“Dr. Strange” is the Sorcerer Supreme

By Ariel Harmon, Reporter

With “Dr. Strange” hitting the theaters in early November, it is worth taking a break from the cold and wet weather to head into a warm, comfy theater, and watch as someone else has to deal with problems that decide the fate of the world. It’s better than dealing with family over the coming holidays. But on a happier note, “Dr. Strange” introduces us to a world where anyone can have the power to change the future and that is a lesson that everyone needs right now. Even if an evil, God-like creature is about to destroy the world as we know it, one person can take the future on a different path.

The movie kicks off with an magical battle unlike any we have seen in films so far. Instead of guns and weapons, the battle is fought with magic circles and bending reality to the sorcerer’s will. This battle occurs in the middle of a busy city but is hidden from the eyes of the city’s inhabitants. It makes you wonder if there any crazy battles going around you at this very moment.

Dr. Stephen Strange was a world class surgeon and had never lost a patient. He has an odd goatee and a horrible attitude on top of a God-complex. After an intense car accident (don’t drive and look at your phone!), he couldn’t even pick up a scalpel. His quest towards the mystic arts starts off in a very self-centered attempt to heal his hands after the medical world has failed him. Using his experience in medical school, Dr. Strange devotes himself to learning the mystic ways and arts without knowing the full responsibility of what he is learning. With a very harsh teacher and a thirst for knowledge, it is no surprise that Dr. Strange exceeds in his studies and training.  Dr. Strange gets wrapped up in a battle that will decide the fate of the the Earth as we know it.  Like any good character, you know that his backstory will always play a part in the plotline, and Strange never loses his wit or his sarcasm.

Clarion photo Jacquelyn Johnson.

Dr. Strange faces a difficult fork in the road when everything he has ever known falls apart. If a doctor can’t trust what he knows about the human abilities and limits what can he trust? Through the mystic arts, his mind is opened up to the true infinite possibilities and truths of the our universe and the multiverse beyond. Of course “Dr. Strange” includes a love interest, as any movie does nowadays. Although that is a side plot in the overall movie, it is still enjoyable to watch a character who is such a self-centered brat try to fix all the horrible things he has said to the one person who loved him. It is endearing to see someone try to bend their ego to earn back the relationships they have broken. Overall, “Dr. Strange” isn’t a movie that is just split into two parts, the hero’s origin and then the final battle.

It is one of the few Marvel and comic book movies that changed one of their character’s genders. The Ancient One, Dr. Strange’s master in the mystic arts, is historically a wise Asian man who was the Yoda of the sorcerers. However, as keeping with the new age vibe and trying to cast the actors as progressively and gender blind as they could, they cast the Ancient One, the most powerful sorcerer to have ever lived, as a white female character. On top of that she is also bald!  Strange’s friend, Mordo, is a white character in the comic books and is played by a black actor in the new film.  Dr. Strange is not a new character.  He first appeared in comic books at the beginning of the 1960s counter-culture. Comics back then featured all white characters with a few token minorities thrown in.  Marvel is trying to be progressive but the vast majority of the cast is still white.  The whole movie industry needs to work on the diversity of characters. Most of the movie was set in Kathmandu, Nepal but very few people of asian decent are in the movie with speaking roles. Just saying that’s kinda strange. While that’s a story for another time, keep it in the back of your head–when you go to see the next blockbuster, see how many characters with lead roles aren’t white and male. Just a small challenge.

With this new world of sorcerers, magic, and dark and dangerous relics, it is no surprise that this movie contains one of the infinity stones that will trigger a war in Marvel’s future movie “Avengers: Infinity War,” which is scheduled to be released in May, 2018. All the Marvel films up to this point have been stepping stones to this new titanic upcoming “Infinity War” movie. We can expect to see Dr. Strange in many future Marvel films.

“Dr. Strange” is one of Marvel’s better looking films with the graphic effects shocking the audience. It also has cool, detailed costumes and settings with some scenes looking just like a kaleidoscope. With the magic used in the movie very ancient and with symbols that we cannot understand, it give the movie less of a technology filled superhero movie like many of the other Marvel films. It is one of those rare movies that I will recommend seeing in 3D, although I hate 3D because of my glasses.

At the end of the day, “Dr. Strange” was a fantastic movie and did try to branch out with the character casting a little bit (not nearly enough). Not only do we get to see a woman be one of the most powerful beings in our universe, but we also get to see her take no crap from anyone. We also see a man change from being only focused on himself to being prepared to sacrifice himself over and over for infinity if it would mean that his world would be saved.  By the Eye of Agamotto, I look forward to Dr. Strange’s adventures.