Doc Strange, the love child
between M.C. Escher and
The last time I told anyone to go see a movie in 3D for its visuals was Avatar, and that was seven years ago. Doctor Strange is another such film — the special effects are quite bedeviling and should be seen on the big screen. Props must be given to Inception; that fight scene in the spinning corridor no doubt spawned a great deal of the action that we see here, not to mention the rest of the dreamy machinations led by Leo and company.
It’s a prototypical superhero movie, meaning there’s a reluctant hero, some funny lines, and a Big Boss level. In a way, it’s as familiar as any bildungsroman, and at this point I’m so tired of it that if any film of this genre deviates even a little — like Deadpool — I’m almost grateful to the point of tears. Benedict Cumberbatch turns his arrogance volume down to about 4 here, and it’s the right level for this damaged character.
Tilda Swinton is of course lovely and amazing as always, but I must say, as a person of Asian descent, it feels like if there was one big-budget superhero movie that could’ve starred many more Asians, it was this one. I’ve read about the Tibet/China issue that most likely resulted in changing the teacher character from Himalayan to Celtic, so it was a business decision, but it also feels like a lost opportunity. I’m glad Benedict Wong got in there — he was the best thing in Marco Polo (in a series that was, well, terrible), and he lends his considerable gifts of austerity and gravitas to the film.