It’s been a while since I saw Infinity War and I spent this time letting the implications of the movie stew in my mind before deciding to churn out any proper opinions of my own. Ever since then, I’ve been slowly watching other Marvel movies (like Thor Ragnarok and Spiderman: Homecoming) and also planning on rewatching others, mostly the previous Avengers films as well as Iron Man trilogy. It mostly stems from the fact that Infinity War felt like it called back to a lot of the content in the previous films. We won’t be discussing all of that content (not today at least), but instead, we will focus on a couple of things from the movie.
In case you haven’t realized, this is a spoiler-heavy post and if you haven’t seen Infinity War, here is your last chance to turn back. Close the window, exit the blog, forget you ever saw this post and go watch Infinity War first. Or if Marvel isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to go ahead and read this post. Maybe it’ll convince you to try getting into the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the 2019 films.
The spoilers aren’t in chronological order. They’re in the order of how strongly I feel about the topic, hence it shouldn’t be a surprise that Iron Man clinches the first discussion.
Tony Stark and the Curse of Knowledge
I have been yelling ever since Civil War about Tony Stark. He is probably the most complex character in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe who has gone through a lot of difficult trials. He’s not a super soldier like Captain America or a superhuman like Thor. All he is is a genius who made himself a super suit. While he is basically just “a man in a can”, you also can’t say that he is nothing without his suit. It’s just not true because what makes Tony Stark special is not his gadgets, but his intelligence that created the tech in the first place. This is a man who could build something out of junk.
When on the planet Titan, Tony Stark is recognized by Thanos. It’s a bit of a mutual recognition- Tony Stark admits to being plagued by Thanos being in his head and Thanos sees that they both share the ‘curse of knowledge’. These two things overlap quite a bit.
First of all, when Tony Stark mentions that Thanos had been in his head, he didn’t mean Thanos. He meant the fear of something bigger, some greater, something more terrifying that he would face than what he had already faced in the first Avengers movie. Think about it: for a genius like Tony Stark, it’s only reasonable that after experiencing the attack on New York and knowing that there’s a bigger universe out there with powerful beings just a portal away, he would start wondering about the next big threat coming up. This is what prompts him to build Ultron, to keep the earth safe because Tony Stark knows that he can’t do it. Not only is he just a man in a can but he is also very traumatized. Having Ultron backfire on him though can’t have been a very good experience.
Next: the curse of knowledge. Is it this knowledge that Thanos is referring to? The knowledge that Tony had since that Chitauri attack: that alien powers would attack earth again? But how does this make Tony similar to Thanos is they both are cursed with knowledge? I think it doesn’t refer to the piece of information, but rather to the resultant feeling. After realizing that aliens would inevitably attack again, Tony Stark spends his efforts creating new technology, improving everything he has and constantly questing for a way to feel secure despite the looming threat. If we draw parallels between Tony Stark and Thanos, the curse is inevitably the knowledge that their home planet and people will be destroyed and that there is nothing they can do about it.
Thor Odinson and the Tragedy of Asgard
It was a mistake not watching Thor Ragnarok before Infinity War. Thor Ragnarok really gives a lot of key background information for Thor when it comes to Infinity War. I mean, come on, ever since the start of Thor Ragnarok, it has just been tragedy upon tragedy for Thor Odinson. First he loses his father, then he loses his hammer, then he loses to the Hulk, then he loses Asgard and then somehow manages to grab some of it back again when escaping Asgard with its people, only to have the Black Order and Thanos arrive, wipe out all of Asgard, take the Tesseract and kill Loki (?). All of this is probably happening in a span of days. I feel like Thor Odinson and Tony Stark are definitely in a marathon to see who is the more tragic hero.
It’s all summarized pretty well by the conversation between Thor and Rocket where Rocket asks him about his parents and siblings and friends and it turns out that they’re all dead. One thing I noticed was that Thor had lost most of his optimism and love of the Avengers that he had had back in Thor Ragnarok. I think it stems from his journey of rediscovery: that he is the god of thunder and that there are powers at work that cannot be handled by a group of humans that are the Avengers. Or maybe it’s because he realized he really really needed a new hammer and figured the Avengers would be fine without him for a while. Could be either.
His new hammer is pretty cool though! I especially liked the Groot handle and the added Bifrost properties. Unfortunately, he didn’t go for the head. It really could’ve cut Infinity War one movie short. Even if he didn’t go for the head, he could’ve gone for the arm? Did no one think about sawing the glove off of his arm? It seems as though Thor isn’t enough to defeat Thanos as most of his actions seem to be based on emotions like anger and revenge and it’s understandable. Thor is obviously in a lot of pain, as outlined above, so it’s not very surprising that he isn’t thinking things through as well as he should have.
Thanos and the Solution to Overpopulation
Infinity War did a pretty good job of making Thanos more monstrous as well as more human. It’s not hard to understand where his motivation is coming from, considering the solution to overpopulation is one that has been discussed in several fictional novels. One that I can think right off the top of my head is Inferno by Dan Brown. The point is, overpopulation is a very real thing, but in my opinion, it’s more important to discuss the distribution of resources. If we take Earth, for example, then a minority of the population has enough resources to provide for the majority, but it doesn’t happen. People still continue to think about reducing the population instead of creating equity. That’s all a discussion for some other time though.
Thanos claims that what he plans to do will be an act of mercy. To be fair, at least the unlucky half of the universe ‘died’ painlessly. I can’t really say much about the other half, considering how we saw chaos erupting back on Earth (the helicopter crashing into the building etc). He also says that it would be as if they never existed. Hold up right there. Does this mean that half of the universe would be deleted from history as well? Was this foreshadowed when Thanos says to Tony “I hope they remember you” but actually meant “I hope you don’t get the bad side of the coin and get removed from history”? I wouldn’t really be surprised if this was the case, considering that Thanos also has the Time Stone and probably could delete them from history, but this would also be really difficult to pull story-wise. Can there be a Captain America without Bucky? Does this mean that Captain America of Infinity War becomes downgraded to Captain America of The First Avenger or does this mean that there is a creation of a parallel universe? Ugh, it’s too complicated.
Dr. Strange and the ONE Future Where They Win
I’m going to assume Dr. Strange is as smart as he pretends to be. So all of the 14 million or whatever futures he looked at involved leaving all the other situations as stationary (i.e. ignoring Thor’s side quest, not interfering with the Avengers on Earth etc) but only looked at the futures that would result from the actions that the team on Titan could do. This would significantly reduce the pool of possible futures (I mean, imagine a future where they decide to contact Thor and tell him to go foR THE HEAD PLEASE) and then out of all the choices and changes that Team Titan could do, only 1 would lead towards victory. Hence why Dr. Strange didn’t seem very worried when he gave Thanos the Stone in exchange for Tony Stark’s life and also didn’t use the Stone as a weapon.
Another possible theory could be a call back from Dr. Strange’s movie. His companion, Mordo, did not want to use the Time Stone as he believed that there would be consequences when it came to tampering with time and that the “bill always comes due”. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bill is on its way and Dr. Strange decided to shove it on Thanos. What this bill could be, I have no idea, but it would be cool if Dormamu swooped in and yelled “aha! at last!” and ate Thanos.
The Apologetic Spiderman
Since I’ve freshly watched Spiderman: Homecoming, I just want to say that I absolutely love the interactions between Peter Parker and Tony Stark. I think it’s fantastic how Tony has taken Peter under his wing but also wants to keep Peter safe. In Infinity War, Tony had initially wanted Peter to get back down to Earth but instead, Peter stayed on the alien ship and later becomes part of the team on Titan. I just want to say beforehand that there’s really no reason for Tony to feel responsible for Peter’s “death” because Peter got the wrong side of the coin regardless of whether he stays on Earth or goes to Titan. At least on Titan, he got a fighting chance to stop Thanos. If he stayed on Earth, however, he probably would have been sent home by Banner and not taken to Wakanda to fight with the grounded Avengers.
Next: the death itself. Peter most definitely felt that coming with his spider-sense, hence why he felt ill and managed to get a waaaay longer reaction than most of the people who died as they didn’t even get a chance to call out for help or anything at all. I thought it was very heart-breaking scene as I felt so bad for both Peter and Tony and after rewatching Spiderman: Homecoming, it felt even worse as back then Tony had mentioned that people dying because of Spiderman’s antics was on Peter, but Peter dying because of Spiderman’s antics was on Tony as Tony is the one who enabled Spiderman.
I think either way, whether Peter died on Titan or on Earth, Tony would have felt responsible. He’s really good at taking everything on top of himself. He probably thinks this all could’ve been averted if he had just more power to stop Thanos on Titan. I hope in Infinity War 2, Tony gives himself a bit of a break and focuses instead on what to do next, instead of mulling over his ‘shortcomings’.
Banner V Hulk: Battle for Biggest Disappointment
“Stop embarrassing me, I told them we were friends!” and “You’re embarrassing me in front of the wizard!”. Well, there’s currently a count of two people who are disappointed in Banner and Hulk. Interestingly enough, the former wanted Banner and the latter wanted the Hulk. In Thor Ragnarok, we get a pretty good look at the relationship between Banner and Hulk and it’s really not very mutually beneficial a lot of the time. Banner feels threatened by the Hulk as he feels that the Hulk has the strength to shut Banner out completely. However, this all gets thrown out the window in Infinity War when Banner tries to call back the Hulk to fight the Black Order. I guess things change when the end of the world is upon you.
We won’t talk much about Age of Ultron, but one thing I do want to mention is the supposed romance between Romanoff and Banner. I’m going to say ‘supposed’ because after rewatching Age of Ultron, I feel like it was a bit of a farce from Romanoff’s side and I’m not surprised that Banner dropped the romance in Infinity War because… it’s kind of hard not to feel betrayed and used when the person you thought you liked and wanted to run away with threw you into a chasm because she wanted the other guy. I feel like Romanoff might’ve pretended to romance Banner and Hulk because she was functioning as the safety net when it came to the Hulk. After all, Tony only brought out Veronica and the Hulk Buster when it was confirmed that Romanoff would not be able to sing the Hulk back to Banner.
Well, those are my opinions and thoughts about Infinity War! There are a couple of other small things I also wanted to talk about, like Vision, but I guess that’s for another day! What did you think about Infinity War?