Doctor Strange (Derrickson, 2016)
Big Trouble in Little China meets Inception meets Time Bandits meets The Karate Kid meets The Matrix meets Edge of Tomorrow.
As with most of these early 21st century super-generic, CGI-by-numbers movie releases, the director's signature, Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister), is written in invisible ink, his hand held in the Iron Man grip of the studio.
Without doubt, Marvelization is the new McDonaldization.
Casting uber-toff, English Shakespearean actor, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Imitation Game), as the protagonist is initially interesting, but sadly his on-screen persona soon dissolves into a cross-fertilized, faux-American mush of Doogie Howser and David Copperfield.
A number of critics have highlighted the apparent 'whitewashing' of the narrative due to the casting of Tilda Swinton in the role of 'The Ancient One', instead of a globally recognisable East Asian male actor, but this is a somewhat disingenuous claim.
That is, the original Doctor Strange story was not borne out of some ancient Taoist text, but out of the white Western, Fu Man-chewed Marvel offices in 1963 New York (Strange Tales).
Like all fiction, it was never 'authentic', and was never meant to be.
This all said, my girlfriend really enjoyed it, loved the 'special effects' and the 'wub-wub-wub' sub-bass, so what do I know?
- Cumberbatch's 'ack-sent'
- Tilda Swinton's perfectly pink skull-cap
- Mads Mikkelsen's possessed Robert Smith eye make-up
- Rachel McAdams' mole
- Stan Lee laughing at 'The Doors Of Perception'