An Infinity War movie review for the non-fanboys and girls from a non-critic

Dolby poster for Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War”; photo grab from Forbes.com

Before you proceed, you have to know that this review is full of spoilers. Proceed with caution.

This is my first movie review, and I felt compelled to write this because for the first time in history, a Marvel movie succeeded in pissing me off.

No, make that, I was upset.

Who wouldn’t?

Every single Marvel hero in Avengers: Infinity War that I really cared about died. Not only that, Thanos won the day.

How’s that for a feel-good movie?

I know I’m not the only one. Non-readers of the comics who watched the films would not know any better.

So I thought maybe I should write something that would help wash away the bitter taste in the mouth after watching the movie.

Again, bear in mind that I am no fangirl of the comics but do read on. You’ll see what I mean.

But first, Thanos.

Thanos has always been portrayed as the ultimate villain with no redeeming qualities. And to me that didn’t sound right as Marvel is known for creating anti-heroes and unconventional villains. For every character, especially the major ones, one can always find something good and then a little something undesirable.

Since Thanos plays a bigger role in this movie, I thought that meant they would have to reveal more of his character. To do so would mean revealing his softer side that would help us understand why he is what he is and to get people to empathize or at the very least, understand his motives.

Turns out I was right. If anything, Infinity War is mostly about Thanos, the brightest sun around whom the Avengers revolve not as planets but as space debris the way The Mad Titan swats at them like flies.

He is powerful, a force unlike any other in the Universe, motivated not by hate – which would have been better because given the right circumstances, hate can burn itself out – but driven only by a singular cause that he believed with all of his titanic being.

Thanos believed that half the universe must die or be destroyed in order for balance to exist. For him, there was no other way.

Yet he loved his daughter with all his heart. To see him be so gentle with the child that had been Gamora and for him to shed tears and mourn even as he threw his beloved daughter to her death for the sake of his cause was extraordinary.

So extraordinary that as a writer I cannot help but marvel at how beautifully the script was written.

Take this:

Even as Thanos was saving Gamora’s life and shielding her from the spectacle of the horrors of death, at the same time, Thanos was murdering half her planet’s population including Gamora’s mother.

And even as he threw adult Gamora into the chasm, it was clear he loved her deeply but for his ambition and his cause.

I do not believe in acts of violence for the sake of any particular cause, no matter how noble. Murder is murder. Murder isn’t love. To love someone truly is not to hurt them.

Yet at that very moment, I felt his love for Gamora and his pain. There was no mistaking it. I, too, grieved for Gamora. I understood. Thanos is balance.

Of course, a well-written script is nothing without a great actor. Josh Brolin as Thanos IS magnificent. It is CGI, sure, but oh, the voice! Thanos may be one of Marvel’s greatest supervillains but Brolin turned him into someone more human than any of history’s bad guys.

Then, of course, there is that ultimate waste of superhero lives. The film ended with so many casualties, it was heartbreaking. Unbelievable how Marvel could kill off so many characters that we have loved for so long.

It didn’t feel right.

The credits rolled, and the theater was strangely silent. It wasn’t our usual Marvel movie, you know, where almost everyone clapped at the end and came out grinning. No, this was totally different.

Shell shocked, I found my way out of the theater, but in my head I was scrambling for hope. There had to be a ray of light somewhere (that Easter egg at the end was a ray of light but hardly much).

So I went through the plot in my head, and even through the shock, I realized Marvel had planted breadcrumbs.

See, when a writer wants to leave behind clues it is usually in a way that is both subtle and loud.

Subtle because taken as just one piece, it wouldn’t mean as much but put the breadcrumbs together and they form a pie big enough for anyone to notice.

In my humble opinion, that is exactly what Marvel did.

The movie highlighted two breadcrumbs in the movie:

  1. When on the planet Titan, Doctor Strange “meditated” on the millions of realities but only one instance where they came out victorious versus Thanos. I am taking this to mean that Marvel is telling us alternate realities are very real, something that the audience needs to take note of.
  2. When in Wakanda, Thanos brought Vision back to life in order to seize the Infinity Stone. I believe this is Marvel’s way of telling us that in their Universe, the present can change just like that. It is no big deal for the past to become the present and vice versa.

These two scenes in my opinion underlines just how flexible the Marvel Universe (s) can be.

To those of us who aren’t fanboys and fangirls of the graphic novels, these are clues that give us hope for the future. There is likely going to be an Avengers movie where they are either going to erase the present and bring back the past or simply find a way for the Avengers to be in an alternate Universe or reality.

In other words, whatever the case may be, this means they will resurrect some if not all of those characters that died in Infinity War.

And why not?

Spiderman, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy all still have standalone movies coming in. Marvel has always been consistent about story continuity in all of their films (unlike DC), so it stands to reason that they will find a way to explain the existence of these superheroes in their own upcoming movies when they died in Infinity War. Otherwise, it will be awkward for Marvel, no?

So that is it. My own five cents and why fans of the films but not readers of the comics should not be so upset.

Chin up. The characters we love ARE coming back. Granted not all of them, perhaps, but at the very least, the more important ones with movies still to come.

Count on it.

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