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Avengers: Infinity War; Let's talk

Avengers infinity war movie review

Avengers: Infinity war is the biggest comic book movie of all time i.e. nothing of this scale has even been attempted by any studio ever before and Marvel truly did a marvelous job with it. The movie delivers on the promise. 

Avengers: Infinity War is the 19th movie in the Marvel cinematic universe and marks the 10 year anniversary of Marvel Studios. On May 1st, 2008, Iron Man - the first MCU movie was released and nobody thought one day this universe would expand into something this phenomenal. Infinity war is not just any other comic book movie; it is the culmination (or beginning of the culmination) of ten years of Marvel’s stories. Everything that has ever happened before impacts the story of this movie in one way or the other. Every Marvel movie has a 3-act story, every phase of Marvel has an overarching story that usually culminates in the Avengers movie of that phase and the first three phases of Marvel collectively have an overarching story (of Infinity stones) that culminates in Avengers Infinity War. This puts Infinity war in a unique position. 

For Infinity war, Marvel was at a place where they had tens of well-developed characters. [Read: The History of Marvel] This means that they had to spend absolutely zero time in explaining to the audience who a particular character was and also they had to spend very little time in character development. This allowed them to jump right into the action and the actual story of the movie which is the story of Thanos collecting all six Infinity stones to do what he thinks is right. Right off the bat, you see Hulk fighting Thanos, then Cull Obsidian and Ebony Maw fighting Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, and Spiderman. The movie is in tenth gear from the very first scene and never lets your focus go astray. 

At the same time though, this unique position comes with its drawbacks. Infinity war has to deal with the stories of 18 Marvel movies that came prior to it i.e. there is no way it can be a self-contained independent film. It has to deal with the baggage of the previous movies. It has to act as a sequel to at least five different movies. It has to pick characters from exactly where previous movies left them. It has to maintain the respective tone of characters. Doctor Strange has a different tone than Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy has a different tone than the Avengers. When you’re bringing all these different characters in one movie, that movie can’t remain independent and have its own different tone. It has to do justice to each character and their tone. This is the reason why Avengers Infinity war has to change its tone from scene to scene which results in choppy transitions. However, this could be avoided if you just stop thinking of Infinity war as an Avengers movie and start thinking of it as a Thanos movie. It makes much more sense to call it a Thanos Heist movie. Once you do that, the story doesn’t look messy at all. From the very first scene to the very last, it’s all about how and why Thanos acquires all the Infinity Stones. 

Let’s talk about Thanos. For this movie to work, it was very important that Thanos be believable. Studios in past have done OP Villains and have failed. Apocalypse was a disaster and so was Steppenwolf. Marvel, however, did a wonderful job with Thanos. He owned all the scenes he was in. Every hero felt helpless in front of him. Tony looked scared af all the time, Hulk was so scared he wouldn’t even come out and so was the case with everyone else. Only people who could even hold him back a little were Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, and Thor. In the first five minutes, he showed everyone who the boss is i.e. to say that in terms of powers, Thanos was petrifying. CG on Thanos is near perfect, Josh Brolin’s performance as Thanos won him many accolades but a compelling motivation is the heart of a successful villain. I’m so glad they changed his backstory from comics where he’s mainly an evil character. In the movie, he has a philosophy (definitely debatable) that since the universe has finite resources, life needs to be put in check; it needs to be corrected once in a while. He wants to destroy half the life in the universe so that the other half can have enough resources to carry on. His philosophy did prove right when he destroyed half the life on Gamora’s homeworld. Post that, as he says, no child has seen an empty stomach in a long while. Also, because he was unable to destroy half the life on his planet - Titan, it went on and faced extinction. 

A villain that believes he is doing what he’s doing for the greater good of the Universe and one who believes that everyone knows he’s right but lacks the will to do what needs to be done makes him a really terrifying villain. He has the conviction so much so that he sacrifices *his favorite daughter Gamora* in order to acquire the Soul Stone. [Sidenote: When Russo brothers had said that they will tie a lot of loose ends from the previous films, the first thing that came to my mind was Red Skull. Red Skull cameo was just fantastic.] He would be thinking of himself as a father who can’t let his children eat a lot of chocolates. Also, many times it feels that he is holding back when he is fighting our heroes like he could have easily used Power stone to knock practically anyone out. After all, isn’t power stone supposed to destroy planets in seconds? Who’s Steve Rogers or Tony Stark in front of that? I think, him holding back ties into his philosophy. He is a titan on a mission. He wants to collect all six infinity stones, snaps his fingers and be done with it. He is just looking to bypass our heroes and accomplish his goal. He doesn’t want to kill anyone. There are even instances when he sees them with respect like when he tells Tony Stark that he respects him (for fighting for what he believes in) and later to Wanda that he understands why she would do that (destroying Mind stone along with Vision). He understands the heroes and sympathizes with them but he has to do what’s good for everyone. This makes him a very compelling and terrifying villain. Talking about Villains, I was happy to see that Thanos’s Black order was not too OP because then we’d have an OP Villain with six infinity stones and his four OP henchmen. It would just have been too much to handle storywise. In my opinion, this is the best way Russo’s could have done Thanos or should I say out of 14 million different versions of Thanos, this was the only one that could have worked.

Infinity war also excels in teaming up characters that work well together and balance their powers with the threat they are facing. For instance, heroes that end up in Wakanda are mostly ones with raw strength like Captain America, Black Panther, the White wolf, Falcon and so on. They fight meat shields in the form of Outriders and also Black order members like Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive who are not mystical but just strong. On the other end, we have Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, Mantis, Star-Lord etc who lack raw strength but have a lot of *tricks up their sleeve* be it technological or mystical. They fight Ebony Maw at first and then Thanos and try to remove the Gauntlet off of his hand [Side note: My favorite action sequence]. Infinity War as a story achieves a feat that most superhero movies (read Justice League) fail to achieve; giving everyone something to do in the story. They shouldn't be just around. Every character needs to fit in and in Infinity War they all fit in. Also, Infinity War gives each of its myriad characters a moment to shine.

Avengers: Infinity war apart from the grand spectacle wins people over by giving them wonderful character moments and humor that lands. The scene at the sanctum between Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner and Wong, the scene between Avengers and Guardians on Titan when they are planning on how to defeat Thanos, the scene when Thor meets Guardians or when Bruce Banner bows to Black Panther or when Spiderman greets Doctor Strange are some of the best moments in the movie. They all work perfectly fine. Apart from that, there was a lot of humor and most of it landed. Except for Thor and Captain America’s beard joke, they all worked for me. 

Avengers broke up Bruce, we are a toast.
Broke up? Like a band, like the Beatles?
 
*how ridiculous Civil War looks to a third party*

This movie is so fantastic that it makes you laugh hysterically and makes you cry hysterically. Every emotion that one could possibly have, one will have while watching this movie. It shocks you, gives you hope, destroys that hope, makes you care, makes you laugh, makes you anxious, makes you cry, makes you mourn. In fact, this movie has some of the most emotionally charged scenes in all of MCU like when Tony Stark almost dies or when Loki is killed or when Gamora is sacrificed, or when Star-Lord pulls the trigger on Gamora or when Scarlet Witch destroys the Mind Stone. Out of all though, the most emotionally charged scene is when Spiderman tells Tony in the end that he doesn’t want to go. You realize that this is probably the first time that 15 yo Peter Parker understood the gravity of the situation. 

Talking about the end, no Marvel movie or in fact no comic book movie has a bleaker ending. Is it a cliffhanger? Sure, yes but not if you see it as a story of Thanos. A titan on a mission accomplishes it in the end. That is a complete story. The ending also allows Russo brothers to decrease the number of characters to work with in Avengers 4 thereby making their jobs easier. ;) Interestingly, the characters that remained are our OG team members - the original Avengers. When Avengers 4 begins, it would be the original Avengers vs Thanos - one last glory before some (or one) of them bids farewell to MCU forever. 

The story works great, the humor lands, the villain is done right, action sequences are amazing, character interactions are phenomenal and it goes without saying that acting in the movie is done on point after all Marvel has some of the best actors in the bag.

The Flabbergasted Indian rates Avengers: Infinity war A+

Bonus Talk: I know for certain that in order for them to eventually win, Tony Stark had to survive. 
How do I know for certain, you ask. Because

We see four pairs were involved in making a difficult decision regarding the fate of Infinity stones.
1. Thanos & Gamora
2. Scarlet Witch & Vision
3. Star-Lord and Gamora
4. Doctor Strange and Tony Stark 

Thanos sacrifices Gamora because he has to have the Soul Stone. Scarlet Witch who is in love with Vision destroys the Mind stone along with Vision because there is no way she can let Thanos have it. Star-Lord pulls the trigger on Gamora because of a promise he made to Gamora and Gamora had him make that promise because there is no way she can let Thanos have the Soul Stone.

So, here we have people who absolutely love each other put Infinity Stone above the person they love and then Doctor Strange gives it up for Tony Stark? That makes zero sense unless Tony Stark is the key to defeating Thanos and him surviving was bigger than Thanos getting the Time Stone. What do you think? Comment below.

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