I finally saw “Dr. Strange.” It wasn’t exactly Sherlock vs Hannibal, simply because Benedict Cumberbatch and Mads Mikkelsen are both great actors. Sure, Goth Ponytail Guy is painfully shallow in terms of character depth compared to other Marvel villains, but Mikkelsen does a good job with what he has.
When Isaac wrote about this movie, he said the Christian-compatible morals would be too spoiler-y. I disagree. Besides, there’s an even better chance our readers have seen it by now.
The movie pretty much beats you over the head repeatedly with its Christian-compatible message. Dr. Strange’s most prominent character trait is arrogance. This is, of course, his biggest character flaw, as well, and it is his downfall early on. That and distracted driving.
As the ever-brilliant Jenny Nicholson pointed out in her YouTube video about “Dr. Strange,” this isn’t exactly a new concept for Marvel movies. Tony Stark and Thor shared this character flaw. Selfishness became Stark’s main superpower, but only through self-sacrifice could Thor regain his power. Unlike those stories, selfishness remains Strange’s major obstacle for most of the movie.
Really, selfishness is a major obstacle for most superheroes. Before they can save the world, they need to care about the world more than their own safety. Marvel’s projects have played with this concept in various ways. Luke Cage learned to consider where the bullets went after bouncing off of him; Jessica Jones could have run from her fears, but she faced them to protect others; Rocket Raccoon beat up grass when he realized Groot was right.
But selfishness and learning to fight it is central to Dr. Strange’s story because *Incoming Spoilers in 3…2…1* he doesn’t even become the Sorcerer Supreme by the end of the movie! He’s still learning.
On the other hand…magic. But as the Film Theorist pointed out, a lot of the so-called spells might be explained through quantum mechanics. The magic users siphon energy from other dimensions of reality, which isn’t exactly occult and isn’t even too far outside of science. Only the bad guys draw power from an uber-powerful demon.
Of course, it still needs a warning label: kids, do not try this at home. Don’t go to Tibet hoping to learn magic. It won’t be the nice kind.
Also: if Strange had turned to the church rather than Eastern medicine, he might have found peace with his condition, if not miraculous healing.