Thursday, May 12, 2011
This animated feature based on the Marvel Comics character details how a callous, vain, money-grubbing surgeon named Stephen Strange hits rock bottom after losing the use of his arms in an accident, and struggles to find his way back at a monastery presided over by the wizened "Ancient One," who teaches him the art of sorcery so he and other disciples can take on challenges from the nether planes. These include giant, invisible man-eating monsters and "neat" flying teeth that rapidly nibble away like piranhas at human flesh. The movie gives Strange a younger sister who died, as well as a host of uninteresting associates also under the tutelage of the somewhat tiresome -- as well as tired -- Ancient One. Strange's long-time foe Dormammu is the bad guy behind the scenes. The good doctor seems to get his powers and his command of them overnight despite the long scenes of his mental and spiritual preparation. Doctor Strange is well animated and looks good, but even fans of the character may find it disappointing and surprisingly tedious. A live-action Doctor Strange movie is due out next year. One can only hope it's better than this. To read about the origins and early days of the comics' Dr. Strange, see The Silver Age of Comics.
Verdict: Wait for the big-screen version in 2011. **.