I’m a Marvel Cinematic Universe fanboy. I love all of Marvel’s movies and have watched all 13 movies multiple times. I have enjoyed all of the movies, even the ones that people aren’t as enthusiastic about. After a baker’s dozen’s worth of movies, Marvel finally took us to the magical side of its universe with the debut of the Sorcerer Supreme.
I never read a Doctor Strange comic, but he always shows up as a major player in all of the big crossovers. I wondered how Strange and his mysticism would fit in the MCU; it felt like it belonged. Director Scott Derrickson definitely made a unique movie that many have appropriately described as a psychedelic trip. Unlike Willy Wonka’s boat ride, though, Doctor Strange entertained me instead of terrifying me.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching Doctor Strange.
I really enjoyed Doctor Strange even though it hit all the familiar beats of an origin story. When we first meet Stephen Strange he is a successful surgeon at the top of his profession. Everything in his life is about achieving even greater levels of success. Tony Stark’s flaw was his greed and Thor’s flaw was his arrogance. While Strange is arrogant and enjoys the fruits of his success, it is his success that drives and defines him. Success is a fickle foundation, though, as Strange tragically discovers. We have to be careful not to chase success, at least success as our culture defines it. God defines success as a life lived loving him and others; I can only hope that I’m obsessed with that kind of success.
I’m surprised I haven’t heard of any Christians protesting Doctor Strange. Perhaps we’re all too busy voting for ideals we don’t actually live out. Or, more likely, those protesting Christians are warming up their picket signs for the real evil: Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. One of my friends expressed some concern that his mom might disapprove of him seeing Doctor Strange because of all its mystical and magical components. I believe in a supernatural reality and I don’t really want to do much to mess with it; why poke the bear? However, Doctor Strange has nothing to do with the actual spiritual realities we face. In the movie Strange is fighting against an interdimensional being that sucks power from the darkness. That sounds like a comic villain, not the powers and principalities in our world.
One of the plot points hinges on compromises made by a few of the characters. Without giving too much away, as the audience we’re forced to examine how we view these characters. It’s easy to allow compromise to slip into our lives. We can think something isn’t that bad or we can think that we’re actually doing something good in the long run. That’s why we can’t rely on our thoughts and feelings to decide whether or not we’re compromising. We need a standard and an authority or else we’ll be like the Cloak of Levitation tossed around in a hurricane. Thankfully God gives us his word as our authority. Any time we’re unsure if compromise is slipping into our lives, we just need to open the Bible.
Doctor Strange was good, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the Sorcerer Supreme play a larger role in the MCU. Civil War had a huge collection of heroes on screen at the same time. I can’t wait for Avengers: Infinity War and how Doctor Strange fits in with the showdown with Thanos.
What did you think of Doctor Strange?