At the end of the Tuesday night press screening there was the sound of disgruntled amazement that the post-credits scene didn’t exactly quell. The world and some of the heroes assembled for this story line are left without a neat resolution. This won’t be a shocker because when the fil was originally announced in October 2014, it was called “Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1.” The title was shorted in July 2016, but you get the drift.
In comics and science fiction, what is dead doesn’t always stay dead and that doesn’t mean we’re jumping into science fusion and zombie appear. What this movie does well is it brings you up-to-date and manages to bridge the wildly different tones between the man Marvel-verse movies. There some dark serious moments and heavy doses of humor to balance the death of stars–both celestial and super hero.
Here’s our timeline. Remember in 2015, “Avengers: Age of Ultron“? That was all about the scepter that had been Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston). Avengers Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) are in Sokovia, a fictional Eastern European country where the evil Baron Wolfgang von Strucker has been experimenting on the twins Pietro/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda/Scarlet Witch Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). The gem in Loki’s scepter is used to help create Vision–a synthetic body that has JARVIS (Paul Bettany) for brains and the Infinity Stone embedded in its head. Ultron is defeated with some help from Thor and Sam Wilson/Falcon, and the movies ends with four new Avengers (Sam Wilson/Falcon, James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision and Scarlet Witch) and a new base of operations for the team under the direction of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his assistant Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). During a mid-credits scene, Thanos is seen with the Infinity Gauntlet (without stones) unhappy that his underlings haven’t been able to get him the Infinity Stones.
We’ve actually seen Thanos before. In the 2012 “The Avengers,” Thanos (Damion Poitier)appears in a mid-credit scene as the mysterious benefactor of Loki. In the 2014 “Guardians of the Galaxy” he is the adoptive and abusive father of Gamora and Nebula. Through Ronan the Accuser, he obtains an Infinity Stone.
From “Age of Ulton,” Thor is determined to find the Infinity Stones and two years after the Battle of Sokovia (“Avengers: Age of Ultron“) he becomes involved in the events of “Thor: Ragnarok.” Asgard is destroyed, and Thor loses his right eye battling his sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) and with Loki and Bruce Banner/Hulk and the remaining citizens of Asgard, Thor escapes in a spacecraft and heads toward earth.
For the record, the six Infinity Stones are:
- Time Stone
- Mind Stone
- Soul Stone
- Reality Stone
- Power Stone
- Space Stone
Wong gets to tell the story of the Infinity Stones, so don’t worry if you’re not up to speed on this.
The events of “Infinity War” begin two years after “Captain America: Civil War,” but after “Thor: Ragnorok.” The craft that Thor and Loki are on has been attacked by Thanos. We hear Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) intoning “You have the privilege of being saved by the great Titan…You may think this is suffering but even in death you have become Children of Thanos.” Unfortunately being saved here means being slaughtered. “Infinity Wars” portrays Thanos as a rational environmentalist who understands that too many beings strain the resources of each planet and the universe as a whole. This rock collector from Titan wants the Infinity Stones in order to kill half of the galaxy in an instant and bring back the natural balance of the universe.
Loki gives his Infinity Stone to Thanos, but attempts to kill him. Loki is murdered but whether he is really dead is hard to say. Heimdall (Idris Elba) is also killed but Banner is sent to Earth. One can say there isn’t enough Loki in this Avenger outing, but there is more Thor and he usually unintentionally funny in his interactions with the Guardians of the Galaxy who save him.
Hulk crashes down on the Sanctum Sanctorum and as Banner, he warns Doctor Stephen Strange and Wong about Thanos. But remember Banner missed the events of “Civil War” so the break up (“Break up like a band? Like the Beatles”) is news to him. Strange has the Time Stone of the Infinity Stones but feels he can protect himself but he contacts Tony Stark to warn Vision. The Team Captain America and Team Iron Man will have to overcome their differences in order to battle Thanos and not everyone survives, but are they really dead? Remember the resurrection of Agent Colson?
In this battle for the survival of Earth, the Americas (Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, Doctor Strange, James Rhodes, Peter Parker, Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes) and Europe (Thor, Natasha Romanoff and Wanda Maximoff) are represented. Africa appears in the guise of Wakanda. Asia is represented by the spiritualism behind a white guy (Doctor Strange) and his sidekick Wong (Benedict Wong).
Otherwise, the pacing is good and the direction by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo allows for the humor to sink in before going off into action. Overall, this is one of the better Marvel-verse movies although Marvel-verse remains adverse to including Asia. While I don’t want to give spoilers, there is a flying donut, some Pepper and Tony Stark needs more shirts in his closet. Two people will declare their love and someone will die for love.