Review: Doctor Strange (2016) IN 4DX

So, I don’t know if people know about 4DX. I think it is just in certain Cineworlds around the UK, no idea about abroad I am afraid. My local Cineworld complex has spent the entire summer installing a 4DX screen, disrupting normal viewing with hammering, drilling and out of order toilets. However! The Birmingham 4DX screen premiered with Doctor Strange (2016) starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Marvel magician.

My housemate and I have been waiting for Doctor Strange to come out, and then we found out it was going to be in 4D, and really, there was never a question! We booked tickets almost straight away.

4DX is described by Cineworld as being a “revolutionary cinematic experience” with “high tech motion seats, and special effects including bubbles, wind fog, lightening” that coincide with the 3D image being presented on the screen. Apparently there are also 2D screen viewings for those who find 3D makes their heads hurt. So – this 4D is to create a fully immersed cinematic experience. I have to admit I was a bit wary. Remember when 3D first became a big thing? More often than not (in my experience) there was very little that was 3D, just the title and a few key points. So, I think I was half expecting this 4DX experience to be like that, a few moments of vibrating chairs and the like, but not really the full sensory experience they were promising.

BOY WAS I WRONG! Right from the start with the comic book Marvel introduction, the audience were moving. The chairs tipped, they juddered, the threw you from side to side, it rained in the cinema, there was a wind whenever someone jumped or used their magic powers. At some points, it was like those vibrating x-box controllers; every time someone landed a punch onscreen, the chairs reverberated. It was intense! It was amazing.

We went to see Doctor Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character. The Marvel film is about an arrogant, insanely clever neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands after a car accident. His obsession with regaining the use of his hands and reclaiming his former status leads him to a mystical place where the students are taught to control alternate energies. Strange is, understandably for a scientific man, incredibly sceptical of this ‘mumbo-jumbo’ nonsense, but manages to convince the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) to teach him. He becomes fairly proficient in the mystic arts, and regains his arrogant demeanour. Then all hell breaks loose as former student Kaekillius (Mads Mikkeston) decides to overthrow the order using magic from the Dark Realm. Strange is the only one who can save Earth!

Fast paced, incredibly psychedelic and downright bizarre at times, this was definitely an incredible movie! The cast were excellent, the special effects (especially proving to Strange that other dimensions existed – boy was that a psychedelic trip) were intense, the 4D was amazing and I have to admit, I love the Cloak. It’s like a pet dog who adored his master. It was adorable.

Benedict Cumberbatch made for an absolutely perfect Doctor Strange. He has that casual superiority down from playing Sherlock after all, and perfect timing for so many of the sarcastic comments and put downs of the Sorcerer Supreme! I am pretty sure Ben is Stephen Strange in the same way RDJ is Iron Man. Although, his American accent caught me off guard the first time he opened his mouth. I have seen the trailers but I was still half expecting his normal accent! Rachel McAdams was wonderful, as usual, especially when Strange just turns up and dumps the whole magic thing on her – she reacted incredibly believably and was just marvellous in her role as Christine.

The special effect though – this movie is set in different dimensions, as well as our own, and the sight of a modern day street collapsing itself like some sort of toy, and the crazy fracturing of the mirror universe. Seriously – tripping. There is one section where Strange’s spirit is forced out of his body and goes for a spin between dimensions – and it is like a freaking psychedelic rollercoaster! I think this might have been the ‘trippiest’ moment in the movie, especially with the moving chairs, and the wind. Don’t visit if you are prone to motion sickness because this was sensory overload!

It was amazing. I have been feeling a little disenchanted with Marvel recently, but I thoroughly enjoyed this new addition – this movie has firmly established Strange as a part of the marvel universe and it was fantastic. If you have the opportunity to see Doctor Strange, go. If you have the opportunity to see it in 4D, get your butts to the cinema ASAP. So worth it!


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