Disclaimer: I usually try to keep these little reviews a bit, relaxed, balanced, literary I suppose? This is going to be different, so if you’re not up for a whole lot of nerding, move right along.
Fair warning, this will NOT be spoiler free. I repeat SPOILERS.
Well. Infinity War is out. I saw it opening night because, I mean, I have been thinking about this movie ever since 2016, so of course I did. I knew it was going to break me. I already knew, going into this, that my emotions would not come out unscathed. But I didn’t know it would be like THAT! Congratulations Marvel, for making the saddest movie in the history of time. I mean, it was amazing, don’t get me wrong, but was that level of tragedy really necessary?! No. No it was not.
If you’re really confused right now, that’s okay, it just means you’re reading this because you like IDEAS, or you like me, but don’t follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, quick review: Thanos is a giant, purple dude from a different planet. We don’t like him. The Infinity Stones are these six mystical gems that are really ancient and give you a lot of power. Superheroes are gonna fight a war about it. Get it…Infinity Stones….Infinity War….okay, onward.
This movie is so complicated, with the amount of characters and stories it ties together. I admire that, it had to be so difficult to write it and balance all those elements, but I think that was quite well done. I don’t anything about writing movies, but I mean, it seemed to flow well. The way they used the different musical themes to indicate which group of heroes were going to be seen next was very clever. The moment we heard the Black Panther music, and it was clear that everyone was headed to Wakanda, my whole theatre freaked out. Needless to say, if I just stream of consciousness this whole article, then I’ll end up with a poorly outlined research paper explaining the entire plot, and I’m sure none of us want that. Instead, we’re gonna do this with a list, just to hit some key points, my key points at least. We all see the movie as different people and gravitate toward our favorite characters and scenes, though, if we agree on nothing else, I think everyone who has seen Infinity War can agree on the absolute madness of Number 9.
1. Really? In the First Scene?
Let’s start at the beginning, with the first Infinity Stone. We see Thanos has killed a bunch of Asgardians and is trying to get Loki to give him the Tesseract, containing the Space Stone. A few minutes of horrible torture later we have a dead Loki and a disgustingly happy Thanos. So, I can’t say I’m surprised that Loki died. I didn’t really think it would be him, but I’m not surprised. But, so soon?! He had about three lines! I mean, it seems a bit like a waste to me. I suppose the idea was to right off the bat make it clear how strong Thanos is. He killed Loki, a god, with the help of only one stone. Think what he could do with all of them.
2. Welcome Back, The World is Ending.
So, Loki’s dead, and now we go back to earth, where Bruce Banner is reunited with his friends, and warns them about the incoming invasion. A sort of “AHH THANOS IS COMING FOR US ALL THE WORLD IS ENDING” situation. He finds out the Avengers aren’t exactly all on speaking terms, which is basically met with another “DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND! THIS IS AN END OF THE WORLD SITUATION! YOUR STUPID FIGHT DOES NOT MATTER!”. And, I mean, he’s not wrong. There are two Infinity Stones on earth and Thanos’s minions will tear the world apart to get them, but they start by just tearing up the city. Despite this, it is nice to see Bruce reunited with his old friends.
3. “You’re embarrassing me in front of the wizards”.
Speaking of Bruce, he and Hulk aren’t exactly getting along. This continues throughout the movie, and I really did think that he would finally be able to transform during the final fight with Thanos, but apparently not. Hulk did get pretty thoroughly beat up by Thanos at the beginning so it probably wouldn’t have done much good, but he’s still stronger than Banner. So the question is, what’s got Hulk so upset?
4. The Greatest Love Story in History.
I mean, in my opinion, you can totally disagree. Now I’m going to be self-indulgent, and talk about one of my favorite scenes. This is totally character bias by the way, but it really was a wonderful scene. So, we finally catch up with some of our missing Avengers, still technically running from the law. Wanda (Scarlet Witch), still on the run from the law, is hiding out in a hotel in Scotland with Vision. They are clearly dating now, which if you were paying attention in Age of Ultron and Civil War and/or have some knowledge of the comics, makes perfect sense. It makes sense that they love each other because, in the MCU the two of them are inextricably linked, deriving their powers from the same source. They are creatures of the Mind Stone and they fight fiercely to protect each other. It is really beautiful to see them happy in this little scene, even if it all goes to hell pretty fast, because they’ve been through a lot of horrors, especially Wanda. She has lost everything she loves, and Vision has only been alive for around for four tumultuous and confusing years.
5. When Thanos had Emotions.
So yeah, Gamora gets killed. Honestly, I didn’t see that coming. I figured it would be Tony or Cap, sorry guys, but I did. In order to get the Soul Stone, Thanos is told he must sacrifice the thing he loves the most. Gamora laughs, she thinks that finally, FINALLY after all this time, he has really lost. Because he loves nothing, right? But apparently, since Thanos is a twisted villain, he actually did love his daughter? I mean, he was totally fine with torturing and disassembling Nebula, his other daughter, but Gamora is the one he actually likes? He killed her actual family and adopted her and was all around a pretty awful parent, but apparently the soul stone is cool with it? So great, Thanos has emotions. He still killed his daughter for a rock, so I forgive him for nothing.
Sidenote: Red Skull? What?
6. Starlord! NO!
There is a scene where the team of superheroes who ended up in space, fighting Thanos, almost have the Infinity Gauntlet off of his hand, but somebody had to go and tell Starlord that Gamora was dead and he freaked out, waking Thanos up from Mantis’s hypnosis. Dude. I know you love her but COME ON. THEY WERE SO CLOSE.
7. Explain yourself Strange.
It’s not that I want Tony Stark to die, I really, really do not, but Doctor Strange, why did you trade the Time Stone for his life? What do you know that we don’t?
8. That Time Marvel Crushed My Soul (And Half The Universe).
Okay friends, time for more shameless character bias. So, at this point Thanos has all but one of the stones, the one in Vision’s forehead. Earlier in the plot they were working on a way to remove it and keep him alive, which Shuri had figured out. (Shuri, who I just feel the need to mention because she is a genius and Shuri.) It was a very delicate process and was taking a long time. Essentially the Synthetic Human equivalent of brain surgery. They had to remove the stone so that Wanda could destroy it. Her powers come from the Mind Stone as well, so she is the only one who is able to destroy it, and if there is no Mind Stone then Thanos can never complete the gauntlet. They were so close to pulling it off too, so close, but Vision was pulled into the fight, and it’s kind of hard to fight during brain surgery. So that’s when it started going downhill. Eventually, we have Vision, Wanda, and Captain America facing off against Thanos. Vision tells her that they are out of time, and she has to destroy the stone now. And you know what, that is so messed up. If you know her history in the cinematic universe then you know that Wanda has already lost everything. She’s lost her parents, her brother, and her home. She’s been experimented on by HYDRA, locked up and shunned by the people she has tried to protect. She has this incredible power, but it makes her feared, because everyone who sees her knows that she could easily manipulate their mind. And now, she has to use that power to kill the man that she loves, to save the universe. That is such a horrifying position to be put in, especially since they were so close to having a solution. Somebody give Wanda a break already! But she does it, and they win and everything goes back to normal, they kill Thanos, and Vision’s sacrifice was not in vain. JUST KIDDING! You thought the horror was over, oh no, we’re just getting started! Because, surprise surprise, Thanos has the Time Stone, so all he has to do is go back in time a few minutes and take the Mind Stone for himself. So now, Wanda has to watch him die a second time. As if this woman’s life couldn’t get any worse. So he is gone and she is broken, but plot wise the question is, where do we go now? The villain literally has absolute power. How do you even fight that?
9. Oh Snap.
So, If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m going to say here. What’s with the whole disintegration thing!? After Thanos skips into the sunset with his fancy stones, he snaps his fingers, and half of the population of the universe evaporates into nothingness, including most of the main characters. I mean I get it, did his whole “I have to bring balance to the universe by destroying half of it’s population” thing. But, what?! So I mean there’s no way that they are all really dead, but…what?!? We’re all bound to have their own theories soon enough I suppose. So anyway, I hope you aren’t as emotionally broken as I am after all this. If you are, I totally feel your pain people. Great stories are meant to make you feel things, the good and the bad, so congratulations Marvel. You have succeeded. Marvel has created this enormous cinematic universe, existing outside of the realm of the comics, and this movie has by some miracle managed to tie together all these different stories and teams of superheroes into one. So many characters with their own personal journeys woven together. It really is a feat of storytelling. Now we get to wait and theorize until the next one comes out. What do you think, did Doctor Strange leave behind some secret plan? Will Captain Marvel fix the universe? Was it all just a really bad dream? I sure hope so.