Doctor Strange……white washing ‘magic.’
Another installment in the Marvel Universe brings no more than a stop-gap. Sherlock…or..Benedict Cumbeeeerrrrrbatch is Stephen Strange, a gifted-acidic-surgeon whose life is altered after a car crash. In the process of finding a cure for himself, he alienates those around him, including Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer)…(Doctor House, much)….his former girlfriend. In the end, it’s Marvel’s Greatest Hits: Character Origin. Engaged.
Once Cumberbatch has pissed off everyone (Is anyone reeeeaaaally surprised?), he travels to Tibet because a once hobbled Benjamin Bratt (Jonathan Pangborn)….erm, where’s Lennie Briscoe….?…. tells him of a mystical (queue chimes) cure.
Upon Cumberbatch entering the Tibetan temple, Doctor Strange commits its most egregious error, whitewashing. While Strange can be commended for remembering that we live in the 21st Century, ie casting Black and Asian actors, Benedict Wong (Wong) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Karl Mordo), it misses on the most important. The Ancient One (queue chimes).
Tilda Swinton is an amazing actress. She has an Oscar. Three BAFTA’s. Three Golden Globe nominations (what’s with that? 3 nom noms and no wins?). However, as many others have said, changing minority characters to white….kiiiiiinda leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Other faults of the film include, the non-explanation of Strange’s cape, and McAdams not having a freakout once Strange is hanging halfway through a portal in the middle of an operating room. Still. The film does offer the best effects since Inception, and it does well to connect to the larger Marvel Universe with a couple of handy post credit scenes.
The severely underrated Mads Mikkelsen also does a good turn as the villain (Kaecilius) who attempts to harvest the world to be delivered to Dormammu in return for eternal life, while gaining revenge against his once trusted mentor, the Ancient One…yawn. Doctor Strange is at its best when it’s technically pushing the boundaries of the Universe, and at its worst when it shuffles to the typical Marvel beat of let’s learn a nice lesson about ourselves….the only way possible…the heavy-handed way.
You could probably read a Wikipedia article on the plot of the movie. Save yourself $10. That will probably suffice. See, I just did it.
Of course, you can still go to see when Cumberbatch uses his hands to…….
Check out my previous review of Moonlight.