So if the title of this wasn’t evidence enough, this discussion is going to contain copious amounts of spoilers, and if you don’t to read any of those, click here, if not, I’ll still add some more filler line so my preview is also spoiler free. Infinity War has been out for a bit now, and while I know you might not have seen it yet with all the sold of screens everywhere, I think enough time has passed to safely have this discussion, as most of you should have seen it at least once by now. So what I want to do, is go over some of the more polarising and pivot moments and plot points of the movie, and give my thoughts as to how they were executed, my personal theories on things, and how some of the biggest spoilers are going to affect the MCU going forward. Shall we begin…
Is everything Peter Quill’s fault?
Starting off here with a real banger. The moment Star-Lord loses his shit, and prevents the team from removing the gauntlet from Thanos’ mighty purple arm is more than likely the most pivotal moment in this entire movie, for the narrative and the viewer. From the narrative point of view, it allows Thanos to regain his upper hand, and eventually get this grubby hands on the final infinity stone, and snap our favourite characters out of existence. In his grief and anger at the loss of Gamora, Quill assaults a mostly unconscious Thanos, knocking off Mantis who was able to hold him in that state and the rest, as they say is history, but, while the finger seems to be squarely pointed at Quill, is he really to blame here? Now the movie, its writers and its directors build very smartly to this moment. They don’t just let it exist in a vacuum, and thats very important to truly understanding this moment. The biggest thing we see setup before this moment, is that Gamora forces Quill to promise that if captured, he would kill her, preventing her from giving Thanos any information, a task we find out he was able to do, even with some prodding, he does eventually pull the trigger in an attempt to kill her, and in that moment, everything changes. In that moment, Quill gets the one thing, that would be strong enough to make him destroy the plan to ave to universe, and thats hope. When Thanos turns his laser blast to bubbles, and steps backwards into a portal with Gamora in tow, he leaves just enough hope with Quill, that he has a chance now to still save her, after he just allowed himself to kill her, and this hope is what I think causes his untimely and ill advises premature attack on Thanos that results in his escape. You see that bit of hope, is what propelled Quill to get to Titan to confront Thanos and save Gamora, and his then eventual realisation of her fate, takes that last bit of hope back away from him, leaving him as a man with nothing to lose in this universe, and those kinds of people seldom make good decisions. Now I know a lot of you are like blah blah blah, he still messed everything everything up, and technically he did, but couple my rational, with the cryptic words from a one Dr. Steven Strange, and I can only be led to believe that Strange himself, allowed Quill to derail the plan, as I feel like he would have been more than capable of stopping him with even a minor incantation. We are certainly in the end game now, and only the next Avengers movie can prove if I have any ground to stand on here, or I’m just trying to rationalise a jackass move.
Who’s REALLY dead?
Another huge load of spoilers here, but with so many deaths in this movie, we know most are going to be reversed some how, but for the stakes of these movies to be actually real, some of the dead, have to stay dead. To start with, I think pretty much anyone that died after the snap, is coming back, the real question, is out of the people who died before the snap. We lost Loki and Heimdall in the first like 5 minutes, and I really don’t see any way or any reason for them to come back so I think those are guaranteed deaths. I think there is a chance for them to have their cake and eat it too with the death of Vision. What I mean by that is I think they keep the stakes up by him having actually died, but get him back by basically remaking him, this time without the need of an infinity stone (which they set up for in the movie with the conversation between Vision, Banner and Cap) which basically takes away the old Vision and gives us a new one. A win win like that, I really can’t see them turning down. Then we have Gamora. Now Gamora is dead, but I think she has a special case here, as I’m pretty sure part of her still exist inside the Soul Stone, and that gives the creators here a lot of wiggle room to handle this particular death. Now I don’t think she should come back in the next Avengers movie, because I think that sort of shallows the point and emotional impact of that sequence between her and Thanos. Now I do think it would be okay if the point of Guardians 3 was trying to get Gamora back from the Soul realm, but I don’t think it should be as soon or as easy as just the next movie. I also should say that I think we’re going to lose some of the actual core Avengers roster in the next movie, which will clear up space for the new line up that we should see in the MCU going forward after the conclusion of this Infinity arch.
Why is Thanos the best MCU villain yet?
So after my review I really am ready to officially give Thanos the title of the best villain the MCU has ever produced, and the reason is a few fold. For starters, like I said in that review, the only way to get truly fleshed out characters like Thanos, is to have the time to do so. Yes some characters get helped by having a really simply but very relatable motivation like revenge or something like that, but the best villains are those who consider themselves the real hero of the story, and thats exactly what Thanos things of himself. He genuinely sees himself as the one doing the right thing here, and even in some respects you can say he is doing the right things, and its those grey areas, that allow people to connect with, understand, and relate to characters, and even though he is a villain, he is no different in his need to connect as a character, to stand out. His motivations also come out of tragedy, but with the goal of a “better” universe, where Thanos sees himself as someone who can bring about this change in the most merciful manner, and more importantly, in the most fair and just manner. To snap your fingers, and have an outcome that is indiscriminate of social status, power level, wealth, of anything, is definitely as just an outcome as possible. All of these things, combined with the additional fact that we can see some genuine emotion and connection even from a character like this, gives us the biggest treat this universe has ever seen, from a character who we have been building too for 10 years now.
Why couldn’t they just *insert tactic here* against Thanos?
So this is one of those semi annoying topics, where someone is always like, “why couldn’t they just cut Thanos’ arm off”, or something equally as annoying, and I say annoying because do you REALLY think it could be as easy as just cut his arm off. If we were talking about a gauntlet less Thanos and some Stormbreaker level weapon, yeah maybe, but you have to accept that this man has battled and been battling against some of the strongest and smartest in the entire MCU, and if they could have, they would have. And for the most part, thats the answer to most of these kinds of questions or complaints. Characters in these movies most definitely make mistakes, that does exist, but people need to consider the fact that them being competent is also an option, and as such, they most generally go for the best possible option. Case in point, blowing Ebony Maw out into space, or stabbing Corvus Glaive with his own weapon, basically always going for the most likely weakness when and where available. Now while we don’t get a real great feel for the actual power levels of Thanos, we do see that he can drop the Hulk, we see how smart he is, and the only time we see him take any kind of real damage, is when he is struck by Thor’s Stormbreaker, which seemed to surprise even him, which I think is the only reason he actually got hit. I get the appeal of thinking you would do better or have a better plan, but you also can’t just assume because some didn’t specifically say why don’t we do so and so, and someone shoot it down, doesn’t mean that didn’t happen. Also on a lesser note, when I hear people say they don’t understand why Scarlet Witch took so long to get into the battle of Wakanda, or things like that, it just shows how much people don’t actually pay attention, or they would know why those things happened. And just to clear that one so I never have to hear it again, she was up there with Vision because she was the only one with the skillset to destroy the stone, and they couldn’t afford to have her far away when they got it out because then you’re just playing hot potato with an infinity stone which is a real dangerous game.
Final thoughts I couldn’t say in my regular review.
So one of the biggest things people ask me about after movies like this about character motivations, and I think illustrates one of the biggest differences in the way I watch movies, and more casual fans watch movies. This movie is full of those kinds of moments, but what people should realise, is a movie as large and ambitious as this one really needs to make the most out of every second of screen time it has, meaning everything that they take the time to show you, MEANS something, and I think that can get lost on a lot of people. They are always setting up character motivation, so when they do something crazy, or something stupid, it isn’t just out of nowhere. Another point of contention people have is when we get footage in trailers, that is then absent from the actual movie. Now previous to some fo these newer movies, most of missing trailer footage was down to things that could get cut out of movies late in the editing process, but what we see now is a totally different thing. We are now so fully intrenched in the age of the spoiler, and when you combine that with how much detail people put into breaking down trailers now studios have different choices to make. Now we are in the era of these movies actually actively editing the footage in their trailers to avoid spoilers and most recently to actively misdirect the audience, so they can actually surprise fans in the cinema. Things like the Hulk’s story line, is a perfect example of this tactic being used properly. If these trailers were devoid of any Hulk, then the instant speculation would have been that there was some issue with him, which ruins the surprise. And for all those who think there wasn’t enough of the black panther cast here, especially after the success of that movie, need to remember the movie was written and being made before that movie ever came out.
Thats about it for this discussion, any other issues or disagreements feel free to comment below.