Doctor Strange – Movie Review

This past weekend I went to see Doctor Strange in the movie theater with my family.  We are admittedly Marvel movie fans.  So we all piled into the car after school on Friday and, with popcorn in hand, found our perfect seats to watch this much anticipated film.

I won’t share any spoilers for you, but I would like to delve into some of the themes of this film.  If you know the marvel comics at all, you will know that they are setting the stage for the infinity war.  Doctor Strange deals primarily with the metaphysical and dimensional space…thus you will inevitably have a very mind-bending kind of film = I was not disappointed!  strange

The special effects reminded me of Inception on steroids, in that a lot of city scenes are folded as reality is bent and even broken.  It’s a very trippy experience that some non-marvel fans who are going to just see a movie might not like.
I loved the humor and the comedic timing of this film, as well as the traditional Stan Lee cameo and teasers (2 of them) at the end of the film.

Underlying Spiritual Themes: 
There was a pivotal moment in the film that had me kind of cheering in my seat.  There’s a scene (not really a spoiler) where Doctor Strange, who has been injured and has irreparable damage to his hands seeks out a mystical healer in Nepal.  As he tries to comprehend how this healer is able to break new ground in medicine, it becomes apparent that it is something so much more.  This mystical healer, who is actually “the ancient one” tells Doctor Strange that somethings cannot be explained by medicine and science, and that there is so much more to the universe.

I have to stop right there and say, I loved that spiritual illustration…this man had spent his entire fortune seeking out a scientific breakthrough to help fix his damaged hands and could not find a solution – and what this Ancient One offered could not be explained in the physical realm.  As a Pondering Pastor, I have to say that this is how faith works…when reasoning fails and when science cannot explain – there comes a point that we must admit that we do not know all of the mysteries of the universe and all of the infinite possibilities of God.  strange3

…and here is where our philosophies diverge.  
The cure for Doctor Strange isn’t found in the physical realm, but instead it is found in the metaphysical – and in his own mind.  What he had perceived to be impossible is possible in this other realm, and he must call upon Eastern meditation, mysticism and astral projection to get there.  If I were only paying attention to this underlying theme of the film, I would have had a hard time accepting it.  I don’t necessarily embrace that philosophy of teaching in my life…but as whole film, and action packed as it is, I recognized this to be a movie – fiction and a really good one at that!  I hope others see it that way too!

Benedict Cumberbatch does an excellent job, in my opinion, in the role of Dr. Stephen Strange.  His character is egotistical at the on set of the movie, but you journey with him to his lowest point.  You begin to sympathize with him, and then cheer for him as he discovers his powers.

I look forward to a second installment of Doctor Strange as well as his cameos in other upcoming Marvel films.  He is an intriguing character and takes the word “trippy” to a whole new plain.

So, should you see this film?  Yes!  Go watch it, take some popcorn, and enjoy another great Marvel movie.

I give this film  two-thumbs

Something more to Ponder today!

In need of a Savior


In just a few days another installment of Marvel’s Thor will hit theaters (Thor 2 The Dark World) .  It will undoubtedly be #1 at the box office over the weekend.  This time Thor returns to Earth to help save mankind from an evil force not of this earth.  It will be an action packed movie with lots of special effects, some romance and the underlined theme that the World is in need of a savior.  I find it interesting that Thor is the son of a god (Odin).   Thor comes to Earth to save mankind from evil and death.  To me there is a deep underlining parallel here to Christ.

Last year the Avengers was a world wide success and financial money maker.  The entire Marvel franchise is well over a Billion dollar industry.  Why has their movies received such international success and acclaim?  Naturally people of all ages enjoy a good action film, but beyond that I believe there is this underlining innate longing to be saved and to have find a savior from life’s worries, fears and heartaches.  Every person on earth can most likely relate to such a longing.  There is something remarkably missing in our hearts that cannot be rectified from the inside alone.  We need an external force to save us.

Jesus came to this earth seeking to save the lost (Luke 19:10).  Why did He come?  Because we could not, in our own power and strength, save ourselves from the trappings of sin and death.  We needed an external force to grasp us by the hand and pull us to safety.  Since the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve, we have lived with sin in our world.  We have all fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and we are in dire need of one who can save us from certain death.  This is why, I believe, we respond so passionately to superhero movies like Thor(2) and others before it. We crave saving.  We long for deliverance.  We look around us in our world and we see evil and hatred, sickness and death, and we pray for those life ending threats to end.   We turn on the news and witness another violent shooting in a mall or another systematic genocide taking place on this planet and we wish such stories would end.  We long for a savior to come and save us!

This life isn’t easy, sin is still very present and real, hatred and sickness at times still prevails; and yet there is hope.  The hope of the world entered earth some two thousand years ago and with Him, brought deliverance, salvation and the promise of new life for all who sought after Him.  God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ still says to us today “I am the way the truth and the LIFE, no one comes to the Father except through me .” (John 14:6)

We are all in need of a Savior.  Though we enjoy a good flick about Superheroes now and then, we can recognize that we have already been saved and that new life can start today with our love and devotion towards God and His image reflected towards those around us.

-Just a thought for today.

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