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The story finally assembles: “Avengers: Infinity War” SPOILERS INCLUDED

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The cast of

The cast of "Avengers: Infinity War" (Disney)

The cast of "Avengers: Infinity War" (Disney)

Matthew Sidewater

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Oh-snap. Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland and more, is awesome. From the story to the villain, everything is perfect when it comes to this movie.

Bruce Banner (played by Mark Ruffalo) in Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War official trailer” (Marvel Entertainment)

First, Thanos, an extremely powerful character in Marvel Comics, who has been teased as the ultimate villain since the first Avengers movie, finally appears in his own film after 7 years. From the first minute of the movie to the last, this villain captivates the audience with awe and horror. Thanos is a captivating, three-dimensional villain. Thanos’s goal is to bring balance to the universe and make it a utopia. The catch is that he has to kill half of the universe, indiscriminately, to do it.

He wants to make the universe a better place, just like the Avengers, but he will kill anyone and anyone in order to do it. Sure, he is a genocidal maniac, but he does not care who he kills. All life is equal to him. When he adopts Gamora he shields her from the violence he inflicts rather than letting her watch her people die, sparing her from his cruelty. In the end though, Thanos’s mission consumes him, and he is forced to sacrifice Gamora in order to fulfill his dream. Thanos cries when he kills her, depressed because he sacrificed the only person or thing in existence he loves in order to fulfill his dream of perfecting the universe. 

Marvel villains rarely show compassion or love, but I cannot remember seeing a Marvel villain cry, at least not in the connected cinematic universe. Thanos, the big bad guy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, does. Thanos can indeed make the universe a better place for future generations, but he needs to take trillions of lives in order to do it.

A screenshot of Thanos wielding the Infinity Gauntlet with the Power Stone and Space Stone in the Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War official trailer (Marvel Entertainment)

Thanos, true to his comic identity, displays awesome power. In the first minute of the movie he displays his power by defeating Hulk, Thor and all of the remaining Asgardians, killing half of what remains of Asgard’s former denizens. He beats Hulk refuses to let Banner “Hulk out” for the rest of the film, and I think this is because Hulks is too frightened to fight Thanos. Thanos even kills Loki, who has been in more films than some Avengers, within the first 10 minutes of the film. His death is swift and cruel, but Loki does his best to attempt to trick and kill Thanos. While his efforts are unsuccessful, he was a trickster to the end, truly the God of Mischief. This death sets the harsh tone early on in the film, and the audience knows that it’s going to be a wild, shocking ride.

Loki, the God of Mischief in Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” (Marvel Studios)

Thanos’s generals, The Black Order, also prove to be menacing obstacles for the Avengers throughout the film. All four members take the spotlight in one way or another, but my favorite member is Ebony Maw (I also like him in the comics).  Ebony Maw proves to be powerful, giving Doctor Strange a brutal beating before Spiderman and Ironman come to his rescue. Each general manages to serve a role in the plot, but I think that Maw is the most memorable, even if is partly because Ironman calls him, “Squidward.”

Ebony Maw, otherwise known as “Squidward,” (Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War)

There are other funny moments towards the beginning of the film. The Guardians of the Galaxy fawn over Thor’s abs, and Stan Lee has his traditional cameo, this time playing the school bus driver for Peter Parker’s (Spiderman’s) bus. Spidey’s friend, Ned, from “Spiderman: Homecoming,” even gets a funny line out: “We’re all going to die!” Later, however, the movie gets more serious with deaths and even the sacrifice of Gamora. The movie still manages to relieve tension before crucial death scenes so the audience does not become overwhelmed with sadness.

Thanos proves to be a valiant foe throughout the film, challenging the protagonists mentally, when he makes an illusion of his death using the Reality Stone, and physically challenges the Avengers by taking part of a moon and using it to attack Iron Man. This is Thanos’s movie, and he knows it. Josh Brolin plays the part well, making every scene a marvel to watch.

The movie is also full of surprises. First, Thor’s new weapon (Stormbreaker) is much more powerful than anticipated. Thor obliterates Thanos’s parasitic minions in the final battle, displaying more power than any Avenger has shown in any of the Marvel movies to date. What’s more, Dr. Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto (the Time Stone) to look into alternate realities, a power we did not know the Time Stone possessed in the movies. Another surprise is when the Red Skull, Captain America’s nemesis during WWII and who appears during “Captain America: The First Avenger,” returns as the keeper of the Soul Stone. His reveal is brilliant. I remember hearing his voice and trying to place it, and then screaming when he took off his black flowing hood. The final, surprise, however, is a complete shock. Thanos kills half of the universe, including many of the Avengers.

Black Panther and his Wakandan warriors in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War official trailer (Marvel Entertainment)

However, the movie’s most shocking deaths, in my opinion, are Black Panther and Spiderman (neither of which I thought would die); Spiderman has a dramatic and horrifying death scene. Many people cried during his death, and I cannot blame them. His death is tear-jerking because it is completely unexpected seeing as a second Spiderman film has already been confirmed. Moreover, Marvel has successfully developed Spiderman’s character as being a relatable, funny kid. Here, Thanos takes him from us and the universe suddenly and unexpectedly. Spiderman, possibly through his spider-sense, realizes he is dying before it actually happens. He lets out a depressing, “I don’t want to go” before disintegrating in Iron Man’s loving arms. Heimdall and Vision die earlier on in the film as well. Between all of the comedy, surprises, and heartbreak in this film, “The Avengers: Infinity War” is truly Marvel’s best film. I rate this movie an A-Snap.

 

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