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Review – Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel's much-anticipated

Marvel's much-anticipated "Avengers: Infinity War" is now playing in theaters. The third installment in the Avengers series, "Infinity War" is a culmination of over 10 years of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kevin Wang

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Warning: this article contains an infinite number of spoilers from the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The Avengers

“Me personally, I have a lot to lose,” Rocket said.

*loses everything*

Marvel’s finally getting dark and grim! Hooray! To recap the heart-wrenching massacre of Marvel superheroes in Infinity War, Thanos’ Snappening turned Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Bucky Barnes, Falcon, Star-Lord, Groot, Drax, Mantis, Nick Fury and Maria Hill into death dust. On the other hand, Loki, Heimdall, Gamora and Vision died of Thanos-beating-the-living-crap-out-of-you-syndrome. Cue the fans floating out of the theater in a river of tears and sorrow.

The emotional value produced in Infinity War was sky-high. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo didn’t bother pulling at the heartstrings with Peter Parker’s “I don’t want to go” and the utter devastation and despair it precipitated in Tony Stark’s eyes – they simply ripped them out. Hell, they somehow managed to prolong Vision’s death for two and a half hours, and in the end, we got to see him die twice!

But don’t despair! Some of the characters listed above already have planned sequels and extended contracts, and there’s absolutely no way Disney would simply throw T’Challa out the window after his first film racked up a ridiculous $1.2 billion in box office returns. But we’ll talk about that later.

Dead people aside, some of our other heroes took some serious leaps forward in Infinity War. The whiny, entitled Asgardian God of Thunder has the ridiculously overpowered super-axe Stormbreaker now. He learned what it meant to suffer through loss following the deaths of Odin, Loki and Heimdall. It’s basically Thor with Mjolnir 5.0 and Odin’s wisdom and resolve – yes, that’s as terrifying as it sounds. There is no doubt that Thor is currently the strongest Avenger. He’s got a Bifröst in his axe blade!

On the other hand, the sulking Hulk didn’t come out for the whole movie after he got pounded into the ground by Thanos early on. Bruce Banner couldn’t channel his rage at all, but this likely foreshadows how brute strength and power can sometimes take a backseat to intellect and ingenuity. Banner’s scientific acumen might be crucial to the plot of Avengers 4: That Which Must Not Be Named.

In the world of sorcery, Stephen Strange expanded his range of spells and provided a welcoming sense of cold pragmatism that contrasted the sentimentality of Stark, Steve Rogers and Peter Quill. Critics were quick to point out that his practicality dissolved when he traded the Time Stone for Stark’s life, but Strange literally told him and Parker a few hours earlier that if the situation lead to him having to choose between protecting the Time Stone and saving their lives, he’d go with the Stone every time. There was absolutely no ensuing character development or sequence of events that would lead us to believe Strange would experience a random tenderhearted euphemism.

Although Infinity War extended the long-term development of these three heroes, the Russo brothers managed to insert no shortage of stellar, small-scale character moments in there. For one, Infinity War closed out Loki’s arc very well. 2012-2017 Loki would have sided with Thanos 11 out of 10 times if given the opportunity. To understand the God of Mischief’s newfound sense of honor, to despair along with Thor’s muffled cries after Thanos snaps his brother’s neck, it is depressing yet beautiful. Loki’s metamorphosis from lonely trickster to honorable Asgardian is embodied in this opening scene, and it would cheapen his death if he somehow managed to return again.

The Russo brothers had to stuff over 76 arcs in 160 minutes, but they scored a definitive success with this one. Time allocation seemed appropriate, and the pacing was smooth. You never felt bored while the Mad Titan searched for a Stone – there was always something going on. There was a great sense of urgency whenever Thanos showed up, and the mood shifted accordingly.

Speaking of big purple boogeymen…

 

Thanos

What the Russo brothers did in this film is even more impressive when you realize the depth they delved into with the big bad villain. If we’re being honest here, Infinity War was really a Thanos movie, not an Avengers one. His arc began and mostly concluded in this one movie. He got his Snappening, and he got his sunset.

Thanos’ introduction hit the mark for me. There’s no better way in the MCU to demonstrate your strength than to beat on the Hulk, and Thanos did it so effortlessly that it instantly established that nobody was going to be safe. It was terrifying, yet entrancing to watch Thanos combine grace and power in such a way Marvel has never experienced. And don’t forget – this was Thanos without using any of the Stones.

Not only was Thanos the perfect warrior, his intelligence, ideals and sentimentality portrayed him as a real person, not a bloodlusted monster. I found myself thinking, “Hey, this Thanos guy actually has a point” on multiple occasions. Thanos seemed to realize a long-term problem that nobody else cared to glance at. He watched his home world of Titan collapse from overpopulation, and his plan of eliminating half the universe theoretically extends the lifespan of life itself.

The problem is, if his goal is to remedy a lack of resources, why not just create more resources? After all, he can destroy half the universe with a single snap. He can also manipulate time, teleport and literally alter reality itself. Why not just poof in a bunch of potatoes or something? It’s like having six people and three chairs, but instead of getting three more chairs, you end up killing half the people.

Yet, this only proves to further develop Thanos’ character. He is so driven by his utterly ignored Titan plan that it blinds him to all other possibilities. Gathering all six Infinity Stones and proving his dead comrades right is all he desires now. It adds a layer of sentimentality to an otherwise purely pragmatic character.

Best Moments

  • Peter Parker’s Death
  • Gamora’s Death
  • Vision’s Death
  • Red Skull Cameo at the Soul Stone
  • Peter Dinklegiant
  • The Snappening

Overall Rating: 9.2/10

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.

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Review – Avengers: Infinity War