FORGET all the initial hoopla about whitewashing and the fact that the trailers made it seem that this film was relying too heavily on CGI.
This movie is worth watching because somehow the filmmakers managed to combine a good story, spectacular CGI (inspired by Inception but taken further), and good acting.
The story revolves around the brilliant but arrogant Dr Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch, sporting a convincing American accent) who has the world at his feet.
However, a freak accident causes severe damage to his hands that renders him unable to do the one thing that defines him, be a great surgeon.
Driven to to the point of madness to find a way to regain the full use of his hands, he even starts turning on those close to him, such as Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), a fellow surgeon and a former flame.
During therapy, he hears about a paralysed man who started walking again.
He looks at the man’s files and realises that it is impossible.
So Strange tracks down the miracle man, who in turn tells him about going to Kathmandu, to a place called Kamar-Taj, where some gurus taught him to heal himself.
He also tells Strange that the same people wanted to teach him other things, but his mind was unable to grasp it.
Strange goes to Kathmandu looking for Kamar-Taj, and almost gets robbed, but a mysterious man named Karl Mordo (Ejiofor) rescues him and takes him to meet the Ancient One (Swinton), who initially is put off by Strange’s ego but Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor Director: Scott Derrickson E-Value: 8 Acting: 8 Plot: 7 eventually helps him.
However, as Strange learns more about the hidden worlds and alternate dimensions under the tutelege of the Ancient One and Mordo, as well as the books he gets from grouchy librarian Wong (Benedict Wong), he also learns about a former master of the mystic arts named Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), who has gone against the Ancient One and who has aligned himself to a powerful dark entity named Dormamu.
Strange must then dig deep within himself to use his training and save the world
The CGI used to depict the many dimensions is perfectly used, and the fight choreography is also well staged. The best part is that the key characters are well utilised.
Cumberbatch is perfect as Strange, mixing both arrogance and charm perfectly, and both he and Wong have some truly funny scenes together.
Both Mikkelson and Swinton excelled in their roles, but I do wish Ejiofor had more to do.
For fans of The Avengers series, wait for the mid-credits for a surprise appearance.