By Michael Nacey ’19
Let’s face it, most of you probably aren’t interested enough in the machinery of the marvelous Marvel money machine that is the MCU to read this faithfully. Anyhow, for those of you who are clamoring to see this movie before Avengers: Endgame comes out or to hear someone else’s opinion of it, this is what I think you should keep in mind when you see Avengers: Infinity War.
I’ve already heard this movie being compared to The Empire Strikes Back and although Infinity War is a sequel and it has hit the box office with characters and action forceful enough to automatically make it a classic, what it’s trying to pull off is much more challenging. This movie is undoubtedly the crossover event of the past few years, and it has everything going for it. All your favorite superheroes, as long as they have been in a movie with a Stan Lee cameo in it, are in this movie. You’ve got the Hulk embarrassing Iron Man in front of Doctor Strange, and you’ve got Thor comparing beards with Captain America in Wakanda. That’s the reason to see this movie.
In terms of plot, there is too much to keep track of. Infinity War feels like trying to watch every Lord of the Rings movie and every Star Wars movie at the same time until they become the same thing out of delirium and hysteria. There’s so much going on, and so much to keep track of, and what’s more is that Infinity War is part 1 of another Avengers movie coming out in about a week, so most of the plotlines in this movie do not finish. The conflict in Infinity War plays out within the settings of all of the previous Marvel movies, drawing all 30 main characters of this movie into one central conflict dealing with the Infinity Stones with battles in Wakanda, New York, and space. Five of six of these stones appeared in past Marvel movies, the Tesseract from The Avengers, Captain America, and Thor: Ragnarok, the Aether from Thor: The Dark World, the Orb from Guardians of the Galaxy, the Eye of Agamotto from Doctor Strange, and the former center of Loki’s staff which was implanted into Vision’s forehead in Avengers: Age of Ultron (thank you MCU wiki). Moreover, all of these stones have names and powers like the Space Stone, the Power Stone, and the Time Stone (which confirms that there is indeed space for the power of time travel in the MCU and that things are only getting more confusing). There is a unifying force in this movie, however, and what connects these six stones to the thirty thousand superheroes, supervillains and super-extras in this movie are its main villain, Thanos.
Disregarding all the cameos and shout-outs in previous MCU movies, Thanos is surprisingly and convincingly powerful, intelligent, and deep in this movie without having to make as many jokes as Ultron or Loki. You can see every emotion on Thanos’ face (or rather Josh Brolin, who plays Thanos under layers of purple CGI) and great lengths are taken to intertwine Thanos’ backstory and relationships, especially with Gamora, one of his daughters. What this does is to make Thanos stay as a constant force with a goal, a team (of CGI characters!), and no one powerful enough to reverse the progress he’s making. This goal, which is blared many times in this movie, is to wipe out half the life in the universe, to balance it and to improve the standards of living of the universe by doing so. To do this, Thanos has the Infinity Gauntlet, built to harness the power of the Infinity Stones, which have scattered throughout the universe as of the beginning of Infinity War.
Overall, this is an incredibly crowded movie that mashes up about five franchises (from Spider-Man to the Guardians of the Galaxy) without seeming like five different movies. All the drama mixes with all the quips without putting Saving Private Ryan into your Austin Powers. All the serious characters get humiliated in some way and all the comic relief learns a lesson or two to show for it. There’s a lot of meshing between different emotions and color palettes and settings and one-liners and (obviously) characters, but the great thing is that, like a lot of recent Marvel movies in particular, everything looks and feels like it’s a comic book with a few million dollars of funding. A lot of the crazy colors and powers are there, and a lot of the most far-fetched “who would win?” questions are answered. Everything works as well as it can, and everything is as entertaining as any other Marvel movie. But what’s special about it is that this movie has got all the superheroes and the villain, both of which combine to reaffirm the fact that you will probably end up in a movie theater playing this movie in the near future at least once and that you’ll laugh, first with the movie and then at it. Regardless, Avengers: Infinity War is worth it, just like Avengers at 97: Walking War will probably be in 2075, so go see it so it doesn’t get spoiled for you on Instagram.