It’s easy to see why director Scott Derrickson’s adaptation for the Marvel movie super-franchise is such a success.

First: Marvel is a machine that makes blockbusters.

doctor_strange_ver8_xlgSecond: Strange boasts standard-setting special effects. (Many say it’s inspired by Inception, but its wildest moments have equivalents in comics that predate Christopher Nolan.)

Third: Strange is played by one of this universe’s biggest stars—Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch as the goatee-sporting, cloak-draped hero.

And fourth: It sticks to the basic Iron Man outline—rich egomaniacal genius is humbled, saved by science, and finds direction and purpose as a soldier in the cosmic fight against evil.

The more I think about it, the more these two hours of “escapism” seem relevant.

I wrote about this for Christianity Today in my column “Viewer Discussion Advised.” Read the whole thing.