Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange, who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Doctor Strange” is a special effects-laden extravaganza that features a commanding performance by Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, the Marvel comics’ surgeon who is endowed with mystical powers. In the movie, as well as the comic, he is arrogant, making it difficult for his former girlfriend, Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). When he is seriously injured in a car accident, she wants to help him, but he is rude to her and impossible to get along with, so she leaves him. His injured hands continually shake, meaning he can no longer be the surgeon he was. He doesn’t want to go on this way. When he runs into a man who was also seriously wounded, but is now healed, the man tells him he found his answer in a certain foreign land. So, Doctor Strange is off to Katmandu to find the location, but instead finds a woman called “The Ancient” (Tilda Swinton) and she makes it clear that his problem is not a physical one, but a spiritual one. He scoffs at this, but when she pulls his spirit out of his body, he begins to listen to her!
He is soon journey-bound but on a spiritual journey, to learn more about serving others instead of himself. He devours mystical books and begins to learn to send his spirit on various journeys. There is a lot of action packed into the movie including several fights, and nuggets of wisdom, as well as comedic moments. For instance, Doctor Strange learns how to use a time “loop” to repeat situations and he uses this to his advantage when facing a large monster-like creature that kills him. The creature refuses to set Hong Kong free from a catastrophe so when Strange shows up time and time again, he wearies the demon-like monster until it finally sets things right.
Ordinarily, Dove has no problem with fantasy stories as long as they don’t venture into the Dark Arts and Occultism. Unfortunately, this film takes the subject a step too far. There are frequent mentions of “spells” in the film. Doctor Strange follows the advice of The Supreme Sorcerer and engages in astral projection, which is clearly an occult practice. He uses it as a device to travel to other places and times. We are withholding our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal due to the dominate reference to, and use of the occult. The content listing provides more details under “Other.”