I saw the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie aka MCU: 14 Doctor Strange. I must admit when Marvel announced they were making the film I got SO excited. I’ve been a fan of the character since I was a kid and would read the comics.
I must admit I was over the moon imagining whom they would cast as this character that I had loved as a little black girl in Iowa that scoured the comic book shop for characters of color (COC). I decided a long time ago that my Doctor wasn’t black but he wasn’t white either I always thought he was Indian or from Asian country that after his injuries decided to explore the medicine of his ancestors (who he had turned away from as he completely assimilated to American culture) so when they announced they had cast Benedict Cumberbatch I was very upset. Disappointed that once again a character that could have no SHOULD have been a man of color was instead cast with one of the whitest men on the screen. Now in his defense he’s a great actor and I’m a huge fan of Benedict. So I weakly decided to forgive Marvel for that choice since I was sure the Ancient One would be an Asian actor either someone US audiences know already like Jet Li or Daniel Dae Kim or Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa but instead they cast Tilda Swinton freaking TILDA SWINTON the whitest woman in the entire world. mind blown I got so mad that I pledged to not see the film EVER! I was done DONE with the two leads. Even after they cast Chiwetel Ejiofor I was no. But than my friends insisted we see the Suicide Squad and I saw Benedict in the cape I started to yearn for the movie. Despite my pledge to stand strong with my Asian Brothers and Sisters against the whitewashing of the first superhero film that SHOULD have been predominately Asian but I still thought I will not see the film BUT will watch it on HBO or DVD.
But happily I’m on a screening list and got to see a sneak preview of the film with a good blerd chick friend. So lucky you get a review of the film.
So I’m going to go on and say one of the things that I found strange ABOUT Dr. Strange. How the holy freck is a movie that takes place in a mythical Asian country that all of the supporting stars are either WHITE or a Black guy (notice I say GUY as in the ONE). Now they do have two supporting Asian actors one is Wong (Benedict Wong) the librarian and an actor who I can’t even find listed on IMDB <URGH>.
But it’s a solid MCU origin story where you get to know Dr. Strange (and yes you will call him DOCTOR) a hotshot surgeon who’s a bit of a talented douche who likes to take high profile cases that will go in his ‘win’ column so that he can keep collecting awards and money to fund a very expensive Manhattan lifestyle. All that changes when he gets in car accident in his BMW (should have sprung for the self driving) where he mangles his precious surgeon hands but no his mind . This starts him on a path to fix his hands so he can get back to his life as a world class surgeon and so be first tries Western medicine (the best money can buy) before finally deciding that he wants to figure out how a former patient of his rehabilitation nurse was able to get back on his feet (I think releasing personal medical records to prove your right is illegal but let’s just go all in and ignore that too). This path takes him half way across the world to and he begins a journey that eventually leads him to Kamar-Taj (Tibet to everyone else). Once he meets the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) or The White Ghost the story picks up the pace and careens to the final showdown with the big bad. Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) is an OK villain seduced by power but despite his being a solid actor I don’t think the part was as fleshed out as I’d have liked and it just felt like so many other villains that he didn’t make that big of an impression. But of course as a nod to diversity he gets a black bestie Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and enigmatic Asian guy Wong (Benedict Wong) who seems to a stick in the mud ‘follow the rules’ type of guy both characters seem to be all about making Dr. Strange a better white superior to all . Did I mention that they justified the Ancient One with a throwaway line of how she’s Gaelic and doesn’t talk about how she got to be the leader .
I don’t want to throw shade but Benedict get a major tan because he’s not as pearly as he normally looks!
At least we have the Black Panther … but my Asian Brothers and Sisters get bupkis with this film. I felt like a kid when I’d watch TV or movies desperately looking for someone who looked like me that were always either in the background or were the hooker or drug dealer. Things have changed but comic book movies still aren’t moving fast enough for me.