The release of Dr. Strange on the fourth of November brought in over $70 million in profits within the first week in America alone. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an unusually high 90% success rate, a rare thing for the review company. I, however, would give it a six out of 10. It begins with a gruesome scene detailing a murder, one of the many reasons it lost points. Things like that should be saved for anywhere except the first five minutes of a movie. There is no transition preparing you for what comes next, Dr. Stephen Strange with his head attached to his neck talking to his co-workers, while preparing for surgery.
Afterwards, the viewer is treated to an insight into the doctors’ life. We learn that he is an overachiever and wealthy, as indicated by the awards and certificates that fill the showcases in his million dollar home. Pictures of parents, family, or friends are nowhere to be found. By this part of the movie, it is obvious that he loves his work more than people. The remaining question is, does he love it for the feelings, money, or the credit? Certainly a wealthy, egotistical neurosurgeon like himself has been treated like a “god” for too long.
Romantic relationships do not come easily to him because he is engrossed in his work all of the time. There were hints that he had an affair with a colleague, but it ended badly. A little bit of affection, even toward a co-worker could have gone a long way in thinking that he has an ounce of humanity in him. When it comes to medicine, he feels that he has to one-up other doctors. Of course, since he is apparently the best neurosurgeon that walks the Earth, anyone else who tarnishes his work is equivalent to trash. At first, Dr. Strange appears as if his ego is bigger than the galaxy. You can see this when he is talking to a female colleague, and assumes that she has a crush on him. He could have gained more points had he shown more kindness towards others. Benedict Cumberbatch plays this role (almost) perfectly.
Dr. Strange’s ego takes a hit shortly afterwards when he is driving along the highway late at night. He is dismissing potential surgical cases that pop up in his Batmobile-esque car while chatting on the phone with another doctor. After accepting one, his car takes several flips and flops and eventually winds up in a lake as a result of not paying attention while driving. It may not sound like much, but it is sickening to watch. Dr. Strange drifts in and out of consciousness, only catching brisk moments of his rescue. The viewer is greeted with his bruised, scarred face when he wakes up a few days later in hospital. The first thing he sees are the pins and needles sticking out of his hands. A co-worker breaks the news to him that he will most likely never be able to operate again. Because surgery is all he is good at and knows how to do, this is a hugely humbling moment, despite all of his previous arrogance.
After learning about a patient who recovered from being paralyzed in his back, Dr. Strange seeks him out as a desperate, last attempt at recovery. He directs him to a place called Kamar-Taj, a secret compound located in Kathmandu, Nepal. There, he learns of his newfound “powers” and the many different dimensions that surround him. After several disastrous attempts, he finally puts his ego to the side and accepts the ways of his teachers at the compound.
Towards the end of the film, Dr. Strange makes contact with the enemy, one of his teacher’s former students who succumbed to the Dark Dimension. He has plans to help expand the Dark Dimension, where time doesn’t exist. The movie concludes with a powerful fight scene, a nice end to all of the tasteless ones. As you can probably guess, Dr. Strange wins, and Earth is saved from the wrath of the dark dimension.