I’m going to speak openly about ALL my thoughts on this movie, which means there will be SPOILERS GALORE.
Consider yourself warned.
First of all, I don’t think I can articulate all my feelings and thoughts into one post, so be warned that this will definitely not cover all the bases.
I thought I kind of knew what was going to happen in this movie. I was 100% positive that Steve and Tony were going to die, and so were a lot of other people:
Obviously Marvel blew us all out of the water, and I’m still reeling.
For having such a huge cast, I think the Russo’s did absolutely incredible showcasing each of them. I mean, it helps that they didn’t have to introduce anyone- they’d all been introduced already in previous films, even Thanos. It didn’t feel like there were a million main characters, but maybe that’s because there really wasn’t. The main character is Thanos- the entire story revolves around him, where he goes, what he does. You could argue that, in an artistic sense, the main characters are the infinity stones? But I don’t really care about the logistics when my heart is shattered in a million pieces.
Thanos’s motivation was good without being cheesy. And I’m glad he was shown to be a little insane or else I wouldn’t have believed it- the thing is, Thanos believed it, and that’s what makes his story fly. I’m also really glad that he didn’t have a personal vendetta against the Avengers- he just wanted to do what he thought was his job in the universe, and he did.
“We don’t trade lives.” I loved that line. I think the Russo’s did a good job picking a few themes and parallels and intertwining them throughout the story to connect all the many characters. (Trading lives was definitely a strong theme.) If we hadn’t had parallels, the story would have been all over the place, but the fact that several different people had to sacrifice or consider sacrificing their loved ones helped my mind hold on to a similar thread- even though everything in their world was changing, I could still cling to the story.
I absolutely love my ships- Visianda, Pepperony and even Starmora. But to be honest it did feel a little like a cheat. Since they knew so many of them would die at the end, they were okay with actually progressing relationships. I’m not gonna argue, though, because Pepperony is one of the greatest ships to ever sail.
Let’s talk about Steve. Angsty, war-worn, way-past-asking-for-permission I-Am-Steve-Rogers. His introduction in the train station was INCREDIBLE. I got shivers down my spine. In Civil War I thought Cap was being set up to be old, worn out, not as strong as he used to be, but apparently I was wrong because he swooped in and saved the freakin’ day. That moment when he and T’Challa pull forward from the battle as they race towards the space creatures was a m a z i n g. Also, can we talk about the fact that he and Falcon and Natasha have all been chilling together for two years?!
Bruce’s return was sad and beautiful all at once. It was so weird that he didn’t know about Civil War, and I love the continuity- that he was like ‘how in the world did this happen’, and that Tony had to be the one to tell him. And I love when Natasha and him see each other for the first time. A quiet reunion.
A moment of silence for everyone who thinks that Tony actually uses a flip phone. Guys. Did you not watch Civil War? That’s the burner phone Steve sent Tony to use to call him in an emergency, and, by the way, Tony CARRIES IT IN HIS JACKET. *cries*
You know, I’m glad they experienced some victory- Thanos’s Black Order dies. Thank goodness, too, because I really didn’t like them. And it was nice to have a little victory to offset that heart-shredding finale.
So let’s talk about that ending.
It showed us a loss. I didn’t realize that when the protagonists win every time it takes away from the humanity and lowers the stakes of the story. But seeing that they can try their hardest and still be at the mercy of fate really made things more significant. Now we know they’re not able to punch their way through it all. Nothing lasts forever.
I don’t like it when people think it’s a bad movie just because it was different. From an artistic perspective I think it’s incredibly GOOD, and shows real loss, real reactions, sorrow, motivation. Just because it’s a sad ending doesn’t mean it’s bad filmmaking. They did exactly what they meant to do. (I know I’m an art nerd but my favorite stories are actually ones with sad endings, so this story really did good by me.)
The three major deaths throughout the first and second act were earned, and the massacre in the third act was appropriate because it was random. If the majority of these characters had died in combat, I maybe wouldn’t have believed that that stab wound was actually enough to kill them, but I honestly believe they’re powerless against the gauntlet.
The deaths were so unexpected- and they’re even more cruel because it wasn’t based on any rhyme or reason. It feels so unfair. As T’Challa reached for Okoye I was positive she was going to fade away- but then he did, and I was literally dumbstruck. I couldn’t believe my eyes when Falcon and Wanda disappeared- Wanda’s death was the one that unleashed a torrent of tears. Spiderman’s death was the worst for me by far- not necessarily because of my attachment to the character (though I do love Peter Parker) but because of his innocence, his youth. He didn’t mean to come fight this universal battle. He should have been home doing homework. The other avengers, they’ve fought battles, they’ve done their bit. But Peter has never done anything to deserve death, and his fear of death made it a thousand times worse to watch.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Tony has never really lost before. He’s always been able to bounce back, redeem himself to some extent. But now it’s not about what he’s done- no one, not even the Avengers, could win this battle. And he’s all alone at the end of the film. (Except I think Nebula is on Titan with him.)
Steve has won battles before. He died in the forties for a temporary victory, not eternal peace, so I think that still counts as a victory. But this- this is a loss. Not only did they not protect the world, but half the world is no longer even there to see that it’s missing.
We don’t know who all survived: Is Pepper still alive? MJ? Is Hawkeye around, and what about his family? We don’t even know if Shuri survived (but to be completely honest, as much as I love T’Challa, I’m all for Queen Shuri, the Black Panther, Defender of Wakanda.) I think Ant-man survived because he’s been spotted on the Avengers 4 set. But who knows anything these days?
I thought for sure Steve and Tony were goners, but it’s honestly more painful for them to still be alive and have to watch all these fresh new people who don’t deserve it die right before their eyes. Tony’s worst fear comes true (AoU vision) and Steve’s last friend is gone (Bucky). This is weird to me from a filmmaking perspective because I thought they were introducing all these new characters to replace the old ones- yet the Original Avengers are the only ones who survived, basically.
However, I had a theory. What better way to cap off this era of Marvel than by having only the original avengers around to fight in the fourth film? It will be a trip. They can fight to bring back the new blood, and probably sacrifice themselves, so, in the end, we’ll have all the sadness we bargained for and then some.
As far as any of them coming back to life- there are definitely characters that I don’t think have completed their story arcs. But I do think that in Infinity War as a film, they’re dead. As far as that story is concerned, and as far as the survivors know, 50% of the world is dead. If anyone does come back, they come back, and I can deal with that- but they better return on the right terms so that it doesn’t invalidate the drama and emotion of this particular storyline.
I’m not opposed to introducing alternate universes (read: Spidergwen), however, I don’t want them to just play a cheat card and jump into a universe where everyone’s still alive- and I really don’t want them to just rewind and make it so it never happened. That invalidates all the hard work the actors and movie makers and Russo’s did to create this story and the complex emotions that it carries.
Personally, I’m on board with the soul stone dimension theory- because, to be honest, it makes more sense that the soul stone has the ability to transport souls, not kill a random 50% of civilization. So yeah- I kind of think everyone was sucked into the soul stone or something- but let’s not forget that there’s five other stones. We have no idea what they’re all capable of.
Side Note: I’m forever grateful to the Russo’s for not abusing the Infinity stones. We could have been all over the place with the Time stone and all trippy with the Reality stone, but I’m really glad they stuck to one reality and one timeline for the most part, or else I would have left the theatre feeling confused and uncertain.
Here’s my theory for Avengers 4. I think Dr. Strange knew something, I don’t know what, but something, and that’s why he gave the time stone to Thanos. He stated very clearly that he wouldn’t save Tony or Peter over the stone, and I don’t think he did. He gave the stone to Thanos for some reason. Maybe there’s a time spell on it, maybe something else, I have no idea, but I’m convinced he had a reason and we just don’t know it yet.
Also, we’ve seen from Avengers 4 shooting that they apparently go back in time. Steve is in his original suit from Avengers 1. But this time Ant-Man is there, and Iron Man doesn’t look at all like his 2012 self. In Infinity War they reference that everything with Thanos started in New York- when Loki brought the Chitauri, that was Thanos’s doing.
So my theory? The time stone resets them all back to the 2012, where they have to stop Thanos before he starts. I’m hoping that they opt for a singular timeline kind of time travel, where you don’t just hop around changing your future, but when you jump to one spot, that becomes your new reality. (Ugh, time travel is so complicated. I just don’t want them to invalidate the IW events by erasing them out of existence.)
You know, I’ve seen some people saying that they thought Marvel made a ‘bad’ film. I know that a lot of the comments I’ve seen are just emotion-driven monologues, and you’re totally entitled to that, but for those who actually think that this movie was poorly made, please hear me out.
People, please don’t hate on marvel for making a film like this. I think you’re confusing the sorrow you feel with dislike for the film. This film made me feel real grief, which is confusing to my mind because my body is saying “something bad happened!” when it was just in the movie. But the fact that a film, that this story has that much power over us, is a compliment to the storyteller. Yes, you’re upset that someone died. They told the story so well that you feel that.
The end credit scene does a great job making us believe that this affects the whole universe. There’s a lot of chaos and horror all over. It also brought answers and finality to two beloved characters.
However, apart from that, this movie has a very raw ending. Because they lost. And they can’t even fight against it. They’re powerless. It just happens. They fight and fight, and then they sit back and watch half of it all just disappear before their eyes, and you realize… they didn’t win.
I’ll be first in line when Avengers 4 releases, because I’m desperate to know what happens next. Whatever happens, I trust the Russo’s to do it well. I mean, do you realize how poorly a climatic 10-years-growing Infinity War movie with a million main characters could have been done? And yet it didn’t. Bless you, Russo’s.