Purpose. It’s what drives us. It’s that tiny spark that builds until you form an idea. It turns an idea into an action and with that comes drive. However, purpose takes great struggle and sacrifice. It isn’t easy. There will be bumps and hardships along the way. Sometimes, we have to put aside our feelings, because for some, feelings get in the way. People get in the way.
This is the life of Thanos, a God we’re told to fear. A God we’re told to villainize. But what if he’s just someone with a purpose; a task that must be completed — even if personal connections must be broken. With great purpose also comes great conflict. Lines are drawn. You’re either with us or against us. But what if it isn’t so black and white? What if Thanos, despite his Godly stature and abilities, was just man who wanted to fulfill a purpose for the betterment of all?
Ten years ago history was made with the introduction of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. With the weight of the superhero world on his shoulders and the possibility of Marvel Studios’ bankruptcy, we unknowingly stepped into a journey that would span nineteen movies that introduced us to iconic characters we could only dream about. But our reality finally came true and after three phases filled with teasers and whispers of Thanos, the God to end all Gods finally arrived. It is a journey Marvel should be damn proud of.
Avengers: Infinity War is more than a superhero movie, more than the final boss battle. It’s a humanistic story about the cost to save humanity from itself for all those involved. Following members from the previous installments, it never forces us to take a side. Instead, it gives you all sides; allowing you to form your own opinion about who is correct and leaves open the possibility that maybe both sides are right.
Packing an already crowded cast into a 2 hour and 40-minute journey directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, we follow our heroes and Thanos through Earth and outer space in a race to find the remaining Infinity Stones. This may seem like a daunting task, but screenwriters Stephen McFeely (a very accurate last name for such an emotional movie) and Christopher Markus have crafted a script that pulls the audience in from the beginning and doesn’t let feelings or attachments stand in the way of telling a story that emotionally rips them to shreds.
Despite that, it also provides audiences with a better understanding of Thanos’ purpose that flips the script on our expectations. The band is back together and each character is allowed to shine as they balance the heavy task of carrying an emotional burden while masking their pain with much-needed laughter. However, the stand-out performances belong to Gamora and Thanos whose complicated love/hate relationship is dissected for us to digest in its raw honesty where emotions and miscommunications are explored.
Thanos (played to perfection by Josh Brolin), is the first Marvel movie villain to be given an origin story from his point-of-view that allows the audience to come to their own conclusion about him. Delivering one of the best performances in his career, Brolin carries the weight of Thanos in his entire body. He is bold, brutal, and focused. He is also full of heart and carries a deep painful regret that we’re able to witness in small isolated moments.
Gamora, hides her own fears behind a fierce determination to stop her father. However, in Infinity War, we are allowed to see another side of her. A scared little girl who is both angry at her father and secretly seeking his love despite the hardships she faced at his hands. There’s a standout scene between the two of them that plays out with rawness as they both allow themselves to become vulnerable with each other. Pulling back their exteriors, we see a father and daughter both suffer the heavy burden of their chosen path, longing for it to be different, knowing it never will be.
The Russo Brothers’ talent and balancing act shines throughout every scene. Spreading across vast locations, the movie will take you on a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end. The movie is filled with well-choreographed, epic battle scenes, impressive and improved CGI. From the massive lush landscapes of Wakanda to all of the varied planets, each scene is told to drive the story forward. Never once does it waver or feel too slow or rushed, even as characters are split into new groups to stop Thanos.
It is during these new re-groupings where the fun really lies. There’s joy in watching scenes like Peter Parker and Dr. Strange interacting with one other, Thor and Groot forming an understanding, and Shuri and Banner bouncing science off each other. The best moments are between Iron Man and Star-Lord as each other’s somewhat similar personalities clash. While there are those who get lost in the shuffle (Bucky), it doesn’t take away from the movie.
Avengers: Infinity War is not a movie, but an experience. Flipping the script on its audience, it is unapologetically painful with no hero or villain in sight. Everyone suffers equally. As a result, we the audience are the only winners. Despite this being heavily rooted in the comics, the liberties taken allow the writers true freedom. People die, this we know, but how and why are explored with a painstaking purpose that will leave you spent. Thanos is finally an MCU villain to be feared because he’s not a villain at all. There is no pleasing of Death or even egos. At its heart, this is a love story where Thanos and the Avengers love the universe so much they sacrificed their own souls (metaphorically and literally) so that all sentient life in the universe can prosper. For this, there are only three words left to say: Thank you, Marvel.