Doctor Strange “A Visually Stunning Mind Trip”
Directed By: Scott Derrickson
Staring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton
Writers: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 115 Minutes
Synopsis: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.
A Beautiful Mind-Trip
After 8 years of the MCU Marvel decided to inject magic into this fantastical universe and Doctor Strange hits that chord to a tee. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a famed neurosurgeon who is also a bit of a cocky asshole who gets in a car accident and looses the ability to do his job. His self worth was tied to his career, so he sought out all possible cures and was given information about a non-traditional medical treatment in Nepal. He there meets Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). From there he goes on a journey from arrogant surgeon to Sorcerer Supreme.
Although the plot and acting was good the biggest thing you will take away from this film is the stunning special effects and camera work. This film is a stoner’s dream. The colors, camera angles, and cgi are second to none. An issue that people had with the concept of Doctor Strange was the ability to convey magic and all that goes with that on the big screen for an audience that is not familiar with the source material. Marvel’s writing and special effects team translates these crazy concepts to a believable yet still fantastical film, that firmly submits Doctor Strange as an important part of the MCU. There are two fighting scenes in this film that will blow your mind and leave your jaw dropped in astonishment and glee. The fight choreography is combination of a Bruce Lee film, Inception and Captain America rolled up in one. For ten years in X-men we have never seen Professor X Astral-project in this film we get a fight on the “Astral Plane”. The idea that a Doctor Strange can exist is in the same universe as Captain America is crazy, yet promising and forecast Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet and all the cosmic and big concept idea to come.
The Ancient One Still Should Have Been Asian
When Tilda Swinton was announced as the Ancient One their was outrage about another role for a POC being whitewashed. The difference between this and normal whitewashing is the Director understood that the source material was problematic and needed to be changed. But, instead of just changing some traits of the character they went safe and made him a white women. To be clear Tilda Swinton nailed the role, however the way they changed the character for the movie, that role could easily be played by an Asian woman. In the comics The Ancient One is your typical magical Asian who trains Strange like you have seen in many Kung Fu films. In this film The Ancient One is a badass who protects the Earth from mystic threats while training a group of mystics to guard different sanctums around the world. It also helps that they did not make Doctor Strange a “White Savior” character that he comes off as sometimes in the comics and essentially made him the student just trying to learn but never fully getting it. This was a missed opportunity for Marvel to create another role for a person of color, however their reasoning for not doing so is understandable and they have listened to the criticism and I expect to see more roles for Asians going forward in the MCU.
This World is Getting Larger
At the end of the day this film expanded the Marvel Cinematic Universe and took a D-list character and made him an important part of a universe that expanding each film that goes by. The introduction of magic will definitely have impact on Thor and both Avenger films upcoming. The job that Marvel has done overall making these character house hold names has been nothing short of amazing and DC/Warner Bros and Fox should be ashamed of themselves that a film about Doctor Strange was significantly better and possibly more profitable than film about Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman and a film with the X-men and Apocalypse in it. This film should be a lesson to all of these companies to follow the source material, embrace the absurdity of comics and try to fix things that are problematic.