One of my favourite superheroes has finally made his way to the big screen this past weekend, but what if you don’t know anything about Dr. Stephen Strange? Thankfully, dear reader, I have got you covered!
Who is Doctor Strange?
Doctor Stephen Strange was a celebrated and world-famous neurosurgeon – and had the ego to match. His arrogance made him think he was better than everyone, but it was only after a severe car crash mangled his hands that he thought he had lost the only thing that made him special. As a result, he spent his fortune trying every medical (and non-medical) treatment he could trying to fix his hands, but to no avail.
It was then that Strange heard of a healer known as the “Ancient One,” so he travelled to Tibet to meet him, but because of his arrogance, was promptly refused treatment. But, upon seeing the frail man resist an attack using mystical abilities, Strange was forced to admit that magic and evil existed and needed to be resisted. Strange then pledged to no longer pursue healing his hands for selfish reasons, but to protect and learn the mystic arts from the Ancient One, who was Earth’s magical protector known as the “Sorcerer Supreme.”
Strange studied under the Ancient One, and spent years training his body and mind to harness magic within himself, the Earth, and other dimensions. And he was a natural!
Upon the death of the Ancient One, Doctor Strange inherited the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme.
Are you saying there is magic in Marvel movies now?
After introducing space and aliens in the Avengers, Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy, the realm of the supernatural was the next logical place to go. The Marvel universe in the comics is filled with supernatural allies and enemies, and is key to introducing different dimensions and the multiverse!
And, don’t forget what Thor said in his very first movie:
Who is the bad guy in the Doctor Strange movie?
The bad guy is called Kaecilius (played by Mads Mikkelsen), a former student of the Ancient One, who desired darker abilities and powers beyond what was taught. So, he left the school with his followers and began finding ways to contact a more powerful master, which is where we meet him at the beginning of the movie.
So there’s a bad guy worse than Kaecilius? *WARNING – Minor spoilers below!*
Yes, called Dormammu. He is an ancient being and ruler of the Dark Dimension, and he seeks to bring all planets and realities into his domain. So, a pretty bad guy.
Who does Strange have to help him in the movie?
In addition to the Ancient One (played by Tilda Swinton), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has help from both the mystical and human realms.
A fellow student, Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) takes a shine to Strange when he enters the school, and quickly becomes both a teacher, a mentor, and a friend.
Wong, who was Doctor Strange’s assistant in the comics, mans the library in the movie and is a powerful mystic in his own right. He is played by Benedict Wong.
And lastly, Rachel McAdams plays Christine Palmer, an Emergency Room doctor and one-time romantic partner of Strange who comes to his aid after his accident.
What did you think of the movie?
I really enjoyed it!
The images and effects were amazing, and very similar to the classic art from when Strange was first introduced in the comics in the 60s and 70s. While the villain, Kaecilius won’t win any awards, credit must be given to fleshing him out a little bit.
Cumberbatch was an amazing Doctor Strange, and I can’t wait to see him pop up in a future movie and become the Sorcerer Supreme. It was a great ride, and was a great primer of the magical side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I whole-heartily recommend you see it – I know I’ll be seeing it again!
Are there mid-credits and after-credits scenes?
One serves as a tease for an upcoming Marvel movie, while the other hints at what is to come in (hopefully) future Doctor Strange movies.
The movie was fantastic! It adds a big piece to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe and was visually stunning.
**WARNING! BELOW ARE SPOILERS! Only read below to find out my thoughts on those two scenes**
**LAST SPOILER WARNING!***
In the mid-credits scene, you see Doctor Strange talking to Thor about why Thor brought his brother, the magical trickster Loki, to New York. Thor says that it is because they are looking for their father, Odin, who was replaced by Loki in the movie, Thor: The Dark World. Strange replies that he thinks he can help. This scene is a teaser for the upcoming Thor movie entitled Thor: Ragnarok, and it would make sense that Strange would become involved in his comings and goings, as it is rumoured to mainly take place in different dimensions and realms.
The after-credits scene has Mordo, after leaving the final battle, approaching Benjamin Bratt’s character (who was healed by magic earlier). Mordo goes into a bit of a speech about magic and the people who use it, before forcibly extracting the magic, leaving Bratt paralyzed on the floor. Mordo explains that there are “too many sorcerers,” and it looks like he will be taking the magic others have harnessed for his own uses. My theory is based on his comments at the end of the movie, where he states that breaking the natural laws of magic and reality should be punished, and these people are therefore unfit to wield magic. And, in so doing, will become the evil villain version of Mordo that he became in the comics.