"Avengers: Infinity Wars" Hype
by James Avery Abrams | published Jun. 7th, 2018
A few of your friends may have mentioned the film "Avengers: Infinity War,"
Now take my words with two grains of salt. One: I am, in fact, a superhero fan, so I did enter with that bias (despite my efforts to quell the hype). Two: I am also a film student who hated almost everything Marvel cranked out last year. My dislike wasn't because these films “got it wrong from the comics,” but because they had issues with writing, tone, or pacing. For example, I brutally disliked "Thor: Ragnarok."
When I say "Infinity War" was good, I don’t mean to say it appeased the seven year old in me who was just flipping out at all the heroes on the big screen together. I mean to say it actually had a very well-directed script and a well-orchestrated plot — even with a hundred superheroes. The smartest way the film pulled this off was by making it Thanos’ movie.
Seriously. After the credits Marvel will normally place the phrase "Thor will return," or "The Avengers will return" as their closing remark. At the end of "Infinity War," audiences were left with: "Thanos will return."
Thanos. The big Brolin himself. Marvel has been foreshadowing his significance since the first post-credits scene in "The Avengers." Ever since then, any Marvel fan will regale you with the thousand Easter eggs and foreshadowed elements leading to his arrival. With this in mind, the film’s one true goal was to convey that Thanos as a character should be taken seriously. Not only was the big purple man legitimately scary, but the Avengers felt like set pieces moving around in a story that ultimately belonged to Thanos.
This also made for a satisfying ending: all the Avengers die. Well, not all of them, but a list which looks like a fan theory YouTube video made on clickbait cocaine. When the heroes die, it leaves us with a cliffhanger for whatever Marvel assaults us with next. However, it also felt like the perfect end to Thanos’ goal which we’ve been riding along with since the beginning of the film. Tonally, there are still a lot of jokes between the good guys, but whenever Thanos is on screen, it’s a serious moment. Cross-cutting between Falcon’s snappy repartee with Black Widow and Thanos’ destruction really made the big "everyone dies" ending a no-brainer. The comedic moments of levity come across as the superheroes' own insecurity that maybe they won’t win this one. And they don’t.
While I wish Marvel movies did more to contain character arcs within a single film, it’s as if "Infinity War" put a thematic cap on every film they’ve produced since 2012. As much as I disliked "Thor: Ragnarok," "Infinity War" was the ending "Ragnarok" needed. Thor was an especially great part of the film because, for the first time ever, he truly was a relatable character with a righteous vengeance in a world with actual stakes.
I wasn’t disappointed by the gauntlet-finger-snap because I genuinely don’t think I care how whatever happens next happens. Thanos won and that’s awesome. Marvel has been baiting my nerd brain into being hyped every four months for the next cookie cutter Hollywood fiasco and finally we’ve reached a head. This was the ending I dearly craved. If heroes are resurrected, I hope that Marvel doesn’t negate the effect of this film by maintaining consequences, though of course I still want to know how the Avengers do it.
Despite the frivolity of these deaths looking forward, "Infinity War" stands strong on its own. Before any other films are released that may affect my opinion on how these deaths should be responded to, the performances are impactful and worth seeing on the big screen.