This movie was SPECTACULAR!
I mean, visually, I understand why everyone was saying 'WATCH IT IN 3D'
But actually, the character's development is what made this story amazing!
For this review, I will disregard the fact that the Ancient One is an innacurate portrayal of the one in the comic.
You basically have an arrogant surgeon, who happens to be really damn good at his job, and knows all sorts of stuff because of photographic memory. One day, he loses one of his greatest assets of his life--his arms. Without it, he could not be a surgeon, and so he gets desperate. As a genius surgeon, he tries every possible procedure to get them fixed, but it isn't effective enough. He knows everything...or he thinks he does. He meets a mysterious person who teaches him to overcome his weaknesses, but in order for him to embark on his spiritual journey, he needs to accept the fact that he doesn't know everything there is about the world.
What makes the character development great (with super minor spoilers):
As many 'typical' characters are, people are given a power, and somehow a responsibility is forced upon them that they cannot look back from. For example, superheroes that have arch enemies, such as batman and joker, or superman and lex luthor. But in this movie, the main character is constantly reminded that he, as a human being, has a choice to become who they want. Quite the realistic choice--he could have stepped out at ANY moment. In fact, even after the movie ended, he could have just walked right out and have a normal life, like others have. But he did NOT. If he was the person he USED to be--an arrogant surgeon, he probably would have just gone back to that profession. And through many things that happened throughout the movie, he learns to accept the fact that he is selfish and only acts for the better of himself. Instead of walking the path of the normal life, he chose the path of a humble sorcerer to help others--the fact that even in the end he is always reminding people that he is Doctor Strange (and not 'Mr Strange'), his values of a surgeon are still there--saving lives of others, but he does not do it for the sake of himself anymore.
He is not a character that thought he was 'born to do good', nor is he a character that is 'forced with a destiny'. He learned a power on his own and thought to himself 'instead of helping myself as a doctor, I will become a doctor to help others'. His transformation is incomplete, but that's a GOOD thing. It's emphasized in the movie that not everyone is perfect, but realizing their flaws is only the first step (albeit it was one helluva step for the main character). It feels realistic that he *finally* figured out what his problem was, and he overcomes the hurdle through multiple steps and changes for the better. In most films, you'll notice that all it takes is one or two triggers for the main character to overcome their hurdle, but the moment Dr. Strange met the Ancient One, his character already begins to change. This is shown by . He begins with no powers, but the moment the Ancient One dumps him in the Himalayas to 'figure it out', his powers escalates throughout the movie when he realizes more and more about his flaws and accepts them and tries to change for the better, a clever way to show he is constantly changing throughout the movie.
There's more to this, but anyways, I just feel the character development in this movie is superb. They pulled it off in two hours. Bravo!
I know I always talk about 'character development' and how terrible it is in a lot of stuff. But if you want to know what good character development is, this movie is a great example. The tiny tidbits of story that pop in and out of the movie come together really damn well in this movie. It's not just one or two phrases in the movie; several actions and occurrences add up to the end, even past the credits of the movie to the extra clip. And THAT was really well thought out.
Stunning visuals, well rounded characters, excellent character development, and SUPERB buildup for a sequel movie. Of all the marvel movies that are meant to build up for a sequel movie, this is by far one of the best ones. No spoilers...but watch all the way past the credits, and you'll be like 'holy crap, this was all buildup for the next movie!'
Watching: Batman: The Killing Joke