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Unraveling the Good and the Bad of Avengers: Infinity War

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Warning: contains movie spoilers.

 

Avengers: Infinity War touched down in theaters nationwide in late April. Aside from generating billions of dollars, the film is notorious for its disturbing resolution. Some viewers emerged from movie theaters polarized and vindicated, complaining about the many dismal deaths that appear towards the conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War, while others contend that the negativity towards the deaths has been overly-publicized. Was the film ultimately delightful or distasteful? Let’s evaluate by answering future filmgoers’ questions.

 

Wasn’t it hard to follow along?

     Commentator 1. Whether one is a Marvel fan or not, Avengers: Infinity War has something for everyone in the audience. Want to laugh? Groot and Rocket, two characters from the highly successful and hilarious Marvel franchise Guardians of the Galaxy, play up their lines for some of the best comedy in superhero films. Want to cry? The heartbreaking sequence of Spider-Man, alternatively known as a high school senior by the name of Peter Parker, processing his own death silences theater rooms. It may be a little hard to follow along if one has not watched any superhero films, and perhaps Marvel bit off more for us than we could chew with the large cast and intertwined narratives, but little to no contextualization is required to enjoy the astounding performances by each actor and the breathtaking special effects. There are people that never kept up with the superhero films that enjoyed this movie.

Commentator 2. This film was the entire Marvel cinematic universe colliding. To begin, Marvel has always handled one important aspect of adapting comic books into films, and that’s character development. When you take characters that have been around since World War II, it can be a lot of ground to cover. Not to mention the extensive backstories and conflicting timelines that comics just love to bait readers with. Yet time and time again, Marvel films have managed to pace their films in a way that lets the audience really get to know the hero and their quirky cohorts. Trilogies that satisfy even picky comic book lovers such as myself when it comes to the fictional characters we hold near and dear. Until now. Honestly, I gotta say: I’m hurt.

 

Wasn’t there a lack of exposition on the villains?

     Commentator 1. Well, yes, but it’s not detrimental to the plot. Initially, the audience would certainly feel more invested in the storyline had there been a little more exposition on the villains’ intriguing motives and backstories, but the plot picks up quite well enough on its own. As demonstrated by the billions of dollars of revenue that the movie has generated, this latest installment in the Avengers: Infinity War is a dazzling blend of nostalgia and reinvention without more information on the villains.

 

     Commentator 2. With such a momentous cast, Infinity War does a decent job of setting up their individual backstories—exceptions apply—for the film’s basic plot. It lacks in a huge aspect, though…the villains. No, not just Thanos, the gigantic purple alien bent on population control, but to his “Children”. In the movie, Thanos uses a team of seemingly overpowered aliens to locate the infinity stones and otherwise terrorize out darling Avengers. Besides the fact that they are all devoted to Thanos’ genocidal cause, very little is known about these mysterious characters, and that’s an issue. Similar to another comic movie franchise, we are introduced to brand new characters without any detail other than the fact that they are the bad guys (I’m looking at you DC). I expected better than that from a seasoned franchise.

 

     Didn’t everyone die?

     Commentator 1. The biggest complaint was that, since everyone died, the viewers did not receive closure. However, the unsettling lack of closure leaves a lot to be said about Marvel’s creativity. It is purely brilliant that the Russo brothers were willing to take this creative leap and were able to still leave the audience feeling shocked after watching the most publicized and theorized superhero film yet. It was absolutely painful to watch, yes, but the Russo brothers accurately portrayed just that—the pain of war. In a real war, the heroes do not always win…and if they do, many lives are lost in the process. Continuing on that train of thought, everyone knows that, since Avengers:4 is coming out, the heroes that are dead will reappear, whether they are brought out for the audience to enjoy seeing one last time or permanently resurrected for another franchise.

Commentator 2. In the end, our heroes do not prevail. Infinity War takes these characters that some of the audience have practically grown up with and crush them to literal dust. From newly beloved figures like T’Challa and Peter Quill, The Black Panther and Starlord respectively, to the very founder of the Avengers, Nick Fury, the death toll was immense. There is only so much us audience members could take while watching our favorites disintegrate into nothingness on the big screen. If the pain of loss was not enough, lines were included that made these scenes particularly unfair if not cruel. Bucky Barnes, longtime friend of Captain America only gets one word out before his death, an almost confused, “Steve?” The internet has taken to softening the blow on what I consider one of the most crushing lines. Peter Parker- still a teenager might I add- breaks down as he is literally breaking down, crying and saying he, “Doesn’t want to go”. Heartbreaking implications aside, this was an incredibly painful scene to watch. The entire end of the movie was just that: Painful. Nobody goes to watch a Marvel film to leave feeling like their heart has been ripped out their chest. Not even the Russo Brothers can justify what transpired here.

 

     So overall?

Commentator 1: Definitely go see Avengers: Infinity War. It is an insightful and interesting commentary packed with enough action, laughter, and tears to sate a movie theater audience for months. Not only is it the most creative and ambitious narrative in the Marvel franchise, it is worth seeing because it will most likely be useful if you want to know what’s going on in the (probably) brighter sequel, Avengers 4.

Commentator 2: This movie upset me on so many levels that I cried a bit afterwards. Not only in terms of character development, but in the sheer audacity to crush the audiences’ hopes for a happy ending. Marvel movies consistently please and leave fans wanting for more, but this one? This one just made us all want to go watch Justice League instead to heal our wounds. Avengers 4 is set to release in May 2019. May it repair the damage its prequel did to the fan base.

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