I recently watched Avengers: Infinity War after seeing it the first time round in a dimly lit theatre at Manchester Printworks. I wanted to watch it again, this time, at my own pace hopefully catching all the nuggets I’d missed the first time. I also wanted to know if it was as good as I remembered it or had I just been riding the wave of anticipation and heightened expectation.
Before I discuss some of the heartfelt moments of the penultimate film in the Avengers series, there are two caveats. The first, which should really go without saying but this will contain spoilers. Secondly, these are in no particular order.
Peter and Gamora
These two are entertaining to watch. Their personalities are polar apart, where Quill is quirky, funny and annoying, Gamora is laid back and reserved. Still the two come together and it’s great to watch. That is until Gamora makes a large ask from Quill: if Thanos should capture her, Quill should promise to kill her. This is a big ask, a monumental promise to make without knowing the reason why. Eventually we understand why, but I’m not sure that I could have agreed to something like that. And I’d be even less able to pull the trigger. When it’s crunch time, Quill does exactly that and luckily we see nothing but bubbles erupt.
I imagine he was pretty relieved because I don’t see how he would have been able to come back from that, emotionally speaking. If you had to shoot the person you love to save half of Earth would you do it? I couldn’t.
Is Thanos the corona virus?
After capturing Gamora, Thanos takes her back to his… lair? And they have a heart-to-heart where he explains his reasoning behind his diabolical plans: “this universe is finite” he says, “its resources finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist.” I agree and disagree with Thanos here. It’s true some of our resources are finite, but we also have resources that are not so finite.
Maybe Thanos should consider looking into more renewable energy sources and be an advocate for that rather than opt for global genocide. It just seems a bit brash to jump to that level of chaos. It ought to be the last absolute option after exhausting all the other options. Just a thought.
We need a Thanos origin story
We need a Thanos origin story as he isn’t the archetypical blood thirsty villain that is painted all bad, he has shades of light. Layers even, like an onion.
It seems that Thanos has been hell bent on this idea for a while, as he tells Gamora that “[he] ignored [his] destiny once. [He] cannot do that again.” Later, he tells Stark on Titan that he proposed genocide to the people of Titan but they rejected his idea and called him a “mad man”. It’s interesting that Thanos’ plans of intergalactic terrorism stem from an ideal of wanting to save planets.
He describes Titan: “Titan was like most planets, too many mouths not enough to go around”. It does make me wonder whether they’d considered food rationing or contraception. Again, pan galactic genocide is a huge stretch Thanos, something you build up to.
Thanos has layers
In many ways, Thanos reminded me of Shrek, the grumpy rough mannered ogre who was secretly harbouring a heart on the inside. Like Shrek claimed, ogres have “layers”, much like Thanos it seems, there’s more than meets the eye. And we see that side to Thanos when he’s with Gamora. The shoddy adoption and illegal kidnapping aside, he appears to have a gentler side when he’s with his daughter, if we ignore the part where he tricks her into believing she has killed him. This definitely calls for a few family therapy sessions to unpack all of that.
When they go in search of the soul stone on Vormir, Thanos instinctively protects Gamora when Red Skull appears. This humanises Thanos and makes him seem less like a blood craving lunatic and more like a father looking out for his daughter. It’s a sign of his love, and it’s a cruel irony that it’s that same love that enables Thanos to be able to sacrifice her.
It’s heart-breaking to witness the slow realisation on Gamora’s face when she realises her fate, Thanos’s tears as he pulls her and throws her over the cliff edge and finally, her awkwardly angled limbs as she lays dead.
And I’m awash with emotion, grief for Gamora, but also weirdly, some sympathy for Thanos too, though admittedly this is mixed with horror and shock at what he has just done. It’s an impactful scene.
Moving on from Thanos, to another Th- named alien with a dysfunctional family. Thor has been through a lot. Not even 20 minutes in and he loses his brother, Loki, and his best friend, Heimdall. And this is on the back of defeating his sister, losing an eye and fleeing his home as a horn wearing monster desiccates it.
Out of the Avengers, I’d argue that he has suffered the most loss. And beyond this he still has the fight in him to want to defeat Thanos. To have near everything taken away from you and still be committed to get back up, battle after battle, is commendable. This is why he has been promoted to my second favourite Avenger.
Funnest fight scene
The fight scenes were incredible as always. The Marvel characters always seem to work like a really good choreographed dance unit. The falling and ducking at just the right moment, like in one scene Quill is running in the air and Dr Strange is making these magic spinning orbs for him to step on like a foot path. Quill then tags Thanos on the back with a grenade, flips over to face him, gives him the middle finger, before falling backwards just as a portal appears courtesy of Dr Strange.
Best duo goes to…
In regard to acting, Robert Downey Jr and Peter Parker steal it for me on Titan. In my first viewing, it was Peter Parker’s death that made me shed a tear. His final words to Tony, hit me right in my feelings.
Some more thoughts
Once I finished watching the second time, I decided to look to see what other nuggets I’d missed. I came across a few videos and one particular YouTube video highlighted an interesting point. Eric Voss from the channel New Rockstars, discussed the merits of Team Avengers vs Team Thanos and why Team Avengers lost.
He says that the Avengers spent much of their time trying to separate the mind stone from Vision and this is why they lost against Thanos. The Avengers were not willing to make sacrifices whereas Thanos was not only willing but did so frequently, from his mindless dog minions, to his butt licking sidekick, Ebony Maw, to Gamora, his own daughter. Whilst Captain Rogers’ well-meaning words “we don’t trade lives” is genuine and well meaning it may have just cost them half the universe.
It’s an interesting theory, it makes me wonder whether you have to be willing to meet your enemies where they are to beat them? Or is it more the idea that for any great venture to be accomplished a degree of sacrifice is necessary?
All in all, I can safely say it’s still an incredible movie. Telling a story with so many characters and plot lines, and bringing them all to a bloody, nail biting finale is a huge feat. And it was done really well. Obviously there were more incredible moments that I didn’t include here so let me know what were your favourite scenes in Avengers: Infinity War?