The birth of the Sorcerer Supreme
MOVIES -- Magic has entered the Marvel cinematic universe with the release of Doctor Strange.
Benedict Cumberbatch was stellar in his first outing as the famed neurosurgeon turned sorcerer Stephen Strange, and the rest of the movie and cast grow from his performance.
Along with Cumberbatch the movie stars Rachel McAdams as fellow surgeon Christine Palmer, Chiwetel Ejiofor as master sorcerer Karl Mordo, Benedict Wong as master sorcerer Wong, Mads Mikkelsen as villain Kaecilius, and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One.
The movie begins with a mind-bending look at the mystic arts that will eventually be taught to Strange, as Kaecilius breaks into the library of Kamar-Taj, the compound in Kathmandu where the sorcerers live and learn magic.
After stealing pages of an ancient spell, the Ancient one chases Kaecilius and his disciples, eventually losing them into a portal.
Not long after, we're introduced to Dr. Strange and see just how inflated his ego is, as he saves the life of a man who was pronounced dead just moments earlier.
As he's travelling to a conference where he's expected to speak, Strange ends up in a car accident and his life is forever changed as he loses the ability to perform surgery.
Seeking ways to heal Strange undergoes many surgeries, eventually being told he has no other options which drives him to seek enlightenment in Kamar-Taj.
When Strange finally ends up at the sorcerers compound, his ego and singular thinking holds him back from understanding exactly what he must do to heal until the Ancient One opens his mind and subjects him to some of the magic in the world.
Strange's training continues slowly throughout the movie, with tests being pushed upon him and forcing him to adapt and put his way of thinking aside.
Even when his biggest challenge presents itself, Strange's powers are not fully developed and it takes the death of the Ancient One before he finally learns to let go of his ego and embrace everything he's been taught.
In his final battle Strange uses everything he's learned, and manages to outsmart the unstoppable evil in the Dark Realm but it comes at a price that sets up for the future of the series as Mordo walks away, seeming to be upset over the betrayal he's had to face.
Overall the movie was another success for Disney and Marvel.
The visual effects alone were some of the best to come from the studio, and the fact that one of the most powerful characters Marvel has is now embedded into the universe, the possibilities are only beginning as you'll see during the first after-credits scene.
In the final after-credits scene you also get to experience what's probably a setup for the next movie in the series, provided a sequel is given the go-ahead.
Considering the popularity of Marvel movies, and the fact that the movie has been out for over a month in Hong Kong bringing in $165-million, it's probably safe to say that Doctor Strange 2 will be coming out in the future.
But even if a second movie isn't in the cards for Marvel, Dr. Strange will continue on in movies as early as 2017.