Infinity War: Half a Conclusion

Just a reminder to check out my most recent guest writer appearance: this time on Mental Health Matters where I look at my own battle with anxiety. You can follow me on Twitter here. I will soon be moving some content to a new blog. My entertainment posts (films, games, random theories, etc will stay here. My travel and mental health posts will move to the new one. I’ll keep you updated! Anyway, let’s get to Avengers: Infinity War!

 

Avengers Infinity War: My Hopes and Concerns

As a fan of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) I’ve been following this storyline since Iron-Man back in 2008! I’ll admit, the road has had its fair share of ups and downs but in this article I’m going to share my opinion of some of the surprises I had along the way (both good and bad) and why I’m slightly concerned about the two Infinity War films (yet ever optimistic). I’ve found that a pretty consistent rule I can follow goes something like this: If an MCU film excites me then it’s going to suck. If I think it’s going to suck then I’m usually pleasantly surprised.

 

Let’s start with the Lows

Within the MCU there have certainly been some gems (other than infinity gems) but there have also been some incredible disappointments. Within the universe itself, there are certainly some characters that are more “main” than others. Iron-Man, Thor and Captain America all have their own trilogies. For me, the Thor trilogy was pretty disappointing. Both he and Loki are two of my favourite characters but the story just sort of repeated itself through all three films. The first Thor film was perhaps the best of the three but in all honesty, the other two were pretty disappointing considering all the characters they had to work with.

Of course, we can’t talk about the lows of the MCU without addressing Age of Ultron. The trailer to this day is still one of my favourites. This idea of an AI cutting its master’s strings in order to bring its own skewed version of peace to Earth sounds fascinating. The creepy version of the Pinocchio music was a great touch. Up until this stage the Avengers had been invincible and it was let slip that at least one of them wouldn’t make it to the end of the film. Ultimately what we got was a cheesy AI, the family-tale for Hawkeye (which I could easily have lived without) and the death of an Avenger (if someone who joined the Avengers that day counts). Personally, I would have killed Hawkeye: Especially after forcing us to jump into his God-awful personal life.

 

Then Move onto the Highs!

Where to begin? I guess let’s start with the Captain America films. The first film we got was ok. I was never a huge fan of the character and while I found the first film pretty enjoyable to watch, I never imagined he would become my favourite character (or one of). When The Winter Soldier came out, the trailer looked awful. I couldn’t have been less interested in the film and I didn’t go to the cinema to see it. This happened to be at the same time in my life where I was reading about corrupt governments, shady organisations and other issues that ran parallel to the film. So when I did eventually see it, it was incredible. To this day it has one of my favourite fight scenes. Civil War was very entertaining but the story itself could have been a lot better. Still though, a great watch!

Speaking of Civil War, we can’t talk about the highs without mentioning Spiderman. The web-slinger was welcomed back into the MCU in 2016 with an appearance in the Cap vs Iron-Man battle. I was incredibly doubtful of Tom Holland: Mainly because I’d always pictured Andrew Garfield as fitting in perfectly with the cast…that being said, Tom Holland did an incredible job and I loved Spiderman: Homecoming. I mean THANK THE LORD that we didn’t need to see the origin story again. That was an amazing move!

Then there are the entries that while not being films, do exist within the MCU. One example of this would be Marvel’s Agents of Shield. This came out just before The Winter Soldier and I couldn’t have cared less. That is until I happened to catch an episode or two where shit hit the fan and Hydra turned on Shield (it was actually what led to me watching The Winter Soldier). Since then I’ve been a huge fan. The show, similar to the films has had its highs and lows but I thoroughly enjoy it and look forward to seeing where it goes.

Infinity War

So this brings us to Infinity War. A film that is divided up into two parts but is ultimately the conclusion of 10 years of storytelling. I’m usually against this idea of dividing films up. It was OK in Harry Potter because there was a giant book to explore but every other film series that has done it since has just milked the idea. You usually have the first part of the film ending on a cliff-hanger where the heroes look like they’ve lost and you start to wonder how the hell they’ll make it through…but they do. Film makers have caught onto this though. So now, in the same way that films stop being numbered, you now also avoid numbering the two-parter films. So what was originally set out to be Infinity War part 1 and part 2 is now Infinity War and something else.

Similarly, Justice League part 1 and part 2 will now be given separate names. This is to make you feel less ripped off. I won’t get into DCEU right now but their idea is to skip the huge build up and instead cram what Marvel did in 10 years into 2 films. Essentially one film brings 3 characters together and the other brings the rest…and the villains. Marvel will most likely spend the entire first part of Infinity War showing just how powerful Thanos is. The Avengers will get a couple wins (probably against the Children of Thanos) but will ultimately get defeated at the end. The one in 2019 will show more new characters come into play (I’d imagine) and give us what should be an incredible end to this sage. Before Phase 4 that is.

 

Let the Worrying Commence

So why am I worried? Well, I’m slightly concerned that we’ll get a regurgitation of the first two Avenger films. When we first saw the Avengers Assemble, it made sense that they were fighting hordes of enemies and it worked really well. But then we got to Age of Ultron and watched them initially struggle to fight like 5, semi-destroyed Ultron bots only to then face hundreds of much more advanced bots with ease (for the most part). I mean it’s great, you get to see the heroes work together, get cool kill-shots, make use of their huge range of powers…but it does become a bit tiresome.

I’m worried that they’ll focus too much on giant fight scenes. I mean obviously it’s called Infinity War for a reason but there will be a line that I’m hoping they don’t cross. The last things we want is for 10 years-worth of story-telling to end in a weak boss battle. This brings me onto my other concern: while I assume (as I mentioned earlier) that Thanos will destroy potentially everything by the end of the first film, I’m still worried that it might be a little too easy for the Avengers/Guardians to defeat him when the time comes.

After all, this is a character who has been seen as more powerful than Loki or Ronan or any other number of characters who have proved a challenge for their respective foes. So when we have Thanos WITH infinity gems and the infinity gauntlet, his children and imaginably some form of army, we really do need to see the heroes being knocked down as low as they can possibly go. Not “oh the Hulk destroyed some buildings and the witch gave us flashbacks” defeated but actually all the way down to the bottom. We need to seem them properly questioning defeat: A moment where nobody says anything clever or cocky or optimistic.

 

A Little Look at Loki

Speaking of heroes, let’s talk about Loki for a second. As I mentioned during my ramblings about Thor, the Loki-Thor relationship has repeated itself over and over again. Put simply: Loki tricks Thor. We saw this happen again in Thor: Ragnarok only for Loki to seemingly redeem himself by coming to the rescue and sticking by Thor’s side at the end. However, the tesseract makes its way into the Infinity War trailer (in Loki’s hands no less after him seeing it in Odin’s vault) and as such, I’m worried that Loki will fit into his same role as the previous films and ultimately turn on the heroes only for it to backfire on him. As we are BOUND to lose some characters in this film, I really hope Loki isn’t one of them. As such, I’m hoping he appears to betray Thor and the others only for it to be a double cross. If I could choose one character not to die, it would be Loki!

Death is another issue. We know that most, if not all of the main line-up will be returning for the 2019 sequel…so where does that leave us with Thanos and his destructive force? If NOBODY dies then that’s a bit too “fairy-tale story” but obviously if they all die then there’s nobody left to save the universe in the next film. My concern is that we won’t lose enough characters. I LOVE most of the characters in these films but some of them have to go for dramatic effect. How long can plot armour (and film contracts) really protect them? I figure for sure Cap is going either in 2018 or 2019. I also fear that Loki might join him.

 

The Death List

So who would I sacrifice to the mighty Thanos and who would I keep? Good question. My preferred death list would go something like this (in no particularly order): Definitely Hawkeye! Vision can go. Rhodes could as well but I feel like if they were going to kill him off, they would have just had it happen in Civil War…unless him not dying was important to avoid an irreparable rift. Anyway, Black Widow is sort of a grey area. The character has been a lot of fun and while I don’t hope that she dies, I wouldn’t shed a tear if she did. Falcon is another character that I don’t wish death upon but wouldn’t care a great deal about.

Unfortunately, due to film announcements we knew who won’t be dying (although if Marvel were clever they’d throw in a red herring here and there). We have Ant-Man and the Wasp coming out in 2018 but after Infinity War. We have a Spider-man sequel in 2019 so we know that he survives both films. Guardians Vol.3 will also be out after both films but that’s not to say that all of them will survive. I doubt that Quill will die or Groot but everyone else is fair game, especially given Drax and Gamorra’s personal vendettas against Thanos.

 

Will we lose the Main Three?

As for the main characters? As I said, I think Captain America could be a goner in one of these films. We’ve seen him go from loyal soldier to outlaw but his arc certainly seems to be reaching its end. Since Bucky is also going to be making an appearance, it could be that the mantle of Captain (and the shield) makes its way to him. Iron-Man is a difficult one. I’ve heard rumours of an Iron-Man 4 but quite frankly, I’m not sure what else they can do. I don’t want Tony Stark to die as Robert Downey Jr is a much needed comic relief in the films but at the same time, I’d rather he died than outgrew the role. I mean after defeating a terrorist network, his mentor: Obadiah, poisoning, Ivan Vanko (and Hammer industries), Loki and his army, The Mandarin and his super soldiers, Ultron, and ultimately Thanos…what else is there?

Then there is Thor to consider. I certainly pray to Odin that they don’t try to make a fourth Thor film but who knows. I could see Thor dying as well but then who would rule over Asgard? Would Loki perhaps live and finally get the throne he’d been so desperate to sit on? I don’t think that Thor will die after getting the symbolic eyepatch (or perhaps not so symbolic) just like his father but with Asgard (in the literal sense) destroyed and not many survivors left, could these two films end it altogether? This could be an opportunity to scratch Asgard and its people off the map entirely.

 

So what does this all mean?

All in all, I think it would be difficult to mess this two-parter up as badly as Age of Ultron but never say never! I just hope that by the end of the 2019 film, we have a proper conclusion. When Avengers ended, the group just sort of dispersed to do their own thing with the same thing happening after Age of Ultron. We had stand-alone films after both though and with the cast list growing larger and larger, there won’t be space to have all these characters existing in the same universe. Since this is meant to be the finale (in a manner of speaking) I just hope that we don’t have like 15 or more characters hopping into cars, spaceships or bi-frost beams (well, perhaps not that last one anymore) at the end with no real explanation for what is going on.

Yes, it will be sad to lose some of the characters but if Game of Thrones has taught us anything: watching a Stark getting stabbed at a wedding makes for incredible entertainment!

 

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