Avengers: Infinity War movie review: it’s all been leading to this

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Avengers Infinity War green light

MaryAnn’s quick take…

Ten years of Marvel superheroism culminates in a battle for the universe itself. Exhausting, bitterly humorous, and gripped in a stunning finality, it’s almost too much to take in, yet somehow not enough.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): big MCU fan
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
women’s participation in this film
male director, male screenwriter, male protagonist
(learn more about this)

Previously on The Avengers:

Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s The Avengers (aka Avengers Assemble), Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther.

Ten years and 18 Marvel movies; 19 now, with the arrival of Avengers: Infinity War. This must surely be the most remarkable movie series in history, at least since the time when film was the TV of its day and moviegoers got endless installments of Sherlock Holmes fighting Nazis and Charlie Chan solving mysteries. Except the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been one big interconnected story: sprawling, yet also economical, with the chapters and multimovie threads standing pretty much on their own while also sending tendrils out to take root in others. And how they finally come together here… *whew.* It’s almost too much to take in, yet somehow not enough at the same time. I’m not ready to see this story end.

This many faces on a movie poster almost feels like a joke...
This many faces on a movie poster almost feels like a joke…

Infinity War is to the decade of MCU storytelling what huge-ass battle finales are to the modern comic-book movie. A single movie may end with 20, 30, or 40 minutes of random mass urban carnage caused by CGI heroes and villains punching one another. Ten years of story gets ya two and a half hours of smash-crash-bash ranging across multiple locales on Earth and multiple planets out in the wider galaxy. Now, Infinity War does not fall prey to the problems that have made some of those big battles tiresome, such as forcing the plot to come to a standstill: the series of interrelated and escalating fights is the plot, anyway. And more importantly, complex and compelling characters don’t take a back seat to the action. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, returning from two of the three Captain America movies, treat the many fight sequences with clarity and originality. We never feel like we’ve seen these huge-ass final battles before. But this may still feel like a slog to anyone who is tired of how this has come to dominate the subgenre, because there’s not much else going on here.

Then, too, there’s an almost a grueling number of characters to keep track of; sometimes it takes forever for the movie to get back to a thread you were particularly intrigued by; other times you’ve completely forgotten someone else was left hanging (sometimes literally) until the movie jumps back to him (or, very more rarely, her). It’s not everyone we’ve ever met in the MCU — there are some notable absences — but it might as well be. Still, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who’ve written or contributed to the scripts for a bunch of MCU flicks, manage to advance the tales of a few of the most beloved of them, mostly Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr: The Judge, Chef), Thor (Chris Hemsworth: 12 Strong, Ghostbusters), and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans: Snowpiercer, What’s Your Number?). Gamora (Zoe Saldana: I Kill Giants, Live by Night) gets a meaty chunk of story, too, though it might feel that way only because she has not been a character explored in much depth before, so there’s lots to learn about her. And also because it is through her and her connection to the villain, Thanos (CGI’d Josh Brolin: Only the Brave, Hail, Caesar!), that we begin to understand how enormous a task the Avengers and friends are facing this time out.

Gamora gets a meaty chunk of story, though it might feel that way only because she has not been a character explored in much depth before.
tweet

“It’s not overselling it to say that the fate of the universe is at stake,” Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch: Zoolander 2, Black Mass). It seems than Thanos, your basic run-of-the-mill alien madman, is trying to collect the six Infinity Stones, “elemental crystals” leftover from the birth of the universe, which, when gathered together, will allow him to perform evil on a scale previously unknown in the cosmos. Worse, he thinks the evil he wants to do is a mercy. He must be stopped, natch.

Many exciting interstellar venues and planets are visited in this movie; my favorite might be the badass dying-star-powered forge that Thor drops in on in the hopes of getting a replacement for his lost hammer, Mjolnir. But two of these Infinity Stones are on Earth, so our poor planet is a draw for bad guys once again. Apparently these Infinity Stones have been lying around in plain sight! One was in the Tesseract, which has been all over the MCU, including lately in the possession of Loki (Tom Hiddleston: Early Man, Kong: Skull Island); one is in the forehead of Vision (Paul Bettany: Journey’s End, Legend), helping to power the android AI’s personality; another is in Strange’s keeping, and fuels his magic. Did we know that these objects were even more than what they appeared to be? I can’t remember. Infinity War has given me a little satisfied tickle of “aha! that’s how it all fits together!” but that might be just because, while I’ve seen all these movies, some more than once, I haven’t studied them.

Star-Lord’s crew decide that Thor is a “pirate-angel,” and OMG yes.
Star-Lord’s crew decide that Thor is a “pirate-angel,” and OMG yes.

That might be the sweet spot from which Infinity War is best appreciated, the one between being a complete Marvel neophyte and being too overindulging a fan of these movies, too steeped in the minutiae of their lore, and in that of the comics behind them. I cannot imagine how anyone who hasn’t seen most of the 18 previous movies will find any kind of foothold here from which to appreciate anything that’s happening or any of the people it’s happening to. Never mind missing some of the fun nuances that comes with realizing that, holy crap, so many of the characters here are suffering from major daddy issues — Stark, Thor, Gamora, Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt: Passengers, The Magnificent Seven) — while Thanos is serving as a sort of ultimate stern father to a cosmos that, he believes, has been very naughty and thoughtless, like a child. But without all the backstory of mostly traumatizing experiences almost everyone here has been through, the humor that wends through the movie might come across as unseemly, what with the fate of the universe at stake and everything, rather than a bitter coping mechanism for all these damaged heroes. On the other, I’m sure I can’t even imagine all the inconsistencies and incongruities that have popped up across all of these movies, and I’m glad my head was not full of them as I sat with Infinity War. It’s more than enough for me to have noted that Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland: Pilgrimage, The Lost City of Z) appears to have jumped back in time from the events of his standalone movie, which seems to have been set a good few years after the events here.

From my middle ground — not too geeky, not too mundane — the superhero orgy of Infinity War was a whole lotta just right. And I include in that how it exhausted me, and ultimately how it stunned me. The MCU has been no stranger to darkness, but the darkness here has a depth and a horror that rattled me like the MCU never has before. Yes, there’s another (last?) Avengers movie coming next year, but there’s a finality to this one that, I suspect, will be difficult to dispel.



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Jim Mann
Jim Mann
Fri, Apr 27, 2018 12:32pm

“And I include in that how it exhausted me, and ultimately how it stunned me. The MCU has been no stranger to darkness, but the darkness here has a depth and a horror that rattled me like the MCU never has before.”

That sums up my reaction pretty well also. I found myself thinking about it as I tried to fall asleep last night, and waking up a few times during the night still thinking about how much it rattled me.

Jonathan Roth
Jonathan Roth
Fri, Apr 27, 2018 7:15pm

Awesome. I’m in the same boat regarding the comics; as a kid I liked superhero cartoons, but not the comic books. Comic books had too much history, too many cooks in the kitchen, too many crossovers and events. I had friends who gushed about the Infinity Gauntlet arc in Jr. High, but I never really cared about it myself.

Very excited to see this now!

gps1138
gps1138
Sat, Apr 28, 2018 2:39am

Stunned. That is exactly how I feel. I really need some time to process.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Sat, Apr 28, 2018 6:28pm

It’s enjoyable. And I will say this: it captures the feeling of a Marvel Comics cross-over “Event”. That is too say, it’s an unruly mess, which spends too much time justifying its own existence, and time staging pitched battles. It’s interested in how the characters respond physically, not in how they respond emotionally or intellectually.But I was never bored, even if I also quickly got past worrying about who would live and who would die.

This is a great statement, MaryAnn:

It seems than Thanos, your basic run-of-the-mill alien madman, is trying to collect the six Infinity Stones, “elemental crystals” leftover from the birth of the universe, which, when gathered together, will allow him to perform evil on a scale previously unknown in the cosmos. Worse, he thinks the evil he wants to do is a mercy. He must be stopped, natch.

There, now we understand. And yet, the movie spends easily 40 minutes of its 160 minute runtime explaining this to us, in exhausting (but never really compelling) detail.

On the other hand, I didn’t feel any “finality”. Setting aside that both sides are fighting over an artifact imbued with the ability to reshape reality, the filmmakers badly tipped their hand in their choices of casualties and survivors.

Allen W
Allen W
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 2:50am

MaryAnn,
I’m puzzled why you think Peter Parker’s timeline is off. Both his relationship with his friend, and Tony’s relationship with Pepper, are exactly where I’d expect them to be a little while after Homecoming.

David_Conner
David_Conner
reply to  Allen W
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 2:52pm

I agree. Having read this review, I specifically looked for inconsistencies regarding Spider-Man, but didn’t spot anything.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Allen W
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 10:58pm

Probably, since as she said she hasn’t studied the MCU, she’d just forgotten the last shot of Homecoming when Peter gets the regular “Karen” spidersuit back form Stark (and May yells “WHAT THE F-“). I’m guilty of studying the MCU, and have seen Homecoming 3 times, and I’d forgotten that scene as well (despite May’s exclamation). The scene where Peter refuses the “Iron” spidersuit is much more memorable.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Allen W
Tue, May 08, 2018 7:43pm

But “a little while after Homecoming” should be in the year 2020 or 2021. Homecoming explicitly states that its events are occurring eight years after the Battle of New York, which took place in 2012.

Allen W
Allen W
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, May 08, 2018 7:51pm

A fair point. It looks like the general consensus is “Homecoming got the date wrong.”

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Allen W
Tue, May 08, 2018 7:53pm

Yeah, it seems like Homecoming just threw the timeline out of whack.

https://www.polygon.com/2018/4/30/17302474/avengers-infinity-war-spider-man-homecoming-timeline

Bluejay
Bluejay
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 4:43am

MAJOR SPOILERS

Just got out from seeing it. Wow, it’s a lot. I enjoyed it, as I’ve invested time with all these characters and enjoy spending time with them; lots of cute/hilarious little dialogue bits, too many to name here.

The main thing that irritated/saddened me, though, is that I wasn’t as impacted by all the deaths as I was hoping to be (and as I’m sure the film hoped I would be). Maybe it’s because I know that comic book movies, like their source material, have played so fast and loose with character deaths and resurrections that no death ever really feels FINAL anymore. And it’s sort of giving the game away when you know that some supposedly “dead” actors still have several movies in their contract, or that the sequels to their individual (and extremely popular and lucrative) franchises have already been announced. Really, they want me to gasp and feel terrible that Spider-Man and Black Panther and practically all the Guardians got “killed”? Really?

Also pissed me off: the seemingly exceptionally high body count for black characters. Including, and especially, Gamora’s EPIC fridging. What the hell.

The general deception around the film is irritating too, now that I think of it. The directors went around giving interviews assuring us that this wasn’t a “Part I” and “Part II” situation (they even pointedly removed the original “Part I/Part II” subtitles), that Avengers 3 and 4 were two separate, self-contained movies, that they weren’t comfortable just telling an overlong story and cutting it in half. When that’s pretty clearly EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID.

And this epic slo-mo hero shot from the trailer now annoys me, because it never happens in the film. (For one thing, Bruce never turned into the Hulk for this battle.) Another deception, and a waste of a fantastic shot.

A thought re: Thanos: If you obtain the power to essentially remake the universe however you want it to be, and you think it can’t sustain the amount of life currently in it… Why not increase food production, or turn dead worlds into living ones, or create new worlds for people to live on?

I gotta say, I loved that post-credits scene. I can’t wait for Brie Larson to come kick ass and fix everything.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Bluejay
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 1:21pm

SPOILERS
.
.
.
If people think this is a stand-alone movie, it may be the first Marvel film to become a hit with people who hate super-heroes. Once spoilers leak out, people will say, “Oh, all the super-heroes die or get beaten to a pulp? I’ll pay to see that!”

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  Bluejay
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 6:42pm

Good points, it also irked me that the girls and boys split up in the Wakanda fight – it happens a lot in action movies (good girl fights bad girl sidekick while male character fights head villain), hopefully Danvers will be an equal opportunity ass kicker. I liked how they they handled Scarlet Witch for the most part, but I still don’t understand exactly what the heck her powers are or aren’t.

Also, assuming population growth is reasonably constant across the universe, it takes roughly 60 years for the population to double. Thanos, my dude, you’re at least a thousand years old and you’ve spent a significant chunk of that time trying to get the ultimate power in the universe. Everything you worked so hard to accomplish will be undone in less than a single human lifespan. I guess he can just make a new gauntlet every few decades, but it just seems like a lot of extra hassle to me.

That’s problem with human writers dreaming up applications for godly powers – they think in human terms – emotionally effective for humans of course, but logically absurd. To be fair – religious myths have this problem too which hasn’t hindered their successful transmission, and from a narrative perspective, I understand that if Thanos killed 99% of life, no one would be left to fight him in Avengers 4. As much as I would love to see Howard the Duck or Squirrel Girl take out Thanos single-handedly, it probably wouldn’t go over too well with most fans.

I am curious to see how the events at the end will be neatly cleaned up in Avengers 4, and I’m even more hyped to see Captain Marvel. No other Marvel movie has left me this hungry to know what happens next. Ironman 1 and Black Panther are still the best origin stories in the MCU, but when it comes to ensemble movies, this is my new favorite. It’s admirably relentless.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Bluejay
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 9:59pm

Re: the impact of death in Infinity War
For me it was more the latter reason than the former. Problems from the former could have been mitigated if the script didn’t run head-first into the problems of the latter.
Also, the script relies so much on portraying fundamental outlines of the characters in order to keep the plot moving, that it almost feels like we’re watching alternate versions of these characters. Tony and Thor are the only ones who avoid this, but only just barely, and even then they both survive. Along with the rest of the original Avengers, which goes to the previous issue.
I also think the pacing of death was off. Two characters die in the opening scene (well, one dies, the other is Loki) and then it’s a good 90 minutes before Gamora’s death. And then everyone else survives until the closing minutes. Pacing it like an Irwin Allen bloodbath would have helped maintain the tension and kept the stakes raised. But even still, killing Spidey, Strange and T’Challa while letting Tony, Thor, and Rogers live really tipped it off.

Paul Wartenberg
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 4:20pm

Spock: “Remember…”
Strange: “Tony… this was the only way…”

Paul Wartenberg
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 4:21pm

rule of comic book deaths: only Bruce’s parents and Uncle Ben don’t come back.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  Paul Wartenberg
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 6:18pm

SPOILERS

rule of comic book deaths: only Bruce’s parents, Gwen Stacey, and Uncle Ben don’t come back.

There. I fixed it for you.

Paul Wartenberg
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 8:05pm

Spider-Gwen is real.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  Paul Wartenberg
Mon, Apr 30, 2018 4:36am

Oh. My bad.

Edited to Add:

Then what was the point…

Oh, never mind!

* Slams head repeatedly on desk. *

That’s probably better than any response I could expect to get from the MCU.

Allen W
Allen W
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Mon, Apr 30, 2018 2:16pm

I *think* Spider-Gwen is from an alternate timeline, which I wouldn’t count as “coming back”. YMMV.

Hallah
Hallah
reply to  Allen W
Mon, Apr 30, 2018 10:57pm

Spider-Gwen is an alternate, but 616-Gwen also came back, sort of, briefly, and then… died again? I think? There were also clone Gwens in that plotline, because arrrgh, comics.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Hallah
Mon, Apr 30, 2018 11:40pm

Uncle Ben and Bruce’s parents also came back and also went away. If you publish a comic book for 50 or 80 years, after a while you see every possible plotline, like on those long-running soap operas where every character has slept with every other character. Or maybe the writers saw it as a personal challenge: “Everyone says it can’t be done, but they didn’t count on me!

Tonio Kruger
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 6:57pm

Thanos, your basic run-of-the-mill alien madman

Actually, he reminds me more than a little of Darkseid, the superhuman alien villain that the late Jack Kirby created for DC. But I’m guessing the good folks at Marvel would not be all that amused if we start referring to him as Not-Darkseid.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Apr 30, 2018 4:40am

Heh. I should have expected that.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Mon, Apr 30, 2018 1:01pm

Of course, Marvel brought him to the screen first. Whenever Darkseid shows up in the DC movies, people will refer to him as Not-Thanos.

Beowulf
Beowulf
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 8:03pm

Not interested in seeing this concoction. As for “deaths,” just see who is signed for future movies. The Wolf, man.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Sun, Apr 29, 2018 10:09pm

realizing that, holy crap, so many of the characters here are suffering from major daddy issues

So, Youtuber Lindsay Ellis, who has a great appreciation for GotG2 due to how it echoed for her issues in her relationship with her own late father, tweeted that she was “embarrassed for you, [Infinity War], for trying to go there with disappointing dads after Guardians 2.” I observed, and will repeat here that “Disappointing Dads” is the plot, sub-plot, or sub-text of every phase 3 MCU movie. (In phase 1 it was “What, whadaya mean I’,m the hero”; phase 2 was “Oh shit, I totally made this bad guy, didn’t I?”)

Tonio Kruger
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Apr 30, 2018 4:53am

You know you’re old when you come across an online discussion of daddy issues in recent movies and not one person bothers to mention Steven Spielberg…

Then again it’s only been seven hours.

MarkyD
Mon, Apr 30, 2018 8:18pm

I basically come at these from the same angle as you, MAJ. Right in the middle. It allows me to enjoy them that much more. Plus, my expectations for this were not crazy high, so I ended up quite happy with it.

Is it perfect? Of course not. But there’s just something about this damn movie that clicked for me. It turned out so much better than it had a any right to be. I was concerned from the very first announcement of it. I purposely avoided trailers and
commercials. I just couldn’t see it how they could make it work, despite Marvel almost always doing so.
The key here is Thanos. He’s a curious character. Yes, at first he seems
like the typical evil bad guy who wants to rule the world, but his motive is slightly different, which ends up being a
key point in making him an interesting villain. Of course, the action
scenes with him are insane, especially towards the end.
The relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker makes me feel I
need to see Homecoming. They provided some of the movies best moments.

I was surprised at the importance of some of the non core group, and how much screen time they got, like Doctor Strange.

As far as the huge ensemble of heroes goes, they are used in different
scenarios, and it works. Although a few are lost in the jumble, and some
of the favorites just end up mixed up in giant battles and a tad
wasted.

The filming of these movies has to be an absolute cluster. I commend the Russo brothers for pulling it off as well as they did.
We are definitely left wanting more after this. Big time. The movie ends in a rather dark place, and I find that refreshing.

Dent
Dent
Wed, May 02, 2018 4:19pm

Spoiler below.
comment image

Rod Ribeiro
Rod Ribeiro
Sat, May 05, 2018 10:56pm

I was dragged into it by my teen. I had seen Iron Man 1, Black Panther and that was it. I was befuddled by the sheer number of characters and the constant battling without much context eventually made me fall asleep. I couldn’t care less, even about Iron Man and Black Panther, as there’s zero development of the good guys here. And I guess I’m “biast” because, in the battle between deontology and utilitarianism, I find the latter much more convincing — and I absolutely hate to see it as misrepresented as it is here in Thanos.

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  Rod Ribeiro
Sun, May 06, 2018 4:12am

I agree that there isn’t much character development (the filmmakers are assuming that most viewers have some kind of emotional connection to them already) but considering the sheer size of the cast, they fact they they squeezed in any at all was impressive to me.

When it comes to utilitarianism, in the classic trolley problem, would you be in favor of pushing one person in front of the trolley to save the other five? If an autonomous car approaching an obstacle had the option of swerving left and killing a woman and her infant child, or not swerving and killing only you, the sole occupant of the car, which option would you program? Should a person commit suicide if, via organ donation, they can save and significantly extend the lives of four other people?

Three very different, unrealistic, artificial scenarios or course, but I just toss them out to show that there seems to be a point at which one’s emotional response overrides most logical utilitarian arguments. If Thanos was able to make people disappear completely from existence including from the memories of everyone who knew them so that no mental pain or suffering was caused, would you be more inclined to support his plan? It would definitely increase overall happiness and well being in the universe on a per/capita basis, but the gross amount of happiness would decrease.

I generally agree with you that it’s better in theory to lean toward relatively unbiased, utilitarianism when making decisions that affect large groups of people, but in practice it always gets very messy. It seems as though any attempt to escape arbitrary social rules via utilitarianism eventually runs smack into a set of somewhat biased and arbitrary social rules that must be implemented in order to measure and compare the utility of different groups of people.

Rod Ribeiro
Rod Ribeiro
reply to  amanohyo
Mon, May 07, 2018 3:22am

When it comes to utilitarianism, in the classic trolley problem, would you be in favor of pushing one person in front of the trolley to save the other five? […] Should a person commit suicide if, via organ donation, they can save and significantly extend the lives of four other people?

Those are problems for act utilitarians, which I am not. Rule utilitarianism would state that in the long run we wouldn’t be happy in a society where people are used to save lives against their will.

If an autonomous car approaching an obstacle had the option of swerving left and killing a woman and her infant child, or not swerving and killing only you, the sole occupant of the car, which option would you program?

I’d save myself, even if morally wrong. Utilitarians do selfish stuff too, same as deontologists fail to fulfill all duties.

Three very different, unrealistic, artificial scenarios or course […]

I could ask you stuff like: would you rat a hidden jew to a Nazi because lying is wrong?

there seems to be a point at which one’s emotional response overrides most logical utilitarian arguments

Same goes for deontology. “We don’t trade lives” seems right at first. Oh, I’d never torture an innocent child (or have a robot torture her, to make the argument less psychological) to save 100 people. Ok, how about 1,000? How about 1,000,000? 100,000,000? You surely must be thinking about it, it’s 5x NYC. Would you NOT torture the child to save, say, 6.5 billion people?

(*** spoiler ***)

When Red Face wanted to destroy the stone, even if he died, that was obviously the right choice.

If Thanos was able to make people disappear completely from existence including from the memories of everyone who knew them so that no mental pain or suffering was caused, would you be more inclined to support his plan?

Yeah, my problem with Thanos’ plan wasn’t even that. It was randomness. If you’re inflicting that much suffering, making it a coin toss just seems wrong to me.

A cold-hearted utilitarian should seek to eliminate those who contribute the least to overall happiness. Biologically, that would mean something like eugenics, probably. Nasty stuff. But socially, in the words of philosopher Steven Tyler, “eat the rich”.

(Curiously, John Stuart Mill foresaw the potential problems with overpopulation from an utilitarian point of view in the late 19th Century. His conclusion was that we don’t want to live in a society that lets population outpace resources. Well, too bad we didn’t listen to him sooner. Or, at all.)

(*** major spoiler ***)
As much as I think social commentary on overpopulation could be better, Thanos following utilitarianism correctly would of course negate the ending — which I liked, btw — because: who in their right mind would kill superheroes because of overpopulation?

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Rod Ribeiro
Sun, May 06, 2018 5:26pm

No, this isn’t going to be a movie for those disengaged from the MCU series. It’s positioned from an assumption that the audience already knows everything they need to know about the “heroes”. It plays out mostly as Thanos’s movie, as we follow along with everything he has to do to get hold of (most of) the stones. But, a movie about a villain is a tough sell. And Disney/Marvel isn’t likely to be brave enough to just make a villain movie, with the hero characters relegated to small roles.

I think a story with… I don’t want to say “broader appeal” about a movie on its way to becoming the most successful ever, so let’s say “more conventional plotting” could have been created for Infinity War if it had opened with Thanos already possession of 3 or 4 of the stones. That could have been a usage for post-credit scenes for the last couple of years.

Matt Clayton
Matt Clayton
Sun, May 06, 2018 6:03am

I initially didn’t like the film’s downer ending when I first saw it and I thought the film was hugely overrated. But I saw it again this past Friday and I’ve changed my mind. Dr. Strange’s pivotal decision is almost the same as another main character does in the late 1990s book series “Animorphs” (also near the end of the series), and it rings true. And it gives Gamora some well-needed development… and while I’m no fan of the GOTG films, IW makes me want to revisit them later on. IW gave me a greater appreciation for the new Spider-man as well, but Black Panther was largely sidelined.

Apparently, the plot of the fourth “Avengers” film involves time travel, but I hope it doesn’t undo the hard lessons the characters learned here.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Matt Clayton
Sun, May 06, 2018 3:43pm
Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Matt Clayton
Sun, May 06, 2018 5:12pm

Wait. What lessons?

Dent
Dent
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, May 08, 2018 11:49pm

Don’t lose track of Asguardians.

windy_way8192
windy_way8192
Wed, Jul 04, 2018 7:56pm

“…but there’s a finality to this one that, I suspect, will be difficult to dispel.”

There’s that point, often in middle age, when a person realizes that something about their path has become solid. Instead of possibilities increasing, responsibilities do. Choices have consequences.

So when Thanos sits in contentment I have to laugh at his folly. Does he plan on another “final” solution once the population has doubled again? Cuz that time will come, and instead of bringing the worlds closer to natural stabilities, he’s actually just contributed to accelerated fertility rates because that’s what humans do when mortality rates are high. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The forced decree, the hammer, it’s nothing to education, empathy, and cooperation. It’s satisfying to see the Avengers up against such an accurate Dark Hero, a hero who thinks such a problem can only be solved by force, who is apparently not courageous or generous enough to do the work needed for sustainable change but is more than happy to kill half the universe. And Malthus has been debunked, so he’s illiterate, too.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
Sun, Aug 16, 2020 4:05pm

I saw this movie in the hospital a few months ago at a time when I had nothing to do but lie in bed and watch movies while my foot healed. And even at that, it was surprisingly meh — more so than Alita: Battle Angel. (And no, more Latin characters would not have made a difference. Though Joss Whedon’s presence was sorely missed.)

Yes, it’s nice that they cribbed from the legend of Agamemnon and Iphigenia but if The Book of Life gets no props from “borrowing” from the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, then this movie shouldn’t get props either.

On the plus side, while preparing a review for this movie, I did learn that the Spanish translation for YMMV (“su experiencia puede ser diferente”) makes more sense than the English version.So there’s that.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
Sun, Aug 16, 2020 4:05pm

I’m not ready to see this story end.

So many potential punch lines, so little time.