“Doctor Strange” is a magical movie for adults. That’s not to say that it’s innapropriate or that kids can’t enjoy it, but this latest foray into the MCU has some pretty deep themes that only someone who understands the ups and downs of life can really relate to.
I’m happy to report that Marvel continues its unprecedented winning streak with yet another spectacular action movie with plenty of humor and heart. This time however, felt a little different. Yes, it’s an origin story again. Yes it’s about a selfish rich guy losing everything, and going on a hero’s journey of redemption. Yes it’s another Marvel movie with a big-name actor playing a one-dimmensional throw-away villain. BUT it’s also a movie that makes you question reality, that makes you consider your surroundings and the way you percieve everything. It’s also a movie about life and death, and how to give meaning to both.
Not to mention all the trippy visuals…
Although I’ve always had a fondness for the psychedillic art in some of the Dr. Strange comics and some of the obscure mythos of the Marvel universe, he’s never been a character I’ve followed all that closely. That said, this movie really really made me care about Dr. Stephen Strange. Perhaps especially because of his fall-from-grace egomaniac-to-selfless hero origin story.
And it’s not just that he’s relatable and portrayed perfectly by the master himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, but the fact that Doctor Strange is in fact an MD makes his character that much more compelling. Here is a man who has sworn to ‘do no harm’, so when he becomes an inter-dimmensional magic-weilding superhero, he retains that oath and continues to live by it.
Doctor Strange also serves as a great lesson to us all. Just because you’re really great at something, doesn’t mean you’re defined by it. If you’re an athlete who becomes injured and can’t play any more, it doesn’t mean your life has no meaning left. If you’re a surgeon who loses precision in his hands, you can still help people.
Don’t be defined by your failings. Sometimes failure is the first step towards success.
(Oh and don’t forget to stay through the credits!)
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Erik Slader is a blogger, barista, web tech, digital artist, gamer, comic book aficionado, history buff, part-time nerd, and full-time husband. Creator of “Epik Fails of History” (@EpikFails.com) and writer for SuperheroBeach.com, MovementMagazine.com and ComicZombie.net – check out his digital design portfolio at ErikSlader.com