Liz's Pick: "Doctor Strange"

Since being a mom to two young children under 2, I haven’t had a chance to often go into an actual theater in a while so I’ve missed out on watching my favorite movies based on the MCU, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

One that I wanted to see so badly was “Doctor Strange,” released in October of 2016 when my youngest was only 4 months old, so I wasn’t comfortable leaving her so I missed out. After looking at our TV and streaming listings in the paper last week I was excited to see that it was released on Netflix! So last Saturday I made plans, ordered some sushi, put the kids to bed early and sat down to give it a watch.

I was transported into a surreal world that blended seamlessly with our reality — it seemed totally possible that this fantastical battle could be happening on our streets today, yet the effects of the world folding and unfolding a la “Inception” were psychedelic. After the intense action scene you are taken to the operating room of Dr. Stephen Strange who is performing surgery and you soon find out he is a renowned surgeon after a daring saving of another patient that seemed to be destined to not make it. You see how his hands skillfully are used to save the man. It is these hands that made him the surgeon that he is today. But after a brutal car accident he loses the use of his surgeons hands and is robbed of his ability to what he knows best as an acclaimed but arrogant neurosurgeon.

He ends of going through numerous surgeries to cure his hands but they are never the same. After a journey to find out how another patient was cured, he ends up being shown a spiritual world by the mysterious and mystical teacher called the “Ancient One.” At first he is rejected by the Ancient One because he is not ready and refuses to listen, mainly due to his arrogance. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role beautifully and seems to transform himself from the cocky, famous surgeon only caring about himself, to a man desperate to find a cure and regain his previous life, to completely breaking down at the steps of the monastery.

He is finally brought in and is shown the secrets of the universe and the multiverse or other dimensions. You see Strange learn and develop his skills to become versed in the mystical arts when he comes up to have to defend our world. But after this battle you can see how Benedict’s portrayal of Stephen Strange becoming the Doctor Strange of comic books was just brilliant. I was in awe of how he played him and how they made one of the comic book characters of my youth come alive on the silver screen. I keep wanting to pinch myself at times and I feel like my kids are a bit lucky that they are growing up with these awesome movies that do the comics justice and the people behind them seem to understand the nuances of why the fans love these stories.

Even if you are not a fan of what you might think are the typical action comic movies you may be pleasantly surprised with “Doctor Strange.” As a movie on its own, it has plenty to give — drama, action, a bit of humor. It follows the struggle of a man who thought he lost everything and would not give up and in the end was able to do the impossible which to me makes the secret to a successful movie. Even my mother who doesn’t like these types of movies really enjoyed the acting of Benedict Cumberbatch and the spiritual and mystical side of the movie.

This was definitely a movie that almost the whole family could watch. I wouldn’t recommend it to the under 10 or 12 crowd but for most it is a great movie. If you are a mom with little ones like I am, it’s perfect to watch when they are asleep and enjoy with a glass of wine.


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