Once again a boring story from my younger comic-reading days (approx. 1969-1973): I devoured the Marvel tales of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Iron Man, the Avengers, Captain America, etc.. But I never got much beyond reading one or two issues of Doctor Strange. For some reason, all the magic seemed like cheating; you can always pull an unexpected spell out of your ass, right?
Yes, that's right. All those other comic heros were totally believable for me.
And also, I got the impression that Steve Ditko was writing/drawing Doctor Strange when he was on LSD. (Which turns out to be totally wrong by the way.)
So I was not especially moved to see this movie in the theater. But I noted the good reviews, and lo and behold, I really enjoyed the movie, once Netflix sent it to me.
It is (of course) an origin tale, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. Initially, Strange is a gifted, egomaniacal surgeon. But one fateful night he foolishly pushes his hot car a little too fast, and smashes himself up pretty badly. He won't play the piano again, nor will he be able to do the surgery he's famous for.
So, what to do, what to do? A new career calls: saving Earth from the Dark Dimension and the evil plots of Dormammu. Things look pretty bleak, because Strange is just learning how to become Master of the Mystic Arts, and Dormammu is a pretty bad dude. Nonetheless, … well, you know how these movies work.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well Cumberbatch fit in the role, as in "now I can't imagine anyone else in the role". He also sports a convincing American accent. I don't know anything about acting, but I think that one of the toughest things for an actor to do is spout off lines like "Dormammu, I've come to bargain!" with a straight face. There should be an Oscar for BC for that. (And Tilda Swinton, who plays "The Ancient One", should get two of them.)