Doctor Strange is an experience that is befitting of the modern film industry. Advancements in CGI has allowed #Marvel to fully explore the interdimensional and psychedelic travels of the titular hero in a way that, in years gone by, wouldn't have been possible (the TV movie of the '70s is testament to that).
There aren't many films that are more deserving of the indulgence of full 3D IMAX, thanks to the remarkable visual depiction of worlds and universes thought up from the darkest crevices of human imagination. One sequence — following #DoctorStrange's first meeting with The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) — almost justifies the entrance fee all by itself.
As The Ancient one attempts to shatter Strange's believed perception of reality, she jolts his consciousness into the land of the metaphysical, sending him on a hallucinogenic ride through parallel universes of all shapes, sizes and colors. #BenedictCumberbatch contorts uncontrollably as he is pulled helplessly through various dimensions, in what appears to be CGI work at its finest.
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How Doctor Strange's Interdimensional Travel Was Filmed
However, in an interview with CinemaBlend, Cumberbatch revealed that, rather than computer wizardry, he was violently thrown around for real — using the same rig that helped create the space-like weightlessness in Gravity (2013). He said:
"A lot of it was done in a Gravity rig, because his context is everything. His body is snapping and changing and multiplying, and just as myself it was bending, and being thrown around, and tumbling forward and backward and sideways, and all sorts of things. Respect to Sandra Bullock for pulling that off in Gravity! And in a spacesuit as well."
Yikes — no wonder the final product looks authentic. While viewing the scene, that authenticity helps to pull the viewer into the scene, too, in an experience that is both thrilling and disorientating. But despite the fantasy element of the film, it looks like Cumberbatch was definitely not off the hook on the physicality front. He added:
"It is one of the most uncomfortable things you could ever do in life, but at the same time really thrilling, and once you've learned to manage your core strength, it's the same as any other wire-work in the film - of which there was a lot.
"You just have to get into the mid-air aerobatics and gymnastics right, but I had the best people teaching me, and showing me, and test driving it. So I was very well looked-after, like you always are."
A Visual Spectacular
Doctor Strange manages to achieve a good balance between bizarre realities and realism, resulting in a feast for the eyes that uses CGI for maximum impact. Scott Derrickson and cinematographer Ben Davis have created an awesome tangent to the #MCU without erring on the side of computer-generated-excess.
When Cumberbatch isn't flying through different realms, the labyrinthian manipulation of entire cities is graphically spectacular, while the more low-key backdrop of Nepal and the city streets of London still provide one of the most visually striking films of the year.
Doctor Strange is released on November 4, 2016.
Will you be watching Doctor Strange in two days time?