The War That Meant Nothing

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

I really didn’t want to be “that girl”.

You know, the one that shits on the thing that everyone loves.  And look, my purpose here isn’t to lessen your enthusiasm for Infinity War.  If you loved it, that’s great! There was a  lot to love.

But I just saw someone compare it to Empire Strikes Back and my brain almost exploded, so I had to write this.  Because NO. No, it is NOT like Empire Strikes Back.

(Let me just admit a bias right now: the MCU will never be Star Wars. There will never be a Marvel movie that compares.  Sorry, not sorry.)

Listen, I loved the first half of Infinity War.  I loved seeing all of these characters across the MCU Universe meeting each other, particularly Thor and Starlord.  I loved seeing where everyone was, in the timeline. It was interesting and funny, and though I lost one of my favorite MCU characters right at the beginning, I was enjoying myself.  That’s all I really expect from the these films, you know? I think that’s why I have an issue with the DC movies-- they take themselves a bit too seriously (though I liked both Wonder Woman and super-serious Logan, so maybe it’s not just that, but that’s not what we’re talking about here).

But I did not like the ending.  Not one bit. And it sort of ruined the whole movie for me.  

Let me explain.

Look, having the characters “die” and then reversing their death is a popular storyline in comics.  It’s happened as recently as Black Panther, DC’s done it with Superman (and if they could do the same for Steve Trevor, I’d greatly appreciate it), Fox has done it with Jean Grey.  We all know this is a thing that happens in sci-fi/fantasy-type stories across the board. That’s not exactly what I’m arguing against here.

The thing is, the first three-quarters of Infinity War are all build-up to these two huge battles to keep Thanos from getting both the Time Stone and the Mind Stone.  You can feel the urgency mounting, and the stakes are high.

The beginnings of both battles are a fan’s dream, really.  Bucky fighting with Rocket, Okoye and Natasha kicking ass side-by-side.  Tony gets a MOON thrown at him.  There’s a LOT going on, but it’s fun. Hell, I even enjoyed seeing Peter Quill literally fuck EVERYTHING up out in space.  

(I mean, I’m highly entertained that my top three faves in the MCU have MONUMENTALLY messed up the universe.  You absolute IDIOTS, I adore you.)

But then Thanos gets the Time Stone.  

The moment that happened, I thought to myself, “Well… that’s problematic. Because no matter what happens going forward in this movie, he can undo it.”  But I hung in there.

And then…. well, you know how the movie ends.  

Since Thursday night, I had seen the reaction of folks on social media and prepared myself to be emotional.  People had come out of the movie DESTROYED, upset, in shock. I had expected to be the same. But that’s not how I felt at all, when the credits rolled.

I felt numb.  I felt ZERO emotional response to what had happened, and not even fussed about what would happen in the next part.  Because after all that build-up-- TEN YEARS of build-up, really--none of it meant anything.

Of COURSE they’re all going to be brought back somehow.  Hell, half of the characters that got “killed off” are scheduled for sequel movies! And granted, we might permanently lose some characters in the next installment, but… was anyone’s death permanent here? Was Gamora’s? Was Loki’s, even?  No one seems to know. And to me, that takes the emotional impact of ANY of their deaths completely out of the picture.

I’ve seen a lot of people saying that their emotions came from the reaction of the folks who were kept alive, not the actual deaths, and to be honest? I’m questioning the validity of that.  Because there were still SO MANY characters left that we barely got to see much of a reaction from anyone. Shock, mainly. And when I’ve mentioned that to friends, they’ve responded with, “But think of how Tony feels about Peter!” or “but Steve and Bucky!”.  And hey, I get it. We’ve had TIME with these characters, we know how they’re going to react. But the problem is that the movie didn’t SHOW us that, so the emotions that you’re feeling are basically coming from your perceived reactions from your favorite characters.  You’re basically doing the movie’s job FOR it by having to imagine the reactions from the characters, and to me? That’s a problem.

And it’s not like I haven’t had reactions to previous MCU movies.  Guardians of the Galaxy 2, in particular, did it-- Yondu’s death was far more poignant than basically ANY of the deaths in Infinity War to me.  It MEANT something, and we got to really see the reaction of Peter, Kraglin, and even Rocket.

And going back to the comparison to Empire: Han’s sacrifice, even though it was temporary, MEANT something.  We saw the reactions from the characters around him, and it was this huge turn from a character that spent two movies trying to escape that ultimate fate.  It was the thing that finally, officially turned Han into a hero.

I’m sure you could argue that the disintegrated heroes’ sacrifice meant something, too, since they died fighting Thanos, but I mean, MOST of these folks had “died” already! T’Challa, for example, just “died” in his OWN movie like THREE MONTHS AGO!  So it’s not like any of them were giving up the “ultimate sacrifice” for the first time, and that’s especially true since the choice of those killed seemed so random.

Which brings me to another problem with the choice of “killed off” characters-- MOST of non-white characters were killed off.  The only two CONFIRMED survivors that aren’t white are Okoye and Rhodey. So we’ve essentially lost ALL of the progress we’ve made in the universe.  Now, perhaps there’s an ultimate reason to who got chosen and who didn’t, but I do have a problem with killing T’Challa off so soon, and it has everything to do with what he means BEYOND the movies.

I mean, you’re going to finally give the world a movie like Black Panther, at such an IMPORTANT TIME, and then take T’Challa AWAY for a year right after that?  There better be a significant reason that he was chosen, and I sure as hell hope that that doesn’t mean a delay in a Black Panther sequel.  

Granted, I know that answers will come in the next part.  I know that some of these deaths could end up permanent (I highly doubt it-- if anything, I think the ones that were saved for THIS movie are a good indication of who we could potentially lose in the next one), and maybe I’ll come out of the second part sobbing my face off.  I also get that sometimes we get movies within trilogies with unanswered questions or cliffhangers. That’s fine with me. But I mean, at least have the end MEAN something. Otherwise, what was the point of this movie? Almost three hours of unnecessary build-up to the next part?

AND HOW DARE MARVEL DENY ME THE CHANCE TO SEE WHEN PETER AND GAMORA FIRST GOT TOGETHER (Peter was by far my favorite part of the movie, and had the funniest lines.  My crush on Chris Pratt grows ever stronger)!

If you thoroughly enjoyed it, good on you. I don’t want to rain on your parade-- hell, I want to join you!  Honestly! I want to be able to not have these issues with the movie and talk about how much I loved Steve Rogers meeting Groot. I wish I could ignore everything else and focus on the fact that Loki called himself Odinson (and get some confirmation from Taika Waititi that Thor and Loki DID get a hug before everything went to shit).  I want to talk about how hard I laughed at Starlord’s “Oh, what am I supposed to say, JESUS?!” line (I did laugh REALLY hard at it, though).

But that ending, guys. That ending.

More important than anything else in this post, though, is this:

WHERE ARE VALKYRIE AND KORG, AND ARE THEY OKAY?!?!?!