Closely following Civil War as Dr. Strange, a movie featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and his American accent (which I really didn’t think was as bad as others said). I vaguely remember being excited to see the film, but have no recollection of seeing it the first time. I have, however, watched it multiple times since. It’s one of my favorite Marvel films, and an easy one to put on for casual viewing. It ties in easily with the other films, but also works well as a stand-alone film and hopefully the second will as well.
I’m going to start a bit backwards here, by discussing the end credit scenes first. The first end credit scene features Thor sitting in the New York Sanctum with Dr. Strange discussing why he brought Loki to Earth. They’re looking for his father, and we’re led to believe that Dr. Strange plays a larger role in Thor Ragnarok. While this isn’t true, it’s still a strong way to connect Dr. Strange to the Avengers. The second end credit scene is where I have some confusion. Mordo goes to take magic away from a former student of Kamar-Taj, which I don’t understand. He believes there are too many sorcerers in the world, but I don’t see the harm in the person using his magic to be able to walk? Also, how will it tie in with future films? From what I’ve heard and seen, the next Dr. Strange film has a lot to do with the Wanda Vision show, and somewhat the next Spider-man film, so what is Mordo’s connection?
Some easter-eggs! We’ve haven’t had those in a few films because for the most part, they’ve been direct tie-ins to other films or are too vague for a general audience. This film contains a variety of magical relics that only hard-core comic book fans would recognize, so I won’t go over them, but it does have some other, more obvious things! While this may count as a tie-in, there are several scenes in which the Avengers tower can be seen in the New York skyline. Stan Lee’s cameo is on a bus, reading a book when Strange and Mordo crash into the bus, in the mirror dimension of course. Here’s a fun surprise you may not know, Benedict Cumberbact also played and voiced Dormammu. He’s pretty good at playing the larger-than-life villain (Smaug). Finally, we see a new Infinity Stone, the Time Stone. While Dr. Strange may not know what this stone is, we sure do!
Dr. Stephen Strange is a hugely successful doctor and an egotistical ass. My mother defined him as having a “god-complex,” which is accurate. He can’t image life without his work, and doesn’t take patients that may tarnish his reputation. However, a serious crash forces him to reexamine the way he treats other people and what his purpose is in life. He went to Kamar-Taj to heal his hands, and stayed because he discovered he not only had a gift for the magical arts, he found his true purpose. This does not come struggle free of course, and I think the film did an excellent job showing his moments of progress, however small. We see the full brunt of his ego when he yells at Christine while she’s trying to help him, and slowly watch him realize what an ass he was. He even apologizes and is fully aware of how horrible he was to her. One moment I wish they kept in was him helping an injured dog in the streets of India. This is why he gets let into Kamar-Taj, and this is the first moment we see him care for another life that isn’t his own.
There are some other significant characters as well. Christine Palmer, a doctor, former lover, and somewhat friend of Strange’s. The Ancient-One, who trains him in the magical ways but is drawing power from the Dark Dimension. Kaecilius, a master turned Zealot who believes Dormammu will unite the universe in the eternal one. Wong, the book-keeper with a very particular sense of humor. And Mordo, a strong follower of the natural law who turns somewhat evil in the end when Strange breaks these laws to save the world. None of these characters had major development, but they did add to the film and to Strange’s development.
Overall, this is an incredible film. It has some strong character growth, freaky yet fun visuals, funny moments, and a good story. I would highly recommend watching it, but be warned, you might get dizzy at points! This one was a bit harder to review because I genuinely enjoy every aspect of it, and found it difficult to analyze Strange beyond his journey within the film. I believe there is much more to him that we’ll learn about in the future films, but for now we only know the basics.
This week’s post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast inspired by this blog. Be sure to go check it out wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe!