Anyone who has read my review of Civil War and also my post on Marvel Revisited will know that I’m no longer the biggest fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – I’ve always been pretty honest about my opinion on Tony Stark, but now I’m more than willing to just be opening critical and rather bored.
I properly slammed Marvel for being so blatant about the reveal of the infinity stone in this film on revisiting my thoughts on the MCU. Also given that this film and its protagonist is remarkably similar to Tony Stark, you might be rather surprised to learn that despite the fact I’ve been rather apathetic in getting around to blogging a review of this film, I do actually like it.
Doctor Strange has a few things going for it that made me want to see the film again recently when it got released on DVD. It is has magic, time travel and a great cast.
I’ll start on the most controversial of those:the cast. I’ll start by saying I don’t know the comics, nor was I expecting an Asian male actor to be cast as the Ancient One. I fully support the controversy surrounding the whitewashing that took place in ‘Ghost in the Shell’, a film I have no intention seeing for the very reason that there is literally no excuse for why an Asian actress couldn’t be cast. If the industry wants Scarlett Johansson in an action film, then three words: Black Widow film.
I will admit though I had no clue about the controversy about the casting of Tilda Swinton until after I’d already been to the cinema. I knew she had been cast and after falling in love with her as an actress in ‘Only Lovers Left Alive‘, I will hold my hands up and admit she was one of the reasons I went to see the film.
Whitewashing in Hollywood is definitely an issue that needs to be stopped: the only defense Doctor Strange has for having done it is because in the film they redefined the characters origins as Celtic, and they did have a strong female role, instead of just another male character, in industry equally as guilty of sexism. Not a great reason, but there are worse ones out there.
That aside, the rest of the cast was utterly brilliant, even if the Marvel formula doesn’t really stretch actors too much, I really loved the ensemble. I mean Benedict Cumberbatch had a bit of a dodgy accent, but it was consistently dodgy rather than a one that went all over the place.
The real reason though that I like the film is pretty simple – magic and time travel, specifically time loops. I am a fantasy geek, and I write about magic. I am also a science fiction nerd, and I’m particularly fond of time loops.
Honestly, this is a pretty basic reason to like a film, but I have found of late that if I think too much about Marvel films I end up being critical, perhaps overly so, as I tend to be like that when I get bored and there is no doubting that as a franchise overall, I’m bored.
However I love magic and time loops, and how they visualised that is pretty stunning in an slight rip off of Inception but trapped in a kaleidoscope sort of way, but I left the cinema buzzing and I would recommend the film as it is good fun.