Avengers Infinity War Review by Kal Spriggs


Avengers Infinity War Review by Kal Spriggs

This review contains spoilers.  So reader beware, I’m going to go analytical on this one… but first I’m going to preface the spoilers with some generic comments.  Yes, I enjoyed the movie.  I think people should see it themselves.   Other (mostly) non-spoilery comments: I think Cap’s new shield(s) are lame.   I want a Wakandan energy shield.   Spider Man steals the show.

So, now into the actual review.  It starts out with a bang and with a mass murder of Asgardian survivors.  There’s a bit of continuity issues here (as later on in the film, Thor says that Thanos killed half his people, but Thanos blew up the ship and we don’t really see any survivors).  So there’s an issue.  Loki’s death was interesting, but there was an inevitable element of it, it wasn’t really a surprise and frankly, was pretty stupid of Loki.  I would have rather seen him join up with Thanos to betray him at a truly opportune moment, maybe even chuck Thor out an airlock.  Instead, we could see it coming.  There was no surprise in it.  Heimdal sort of stole the scene, too, in his sacrifice to send Hulk to Earth to give them warning.

The introductions and initial confrontations on Earth were good.  They set the scene well, and there’s enough humor and mixed desperation to make it all entertaining and engaging.  I would have liked to see Vision in full fighting form.  Having him barely limping along through most of the movie was a bit of a disappointment.  I get it, he was injured, but you would think they’d try to fix that.

The Guardians of the Galaxy really stole the show, them and Thor, anyway.  Pretty much every scene with them was highly entertaining.  The pace through the whole movie was fast, faster than I would have liked, but it wasn’t as frantic as people have complained about.  No, there’s not a lot of time for character growth and such, but that’s not what this movie is about.  It’s about the end of the world, it’s a disaster film more than anything else, and if there’s one thing that this movie does very well is to show the cost of a terrible disaster.

I’ve got to say, it’s almost Wagnerian Opera, at times.  From Heimdal through to the very end, we see the cost of fighting evil.  It doesn’t pull any punches and it doesn’t let up.  It’s dark, but the strong point of this film is that the heroes don’t flinch.  Most of them realize that they’re not going to survive, that they’re fighting to save others and not themselves.

The middle act is full of that sort of thing.  We lose a few characters, we see Thanos toy with some of them, letting them think they’ve done well, only to pull victory away from them, often in comical fashions.   Bubbles in Starlord’s pistol was the most brutal, I think.  The torment on Quill’s face as he worked himself up, only to have all that effort pulled away was heart-wrenching.  The return of Red Skull was a nice touch, but I would have liked to see more done with that.  Make him join up with Thanos, give Thanos a minion we actually recognize and already dislike.  Give Cap an enemy to fight that he knows and already hates (oh, and Bucky, too).

That brings us up to the final battle where Wakandan warriors start dying in droves.  We see them almost take the Gauntlet from Thanos (so close, yet I can’t help but think that Strange planned it, planned for them to lose so that Thanos could take the Time Stone, so he could then take the Mind Stone).  We see Thanos toss the mightiest heroes of Earth around like they are children.  Then he rips the Mind Stone right out of Vision’s head.  It’s all brutal, very metal, and terribly operatic.  The choices they made on who lives and dies were telling, though.  We knew the Hulk wouldn’t be one, not since Bruce Banner has character growth to figure out why the Hulk is gone all cowardly lion.  They kept Ant Man out of it all since he has a movie coming out in a couple months.  Scarlet Witch was obviously grateful to die after having killed Vision for no reason.  Doctor Strange was an interesting choice, especially since he saw this all coming.  He knew and planned for it, which makes me wonder what Wong is doing back on Earth as this all happens.  Bucky and Falcon just felt like cheap shots.  Neither of them have had enough screen time, their characters are both interesting, but Marvel doesn’t seem to know what to do with them, to give them a movie or what.

The Guardians… damn, if anyone paid a price for fighting Thanos, the Guardians sure as hell did.  Rocket is the only survivor.  Gamora’s death was similar to Loki’s, we saw it coming, it still had emotional impact, but her death was for Thanos’s sake, to humanize him somewhat, and it achieved that.  Peter, Drax, and Mantis *all* dying on Titan seemed rather harsh.  It would have been nice to see Drax and Mantis running around trying to save the universe without Peter Quill.

Spiderman… well, we know he’ll be back.  He’s got a movie due next year, after all.  (For that matter, we know many if not all of them will be back, because comics) his death was meant to humanize Stark, to humanize the cost of fighting Thanos… but it just let me down a bit on the writing.

Stark’s survival is the thing that leaves me shaking my head.  I get it, RDJ is sort of the backbone of this universe.  It all started with him… but come on, let some of the younger generation step up.  Tony Stark’s story and character have been complete.  There’s not much more for them to do with him.  I get it, I realize that Doctor Strange orchestrated Stark’s survival, getting a promise out of Thanos because of whatever he saw in those multitude of futures…but still, the writers made that choice because they wanted RDJ in the lead… again.

For the rest of it, Black Panther going down was a nice touch.  An emotional impact that I wasn’t expecting.  The others, including at the post-credits scene, showed the impact, well enough.

In the end, however, what do we come away with?  The fight isn’t over.  There can be no doubt about that.  Thanos may have had his way, but that means little when they left heroes like Steve Rogers and Tony Stark.  They’ll go after him and they’re going to find a way to fix things (in as much as that’s possible).  Avengers 4 is going to be focused on fixing all of this, and with the power of the Infinity Gauntlet, anything is possible.

I think that something many critics missed is that despite the title, this isn’t just an Avengers movie, this was very much a Thanos movie.  Thanos showed the biggest character arc, the most growth, and in the end, it was Thanos who achieved his goals.  We can argue all day about the rationality of his motivations (ridiculous in so many ways as to be utterly insane), but his drive and implacable resolve made the movie.

What would I have changed?  Oh my word, so very much.  I would have used Red Skull for more than a throw away here and gone character.  It would have been great if he joined Thanos and worked with him from then on.  The motivations for Thanos are a bit silly, but Josh Brolin lived it up well enough that we can accept them, the character was far more interesting in play than as a concept.  Stealing a few more moments for character growth, a scene with Banner and Natasha (Widow) would have been nice.  Use of some of the earlier enemies: Red Skull, Loki, Baron Nemo (whose motivations are similar to Thanos’s) and even an Ultron robot (whose motivation was basically the same as Thanos) as his lieutenants would have been interesting, especially with the scheming they would have done against one another and Thanos.  That would have also given us some real emotional hooks when one of them were taken down or switched sides.  Red Skull facing off against Steve Rogers and Bucky, backed with Thanos and Hydra goons would have been great.  Baron Nemo, granted powers by Thanos, would have been terrifying.  Ultron with alien tech?  Yes, please.

All in all, it’s a fun, fast-paced movie.  It hits you hard in the feels, though I think the writers played it safe a couple times near the end.  They’ve built the House of Marvel on RDJ’s shoulders and I think they’re terrified that if they kill him off, they’ll kill the franchise.  Overall, it was basically what I expected of the movie.  I enjoyed it, I give them props for managing so many characters and giving many of them engaging and awesome scenes.  I really want to see the impact of Thanos’s victory in the upcoming movies (plus the TV shows, which I need to get back to watching, assuming I ever have free time again).  I think it’ll hold up well, better than Age of Ultron.  It’s not my favorite Marvel movie, but it still beats the socks off of the DC cinematic universe.

Oh, and as a final thought, who else thinks they’ll use “fixing” everything as a chance to bring the Marvel X Men into the MCU?  I mean, continuity issues, Time Stone… what better way to get Wolverine and Hulk into a drinking contest?  Here’s to hoping.


128 thoughts on “Avengers Infinity War Review by Kal Spriggs

  1. So finally, I can say it … been holding fire for spoilers. But … I think this is going to be a movie with cultural impact well beyond the short term “Blammo! K’zam!” action scenes.

    Does nobody realize that Hollywood just set up the biggest tent-pole blockbuster of the summer in which the motivation of the Big Bad Villian is …. environmentalism?

    I was frankly floored by that … that this movie even exists is a sign that the times, they are a-changing.

    I couldn’t have been more (pleasantly) shocked to see Cap put on his old uniform and say “If I’m gonna go out, I’m gonna go out fighting for America”, or to see Tony Stark give a soliloquy about how if it wasn’t for free enterprise, he wouldn’t have the technology to fight these evils.

    1. Not much of a surprise to me since I’d already read the Infinity War when it was originally spread over a bunch of comic titles.

      Of course the story was ALL life in the universe, not just the supposedly intelligent life forms. That meant bacteria, viruses, animals, plants. Didn’t see half of Wakanda’s vegetation disappear in the movie, did we? Just people. Thing is, people don’t live long enough for the living to outstrip the total dead. The ratio never reaches 1:1. Now all I can think of is there must be a heck of a lot of immortals running around the universe to skew that bad enough for Thanos to decide have the living must die to rebalance it.

      Problem is, you wipe out 50%, and the population doubles every generation, you’re soon back to the same numbers you had before. And with bacteria, fill the oceans with dead bacteria and other stuff to feed on, and you’ll get a bloom that will make previous reproduction numbers look ridiculous.

      1. Keep in mind that Thanos was known as the Mad Titan and I don’t think they meant he was simply angry. Being bad at math and logic seems a natural coincidence among environmentalists.

        1. In the comics Thanos wasn’t any sort of environmentalist (sane or insane).

          He was in love with the personification of Death (a woman in the Marvel universe) and decided that killing off half of the universe would be a good way to gain Her love.

          IMO the movie makers didn’t want to bring that aspect of Thanos into the movie. Although it is interesting that they gave him a “save the environment” reason for his mass slaughter. 😈

          1. The great thing about eliminating half of all life in the universe to demonstrate your love for Death is that you can repeat it almost endlessly, especially if you take a break between mass exterminations.

            Speculation about potential complications of removing half of all life — is the mass of the removed eliminated? what happens to biosphere balance? — can go on almost as long.

            1. I just have this picture of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom stuck in my head.

    2. A guy in the row behind me, “Al Gore is the bad guy”, I so wanted to turn around and give him a hi five.

  2. I will wait until the nest film, at a minimum. I was already hesitant; Thanos isa swine, and a boring one at that. I’ve thought so ever since his first arc in Captain Marvel, way back in the 1970’s.

    The last really neat idea that Marvel had, so far as I can see, was the Damage Control comic books. Three limited series and assorted backup features.

    I don’t despise the current run of comic book movies, but I have a little trouble getting too worked up about the ‘Worlds’ they build. As is inevitable with serial narratives, the worlds have shifted away from what they were when I was really into the comics, and sometimes it is like fingernails on a blackboard.

    Also; Thanks is a poor man’s Darkseid. In general the Thanos story arcs have come off (to me, anyway) as Jim Starlin’s (and others following) attempts to to a sweeping Jack Kirby Cosmic Conflict story while lacking Kirby’s ability to do stuff like name a character “Granny Goodness” with an absolutely straight face.

    1. Infinity War is made from the comics we read in the 1980’s, in the time before the Great Suckage began. Definitely worth the ticket.

      1. I suppose it depemds on when you came in. I started in the 1970’s, with access back to the Silver Age and some reprints from the Golden Age. I can remember the beginnings of the passion for retconning and “re-imagining” that plagues us currently.

        Mark memdown as amCrank, but I think it would be nice if Marvel and DC could get through an entire decade without having to re-start their universes.

        My first real effort at collecting was Kirby’s Fourth World. I took that up the year my Father spent at the Prinston Institute For Advanced Study, and when we got back to Cleveland I found a local comic book store where I could work for comics.

        That was in the days when no comic books store outside of, maybe, Manhatten could support itself without also carrying Hustler and Soldier of Fortune. It was also the heyday of the comix underground, and I read most of them. Which lead me to Schofield’s Law of Narrative Art; surrealism in a narrative artform is tolerable for five pages or fifteen minutes, whichever comes first.

        I liked some of what was done in the 1980’s, but too much got trashed. Superboy gone, and with him a lot of the history of the Legion of Superheroes.

        *shakes head*

        1. They have to restart their universes because they aren’t capable of writing steady state superheroes. It’s one of the reasons why I dropped DC comics in the early 80’s, and Marvel in the late 1990’s. You get to the pointe where they’re all overpowered Mary Sues, with half the writers adding new powers or forgetting the old ones; rather that using what grey matter they have between their ears to figure out a way to succeed with the baseline set of powers the character has.

          A story where the character always gets her wish isn’t very interesting. A story where the character has a paperclip, a bandaid, and a match and has to figure out how to get out of the locked room with what she has, now that’s interesting. It’s one reason why MacGyver was such a good show. Pushed the limits of probability, but just barely possible.

          1. This, and they went to long, complex story arcs, which made it more noticeable when characters didn’t age and/or progress. Peter Parker, News Photographer with no steady girlfriend (MJ was an UNSTEADY girlfriend) could go on forever. Peter Parker, college grad, with a wife…that had to move on. The characters moved farther and farther from their roots, and HAD to keep changing, once they’d started.

            It worked in one way; you couldn’t just go months and then pick up the X-Men more or less where you’d left them, so comics fans had a reason to buy every damned issue….but it came with problems.

            1. comics fans had a reason to buy every damned issue….but it came with problems.

              Yes, great problems because they did not write those interminable incomprehensible story arcs well enough to pay off the readers’ investment. Once you realize you’ve paid more for a maxi-series than two HB books would have cost (12 X 3.99 = 47.88) or that that “collectible” pre-bagged special issue with fourteen variant covers ran a similar scam it becomes easier to let an issue lapse and impossible to pick up again.

              Comics has always operated on the business model of a core readership of ten to thirteen year old boys who would drop out of your readership once they discovered girls. Those who do not discover girls are viewed with ill-disguised contempt by the industry. Some effort to be “cool” has moved the industry toward better concealing their contempt but it is still predicated on an immature and disposable audience.

  3. I think I’ll wait to see it until it’s out on video. Poor Thor. He’s pretty much lost everything: his parents, his home, his friends, his girlfriend, his brother, and most of his people.

    1. As Thor says about Loki, “He’s been dead before.” That reads to me as a give-away that Loki isn’t really dead (is Loki ever really dead?)

      We just had a great Thor-Loki movie before this, and drama with the brothers can overshadow the other characters (well, it does for me :-)). So I can see putting these guys on hold for the part 1 movie so we can show more with everyone else. There’s still part 2.

      1. Loki is one of the two* comics characters most likely to pop up out of nowhere and ask, “Miss me?”

        *Hint: the other is in the DCU. “Minor” characters such as Deadpool and Ambush Bug excluded.

          1. Bingo!

            (No, not Bingo! the character. Is there a DC character known as Bingo!? Should there be one?)

            1. If not, there should be.
              Now my brain’s going to be stuck trying to come up with the character concept. Floppy ears or not? Villain or hero? Does he have a sort of Tourette’s? Can he split into 5 of himself, each one wearing a different letter of his name?

              1. Good questions, all. Also consider whether character splits into five or six: B-I-N-G-O-!

                Origin: Thanos takes off his Infinity Gauntlet so as to pick his nose … a dog retrieves it and acquires the powers of the infinity stones, splitting into six dogs, each possessing the power of one stone. Chaotic good? As dog is a mongrel, shouldn’t each split represent one line of ancestral breed? Can Bingo! be summoned only by singing that song? “The volcano is about to erupt! Quick, everybody join hands and sing along, There was a dog who had a name …”

                Could it be any worse than Marmaduke?

          2. I think I’ve read that the Joker was the first comic book villain who was pronounced dead and then reappeared.

            Then, at the time, he didn’t have much competition.

        1. It’s just good business to NOT kill off characters your audience really likes, too. Or at least not permanently. 🙂 The reason I pick up a series is because I like the characters. Kill them off an old friend and I have no reason to come back. (In general, Do Not Piss Off Your Audience is a good rule of thumb.)

          (Yeah, Loki has become about the only Marvel character I currently sort of follow in the comics, though that’s because I got hooked through the Straczynski-Kieran Gillen Kid Loki run. The current version is kind of a mess, but so is just about all of Marvel these days. Yes, I loathed She-Thor – I haven’t really liked any of the Jason Aaron run, though. (I’ve always been a Marvel girl, from the early days of the new X-Men (though I will pick up Batman when there’s a good run because, well, BATMAN (loved Sean Gordon Murphy’s Batman: White Knight, btw.)))

          1. Comic books owe a great deal to the Thirties movie serial tradition of impossible “escapes” from certain death. This is somewhat to the disadvantage of comics, as no character death can really have lasting impact. Jason Todd, Bucky, Doctor Doom about a hundred times over — about the only permanent deaths are of critical characters in origin stories: Thomas* & Martha. Wayne, Ben Parker, and Dr. Abraham Erskine.

            *Alternate reality versions not withstanding

            1. Those are deaths that are part of the main character’s tragic past.

              Everyone’s seen the Evil Overlord list, but there are other ones, including the Innocent Bystander’s list, with my fave being something along the lines of: If you find out your child is The Chosen One, make out your will now and get your affairs in order. It won’t be long.

            2. And now I’m getting a list in my head of Legitimate Reasons to Kill Off a Character:

              Number One – the Jason Todd award, it’s a character everyone hates and wants to see dead. I’d like an honorable mention for She-Thor, only because she didn’t actually die, as much as everyone wanted her to.

              Two – the character isn’t going anywhere, and no one really cares, so you can give them a noble death for the emotional impact, but no one will miss them when they’re gone.

              Three – the character was only there for an arc, and the arc is finished, and the author can’t think of any other reason for them to be there anymore. See Number 2 for the rest.

              What else?

              1. Four: the character was sort of clever and forward thinking for his day, but the world has changed enough that now (s)he’s an embarassment.

                Charlton’s Judomaster springs to mind. Codicil to this is, if you kill offmthe original character for this reason, for God’s sake don’t bring him back in a new incarnation. Let him stay dead.

                1. Judomaster? Let me guess: cultural appropriation?

                  If we start in on “offensive cultural stereotypes” this thread would never end. And that doesn’t start us on the fat-shaming of Little Lotta* and Herbie Popnecker!

                  *Between Lotta Plump, Hot Stuff and Casper, Harvey Comics was a cesspool of cultural insensitivity. Add in Wendy the Good Little Witch, Li’l Dot and Richie Rich — these comics directly contributed to Watergate!!!!

              2. Jane should have died from the cancer. It would have given her life more meaning because of the sacrifice.

          2. With movies there is one limitation: audiences tend to like the actor playing the character way more than the character when a character is popular. And actors age. And get bored with their characters, especially when they have gotten enough money in the bank that they no longer need to worry about paying for their swimpool, and due to their popularity can assume that they will be getting roles, if not for the rest of their lives then at least for years, even if their peak popularity turns out to have been tied to THAT role.

            So, which is bigger risk in an ongoing franchise when you either lose an actor or the actor gets where playing a tights hero starts to look ridiculous (yes, suits and stuff, but Stan Lee age Robert Downey Jr. inside an Ironman suit… er): kill that character in a big way, which probably is almost certain to get big numbers when it comes to what you get from that movie, or change the actor, which might work, or might not?

            I guess the third option is to retire the character in some way in the story universe so you can bring him back if it looks necessary. Or bring him back, after a few years, with that different actor, which might be a bit less jarring than changing suddenly. But it’s probably best to leave the actor changes in this type of franchises to franchise reboots. When it doesn’t matter that much if you already killed the character in the previous story universe, because hey, completely new and different story anyway.

            1. Okay, I should have written “a certain actor playing a certain character”, it usually seems to be the combination of those rather than the actor or the character when some character, like the current movie version of Loki or the current movie version of Ironman gets all the love.

            2. The thing is, the Iron Man mantle can be passed to any techno-wizard. In fact, the young teen in Iron Man 3 would be a perfect example. Stark retires, or dies, and the young man gets a percentage of Stark International, and the IM Legacy.

              Thor is a god. He has power of his own that he doesn’t even know the possibilities of. He probably has inherited the Odin power of his father, which raises all kinds of possibilities for the restoration of Asgard and his people, even from death. Of course if they Time Stone it back far enough, all that was is undone; which is pretty much going to happen. The real question is what kind of changes will going back cause?

              1. I’m hoping Asgard gets moved to floating just outside Broxton, OK, like the comics did for a while. 🙂

              2. Not *any* techno-wizard. The actor playing him had better be as big a draw as RDJ, or you might as well just kill him. Shia leBoeuf is *not* the next Indiana Jones…

                1. Exactly. Comics is one thing, in movies the actor matters hell of a lot, especially after some actor has made a role his own in a very successful way. It just might be safer for a franchise to kill the character in the movie verse rather than try to replace him when the original actor can no longer play the role.

                  Sure, the James Bond franchise has been successful even with their revolving door of actors, but the Marvel movie verse is not just one character, it’s a lot of them interacting more or less regularly, and it has a history where each of the character has a certain place. Which makes changing actors believably without also changing the character in some fundamental way (like Tony Stark giving up the Iron Man role and some younger person taking it up) that much harder. With James Bond each actor change is pretty much a franchise reboot. That would be much harder to do with the Marvel universe.

                  1. Of course, Doctor Who managed to have different actors playing the Doctor.

                    Of course, that was because the Doctor was an alien Time Lord and changing forms/personality was standard in his/her species.

                    Oh, does anybody know how the female doctor is working out? 😉

                    1. Of course the Doctowas played (especially the first few times) by some excellent and charismatic actors (each in his own way). The BBC could do that, y’know.

                  2. The exception to this argument is the Hulk, who has been payed by three* actors before finding one who clicks with the audience.

                    This might very much be an instance of the exception “proving” the rule.

                    *Not counting Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno

                    1. That’s because people didn’t go to the theater to see *Bruce Banner.* As long as the Hulk looked cool enough…

                      (Andn of course, with Bixby/Ferrigno they hit it in one.)

              3. If they were smart, they would throw money at JMS to make his limited run Thor series, which covered exactly that type of scenario, into the next couple of Thor movies.

          3. Writers should remember that stories have arcs, and need finality. The unlimited comic book series is hard to work except in episodic form.

            1. But writers can do a series, which could have multiple arcs. One book should have an arc (I hate books that end with ToBeContinued), but there can be a longer over-arching arc that contains multiple books, successive longer arcs, overlapping arcs. As long as the writer can keep things interesting. Jim Butcher’s up to how many now with Dresden?, and still hasn’t completed the one big arc. L Frank Baum’s Oz series had one-arc-per-book, he wrote about 10-12 books before he died, and the series was continued by other authors until the 1950s (granted, none of the successor books I read were as good as Baum’s, but for an audience hungry for more about those characters and that world, limited to one book a year, I would probably have devoured each one as it came out).

              I have enough pain and death and loss of loved ones in the real world, so I don’t read books that give me more of it, though I’m pretty thick skinned about it (I enjoy old horror books for one thing. And true crime murders). If I knew a book or series ended with the lead characters dying, that’s a book or series I’m not going to read. (I want books to be rated on this – forget age level, or violence, or such, I want a big red label that says “Warning: everyone you love dies in the end!”)

              1. “<II want books to be rated on this …”

                If we have ratings that say “everyone you love dies in the end!” we run into certain difficulties, such as readers who keep a tally counting down beloved characters, and arguments over [SPOILER ALERT] whether Smeagol was beloved and whether Theoden’s death was predictable and noble rather than tragic.

                I propose a “Wall Rating” based on how many walls a books is likely to bounce off before coming to a rest. That avoids inappropriate giveaways about character deaths (and undeaths, in consideration of the Game of Thrones story arc … if arc it is, rather than an downward spiral into the depths, Martin already having lost the distinction between concluding a novel versus simply stopping the story.)

          4. In case no one’s noticed, that’s why there’s still an Honor Harrington….

      2. I recall one issue where Thor lops Loki’s head off with a sword. Thor leaves. Body gets up. Walks over to the head. Picks it up and reattaches it. Loki says something about ‘Dear brother’ not having a sense of humor; and magicians being very hard to kill.

  4. Spoilers? I gather most of the “surprises” are bleedin’ obvious to those familiar with the source material and enter understanding this is Part Friggin’-One.

    So lots of folk are dead, including beloved heroes. Madness? This. Is. Comics! Nobody is dead until you’ve beheaded their mangled corpse, sewn garlic into their mouths, driven a stake through the heart and burnt the remains to ashes under a blazing hot sun.

    Oh wait – that’s Dracula. Comic book characters are even harder to kill.

    1. Though up to this point, apparently the dead have stayed dead in the MCU.

      1. See Red Skull, above.

        It is inherent in the powers of the Infinity Gauntlet that death becomes reversible. Very large deus ex machina there.

        While they’ve not established the character in the films (nor his brother, Eternity) it would be pretty cool if the problem was resolved by having Infinity show up, pluck the gauntlet from Thanos (with or without hand) and murmur, “Thanks, I’ll just take that for safekeeping now.” and restore status quo ante. Having Him do this by arcanely raising the middle finger on the glove-hand would be a touch much, perhaps, but there’s no accounting for mystic gestures.

          1. There can be Spiderman movies without Peter Parker. I think there was a Clone Saga?

            1. There was, and that has to THE stupidest idea from Marvel -ever-. OMFG. Thankfully it came after I’d quit reading in disgust already.

              1. Sorry, I refuse to engage in any debate over “THE stupidest idea from Marvel -ever-.” There is simply too great an embarrassment of choices. Their ratio of Great Ideas over Stupid Ideas is high but nowhere close to infinite.

                1. Okay, valid point. I concede it may not be THE stupidest ever. Can we agree on one of the top-ten stupidest ever?

              2. And Marvel says “Hold my beer.”
                Review of Ta-Naheshi Coates’ First Captain America Story.
                Yes, the guy who said of dead 9/11 first responders, “They were not human to me,” and who constantly shrieks that “whiteness” must be destroyed, is Captain America’s new, steady author. His first Captain America book features Hydra being stared down by the good guys — Antifa.

                H/T Ace of Spades

        1. Actually…

          Red Skull didn’t die – or at least, he didn’t die on screen. Back when Captain America was released, people noted – and Marvel confirmed – that the light show that Red Skull got caught up in was the same as the Asgardian Bifrost that we first saw in Thor.

          1. BTW, about Red Skull in this movie, I kind of got the impression that he did not have the Soul Stone in his possession, rather the Stone had enslaved him and he was serving it in some way. Did anybody else understand it in that way?

    2. Raise your hands if you really believe that Black Panther, the character whose movie just made a bazillion dollars AND earned a bunch of kudos from the SJWs, is actually going to stay dead before they’ve even milked one sequel from that franchise.

      1. I’m pretty sure everybody who got turned to dust after the finger snap will come back (although a few may die again), the interesting part is whether anybody who died before it will. I think they will do some sort of time travel in the next movie so I suppose that is possible too.

        But I am sure they will kill some characters off for good in the next one, including probably a few who now survived. Could be some sort of sacrificing themselves thing. At least Chris Evans does not have a contract for anything after it, does he, and he has talked about quitting the role so presumably the Captain? Does that same hold true for other actors?

        But that movie might also give the writers of the franchise some gimmick to bring back dead characters, and to do some sort of time travel/change the past thing, just in case that is deemed as necessary for the franchise later.

          1. Most likely, although I would not be too surprised if they found some other way too. Just because everybody assumes it will be the Time Stone it might make for a nice twist if that one got out of the heroes’ reach or destroyed just before they got the chance to use it. 🙂

  5. I’ve got the list of films, and I’m going to have another go at borrowing Iron Man.

  6. The motivations for Thanos are a bit silly, but Josh Brolin lived it up well enough …

    Brolin’s step-mother (since 1998, at any rate) is Barbra Streisand, so perhaps he gets insight into such characters from Christmas parties at his folk’s place.

    1. I’ve read that Thanos was handled as the structural hero – with the complete hero’s journey – which was why he works as well as he does – well, yeah, along with Brolin’s performance.

      1. Ooh, maybe someone should do a post on that for MGC – the villain’s journey.

        Why are you looking at me like that?

              1. IMO the real meaning of that phrase is “nobody thinks he’s the bad guy”.

                The villain may see himself as “just a guy wanting to earn a living” even if he’s a hired killer.

        1. A villain’s journey is tricky: it’s got to be a downward arc, with the villain making wrong choice after wrong choice, while gaining more power to be a threat to the heroes.

          Kefka from Final Fantasy VI had a fairly good villain’s journey. Likewise Darcia from Wolf’s Rain. I also considered he boy main character from the movie Let the Right One In to be going on a villain’s journey. I sort of took that movie as a villains’ backstory and imagined him and his vampire lover/mistress would eventually run into some heroes who’d end them.

          Also the bad guy in Shymalon’s movie, Split.

        2. Also Gaston from the Beauty and the Beast animated movie (which is more three-dimensional than the live-action, but that’s just a digression). He goes from a vain but harmless-seeming guy to contriving to have an innocent man committed to leading a mob to kill the Beast, and it all feels like a ‘natural’ progression.

        3. Regarding the villain’s journey, it made me think of this vid. It’s lengthy, but just skip to 2:50:08 and listen to the end. It address the situation of a large ensemble cast where no one hero is really the main character, but oddly enough the villain of the piece could be considered the main character. And how to effectively craft, build up and make use of a villain in such a role.

  7. FYI – Marvel has stated that the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place before Infinity War.

  8. I haven’t read comic books for decades now. But, I’ve read one really good review from someone who has followed them who said the film was quite true to comic book story. And that in the end, everything, or most things, get reversed. The infinity stones are not a deus ex machina in that- because we know from the movie plot itself they have that power to reverse if wielded to do so.

    Dr. Strange saw the one winning path and set it up. He was kind of a jerk in other movies and was somewhat more humanized in this one. IMHO.

    1. [Dr. Strange] was kind of a jerk in other movies …

      He’s only been in two other movies. In his solo flick the fact that he was kind of a jerk is a major plot point. In the second appearance I think we might cut him a little slack — having a thunder god in the house might warrant a small effort to keep him off balance and as for treating Loki meanly … well, Loki kind of deserves it.

      Being high-handed with Asgardians might be the only way to get them to show you any respect, after all. The history of their interactions with humans is hardly a model for man-deity relations.

  9. I can think of few things I’d find more dreadful than bringing in all the X-men characters as well. Fortunately it looks as if they’re going to have Carol Danvers as the “Here I come to save the daaaay!” figure.

    1. Yeah. I suspect they’ll be merging the Captain Marvel with the Adam Warlock ability sets.

          1. they have pretty much shown already that the after credits sequences are setups that are being used. I doubt they’d spend thousands on a set piece and to shoot that sequence and not use it.

  10. Off Topic – I saw a rumor that Larry Correia had been banned from Origins. Can anyone confirm or deny?

    1. And three guesses as to why he was banned; the first two don’t count. Origins is catching hell on their own FB page for the Correia cancellation, for what it’s worth.

    2. Post on it on Mad Genius Club today. Can’t access the Origins site from work to register my displeasure with them; so I’ll have to wait until I get home tonight.

      I just have a hard time believing that a convention organizer would be that *expletive of your choice* stupid. On the other hand, a significant portion of the population think the NRA recruits, trains, equips, and sends out mass murders to kill baby chicks, puppies, kittens, and little children.

  11. my point and expectations- i think they are going to get the time stone and undo the entire movie. It is possible the only way to defeat him is to beat him before he gets the power stone…

  12. I had a serious problem with the fact that Captain America was unwilling to consider allowing Vision to sacrifice himself in order to save the universe (saying “We don’t trade lives” or something to that effect) and yet he WAS willing to let hundreds of Wakandan soldiers die in order to potentially save Vision. The entire battle scene I kept thinking “this is unnecessary” which is an awful thing to be thinking during a climactic scene in a movie. Unless someone thinks there’s something I’m missing that explains why the battle made sense after all… I’m willing to be convinced. Right now I’m super frustrated because there were a lot of things I really loved about the movie but this one plot point is making it hard for me to feel anything but disappointed.

    1. Errr … I have yet to see it but, at a guess based on reading pretty much every Silver Age super-hero comic published and on up until the death of Superman: it’s a movie based on a comic book – logic is not one of the options in their drop down menu. Noble Romantic heroism is on there, burning through Red Shirts in order too make it seem the stakes are great is definitely on that menu. “Needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few”? Different menu.

      It’s a thrill ride, a roller coaster to-be; don’t worry about logic else you’ll end up walking home. Cap thought they could win, thus proving himself the world’s greatest military tactician but a lousy strategist.

  13. Trouble with the ending was that we know the MCU has films in the pipeline that require a deus ex machina resurrection of many, if not most on-screen deaths. Feel bad about Spiderman’s demise? No problem, he’s got a movie in the pipeline. Black Panther? BP2 is as sure as BP1’s box office. Feel bad about the Guardians? Resurrection guaranteed. Loki? C’mon, his character is so popular, you know he’s gotta be back.

    How would I have rewritten the climax? Thor cuts off Thanos’ arm. Oh, snap, Thanos.

    But NO we’ve got to do the Captain Marvel movie. Presumably, Thanos’ activity has freed her from the Soul Stone and she will use awesome girl-power to defeat Thanos. (What 7-foot hulking brute has any chance of winning against a 90 pound waif?)

    I figure Dr. Strange used his Time Stone to go into the future, swap his Time Stone from some almost-dead version of himself, then brought it back to surrender to Thanos. In the future he briefs Adam Warlock, Mar-Vel, et alia on the one way he’s seen where Thanos loses. He returns to this movie to fight and lose. Future girls unwind time back to before he can get the first stone from the Nova Corps at Xandar. Voila, zero body count of anyone we care about.

    Trouble with all the paths forward from this Infinity War ending, you need to do some kind of time-stone rewind. All of them are a cheat. Why not use the deus ex machina to go all the way back to the Garden of Eden and kill the snake?

    1. No snake killing. That would be anti-environmental, and offend the PETAphiles.

      1. uh, just mentioning the Garden of Eden should generate death-threats from all the usual suspects

    2. It won’t be permaneant, but it’ll still have reprecussions.

      And Captain Marvel? Blech.

    3. I’m fairly sure Loki’s really dead: his ‘arc’ seems complete and the actor has said he was tired of th role.

      1. Maybe they’ll have Loki come back as a Girl (which he did in the comics) and then switch to being male (new actor). 😉

        1. The Loki fangirls will riot.

          My kid sister has a crush on Winter Soldier/Bucky. She was ready to have a fit when she heard all the talk about wanting Winter and Cap to be gay lovers.

          1. Actually, that was the tack JMS took in his Thor series writeups. Loki was female.

    4. Why not use the time stone for everything?

      Off the top of my head, I’d say the danger of creating paradoxes and erasing yourself from existence by accident (then you’d never have existed to use the TS in the first place)

  14. Ok, my wife like and I did too but I now hate Cinema Sins. But SPACE. KNOWHERE. ETC. Over half the time the movie threw up a label for the location the characters had just mention it or mentioned in the first minute. As to who got dusted, no drama there no one dies in the Marvel verse.

    1. That throwing up labels is kind of a running gag for Guardians of the Galaxy. I liked the transfer/nod to that series.

    1. As long as he’s wearing that damned glove I will agree wholeheartedly and remind him that I can be very useful in furthering his goals.

  15. In the superhero comic book genre they are continually faced with the problem of always having to come up with some appropriately bigger and more challenging challenge for the superheroes to face. This, in order to keep things interesting as doing so has that “character growth” element as well just being something new and different for the audience to enjoy.

    The problem there is that this involves an escalation of challenges until it inherently gets to utterly absurd levels where the superheroes are essentially at god-like levels of power in order to defeat enemies who are also of god-like levels of power. What do you do to keep it interesting after you’ve become a god and defeated gods?

    Well, the answer for the comics is to hit the reset button.

    That’s why there’s been so many “Issue 0” restarts to all the long running franchises in the comic world. Yes, there’s some “reimagining” going on with the characters to “update” them to current expectations and so on. But basically it’s starting all over again to be able to, essentially, tell the same stories again.

    We’re at that point with the MCU and its current character slate. At this point, there really isn’t anywhere else for the primary characters to go. Oh, they’re all coming back in the next “Infinity War” movie alright. But what then? They’ll have “saved the universe” from Thanos who, with all those stones, really does have god-like powers.

    Will it be at all interesting – and at all even remotely challenging – for Tony Stark to be facing yet another business partner attempting to wrest control of Stark Industries away from him? This, after he’s figured a way to defeat that god-like Thanos? Yeah, no.

    So now is THE opportunity for Marvel to appropriately shuffle off its existing characters and bring in others from its overly abundant roster of superheroes. Marvel has had half a century now to build up that roster and it is extensive indeed.

    An MCU without Cap or Iron Man – or even without the Hulk or Thor – will be a vastly different place. But that will save it from being a stale and repetitive one.

    Also, Robert Downey Jr. has made clear that he wants out from playing Iron Man again and again. That, and finding other actors to play new characters will be a lot less expensive for production than having to cough up the superhero sized salaries that Downey and Evans command.

    Thus, my thoughts on the next “Infinity Wars” movie is that we’ll see some or most of the superheros that remained, after Thanos culled the herd, come up with some way of otherwise “resetting” the universe. This, such that everyone who disappeared in that culling becomes undisappeared.

    There will however, be a price for that. There’ll have to be. So it’s either going to involve a “noble and ultimate sacrifice for the greater good” to be made by either Iron Man or Captain America – or both.

    After that, all bets are off in terms of the new form of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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