The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Infinity War Spoilers


I haven't been in a theater where people did that much yelling at the screen since I lived in Chicago. (It was over Black Panther's apparent demise, and was pretty furious, and exciting to hear even though that was the one major plot point for which I was spoiled courtesy a friend's indiscreet Facebook post, and at that point I was having the same reaction I've had to just about every major hero's death since Spock's resurrection -- I don't believe they'll last, therefore I don't feel much even when they're decently done onscreen like Snape's.) It's hard not to be caught up after investing so many years in this franchise and these characters, and there is plenty of just plain fun and humor amidst a lot of carnage. But I have to confess that the things I did not love about Infinity War outweighed the things I did (many of which were small moments -- Tony and Bruce's reunion, Steve and Bucky's reunion, Thor making Quill feel insecure, Groot being a teenager, Spider-Man becoming a full-fledged Avenger, Rhodey telling Ross what to do with himself, "The Rubberband Man").

This is a film that's very comfortable with normalizing genocide. I don't just mean that we're instructed to consider Thanos, would-be murderer of half the inhabitants of the galaxy and backer of Loki when he was ready to exterminate as many humans as necessary to conquer Earth, as a regretful family man; I mean because the the Asgardians, who lose their planet and flee as refugees at the end of Ragnarok, are apparently all slaughtered except for Thor, who is more focused on his immediate family losses than the extermination of his people. I get that he's focused on revenge and still mad at his parents for mucking things up so badly with his siblings, but how a king can lose his entire population and not focus on THAT is quite beyond me.

And it kind of normalizes abuse, too, which I feel weird saying because I've been willing to accept that Loki really does love Thor despite having tried to kill him at least three times. I'm with Gamora: I don't believe that anything Thanos feels counts as love. It's much more like how Ego feels about Quill; it's closer to ownership. The fact that they give Thanos a big boo-hoo moment over Gamora, bigger than Steve's reaction to Bucky's apparent death or Tony's to Peter's, makes me feel really gross. That's not even getting into the fact that Gamora's death is essentially the sacrifice of a major female character to motivate her father and her lover.

In general too many women in this film are defined by men -- girlfriends, sisters, daughters. I appreciate what Wanda can do, but does she have any personality besides her relationships with her brother and boyfriend? As much as I enjoy Peter Parker's citing really, really old movies for suggestions, I wish he'd told Vision about Star Trek's "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" scene. Vision hasn't been around long enough for us to be really invested in his survival, and his relationship with Wanda hasn't been nearly developed enough for me to give a crap if their love must come to an untimely end. As soon as they realize what's at stake in the survival of the Mind Stone, Vision should demand that it be destroyed and him along with it, same as Gamora demands that Peter kill her. The fact that Vision is willing to let hundreds of Wakandans die in an attempt to buy time to save his life also makes me feel pretty gross. If he and Wanda aren't among the resurrected in the next film, I won't miss them.

I get that Strange gave up the Time Stone because in whatever alternate future he saw that worked, he realized it was necessary. But the way he explained it was kind of icky. Does he mean that Tony Stark has to survive for things to be set straight? Because that idea kind of squicks me for reasons I can't fully explain. Tony doesn't DESERVE to be the man necessary to save the universe. Steve Rogers, definitely, Thor, maybe, but not Tony, ick. So maybe it's not that Tony needs to survive, but that Thanos needs to win in order to lose (so he has regrets enough to use the Time Stone to reverse it all or whatever).

I have barely started reading reviews/commentary with spoilers, but I'm already sick of people going on about how Loki's death deserves to stick this time. You want to argue that Loki deserves to die for the things he's done, sure, but that isn't the same thing -- as Hela revealed, Odin was vastly more bloodthirsty than Loki in HIS youth, and Odin got a thousand years of redemption arc as beloved King of Asgard. We're supposed to believe that the best a trickster god could come up with was a feeble attempt to stab Thanos, whose power he already knew better than just about anyone? And that line to Thor about how the sun will shine on them again? Unless Loki did something really strange and was somehow with Thor when Thor took the full force of that dying star, that all sounds like a rushed generic pablum death for what's still the most interesting villain in the MCU. Loki deserves a better death than that if not a life saving the aforementioned plot-point-massacred Asgardians.

I went into Ragnarok with no expectations -- I thought Bruce Banner was the most important character in the MCU to me -- and I came out really appreciating just how wonderfully developed Thor and Loki's character arcs were, loving Valkyrie, loving a whole new angle on Bruce. It made me feel fannish in a way the previous Thor movies had not, though I loved those for themselves. I went into Infinity War with fairly high hopes if not expectations, and while I certainly thought it was worth seeing, it's not in my Marvel Top 5 in terms of either quality of story or enjoyment of character. YMMV of course.

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