(The following is a review by one of the members of Thwip! crew – Ahmed, that elitist jerk)
So Doctor Strange has come out, most people have seen it, many rave about it, but I am not impressed.
Here are seven reasons why:
1. Marvel and the MCU is in a bit of a rut: Look, we all like it when things are just right, we don’t like change. It works for food, tailored clothes, and the way we like covering ourselves with the blanket.
As you notice, movies are not in the list.
But hey, studios gotta be guaranteed to make bank, so they stick with what they know, thankfully Marvel does have a good formula to make a good film. Notice I said, good, not great. That is because this does not feel Doctor Strange-y in any way. Sure, it has some unique visuals, but other than that, it feels that the story beats and plot points that the movie follows feels like it would be same for someone like Dr. Strange to even z-listers like Maggot.
I am kind of tired of it…we are approaching Phase 3 in the MCU plan and basically we just got a rehashed Iron Man movie, not cool.
2. Not colorful enough: Everyone praises the trippy visuals, which were, I admit, kind of scintillating and smooth. But man I would have killed for some nice, eye-popping color, something that would make my brain scream, “ACID TRIP!” – instead it felt more like a freashman’s first dorm room, who has that a single black-light poster.
Too much filler, not enough killer.
3. Tilda Swinton was great but…: Seriously, we could not have gotten an Asian woman to be the Ancient One? She added nothing being either a woman or white, she just played her role competently.
You know who would have been a great choice? Michelle Yeoh.
Yeah, you are welcome.
4. Speaking of whitewashing…: This might be a bit of an annoying nitpick, but once I started feeling annoyed at having Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, you notice something else – man this is full of white people (in odd places).
Yes, somehow a movie that has part of it taking place in Nepal has a crap-ton of white people seeking salvation and what have you in Kamar-taj.
I guess brown folks don’t have any troubles, you know, ’cause Nepal didn’t have a fuel crisis or survive one of the most devastating earthquakes in its history recently, nah, they automatically enlightened.
Thankfully for Hong Kong they managed to round up enough Asians to fill in the background.
5. They have to improve their villains: Mads Mikkelsen plays the villain of the piece, Kaecillius.
And I could not give less of a shit.
While I praised Tilda Swinton for being competent, I would say the same for Mads, but his villain was given so little to do, he is essentially indistinguishable from Dormammu if you think about it.
Dormammu – wants to take over the world/universe, ’cause that’s what he does
Mads – mad at the Ancient One for…letting his family die/stay dead/somethingsomethingfamilyanddeath
Regular Disney villains are more interesting, at least usually they have a song to explain their motivations (would have loved it if Mads busted out in song).
6. It’s a kung-fu film without the whimsy: Watching this movie made me feel nostalgic about old-school kung-fu films from the ’70s. This movie plays out very similarly to those old school Jackie Chan (and company) where the mischievous student is taken in by a wise (though slightly insane) mentor, training happens, fight the rival school master, and scene.
Except those I wouldn’t mind watching those ’cause of the weird, fun earnestness that Jackie (and the others) infused their movies with…to be fair, Jackie is pretty unbeatable, so maybe this is too high of a bar I set.
7. It is all about the sequel(s): The biggest sin about this movie was that it was all this character development…and then they are like, “shit, we forgot to do an ending” (thankfully they did come up with a fun and clever ending, but the build up to it was kind of rushed). This movie is all about Doctor Strange 2 and 3 and however many other films that they roped Benedict Cumberbatch for.
When I left the cinema, I felt dissatisfied, like opening a gigantic packet of Lays chips and finding that they aren’t even bothering with filling it halfway with chips.
So yeah, the film was okay, but it definitely wasn’t something that titillated me or made me think that, “yeah, I want to watch this again”
In short – ugh, this is why I avoid the movies.