Summary: After losing the use of his hands in a car accident, Dr. Stephen Strange begins a quest for healing that leads him toward mysticism, and ultimately discovering powers he must master to save the universe.
Rated PG-13, for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence.
Genre: Sci-fi / Superhero
Viewer Appeal: Ages 12 and up
Clearly I am not a comic book fan, because all I know (or knew) about Doctor Strange was what I had seen in the trailer
This film in the Marvel cinematic universe (MCU) did look like a strange movie. Not at all like Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, or Marvel’s other superhero movies, where the main character has some kind of super strength and uses it to fight evil. What was all this bending of cities and reality I saw in the trailer? That’s not normal.
So, if you’re like me…dumb in the history of comic book superheroes…let me fill you in. Doctor Strange is Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), an arrogant, egotistical, yet brilliant, world-famous neurosurgeon. He has everything the world can offer and money can buy. Until he suffers a horrific car accident, where he loses the use of his precious hands. No amount of medicine or number of surgeries can heal what has been broken, leaving Strange angry and alone.
Then he happens upon Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt), who had been paralyzed from the chest down until he found Kamar-Taj. In hopes of finding the same kind of healing, Strange spends his last pennies and travels to Nepal in an effort to find Kamar-Taj. And while it’s not what he expected, Strange experiences something perspective changing, yet, The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) refuses to let Dr. Strange stay at Kamar-Taj, until her student, Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) convinces her otherwise.
At this point, the movie ramps up the visual effects.
The Ancient One throws Strange out of his body and into the multiverse, where Strange sees other universes he never knew existed. He learns he can create portholes, through which he can travel, create weapons from energy, and that there are forces beyond eyesight fighting for Earth. The visual effects bring this movie to another level of entertainment, and the unique story gives a fresh view into the “superhero” genre we’ve not before seen.
This is Marvel like you’ve never seen. As the Ancient One says, the Avengers fight the physical fight, those at Kamar-Taj fight the spiritual. Which means Dr. Strange dabbles in sorcery, mysticism, and even a tiny bit of Christianity. It’s themes of healing and purpose are thick and deep and will leave you with plenty to discuss with family or friends. But don’t forget to watch through all the credits, to see what surprises Marvel has waiting!
Just-for-Fun Bonus: Dr. Strange Activity Sheets
Special features abound on the Blu-ray edition of this movie, including:
• A Strange Transformation – Open your eye to a new dimension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and see how the filmmakers brought one of comic books’ greatest characters to life.
• Strange Company – Find out what it’s like for the cast to work on a Marvel film, and how Director Scott Derrickson engineered one of the most ambitious, imaginative films ever.
• The Fabric of Reality – Take a closer look at the movie’s extraordinary sets, meticulously crafted costumes and amazingly detailed production elements.
• Across Time and Space – Explore the countless hours of dance and fight choreography the actors endured in preparation for their physically demanding roles.
• The Score-cerer Supreme – Join Composer Michael Giacchino and a full orchestra during live recording sessions, and experience the movie’s mind-bending music.
Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look
Get an early peek at MCU’s spectacular upcoming films, including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
Team Thor: Part 2
See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.
• Strange Meets Daniel Drumm
• Kaecilius Searches for Answers
• The Kamar-Taj Courtyard
• Making Contact
• Lost in Kathmandu
Audio Commentary by Director Scott Derrickson
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• Dr. Strange was overly impressed with himself, his abilities and accomplishments. So much so that he alienated and humiliated others easily. While he learned humility and the importance of sacrificing himself for others through his experiences at Kamar-Taj, how did his confidence help him even in the end?
• The Ancient One tells Strange, “You’re a man looking at the world through a keyhole.” What do you see through your keyhole? Do you think there’s more you cannot see?
• Toward the end of the movie, The Ancient One slows down time so she can watch the snow fall. What would you slow down time to watch?