It’s time to talk about it. I apologize that it has taken me so long to write this post – I’ve had a lot of life stuff and basic procrastination in the way. I will cover major fan theories and Avengers 4 rumors in a future post once I have more time. It’s been plenty of time since Avengers: Infinity War came out, and you’ve had more than enough time to watch the movie. So I’m going to go ahead and dive right into what happened in the movie, including BIG GIANT SPOILERS (don’t say I didn’t warn you), breakdowns, and some of the major new fan theories that have been popping up on social media.
This review is meant for those readers already familiar with the Marvel Universe, so I will not be introducing characters or explaining their backstories, unless I’m specifically drawing attention to them. If you are only a casual fan or haven’t seen all the movies, heads up, this might be a little too geeky for you.
Here we go. If you’ve read this far and haven’t seen the movie, you have no one but yourself to blame.
Here’s a summary of the movie, in case you were in denial and trying to forget – Thanos has been on the hunt for the six Infinity Stones – power (purple), space (blue), reality (red), soul (orange), time (green), and mind (yellow). His goal is to use them in his newly created Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the universe in order to balance out the remaining population and create peace and prosperity. Throughout the course of the movie, he obtains each of these stones, leaving our beloved characters dead in his wake as they try to stop him.
At the beginning, he has already been to Xandar and collected the Power stone. Then he encounters Thor’s ship and takes the Tesseract (Space stone) from Loki, killing him and Heimdall in the process. He then collects the Reality stone from Knowhere, killing the Collector, and kidnapping Gamora, who has come with Drax and Mantis to stop him.
She takes him to Vormir, where he kills her in order to win the Soul stone, then travels to his home planet, Titan, to get the Time stone from Doctor Strange, who ended up there with Tony, Peter Parker, Peter Quill, Mantis, and Drax. He is almost defeated by the six of them, when Nebula shows up and demands to know where Gamora is. When Quill finds out Gamora is dead, he punches Thanos and they lose their chance of taking the Gauntlet. Strange eventually gives up the Time stone in exchange for Tony’s life, and Thanos travels to Earth to collect the Mind stone, which is embedded in Vision’s forehead.
Thanos and the Black Order attack Wakanda, which is defended by Cap, Bucky, T’Challa, Black Widow, Okoye, M’Baku, Falcon, Rhodey, and later Groot, and Rocket, and Thor (who’s wielding a cool new battle-axe he got in Nidavellir), while Wanda protects Vision as Shuri tries to separate him from the stone without killing him. But Wanda ends up having to destroy the stone while it’s still in Vision’s forehead, succeeding and killing him just as she can’t withstand Thanos any longer. Thanos uses the TIme stone to reverse time and take the stone anyway. He snaps his fingers and wipes out half of all existence despite having Thor’s battle-axe in his chest.
Half of all the remaining Avengers crumble to dust, and Thanos retires to a secluded place to watch the sunset. In the post-credits scene, Agent Hill and Nick Fury also crumble, but not before Fury sends an SOS to Captain Marvel.
Whew! This movie was packed! You should have seen how long my first draft of this summary was! All right, let’s dive in and see how much sense we can make of this thing.
First off – I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW MANY PEOPLE DIED!!!!
Let’s take stock:
Before the snap: Heimdall, Loki, The Collector, Gamora, and Vision.
After the snap: Bucky, T’Challa, Sam, Groot, Wanda, Drax, Mantis, Peter Quill, Doctor Strange, Peter Parker, Agent Hill, and Nick Fury.
Just looking at that list makes me want to cry. But the directors let us know that we should pay more attention to who survived when it comes to theorizing about the next movie- so let’s also take a look at that list: We still have all six original Avengers (unless Hawkeye didn’t make it, which is unlikely, but more on that later) plus Rhodey, Rocket, Nebula, Okoye, and M’Baku. We can also probably safely assume for the moment that Shuri and Wong are still alive, since they were not shown after the snap. Ant-Man survived (spoiler alert for Ant-Man and the Wasp) but in the end credits scene it is revealed that neither Hope van Dyne (Wasp) or Hank Pym did.
Morality Debates on a Heroic Scale
One of the first things I noticed in this movie (besides the grotesquely unnecessary number of deaths) was the overarching theme presented by the Russos in their storytelling. This theme is the moral dilemma that Thanos thrives off of – sacrifice an individual, or the universe. Starting with Thor and Loki, then Peter Quill and Gamora, Gamora and Thanos, Tony and Strange, Wanda and Vision, and Vision and Cap. Though some characters actively try to oppose this dilemma (Cap’s “We don’t trade lives”), the trade ends up happening anyway, one way or the other. It’s interesting to note which characters sacrifice their loved one or the individual they are protecting to save the universe and which characters choose to save the individual above all else. I think this tells us a lot about the characters’ motives and worldviews
Of the six sacrifices in this movie, three are made one direction, three in the other (hmm, perfectly balanced. Coincidence? I think not!). Loki, Doctor Strange, and Vision choose to protect the individual (Thor, Tony, and Cap respectively) to the detriment of the universe, and Quill, Thanos, and Wanda decide the universe is more important, and sacrifice the individual (Gamora, Gamora, and Vision, respectively). Poor Gamora.
Going into the theater when I first went to see the movie on April 26th, I was excited to see my favorite Avenger with a whole new look and story – Hawkeye. But the further the movie progressed, the more confused I got. Where was he? When he didn’t show up by the post credits scene, I was definitely bewildered, disappointed, and most of all worried.
I had looked it up before the showing. Jeremy Renner was listed in the cast. I’d been seeing set pictures of him sporting a cool new mohawk. And yet, I had been deceived. My guess is that IMDB just put everyone in the cast list so that no one would be able to guess what would happen. And I’m betting that the list for Avengers 4 is doing the same thing.
If Hawkeye wasn’t in this movie, what’s going to happen to him in Avengers 4? The directors have confirmed that characters who got less screen time in IW will get more in Avengers 4, and the characters that got more screen time will be in the background. This means, in my estimation, that characters like Gamora, Banner, and Thor will fade a little while other characters like Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Captain America will get more attention. Right now, the “Untitled Avengers Movie” cast list on IMDB includes characters that are supposed to be dead but I’m less inclined to believe them this time around.
I’ve got a couple of theories (and worrying premonitions) about Hawkeye, but because they’re theories, they’ll have to wait until the next post. But suffice it to say, my favorite Avenger had better get some good action in the next movie because I totally thought he was going to be in Infinity War.
Looking Ahead to Avengers 4
There was a bunch more I was going to say on this movie, but I’ve already procrastinated enough on getting this out. So let’s take a final look at what happened in this movie that will probably affect A4. I will also be including information from Ant-Man and the Wasp since you should have had enough time to see that movie, too, by now. (If you haven’t yet, go watch it, then come back and read this part). I’ll also mention some theories at what will happen in Captain Marvel, which comes out next March, that also might affect the fourth Avengers movie.
1. The Avengers Who Survived
I think one of the most obvious things about which characters survived is that almost all of them are very important, established characters with strong backgrounds. And I think it’s rather suspicious that the Russos, in choosing who Thanos should *randomly* kill with the Snap, decided to keep all six original Avengers alive. Sure, half of all the named characters died, but it’s a very uneven half. We do have characters with important backstories that are now dead (Loki, Gamora, Strange, and Peter Parker specifically), but on the whole, I don’t think this setup is as “perfectly balanced” as we were led to believe. Which leads me to my next point:
2. Coming Full Circle
One of the best ways to finish a story is by bringing it back to where it all started. Where did it all start? The Avengers. That’s what Infinity War has been teasing, even from the first trailer: “There was an idea….”. Having all six original Avengers left is very telling, especially given Strange’s sudden willingness to save Tony’s life at the cost of the time stone. Remember, this is the guy who just saw 4 million different futures. Something he saw told him that Tony was too important to die then on Titan. I totally expected Tony and/or Steve to die in this movie, but there is obviously a reason they are both still alive. Their character arcs are finished – all they have left to do is complete their story. That means that the Russos have a conscious plan for their characters and whatever it is they will do in the next movie will complete their stories once and for all.
Well, that’s the end of this exorbitantly long blog post that said a ton and not much at the same time. I hope to write a future post detailing some of the theories regarding Infinity War, Avengers 4, and Captain Marvel, which could be a whole series in itself. I might even write separate posts for each one. I mean, with the “Hulk Was Actually Loki in Disguise” theory, the time travel theory for A4, and the introduction of the Skrulls, it could be a really long discussion. But it’s one I’m excited to have in the future, and I hope you’ll enjoy it with me!
If you missed the first part of my post, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (NO SPOILERS), go ahead and read that now.