Tuesday, May 1, 2018

This Means (Infinity) War!

Discussion ahead. I'm not going to avoid spoilers.
You've been warned.

Other than Lord of the Rings (which is arguably one 10-hour+ movie rather than the three movies released in theaters), this is probably the "biggest" movie ever made. It, too, was too big to be one movie, not to mention that Marvel Studios spent a decade building up to this. That has never been done before (and is a good illustration of why, despite making decent money at the box office, DC movies continue to fail (you can't set up for an "epic" Justice League battle by having Batman say "something's coming" and allowing that to be your entire setup)).

Now, let's just get it out of the way that I thought the movie was Incredible, Amazing, Spectacular, Fantastic (even though they're not in it), Invincible, Mighty... um... there's probably more of those superlatives that I'm forgetting, but those are the one's off the top of my head. Oh, it's also Uncanny.

But I also understand why some people are freaking out, though I do find the number of people responding to it with, "The ending sucked! I'm never seeing another Marvel movie ever again!" more than a little amusing. To go with the most prevalent comparison, I don't remember anyone saying that about Star Wars after Empire came out.

Maybe this is one of those movies where it really does help if you've read the source material. One of the things that Marvel has excelled at is making their movies accessible to people who have never read comic books. They've taken these outlandish (sometimes literally (Thor/Guardians)) ideas and characters and made them believable in a modern world and taken away the need to have a comic book background to be able to understand and appreciate what's going on (again, as opposed to DC and Warner Brothers who continue to take shortcuts by assuming their audience knows the background for their characters and dispenses with giving anything any amount of credibility). And you don't need the comic books for this one, either, but maybe people wouldn't be freaking out so much if they'd read The Infinity Gauntlet. Not that I believe everything's going to be "okay" at then end of this. The MCU, after all, is not the same as the Marvel Universe in the comic books. In comic books, you can depend on characters not really ever dying and things mostly going back to the way they were. Consequences in the MCU tend to be a lot more permanent. That said, having read Infinity Gauntlet, I know how everything's supposed to shake out at the end, so I'm not freaking out about all the deaths. I expected it. Some of them still almost brought me to tears.

The only weakness of the movie, if you can call it that, is the motivation of Thanos. Maybe it's only a weakness because that is the one thing they really provided no background for. That and you can't really make a case that killing half of the souls in the universe brings any kind of balance. However, Thanos is called "the mad Titan" (in the comic books) for a reason. There doesn't have to be any kind of logic involved. Especially since he seems to think that people will come to love and worship him for his actions.

To be clear, bringing balance to the universe is not his motivation in the comic series. No, in the comics, he does it all for love, which, still, is a thought that amuses me. It amuses me because it's so true. See, in the comics, Thanos is in love with Death (not death, Death), she who embodies the ideal of death. He's in love with her, but she won't give him the time of day. He decides that if he can bring her an offering of half the souls in the universe that that ought to make her love him. heh
I'm not going to tell you how that works out.

Which brings us to Adam Warlock...
Except not, since he's not in the MCU, at least not at this point. It's Adam Warlock who puts things right again at the end of Gauntlet, not that someone else can't serve that function, and I was hoping he would show up. Maybe he can't though, since he may be a part of the Fantastic Four branch of the Marvel Universe (like the Silver Surfer) and currently under the control of Fox. Yes, I'm sure I could look that up; I'm just not going to. But I digress...

What I'm sure of, absolutely sure of, is that the next Avengers movie, the one that is the sequel to Infinity War, will be a permanent restructuring of the MCU. While some of what happened will be fixed, there will be some things that are permanent in a way they never are in comic books. Chris Evans is not renewing his contract as Captain America. Chris Hemsworth is almost certainly not renewing his contract as Thor. Robert Downey, Jr., though he's stated that he's willing to continue being Tony Stark, has also stated that he no longer wants to play Iron Man, and his contract is also about to be up. None of which is to mention that if the deal goes through with Disney buying Fox, whole new areas -- X-Men and the Fantastic Four -- will suddenly be open to the MCU. Will I be sad to see the permanent departure of some of these specific characters from the MCU? Sure. But I'm also looking forward to the idea that characters may die permanently. For good. Forever. It makes these kinds of stories much more... satisfying, if that's a word that can be used for this. It makes the stakes real, and, thus, it makes the victory, even if it's Pyrrhic, real, too.
Even if it is fiction.

Oh! And all of the performances are as awesome as can be expected.


  1. I knew it wasn't following the comics exactly. (I believe almost every Avenger dies in the comics, at least for a while.) I thought the motivation they gave Thanos for the movie worked perfectly. He thought he was doing good.
    At least we only have to wait a year and not three for the next one.
    And relax, people. Guardians III is scheduled. They will be back.

  2. The Infinity Gauntlet is actually one of the few Marvel series that I've read, so it's something for me to actually be going into one of these movies and have some idea of what's coming. I'm not sure how I feel about them erasing Death. On one hand, it's kind of a stupid reason, gathering all the stones to impress some girl who's just not interested. On the other, Thanos's motivations now seem somehow stupider. Either way, it's shaping up to be an epic movie. I think they actually managed to do a good job translating the series to the big screen. Of course, DC won't stop trying to mimic them...

    1. Jeanne: Sure, to impress a girl MIGHT be a stupid reason to do something, but it's SO true.

  3. Anyone who hasn't seen the movie (at least at the school I was at yesterday) got greeted with pointed spoilers. 11th graders were unforgiving.

    I know what you mean about the dead staying dead. It makes the defeat seem more real, which makes the story work better. If everyone's going to be made undead, then what was the point?

    1. Liz: I think the limited nature of movies will work in our favor on the whole death thing this time.