Okay, so, it’s been a couple of days, and I’ve had time to process Avengers: Infinity War and deal with some real life stuff and celebrate my best friend’s birthday, so now the time has come to talk about the movie in depth, with spoilers. Pop under the cut for my reactions, in full detail.
First of all, the movie got me in all the emotional places, except the heterosexual romances. I just could not be fucking bothered, which is like…50% on me, and 50% on the franchise for choosing the worst comics canon romance and the worst MCU invention romance as 66% of its romantic traction.
I hate Vision, so I would have been totally fine with killing him off. So, most of the plot felt…a little unnecessary, because, like, just kill the robot and we’re all good.
Now, for some of my other criticisms.
Doctor Strange and Establishing Characters
I would like to point out that the reason that Thanos can even do his Snappening is that Strange surrendered the Time Stone. So, like. My guy. I understand intellectually that he’s Seen All the Things, and therefore is convinced that this is the only way to ultimately win, but, come on. There is no way I actually buy that on a visceral level.
Additionally, considering the franchise’s spotty track record on properly explaining itself in an engaging way, I don’t think I’m ever going to find out why this is the necessary way to eventually win. It would have made way more sense if we got any point-of-view from Strange whatsoever, but in all of his scenes, the viewer is positioned from the perspective of the other people in those scenes. So. It doesn’t make it clear to me why I should trust him and his presumptions about Fate.
Now, before someone comes for me saying You didn’t watch the Doctor Strange movie! You don’t know! Yeah. That’s the point. I haven’t seen either of the Hulk movies, or the MCU Spider-Man movie, but I have an understanding of those characters, because they’ve been in Avengers movies before. Yes, Civil War counts as an Avengers movie for me. Additionally, his cameo in Thor: Ragnarok wasn’t enough for me to get a handle on him, because he ultimately mattered very little to that movie.
Doctor Strange doesn’t have the kind of pedigree that Wonder Woman or the Flash or Cyborg does, either, so I don’t even have cultural osmosis to fall back on to help me understand why I should take the wizard’s word as gospel.
That said, he and Tony Stark should have hate sex when everyone inevitably comes back in the next movie. They had some excellent chemistry.
Everyone Dying and the Obvious Coming Back Next Time
So, when all of the dying started happening, it did hit me hard in the emotions. I was sitting there stunned in the immediate aftermath.
But then, my brain kicked back into gear, and I realized that none of it matters.
Like, it doesn’t matter that T’challa, Wanda, Vision, Sam, Bucky, Strange, Fury, Hill, Drax, Groot, Mantis, and Peter Parker all turned to dust. Because of course the next movie is going to be about finding Thanos and taking the Gauntlet and fixing everything.
And I’m sorry, but that’s fucking bullshit.
They overplayed their hand, plain and simple. Too many people died for any of the deaths to stick, and that means all of the emotional reaction I had in the instants of those deaths is rendered meaningless, because everyone’s just going to come back.
I know I’m in the wrong genre when it comes to wanting character deaths to stick, but fuck, man, I’ve spent the last four years complaining about the franchise where the character deaths do fucking stick, because they murdered my fave, and at this point, I know he’s never coming back.
If you’re going to go there, you need to own it. And you can’t own it if you’re killing off characters we all know have to come back. T’challa? You’re not keeping him dead, he makes too much money, and Black Twitter would literally crucify the Russos for it. Peter? Nah, you’re not gonna kill the team kid permanently. Sam and Bucky? You need at least one as a spare Captain America.
Killing all four of them in the same ending sequence? Immediately stunning, but then when it processes, it becomes obvious.
None of this matters.
Which is, y’know. The one non-diversity-related sin that this franchise has committed before that I find unforgivable. It won’t commit to choices that have emotional weight.
What I Actually Liked
That said, there was a lot of this movie that I thought was absolutely fantastic. Thor? Wonderful. Rocket? Always funny, though the ableism still is…how ’bout we not do that anymore? Please? Bruce’s ongoing inability to Hulk out was interesting, even though it felt contrived/not properly explained.
Loki’s most recent demise was pretty solid! I hope it sticks, as it was a good way to send him off. I’d like to see Heimdallr come back, though, he’s one of the best side characters in the MCU, and Idris Elba is one of the most attractive men there, too.
I wish Cosmic Marvel (Thor & the Guardians) had gotten more focus over the last decade, since it’s so pivotal to this plot, but I really liked how central Gamora was to the story…right up until she gets fridged to further the plot and, I guess, establish an emotional life for Thanos beyond ‘believes in genocide as population control to an almost ridiculous extent’? Like, it would be one thing if she’d been able to have agency over her death, since, y’know, that’s what she was trying to do in the first place, but.
I guess we can’t have nice things. Thanks, Joe, Anthony, Kevin.
Nebula’s torturing scenes were also incredibly painful to watch, so, that was effective as hell, even though I didn’t enjoy it.
I really, really liked Thor’s plotline, honestly, and that’s my main reason for not actually hating this movie. The heart of the dying star and Peter Dinklage as the giant dwarf were absolutely awesome, and also, I’m starting to become convinced that Thor is the oblivious ‘straight’ guy who attracts all the queer folks into his orbit. Like, Drax is totally into him, and Valkyrie was chilling with him last time, and Loki, obviously, has spent much of his life defined by Thor.
Like, it’s not that queer folks are particularly into Thor. We just kinda…wander into his orbit and hang around.
(Though, I will admit, he is the most attractive MCU Chris).
Okay, so, I like the movie less than I wanted to, and it’s 90% because the movie overplayed its hand in its final few minutes. But it wasn’t a total shitshow like I assumed it would be, so I guess it gets points for that?
Anyway, I’m probably not going to see the sequel, or Ant-Man & the Wasp, because all I really care about are Thor, Captain Marvel, and Wakanda.
Basically, I’m glad I saw it, and if you like the MCU, you’re probably gonna love it. As it is, I’m mostly kind of ambivalent? Like, it exceeded my expectations, so I’m not disappointed, really, but…it’s kind of similar to how I felt at the end of Ant-Man, honestly, though it did the opposite thing that movie did, technically.
If you love it, I’m glad it worked for you, though. I know how much of a big deal it is for a lot of people.
Anyway, that’s all for tonight. Later this week I’ll be reacting to the next episode of Krypton and probably reviewing some Catalyst Prime comics. Check out my Patreon if you’re interested in keeping up with me behind the scenes for a small subscription fee, too, but no pressure. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing regardless.