When it comes to comics I have always been a fan of Marvel over DC, Dark Horse, or Image Comics. As a Christian, two Marvel characters that always stuck out to me as odd were Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider. Dr. Strange stood out the most with his interactions in what seemed to be a demonic realm. Due to his source of power and his nemesis he constantly battled, I was skeptical about the new movie. Once two of my friends saw it who have similar viewpoints, I asked their take on it. They assured me it was something I would enjoy and that the director takes the alternate dimension route that we see in the Ultimate line of Marvel Comics. From my understanding, all of the movies seem to be based on the Ultimate Comic line so far. If you know different, feel free to let me know in the comments below. With all of this in mind, I saw Dr. Strange and here are my thoughts.
*Please note my Overall thoughts and Summary will be spoiler free. If you wish to avoid spoilers, do not read any other sections.*
I surprisingly enjoyed the movie. Even though it is confirmed early on in the film that their magic is indeed just tapping into power from other dimensions (science) it still has a very mystic feel to it throughout the movie. These dimensional scenes lead to a very different take on the world of MCU that we have seen thus far, well, if you exclude Thor and Thor 2. Thor also has some mystic elements to it and I have thoughts on that later. The fight scenes are decent but don’t make the movie. However, the special effects do! It felt like watching Inception, and sometimes an acid trip (not that I know firsthand), but all of it was awesome. The acting is well down, as well as the pace each character is introduced.
To give you a really generalized idea of what this movie is, take the previous MCU movies of Iron Man and Thor 2, and you got Dr. Strange. “Huh?” Okay, lets actually explain some things. If you are like me and don’t know much about this character, except maybe his crossover appearances in the cartoons you watch, then be rest assured they give an excellent back story. He goes through an identity shift much equivalent to that of Tony Stark in Iron Man. They both are geniuses in their own right but where Iron Man’s genius saves him and proves science to be very powerful in a world of super heroes, Dr. Strange’s genius becomes his weakness. Steven (Dr. Strange) must overcome this weakness and get past it to achieve his power. It often reminds me of the struggle we have as humans when we submit to God. We try to explain the spirit realm away with logic that we see and use every day in the physical realm. The humour in the movie is more of a dry humour, different than what we’re use to from previous films. However, this type of humour actually builds on the character of Dr. Strange.
Spoilers from this point on. Though they may be minor/obvious/or general takes on all of MCU, stop here if you don’t want to know.
The gore is possibly the most we’ve seen so far. But it’s still mild enough to remain PG-13. In the opening fight scene, there is a beheading with no blood or gore shown. Battles throughout the movie have a mystic elements to them with weapons, but nothing more intense than what we’ve already seen in previous MCU movies. There are a few stabbings from said weapons, and two accident scenes where the characters are shown during and post accident. There are three surgery scenes (yes, he’s that kind of doctor) but nothing to squirm about. Dr. Strange gets caught in a time loop with the main villain and dies multiple times in various ways. The zealots are also pulled into the dark dimension in a non pleasant fashion. Gore is actually my biggest red flag and the one thing I can’t stand the most in movies and shows. It’s why I dropped DareDevil on Netflix. However in terms of gore and violence this movie gets a pass, not to bad, but still would follow the parental guidelines as it takes a more serious tone. Ya know, cuz people actually die and stuff.
The idea of multiple dimensions is not new to Marvel, not even to MCU. Thor being the prime example in the MCU. He often refers to Asgard (his world) and Midgard (Earth) as two different realms. In the Marvel Comic line, Tony Stark eventually proves that Asgard is just another dimension and their powers are advanced technology similar to what we see in this film. We also see the use of dimensions in Spider-man with Madam Web. Each Spider-man line that I have followed deals with at least 4 different dimensions, if not more. There’s even a pretty awesome game regarding this and it tends to be the climax of Spidey’s story. Whether we’ll see Pedter Parker’s dimensions included in the MCU is doubtful, but ya never know. The one cool thing about this movie is the confirmation of another Infinity Stone and thus linking this character to the future movies. With the special effects, it is definitely worth seeing in the theatre. For those with younger children and concerns similar to mine, I personally would not take anyone younger than 12 to see it. However, if your children have seen Avengers (1&2) or Guardians of the Galaxy, they should be good for this as well. It is “Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence.” (IMDb)
After Credits Scene
As with any MCU movie, stay until the end, yes, the very end. As the new thing with these past few have been to show a teaser in the middle and at the end. Check out New Rockstars YouTube Channel for a breakdown of the two scenes and in case you missed them entirely like I did, they have a few pictures to fill it in until it’s released.
Would love to hear your thoughts on the movie and the MCU thus far. If you are going to talk about any spoilers from the Dr. Strange movie, please start off the comment with Spoiler, thanks!
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