Infinity War (Spoilers)
We don’t make it to opening weekend for most movies, but I figured with as much time as I spend online, this would be my only chance of seeing Infinity Wars before stumbling over spoilers.
Speaking of which…spoilers after the cut!
All right, where to start… First off, major props to Marvel for the culmination of ten years of planning and buildup. Infinity War might not have been perfect, but I can’t think of another project that comes close to the scope and ambition of this one.
Now onto Jim’s scattered post-movie thoughts.
Alas, poor Loki. Dammit, man. You’re supposed to be clever. What were you thinking? (I’m just gonna console myself by replaying the moment he tells Thanos, “We have a Hulk.”)
Heimdall dies saving…the Hulk? The leader of Asgard is right there, and you use your power and sacrifice your life sending Bruce Banner home.
Bruce Banner and Scared Hulk. The movie never comes out and says Hulk is afraid after getting trounced by Thanos, but I’m assuming that’s why Bruce can’t transform anymore. Hulk is in many ways a very young child, and I liked the way this played out. Poor Bruce is so flustered and befuddled and overwhelmed. I loved it.
Yay, banter! So glad we still got moments of character humor. Strange and Wong talking about ice cream flavors…
Screw you and the Accords you rode in on! Thank you, Rhodey! (And I loved that the hologram of Ross was noticeably shorter than everyone else.)
Wanda and Vision. One of the things that makes Marvel movies work is that they take the time to lay groundwork and build the story. That never happened with Wanda and Vision, and I found it hard to care about their relationship. It reminded me of the Bruce/Natasha thing from Age of Ultron. It just felt forced.
Thanos and Gamora. This was another relationship that didn’t feel real to me. I don’t think we saw enough of their past to understand how or why they cared about each other. What did Thanos see in Gamora that was so special? Where was the father-daughter dynamic that made Gamora weep when she thought she’d killed him?
Nebula. She didn’t get much screen time, but I liked what they did with her. The torture was rather gruesome, but helped with the Nebula/Gamora dynamic. But the way Nebula escaped, and her arrival to help try to fight Thanos, were great. I like her character more with each movie she’s in.
Thanos. Not the worst Marvel villain, but definitely not the best, either. His motivation just never made much sense. The universe is overpopulated? Um…okay. So hey, you have infinite power now. Why not double the size and resources of the universe instead of killing half the population? Same outcome, right?
Contrast Thanos with Loki or Killmonger. In both of those cases, we see why the characters made the choices they made. We see their pain and anger and ambition. We see the betrayals and the failure. We can understand and sympathize with them, even if we don’t agree. Whereas with Thanos, he’s just…there. Big and purple and powerful and out to kill half the universe because that’s what his character is supposed to do.
Thor’s eye. Thank you, Rabbit! (Loved the Thor/Rocket dynamic.)
Quill, you absolute dumbass. Half the universe died because Starlord decided to punch Thanos in the face instead of waiting a few more seconds for Tony and Peter to get the gauntlet.
Peter Dinklage! I somehow missed that he was in this movie, but I loved his character. That exchange with Thor…
“You’ll be killed!”
“Only if I die.”
Dinklage’s response and expression were absolute perfection.
Okoye, Wanda, and Natasha. I want a movie that’s nothing but these three women teaming up to kick ass and take names.
Bucky and Rocket. Also an acceptable buddy movie for which I would pay all the money.
“Kick names and take ass!” I laughed.
Bruce’s giddiness when Thor arrives for the final battle. I don’t remember his exact words, but it was sweet.
Infinity stones fall, everybody dies. You’d think the death of half the Marvel universe would have more of an emotional impact, but I wasn’t feeling it. Peter Parker fading away, and Tony Stark’s reaction, was probably the strongest. But there was just too much, and it was too obvious at least some of these deaths would be undone in the sequel. Particularly given Dr. Strange’s line about this being the only way.
Which means another thirteen months of waiting to find out who, if anyone, is really dead instead of just “mostly dead.”
I’d be really impressed if they just made Spider-Man 2 and Black Panther 2 about everyone standing around mourning the deaths of Spider-Man and Black Panther… Especially if Shuri gets to be the new Black Panther!
Captain America and Iron Man. I really expected one or both of these characters to die. I’m thinking now that’s probably going to happen in part two.
That post-credits scene. Meh. Yes, I know you’re making a Captain Marvel movie. And it was amusing getting to see Samuel L. Jackson say, “Motherfu–” before getting Voldemorted. But this scene didn’t do much for me.
Overall, it was a big, crowded, busy crossover spectacle. It’s a movie that’s incredibly broad, but at the expense of depth. Good pacing, and a lot of the character moments worked really well, considering how much work those moments had to do. A fun popcorn flick, and an impressive accomplishment nonetheless, though.*
*Okay, yeah, maybe “fun” isn’t the right word…
I’m not thrilled about having to wait thirteen months to finish the story, but there’s just too much for one movie. Heck, this storyline could have easily been a trilogy…it might have been better as a trilogy, really. More time to develop characters and relationships and backstory and so on.
Anyway, that’s my post-Avengers thoughts. What did you think?
April 29, 2018 @ 1:23 pm
I actually liked that almost everyone who poofed were people who are already slated to be in sequels, and the people who stayed are almost all ‘done’ with the franchise in various ways.
It means, to me, that the next movie will be about those left behind sacrificing themselves to rescue the others and undo what the Cosmic Grape did. If it had been Stark and Rogers and the others whose contracts are ‘up’ who died this time, then the next movie would, from a meta-level, be about nothing but revenge since we, the audience, would KNOW that the heroes aren’t going to bring back the people who wont be in any more movies.
Or to put it another way: as my wife and I were leaving the theater, there was a young woman of color who was almost in tears because of T’challa. We stopped and said, “But he’s already green-lit for a sequel. He’ll be back.” She very nearly hugged us for pointing that out.
The things that upset my wife the most were Gamorra (because she wasn’t part of the Hand Wave of Doom) and the Asgardians. I pointed out that at least in the later case, this sets up the possibility for the Reincarnated Asgardians storyline from the comic books… Female Thor, Child Loki, etc etc. I see it as a possible boon: a way to continue the Thor and Loki franchise without involving the very burnt-out Hemsworth and Hiddleston.
Jim C. Hines
April 29, 2018 @ 1:25 pm
Mike – I got the impression that Thanos only killed half the Asgardians?
April 29, 2018 @ 1:46 pm
I agree with you completely on the impact (and permanence) of the deaths. And who I expected to die. You *know* Peter and T’challa are going to be back, so did any of the ones who disintegrated really die? I don’t think so. It didn’t have the emotional impact a real death would have, like Loki and Gamora.
And Peter Dinklage playing a giant dwarf? That was brilliant.
April 29, 2018 @ 2:14 pm
You see the beginning of the Wanda/Vision relationship in Civil War, when he’s tasked with keeping her under house arrest, but also trying to cheer her up (failing at making Paprikash, for example), so that didn’t ring entirely false to me.
Agreed on Quill being a self-centered dumbass.
Our hypothesis is that everyone who died before Thanos did his magic trick will probably come back in the next one. The ones who died before that are probably actually dead (Gamora, Loki, Heimdall, etc.). Not sure whether Vision will come back or not. Maybe Shuri has some magical backup of his brain somewhere from when she was working on disconnecting the stone.
April 29, 2018 @ 2:15 pm
We were theorizing that everyone who died might be in the Soul Infinity stone chilling in an alternate universe (or whatever). We will also be waiting for the “Vision is part stone/part programming/part third thing I forgot” shoe to drop. I kind of expected that his Infinity Stone might get a little uppity since they hinted it was more but maybe that’s movie two’s plotline. Also, the reconciliation of The Hulk will be Movie 2, sadly (hets waiting). More knowledgeable Marvel people than I said canonically Bucky becomes Capt. America (and they have been putting some forshadowing in to that effect) so as sad as I am to lose my favorite Chris, this might be a thing that plays out in Movie 2. Assuming they get Bucky back.
Loved Dinklage as a giant dwarf and loved his lines as well.
April 29, 2018 @ 2:21 pm
You may have been ‘meh’ about Captain Marvel, but I wanted to shout ‘Yes! Finally!’ when her symbol appeared.
I felt more reassured about Gamorra when the child Gamorra appeared in the orange zone (is that the Soul stone effect?). I’m thinking she and those who dissolved will be brought back once Thanos is defeated. Soul stone, Reality stone, Time stone or combinations of those.
Dark as the ending was, I did love all the humor in this.
Jim C. Hines
April 29, 2018 @ 2:24 pm
Kathryn – I’m excited about seeing Captain Marvel. But I didn’t think it added anything to this movie/story, and that’s what I was hoping for.
Eric J. Ehlers
April 29, 2018 @ 2:48 pm
100% with you re: The motivation of Thanos. So again disappointed they abandoned his character’s original motivation — he is in love with the personification of death. And he’s trying to impress her/get her attention. They even poke about it at the end of The Avengers (“To attack them is to court Death” [Thanos grins]) But yeah, i don’t buy him as a guy trying to make things right in a particularly horrific way. Also didn’t buy him as someone who actually loves Gamora beyond a particularly infantile “he loves her” makes it so way.
April 29, 2018 @ 2:53 pm
I thought they foreshadowed Wande and Vis pretty well in Civil War; your mileage may vary…
As for why Heimdahl saved Hulk rather than Thor? It occurred to me this morning that Bruce/Hulk is sent back to be a messenger to Earth–he can be trusted/believed in a way that Thor might not be (especially when he’s in crazed vengeful God mode).
I liked that Loki died trying to do the right thing (except no more Hiddleston, which kinda breaks my heart), but it was Heimdahl’s death that got to me. Cause Heimdahl.
Having had a crush on Peter Dinklage like, forever, his turn as the Giant Dwarf made me very, very happy.
April 29, 2018 @ 3:18 pm
As regards Heimdall saving Hulk – my guess is that people have a connection to their home and thus a dying Heimdall just needed to open a path and give Hulk a nudge to send him home whereas it would have needed more magic/power/intent/time to send Thor anywhere specific.
April 29, 2018 @ 4:38 pm
I know enough about the original comic series to not be too sad about any of the deaths, yet.
April 29, 2018 @ 5:19 pm
Jim: I got the impression that Hela killed the other half, back in Ragnarok.
I could be wrong, but I didn’t see a lot of standing-up folks on board the ship other than Thanos’ minions, Thor, Loki, and Banner.
April 29, 2018 @ 5:21 pm
Kathryn: My wife and I are fairly sure that wasn’t really Gamorra in the “Orange place.” Given the question and answer, it was probably Death.
April 29, 2018 @ 5:47 pm
I can buy that Thanos was so twisted by the failure of his civilization and belief that his plan would have saved them that he’s projecting. (“I was right! I’ll show you! I’ll show you all!” It’s frankly a terrible plan because if you don’t address the underlying causes, the best you’ve done is buy time and those populations will simply repopulate to the same crisis point in no time at all.) I can buy that Gamora’s weeping was a reaction to resolving 20 years of abuse by the self-appointed “father figure” who murdered her people. And I can buy that Thanos is self-absorbed enough to take his interest in Gamora (and pride in what he’s made of her) as love. I don’t know that I’m completely committed to those ideas, but I can run with them.
April 29, 2018 @ 6:11 pm
Heimdall my have sent Hulk away (not the same as saving him) so that he could actually Save Thor, because he knew that Thor needed Stormbreaker.
I was hoping for a scene with Hulk busting out of the Hulk-Buster armor, but that just proves that Banner is the Strongest One There Is!
April 29, 2018 @ 7:05 pm
What was Shuri doing at the last second with the mind stone and vision?
Is the Red Skull released?
Does the next Antman movie deal with any of the fallout from this?
So many questions!
April 29, 2018 @ 10:46 pm
I thought Wanda and Vision were set up just fine in the last one.
Of all the people who poofed, in my theater, Black Panther got the most reaction. And there was a big “oooh!” at the Captain Marvel signal, after the laugh “motherfu…” got.
Thanos’ motivation doesn’t make sense (he couldn’t have just made half the people sterile which would achieve the same thing with a lot less destruction?), but OTOH the dude is cuckoo-bananas so there’s that.
Bruce got a LOT of good lines. “There’s a Spider-Man AND an Ant-Man?”
April 30, 2018 @ 9:53 am
“It reminded me of the Bruce/Natasha thing from Age of Ultron.”
Speaking of which, I got a serious Chekov’s Gun vibe from that Look they exchanged when they saw each other for the first time after Cap & Crew came back. I don’t like the relationship, because it diminishes Natasha, but if you’re gonna remind us of it, DO SOMETHING.
May 2, 2018 @ 1:37 pm
So again disappointed they abandoned his character’s original motivation — he is in love with the personification of death. And he’s trying to impress her/get her attention.
Whereas I would have found that motivation completely uninteresting. The personification of death isn’t a character to me (not in this story, anyway), so a villain whose emotional energy is being directed into what amounts to a narrative void? Meh.
As for why he didn’t just double the size of the universe . . . well, it has the same problem as his solution and sterilizing half the population, which is that you’re just kicking the can down the road. Sentient species will continue to breed and expand and sooner or later you’ll run up against the same barriers. But I don’t expect perfect logical reasoning, and I buy that Thanos would decide this is the right solution even as I go “really? You just leap straight to ‘genocide’ as the best answer?”
May 13, 2018 @ 3:18 pm
Didn’t have a problem with Vizh/Scarlet Witch. Of course I was a fan of their Bronze Age/1980s romance before John Byrne undid it, so I don’t need as much to accept it.
I presume Thanos’ motive is to make him sort-of not completely evil–he’s a hero in his own mind, rather than doing everything to impress a woman.
My biggest problem was that Thanos could easily have taken out the Avengers in the big fight just with the reality stone. So there’s no purpose other than having a big fight to not doing it. That was annoying. And as I think someone said earlier in the thread, it’s unclear why he can’t erase 50 percent of the universe with just the reality stone (his intention to make himself unto a god in the MU makes more sense).