The latest in a list of films with a time-bending protagonist and Rachel McAdams as the love interest (viz. The Time Traveler's Wife, Midnight in Paris, and About Time) is Dr. Strange, a Marvel Studios film about arrogant surgeon Stephen Strange - played convincingly well by Benedict Cumberbatch - who learns mystic arts from the Ancient One after seeking help to heal his hands (rendered unusable for his profession after a car accident) so he could resume his career.
I got invited to the advance screening held at the SM Mall of Asia IMAX Theater last night and oh boy, what an amazing ride it was.
Let it be known that I have zero knowledge about the character prior to seeing the film aside from what is shown by the trailers, but that wasn't a problem because the story was easy to digest and process.
Though it's a completely new story for me, there were some elements from other works of fiction that I recognized and enjoyed: the aforementioned Rachel McAdams as the love interest; buildings and major highways folding into itself and onto each other a la Inception; a "the wand chooses the wizard" moment; and the Cloak of Levitation that made me giggle every time it made a scene because it reminded me of Aladdin's magic carpet.
It's one hour and 55 minutes of adventure, perseverance of the human spirit, magic, multiverses, portals, fabulous eye makeup, hand gestures, altering time and reality, and comedy. Lots of comedy. Also, there are two after-credits scenes so make sure you stay for them!
How lucky I am to have been born in this generation of excellent movies and productions. Open your mind and watch it in IMAX when it opens tomorrow! I swear to you it's more than worth it.