I’ve been meaning to write something up regarding Infinity War for quite a while, but I just never got around to it. I’ve seen it twice now and I feel like it’s about time that I let my thoughts loose about the movie itself and some of the contentious reviews surrounding it. As always, everyone is entitled to their opinions about whether something is good or bad, but in many of the reviews I’ve read, their issues don’t seem to stem from the movie itself, but rather what they know to be true of the world outside the MCU.
Hopefully you’ve seen the movie, and have had some time to reflect on the huge ending where the bad guy wins. Thanos walks away from battle having completed his mission and our heroes are left dealing with the dust of their fallen friends and what that means. Nothing encapsulates the shock of this more than the battle on Titan between Iron Man, most of the Guardians, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange. It’s when Peter Quill looks blown away and asks, “Did we just lose?!” It’s such a fast but important line. Heroes don’t lose. They never let the bad guy get the best of them, but this time it happened. It’s almost like he’s channeling the feelings of the audience when we watched it happen.
After this its only a few short steps to his victory, despite all of the remaining Avengers doing everything they can to stop him, including sacrificing one of their own. Despite Cap’s warnings that “We don’t trade lives,” Wanda has to destroy the mind stone and Vision along with it. That was super tragic for me. We didn’t have much time to believe in their love story, but it was enough. I saw everything I needed to see in their eyes while she was using her witch powers to overload the mind stone. It’s a testament to both Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen’s acting ability that they didn’t have to say much of a word for you to pick up on their feelings. Even more tragic, after the deed is done, Thanos wakes him up to do it all over again, albeit with far less fanfare. He just plucks the stone from vision’s forehead.
Now we get to the part that’s so contentious among reviewers. The dust. Half the universe is snuffed out with a snap of the Mad Titan’s fingers, and some of those are the Avengers. Black Panther, Spider-Man, Bucky, Wanda, Doctor Strange, and all of the Guardians but Rocket to name a few. To me, this whole sequence was heartbreaking. Watching these heroes see their friends disappear. The tears started welling up when Bucky looks to Steve and just asks, “Steve?” in such a quiet way. He just fades off. But the waterworks really started going when Spider-Man, who is JUST A KID, begs Tony Stark not to let him go. I died inside. Heck, it gets me thinking of it now.
This scene was masterfully done. There’s no music. There’s just a faint windy sound when someone turns to ash. No musical score could have done it justice and the creators new that. They just let you sit in silence with it. It was haunting. It was maybe the best choice they made in the whole movie. We didn’t need music. Everything we needed was up on the screen.
This whole event has left people with one of two opinions: The movie was awesome, or there are no real stakes because the heroes are going ot be back. People have reviewed this movie with the knowledge that, yes, there will be sequels to the film. Yes, the heroes will most definitely be back. They are simply not letting the movie stand on its own as a story. They’re letting the meta into their brain and judging one of the most powerful moments in the MCU by the Disney production schedule. To me, this is a huge mistake. I saw it said in one article I read that, “You don’t make people sad by showing them something sad. You make them sad by showing them someone being sad.” I couldn’t agree with that more. I wans’t crushed because Spider-Man disappeared. I was crushed becasue Tony was crushed. He had no words. To him, this is a huge disaster and one that he takes full responsibility for. He gave Spidey the suit. He brought him into this. It’s all on him. I felt that for a few minutes and it broke me down.
I can’t figure out how you could look at this stuff and go, “oh well. There are going to be more.” Yes, but that’s not the point. I think the critics who reviewed this movie should just take a step back and consider it without the upcoming slate of Marvel movies lingering. Take it at face value for what it is and look at what these heroes just went through. We’ve never watched a super hero movie where they all end confused. It’s always a win, and this time they didn’t get it. How do you get up and keep fighting after that? We know they will, because, let’s be serious, Captain America is in the mix. He never stops. “I could do this all day.”
I thought this was just worth getting out there. It’s just my opinion but I feel pretty strongly about it. I’m excited to see how this all concludes next year, and I’m excited for where we go from here.