rent on Virgin Movies
Doctor Strange is the latest Marvel movie available to rent now, and it’s the funniest, most colourful and – appropriately enough – strangest superhero story to come from Marvel so far.
A journey into unknown dimensions, Doctor Strange is equal parts Iron Man, Inception, The Matrix and its own mystical story.
Benedict Cumberbatch has a rare gift for playing arrogant geniuses, and he gets to show that off here, along with a neat American accent and a hidden talent for blockbuster fare. (More so than in his last mega-budget film, Star Trek Into Darkness.)
He plays renowned surgeon Dr. Hugo Strange. (Unlike Dr. Dre, Strange has an actual medical degree!) Following a traumatic car accident, Hugo’s hands are mangled and he can no longer operate. In desperation, having tried every avenue of conventional medicine and spent his entire fortune, Strange goes to Tibet, where he learns ancient, inter-dimensional powers. Yep, that means a fun training montage.
With his mystical new powers, Strange can travel through dimensions, levitate, teleport and create magical weapons from thin air. He can also float through walls, which is handy when he’s borrowing a book from a mentor without permission (while that mentor is distracted listening to Beyoncé!)
But it’s not all zany magic pranks, as Strange soon learns of another sorcerer, one who threatens mankind: the power-mad Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelson).
What follows are some wild and inventive action scenes, involving folding over city-scapes (Inception-style), gravity-defying martial arts (a la The Matrix) and a weird and philosophical final act.
There are also shades of Iron Man here, as (like Tony Stark) Doctor Strange is a goateed genius who becomes humbled, and then becomes a better person while gaining superpowers. But Doctor Strange has enough humour and imagination to set it apart from Marvel’s most popular Avenger.
Cumberbatch is, unsurprisingly, witty and appealing in the lead role, and he’s joined by a cool cast: Mikkelson is menacing and also quite fun as the main villain, Chiwetel Ejiofor brings depth to his sidekick role and Tilda Swinton is clearly having a ball as Strange’s mystic mentor. Her shaved head looks like a special effect in itself — an impressive, perfectly round ball of reflective white light.
Doctor Strange and hundreds of other movies are available to rent here.
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