Avengers: INFINITY WAR
Nerdgasm: the Movie.
As a long term geek and awkward weirdo, I’m a little shocked to see the success of comics come to the cinema. Often relegated to the bargain bin or direct to cable, cartoonish adventure movies with heavy costumes were always “beneath” the attention of the main stream. Kids laughed at me, teachers scoffed, and so on and so forth… so here we are in the year 2018 and the biggest blockbuster event is a culmination of ten years of film blowing up into a single cross-over event featuring A-list actors, a huge budget, and nearly every local theater being completely sold out for almost every showing and forced to open several past midnight.
Avengers: Infinity War is the ultimate adaptation of the Marvel Universe cross-over material that we’ve seen in comics for so many years. It’s huge—Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Spiderman, and Doctor Strange and so many of the side characters in each of those franchises plus the other Avengers and, finally, Thanos. All on one screen, all with a two and a half hour long extravaganza that barely takes any time to catch a breath. It’s overwhelming at times, the spectacle threatening to overshadow the story any number of times. And then there’s Thanos.
Your heroes are scattered, broken, and desperate. They cling to hope, they fight, and some will die and they are going to try and stop Thanos from collecting the Infinity Stones and using the Gauntlet to wipe out half of all life in the known universe with a single snap of his fingers. They’ve faced evil before and they’ve overcome- they’ve even faced the threat of a number of stones, and they have overcome. They have faced Gods, Titans, and so many threats and they have overcome. But then there was Thanos.
There is no joy in what he does. There is no glee in his task. He is not a madman, he is not a tyrant s he’s been made out to be, and he is not a monster. He’s a broken man- shattered by realizations, torn by the weight of the galaxy, and he is driven to complete his goal because it is necessary. It is horrible and it is tragic and it is necessary. There is no pride in what he does- there is purpose, there is reason, and the logic is sound. Thanos hasn’t come to destroy the galaxy, but rather to save it. He doesn’t expect gratitude, he doesn’t expect to rule, he just wants to save it from a horror that he understands will be far worse. He knows it because he’s seen it.
And this is his story.
Iron Man struggles with the weight of earth on his shoulders, burdened with great intelligence and cursed with arrogance. When all is said and done, he feels responsible for opening that door- for bringing heroes to earth, for the heroes he inspired, and for the symbol he represents. He is still carrying the weight he has shouldered since the first film- how much can he be reasonably expected to be held responsible? It doesn’t matter, because he feels it all.
Steve Rogers will fight because all life is precious and he has to do the right thing. It’s what he does – whether he bears the mantle, throws his shield, or rides in wearing all black and sporting a new beard. He is going to fight because it’s right, he’s not going to sacrifice anyone to do it. He is the moral compass of the Marvel Universe and he always will be. Whether he likes it or not.
Thor is broken. Thor has failed. Time and again, Thor has failed to be what he always thought he deserved to be. The arrogance of a god strips him time and again, but he keeps fighting. He is driven by ignoble purpose- revenge, anger, and resentment. And he will fight because Thor doesn’t know any other way to be.
Gamora will face her father. She will face the doom of her people, seeing the threat the galaxy faces, and she will try to overcome the love and respect she has for the man that raised her. She will fight because she knows what he intends to do and what kind of affect that will have on the world.
But then there is Thanos.
This is not a story about your heroes. They may succeed or they may fail, but it is ultimately not about them. It is not about the technological marvels of Wakanda, it is not about the boyish innocence of Spiderman, the mystic wonders of Dr. Strange, or the romance and human connection between a cybernetic life form and a science experiment. This isn’t about the Guardians or their little family, this isn’t about rogue heroes defying their government, this isn’t about pitched battles or desperate gambits. This movie has all those things, but it’s not about those things.
This movie is about Thanos.
9 out of 10.