Ok, I broke down and went to see Bendydick Crumblebread in Marvel’s Dr. Strange because I am a sucker for Marvel. And it wasn’t bad. It had its faults. It does not come remotely close to passing the Bechdel test. The Ancient One, as much as I love Tilda Swinton, being whitewashed and the argument that Dr. Strange himself should have been cast as a person of color. I personally favored Oded Fehr for the role. And moving the Ancient One from Tibet to Nepal to appease the Chinese market.
But I felt the script did an excellent job of demonstrating Strange’s arrogance and how he was his own biggest obstacle. I did appreciate the shortening of the quest, and including Shamballa if only as the wifi password. The white washing of the Ancient One is problematic as fuck, but if they were going to choose someone white, Tilda Swinton was an excellent choice. She excels at seeming otherwordly and strange.
I found that I did enjoy Cucumberpatch as Dr. Strange far more than I thought I would. The casting of Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo was truly inspired. Mads Mikkelsen does a fantastic villain turn as Kaecilius.
The choice of fractals for many of the effects gave parts of the film a truly psychedelic feel. The Escher-like manipulation of the scenery in the fight scenes was evocative as well. Watching Dr. Strange stumble through the practical aspects of magic, as he quickly learned all of the didactics required, was great. Also, the scene where the cloak chose him. You could almost see that piece of fabric emoting, “Well, if I don’t save the hopeless fool, who will?”
All in all, I enjoyed the film. I felt as an abbreviated origin story for Strange, it was more than adequate, and Burgerking Custardbath did a fantastic job, and even evinced a little seen flair for physical comedy. Tilda Swinton displayed her typical ethereal charm and grace. She was truly striking in the combat scenes.
I also found this to be a decent origin story for Mordo, and a reminder that too much order (rigidity) can be just as bad as not enough.
Also, the idea of Strange annoying Dormammu into bargaining with him made me snicker like whoa.
I really did like it more than I thought I would, and in spite of the many issues the film had. Not passing the Bechdel Test (there were 2 named female characters, they never spoke), the white-washing of the Ancient One, moving the story from Tibet to Nepal, and casting Butterbear Crimblesnaps in the lead role instead of a POC actor who might more closely resemble the comic character, often depicted as somewhat swarthy.