Vodcast: The Curious Case of Doctor Strange

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Myth and the Curious Case of Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange is nothing if not an odd, curious duck. Both the character and the movie, to be clear.

The “good” doctor himself is a bit of a roguish hero who, while outwardly projecting confidence and bravado, inwardly struggles with a massive identity crisis due to a severely misplaced sense of self-worth. The movie itself, while outwardly filled to the brim with overt nods to eastern mysticism and other occultish trappings, seems inwardly bolstered with a moral backbone rooted in the Bible.

Paul highlighted both competing interests in his excellent review of the film (and Adam also touched on a related aspect yesterday), but there was still a lot more to unpack and discuss—and argue about—than would fit in those pieces. So Paul and I strapped on our figurative boxing gloves and duked out our differences in the virtual arena that is our vodcast.

So climb into the ring and tell us something … where do you see the fold?

Who wrote this?

Jake Roberson is Plugged In’s social media manager and strategist. He’s the father of four children and husband of one wife, and he quite likes life that way. He also likes writing about entertainment, pop culture, dadhood … and food. He’s also a former Guinness World Record holder for participating in the largest hacky sack circle. Catch up with him on Twitter @jake_roberson

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Kal El 10 months ago
I think you guys were both really on point in places and made for a good, balanced, and respectful panel. :-)

I would like to point out (as a well versed comic geek) that Paul's comment about Strange going to face a very demonic-ish for in the Dark Dimension is more than a little accurate. I got the sense from your review that you didn't know this (and the movie never explicitly says so), but in the comics Dormammu is literally an interdimensional demon. So it sort of lends extra weight to your point, Paul. ;-)
Kal El 10 months ago
*Demonic-ish foe, nor "for". Spell check has betrayed me. :-P
Alex Clark 11 months ago
I'd be interested to know exactly how Derickson came to be the director and how he felt about the movie's subject matter in relation to his faith.  I am sure that even if the director wanted to he would not have been able to greatly change or tone down the mystical elements of the story because that is how the comic series was written and Marvel Studios has been keeping a close eye on their movies to make sure they all conform to the vision the studio has for things (apparently this was the reason why Ant-Man's original director left that film, because he was straying too far from what Marvel wanted.)  So even if he was bothered by the mystical elements of the film as a Christian, Derickson would not have been able to change them on his own.   But then it raises the question of whether it was wise for Derickson to agree to direct the film to begin with.  
Phil Strangolagalli 11 months ago
I loved the film. I am a huge fan of Scott's work. I think Scott's point on this film was to be correct to the comic. Still, while remaining true to the character, it's an incredible story of how an arrogant man becomes a humble man who realizes it's not about himself. I think if other things were added to the film that have nothing to do with the comic, it would not be authentic to Dr. Strange. This was Scott's intention. 
Mike Rommel 11 months ago
I am with the guy at the 9 min. mark.  There is only one Greatest Story Ever Told.  This movie would not direct people to the real Savior.   Good to know what it is about so someone could use it to turn a conversation to the real truth of who God is.  I personally would not spend any money to see this or any other occult like entertainment.  I will not support (spend money to see them) movies that allow people to go on as they are on the road to hell, or even encourage it in any way.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I saw the movie last night and I think that I feel a little ashamed to admit that I really liked it.  Kind of like how I am ashamed to admit how a number of popular music artist's performances are actually very captivating to me.

I went with my family - husband and 23 & 18 year old daughters.  We are all Christians.  After the movie my husband asked me, "Well did you like it?"  To which I replied that I did but I did not say more because honestly I was wondering if as a Christian I should not have liked it so much and instead, been appalled. 

I went home to immediately look for plugged in reviews. I was hoping for a Christian perspective to help me unpack what I experienced and shape hopefully a "correct" feeling toward the movie.

I first read Paul's review and though extremely thorough... while reading it I kept looking for more of a condemning tone and was surprised that did not come through.

Then I listened to the vodcast and was happy to hear Jake's counter.

While watching the movie, what kept popping into my thoughts were popular music artists who we are warned flash various occult symbols.  There is even the mention of Beyonce and one of her songs played in the background.  Then I thought about how recently she had an "out of place" significant performance at the CMAs.  Could this be part of an occult agenda to continue to gain worldwide occult acceptance?

Do we call this movie and things like these talent & artist genius or is this subliminal or overt occult indoctrination to gain continued mainstream acceptance?

Perhaps if we can say that everything is either sourced by God (good) or satan (bad) than the judgement of this movie and many other things, becomes clearer. But then I remember that Lucifer was created by God and chose to become satan.  That being said, everything originally souced and created by God (Lucifer included) is good but sometimes our choices can create something else that is a perversion (like satan) and its the perversion that many times convolutes the truth with mixed messages; with good and bad elements coexisting and leaving us confused (perhaps like the recent election as well).

This movie doesn't clearly declare Jesus as savior and if I wasn't a Christian already I think that it would leave me to fantasize about spirituality and possibly pursue the occult for truth.   The reason that I think that is because I know the truth is that we are very spiritual seeking beings.  The occult exploits that and the fantasy of what it offers can leave one wondering if it is a way to be explored.

I feel that the occult, like the movie, brings to consciousness void, emptiness, a belief that something is missing or that there must be something more...creates a yearning for spiritual truth, fantasy, and wonder...and because it doesn't clearly state and point out that accepting Jesus is the way for salvation and ultimate "elevation", I think that the movie is very dangerous and wonder if it is another sourced satanic attempt to popularize the occult as "a way" and or gain popular worldwide acceptance of it.

Like how I think that tattooing is something else that has gained wide acceptance and as a result will make taking the "mark of the beast" easy for some since tattooing seemingly has become so much a part of our culture.

Lastly, thank you so much for your ministry.

Sheila P.
New York 
Anonymous 11 months ago

Jake was really clear-sighted. "[Fruit of the Spirit]...against such there is no law."  The excellent themes in Doctor Strange could be at home in most worldviews.  It was a great reminder for me to not go crazy over every glimmer of goodness in movies.  "It's Christian!  It's Christian!  It's superhero and it's Christian!!  Aww yess!!"  :)

At the same time, I thought an interesting part of the movie was the scene where Doctor Strange seemed to have captured Kaecili-whatever-his-name.  The bad guy tempted Strange with stuff like "The Ancient One isn't telling you everything" and "This is a chance to cheat death" and stuff like that.  It seemed reminiscent of the Garden of Eden: "For God knows that your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods."

Maybe Derrickson was up to something ;)

Joshua Kroeger 11 months ago
I have not yet seen Doctor Strange, and personally have no interest in such a film.  I recently rewatched Harry Potter, and while that series suffers spiritually, it's not consistently occult (although occult elements do appear now and again) and is more akin to Star Wars' absurd philosophies.  THIS one appears to stem from a completely different spiritual worldview; nothing that would change my mind, but make me feel uncomfortable nonetheless.  I read Paul's review and was surprised to not see it more negative; but then, context is everything, and the occult is not a good vehicle to deliver a Christ-figure in, especially when he's the Sorcerer Supreme.