Film - Avengers: Infinity War

Already counting down the days until Avengers Endgame is released, Kraig Taylor-Bryant takes another look at the previous Avengers film, Infinity War (some spoilers)...

Now this is the Marvel movie to top all Marvel movies. Not because it has the most action, or simply the fact that there is death and sacrifice, something that other MCU movies don’t have (though this is a small part of the reason). But because this movie is what makes The Avengers; it gives them something to Avenge, something to fight for in the next instalment. Not only that, but the memorable quotes of this movie present themes and foreshadowing; classic methods of film making, or even storytelling, that have not been seen before in previous Marvel movies, with maybe a few exceptions.

One of these memorable quotes was made by the “superbot” Vision as well as Captain America. When both of them state at different points in the film that they ‘don’t trade lives’. Now, I think the fact that this quote is mentioned twice makes it hold some form of significance doesn’t it? From the beginning we see this carried out as a long running theme of trading lives for others. This starts with Loki, when he chooses to potentially sacrifice others later in the film, when he gives Thanos the space stone, in exchange for his brother’s life. I think this action fits Loki perfectly, because he’s exactly the kind of character that would put his families lives ahead of trillions, in the end, making him almost selfish, like he has always been, since the first Thor movie. But the fact is, all the times when people trade lives, they hold major significance later in the film.

I mean, if Loki had just kept the Tesseract hidden (the cube containing the Space Stone), then Thanos wouldn’t have even been able to get the other stones so quickly, by opening portals with the stone, and he wouldn’t be able to wipe out half of all life in the universe, so easily, so this choice to save his brothers life over everyone else’s was pretty significant. Now this isn’t me saying this is all Loki’s fault, because other people in the film do the same thing, and I think the message of the film, is that Thanos seems to be the only one that can set his compassion for what he loves aside, to succeed, which he eventually does. Inevitably this is something the remaining Avengers will have to learn to beat Thanos in Avengers Endgame (out April 25th, 2019).

Another instance where the trading lives theme is clear, is when Dr Strange trades his own life to save Tony Stark. Now the common theory floating around the internet is that he did this because it was indeed the only way that they would beat Thanos, as Strange had previously looked into the future, and found that there was only one future, in which they could beat Thanos. I think that there is such a strong theme of trading lives in this movie is because the Avengers will probably have to somehow trade their own lives in Avengers Endgame, if they hope to beat Thanos and save everyone they lost, which I think is extremely likely to happen in Avengers 4. I won’t go too much into detail on other examples of trading lives, but I will mention that Heimdall traded his life to send Bruce to Earth and even Thanos traded his daughter’s life to get the Soul Stone.

Another perfect example of foreshadowing is the Black Panther’s quote that “Thanos will have nothing but dust and blood”. Word for word, this is all true. Thanos does indeed, by the end of the film have nothing. Thanos says it himself to an imaginary (we can only assume) younger Gamora, telling her that the ‘snap’ to wipe out half the universe, cost him “everything”. Now the remainder of this quote is fairly self-explanatory. The idea of Thanos having ‘dust’ is a call to the fact that everyone who is killed in this ‘snap’, is turned to dust. The mention of blood was not so obvious to me, as there is a lot of blood shed in this film. So, we can only assume that the film makers are talking about all the bloodshed following the battle of Wakanda, as well as Thanos’ battle with Tony and with Thor. In these battles both Thanos and his army/children and the Avengers, suffer losses, and there is much blood shed. The clearest reference could be to the blood that Thanos sustains after fighting both Thor and Tony, as he bleeds following both of these fights. So, by the end of the film, Thanos literally does have nothing except from the dust and the blood on his hands, essentially.

One other important quote is when Thanos tells his daughter that ‘reality is often disappointing’. This quote could not only be foreshadowing of the Avengers’ failure, but also a reflection of Thanos’ past. We learn that Thanos had to cope with his own loss, the loss of his entire species because they wouldn’t go forward with his plan to have half of the people on the planet randomly killed. It’s understandable, but at the same time, we can also understand where Thanos’ fear is coming from, because he doesn’t want others to face the same suffering that others have endured. I think the quote is also important because it’s something that the Avengers hadn’t learned, up until this film. Because up until now, their fights/battles have always gone the way that they hoped, with little disappointment at the end of them. Maybe they would briefly be upset over the one minor loss, but they haven’t actually lost the fight before.

So, I think in a way, the Avengers are realising what it is to be human, what it is to fail. The fact that they’ve had these powers, and never lost, makes them almost come across as these immortals that can’t be touched. But this film helps them to realise that they are people, and they can die, like anyone else. I think despite that fact that this is a darker film, it’s a good lesson to teach to kids. Now, it might seem like the film is teaching them that everything is horrible, because even their superhero role models can fail. But in the next film, it will make it seem like they learned from their failure, before they could succeed. And that’s the best lesson to teach a kid, especially since they have a tendency to give up when they fail at something.

Something I also have to mention, is how the music of this film is used in such a powerful way. There are moments when the music will truly sound tragic in the build up to something tragic, almost making the failure seem clear and inevitable, making it more emotional and upsetting for the audience when it happens. There are also moments of nostalgia, one in particular that I know made many of my age smile. That is the moment when Thor shows up on Wakanda with his new weapon. The way he makes his entrance to bring hope, alongside the classic Avengers theme tune, makes everything seem heroic and reassuring, it also is used well because its when almost the whole team are together, but at the same time, at the end of the day, I think they did all need to be together to succeed. There was one quote in the first Avengers movie by captain America. The quote that “The Avengers will fight together”, but they will also “die together” if they will lose. But I think the irony is the fact that they didn’t fight together, nor did they die together. This shows that at the end of the day, the captain was right, that they did need to be together to succeed, and like at many other moments in the film, Tony’s humanity is what makes him hesitate before calling Steve.

So overall, I think that this film is very powerful, because the message it seems to be giving is that everyone fails sometimes. And that sometimes people need to sacrifice something to be successful. And the fact that no one in this film was willing to do this, or at least willing to do it when the time was right, is the reason why they lost. This is why this film is so powerful, and so clever, and I can’t wait to see how this phase of the MCU is brought to a close with one major sacrifice, for the Avengers to win.

Follow Kraig on Twitter @kraigandhismac

Images - IMDb

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