SBox Spoils: Avengers 3: Infinity War (Movie Review)

Note: The following review is a spoiler-filled review. For my spoiler-free thoughts on this movie, please click here. You’ve been warned!

There was an idea… to gather a series of known and unknown comic book characters… to see if they can become something more… so they can make the big bucks… that James Cameron never could.

Welcome one and all to the very first edition of SBox Spoils. This is something I’ve been planning to do for a while, but the concept is very straightforward. In addition to creating the regular, spoiler-free reviews I always have (under the title SBox Recommends), I will also be offering a spoiler-filled review which will be meant for those who have already seen the movie or simply don’t care that much about spoilers. The idea is to give a more unfettered, in-depth perspective on a movie than I could give otherwise.

I’ll talk more about what this segment will entail in terms of the future in a separate post down the road, but for right now consider this first installment as a kind of test-run. A proof of concept if you will.

With introductions out of the way, I believe it’s time to finally talk about the film of the hour. For our first spoiler-filled review, we’re gonna talk about the most anticipated film of the decade bar-none, Avengers: Infinity War. The third film in the Avengers film series and 19th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on the 1991 comic book “The Infinity Gauntlet” by Jim Starlin, Infinity War by now needs no introduction. It’s concept of taking 10 years of cinematic storytelling and translating it all into one cinematic event is one never before seen in Hollywood. It’s an event that has kept every nerd in existence salivating for the past 6 years straight, and it is my honor to say that this movie was absolutely worth the wait.

Now, the way I figured we’d handle this spoiler-filled dive into this massive Marvel masterpiece was to walk through this movie together from beginning to end, discussing some of the highlights and other assorted areas of awesomeness along the way. That’s not to say I’m gonna just create a transcript/summary of the movie. Hell no! We’re gonna just gonna talk about the movie in sections while I give a bit of critique here and there.

(Remember, the following review has SPOILERS. This is your final warning!)

Spoiler discussion begins in 3 seconds:

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Expectations

I’ll start off by briefly discussing my expectations going into the movie just to give you guys a look into my mindset. (Feel free to skip this section if you want to just get into the movie).

It should go without saying that the hype was real for me leading up to this movie. Hype that was only heightened by my family of MCU fanatics. We were so hyped, we made iron-on t-shirts for the occasion, each of us going to the theater sporting a different character. In my Avengers viewing-group of 9 people, the characters we sported included Iron Man, Loki, Thor, Black Panther, Gamora, Groot, Captain America, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man. I was lucky enough to snag Spider-Man, and before you ask of course I’m showing you the design I chose.

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Turns out this was a fantastic idea for us, because it turned into a game who made it out alive after we got out of the theater.

I’ve been preparing myself and my family for the nature of this film, namely that people were going to die in this movie. My father, who’s a fan of Marvel comics, gave us some pretty decent background on Thanos and the “Infinity Gauntlet” story. So, I readied my soul by giving myself the following predictions:

  • I thought Captain America or Iron Man was going to die in this movie, leaning mostly towards Captain America dying due to 2 successors already existing in the franchise. Plus, there’s the whole theory of time travel in Avengers 4, so yeah.
  • I also thought Drax, my favorite Guardian, was gonna get the ax. A fight between him and Thanos was built up since the end of the first Guardians movie, so it made sense to me that he’d go in head force and get slaughtered.
  • Other assorted death predictions included: Nebula, Vision, Loki, Heimdell, Mantis, Hawkeye, War Machine and Thor.
    • On a sidenote, I thought Hawkeye and Ant-Man were gonna be in this movie.
  • The only characters I thought were safe until at least Avengers 4 included Hulk, Black Panther, Starlord, Rocket, Groot, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, and Spider-Man… We’ll see how that turned out for us.
  • Thanos wouldn’t win at the end of Infinity War, but he would end up killing quite a few characters which would’ve come to a head in Avengers 4, which I believed was going to either be Secret War or Secret Invasion. There was also a possibility of Illuminati being the next film.

Finally, it’s important to point out whether or not anything was spoiled for me beforehand. I saw the movie the first time on the Saturday night of opening weekend. I’m also a massive consumer of YouTube who made countless pre-tentpole film mistakes like looking in the comment section of live chats. I did pretty good all things considered, but someone did manage to tell me on two occasions that Black Panther, Loki, and Nick Fury died, while Vision being killed by Scarlet Witch was nearly spoiled for me. I also believe someone tried to say Captain America, Hawkeye, and Nebula died. I chose to dismiss most of these spoilers as trolling, and I’m glad I did. Not only were some of those things not true, but it gave me enough denial to go in almost clean.

Okay! Now, let’s get into the review.

Low Key Freaking Out

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Let’s talk about what may be one of my favorite scenes in the movie: the Asgardian ship scene.

I thought the decision to start the film minutes after Thor: Ragnarok was an excellent decision. It created an ideal counterbalance between the lighthearted Marvel formula we’re familiar with and this film’s darker tone. Plus, the context of it being the last of the Asgardian people isn’t lost on the audience. In this scene, we also get one of the best shots in the whole film, where the camera moves through the destroyed ship littered with dead Asgardian bodies while Ebony Maw gives a disturbing monologue. In the process, we see one Asgardian getting finished off, a scared Loki, and our first shot of Thanos. I loved this shot, because it was almost reminiscent of a horror movie. It’s as if you’re walking through this disturbing scene yourself and then stopping in fear of the mad titan himself. It’s mad clever.

Other cool touches of the scene includes Thanos pulling a barely alive figure out of a pile of bodies which turns out to be Thor and the callback to the first Avengers movie by Loki when he says “Also, we have a Hulk”. This brings us to the Hulk vs. Thanos match-up we’ve all been waiting for, and it lasts… 45 seconds maybe, because Thanos beats the shit out of Hulk. This not only gives gratification to those wanting to see that match-up happen, but also clearly demonstrates that Thanos is the most powerful being there is, dethroning the Hulk by a long-shot.

Two deaths end up coming out of this sequence. The first is Heimdell, which from the moment I saw him on the floor I already knew it was game over. (There goes my Heimdell is the soul stone theory). The second ends up being Loki. Now, this death was expected due to how many people online kept insisting in predictions that he was gonna die, so it wasn’t innately surprising. What made the scene all the more impactful, however, was the performance by Tom Hiddleston in this scene. Hiddleston acted his ass off in this scene, perfectly showing everything Loki is in the span of just 5 minutes. I especially loved how he used his negotiation skills to try to win over Thanos’ favor while he snuck in for the kill; but as he does so he looks to Thor and calls himself “Odinson” as a kind of wink to his brother. In that moment he seems to have completed his character arc, which made his death all the more tragic.

The scene ends with Thor being spared by Thanos (for some reason) and embracing his dead brother as the ship finally explodes. Thus completes one of the most powerful openings Marvel has ever done. This is up there with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 as one of my favorite intros. Very few times in 19 films of the MCU have I had a moment like this where my heart was racing and I was legitimately stressed out in my seat.

Team Stark 2.0

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As Thor’s ship explodes Hulk is sent by Hemidell’s dying stroke of power to Earth where he lands in the Sanctum Sanctorum right behind Doctor Strange and Wong. I loved how Banner doesn’t even explain shit before just saying to whoever was nearby “Thanos is coming” and then Strange just says “Who?”. Perfect transaction right there. Hype levels rising!

We then get a scene with Iron Man and Pepper Potts, something we haven’t seen in this way since Iron Man 3. It’s a cute, sweet sequence overall, but then Doctor Strange interrupts out of nowhere and abruptly tells Tony to come with him. So blunt, quick, and perfect. At the Sanctum, Wong gives a very quick bit of exposition on the Infinity Stones to Tony and the audience, in the process revealing that Doctor Strange wears the time stone on his neck. Outside of the nerdgasm that comes with seeing Hulk and Tony alongside Doctor Strange, this scene is elevated by the fantastic camaraderie that exists between Tony and Doctor Strange. This quickly becomes my favorite character combo in the whole movie, to the point where I’m kinda hoping Tony survives the next movie just to get more banter between him and Strange. I need that kind of movie in my life.

I also love how Hulk is the audience in this moment where Tony has reservations on calling Captain America to find Vision. He’s just like “get over it, motherfucker, this is not a drill”. Tony almost gives in, but he’s interrupted by an epic action scene, with Maw and Cull Obsidian landing on Earth demanding the time stone. Tony says “Get lost, Squidward”, and then we see Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Wong, and eventually Spider-Man join forces.

A couple things of note here. Spider-Man’s inclusion in this moment is priceless. From the cameo of Ned distracting the bus accidentally on purpose, to Stan Lee on the bus, to him just popping up comic book style in front of Iron Man. Moments like this are priceless, especially given the chemistry between him and Stark. Speaking of which, Stark constantly referring to Strange as a wizard was hilarious. My favorite line from the movie actually is when Stark says to Banner, who is struggling to bring the Hulk out, “Dude, you’re embarrassing me in front of the wizards”. Oh, and there’s the fact that the Hulk is apparently too afraid to come out, which is both really clever and really disappointing, because Hulk now only gets 1 minute of screentime total in this movie. Hopefully this pays off big time in Avengers 4, but I digress.

The fight ends essentially with Tony blasting himself off to space to save both Doctor Strange and Spider-Man, who’ve both been beamed up. Spidey is given the Iron Spider suit, which looks badass, and Tony, Strange and Spidey end up on a circular spaceship heading to Titan. Back on Earth, Wong returns to the Sanctum and Hulk makes a call on the flip-phone from Civil War.

This was easily one of the two best action scenes in the movie.

Silly Rabbit

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The Guardians show up to the tune of “Rubberband Man” to answer the distress call from the Asgardian ship. Cue the “Guardians meet Thor” scene from the Comic Con trailer I’ve been dying to see for a year with a few welcomed additions. I love how they’re just surveying Thor when they rescue him and how Drax considered him “like if a pirate and an angel had a baby”. Oh, and Starlord’s jealousy of Thor makes the scene even better. Have I mentioned that I’m glad Thor’s still comedic in this movie? No? Well, I am. If it were any other way, we wouldn’t have gotten the other most iconic part of the movie: Thor nicknaming Rocket “Rabbit” and Groot “Tree”.

A couple notes about this scene is Thor mentioning in passing that Thanos “laid waste to Xandar last week”. At first, this was a huge bummer that what could’ve been a massive scene was relegated to just a line casually said by Thor once, but I’ve learned to live with it for one reason. Phase 4 is supposed to be more cosmic and I’m pretty sure that means a Nova movie is coming in like 202X, so hopefully it’s shown there as opposed to here. I also like how the Guardians split into two teams in order to accomplish two objectives: secure the reality stone on Nowhere and find a “Thanos-killing” weapon on Nidavellir. The only part I don’t like about that plan is how I had to try and spell Nidavellir, and I’m still not sure I’m spelling it right after Googling it.

Tale As Old As Mind

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We go to Scotland, where we finally get to see Scarlet Witch and Vision in a relationship. It’s decently satisfying to say the least. I’ll admit that this scene would’ve been stronger had this pairing been given just a little more build-up in past films, but as it is I guess it’s more effective to cut to the chase and show the audience what they already know they’re gonna get. It’s also good to see Paul Bettany appearing out of makeup in this series for once.

Insert action scene! Again, pretty decent sequence, though there’s a lot to love and hate in this scene. I love how the fight actually takes us off guard and throws us off on a few occasions. In fact, the whole handling of the Vision in this movie is far superior to anything in the past. I mean, look, we know Vision was going to be on the chopping block from the moment we saw the trailers, but turning the film into a will he won’t he scenario was a great way to play with audience expectations. What I don’t like was… well, you know how Marvel has had a bit of a villain problem? Yeah! Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive (in addition to Cull Obsidian who isn’t in this scene) are fucking boring. There’s just nothing fascinating about the whole Black Order with the sole exception of Ebony Maw, and it’s really disappointing.

Back to things I love, though. The battle takes us to a train station where a mysterious figure emerges from the shadows catching a trident in midair. It’s Cap! I’m so happy! He whispers in my ear, “This is my swamp”… Not really, I just couldn’t resist making that joke. Anyway, Cap and his team of rogue Avengers, including Black Widow and Falcon, kick the Black Order’s ass to the point of retreating. Everyone reconvenes in a ship I assume is from Wakanda, where Steve directs them to head “home”. One small nitpick of this scene is that for some reason when I saw this in IMAX 3D, this scene on the ship was blurry up while i motion. All well!

Song As Old As… “Footloose”

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I was really excited going in to see the flashback scene of Gamora getting adopted by Thanos as a little girl. It didn’t disappoint. Thanos becomes intrigued by the girls’ fighting spirit or something and then distracts her with a pocket knife trick while his men killed half of her home planet. Very fascinating scene, especially when it gets called back to a handful of times moving forward.

Back in modern times, we see Gamora and Starlord finally kiss on screen, establishing that the relationship is official. (Now, remember, Guardians Vol. 2 takes place about 4 years before Infinity War. So it’s implied that this has been going on for a while). Gamora asks Starlord to kill her is Thanos gets her, to which Starlord reluctantly swears on his mother that he will. And then my boy Drax is in the background with an awesome line. Perfect!

They head to Nowhere to find that Thanos is pressing the Collector for where the reality stone is. Now for the second most hyped match-up of the movie (for me at least): Drax vs. Thanos. That lasts like… 4 seconds, but the “fight” against Gamora and Thanos more than compensates. Zoe Saldana steals the show acting-wise in this scene on at least two occasions. One is when she momentarily mourns Thanos after “killing” him. The other is when Thanos reveals (in an awesome affect) that he had already gotten the stone and used it to stage the whole thing to see if she still cared, resulting in her capture. Gamora and Quill get a really intense emotional moment where she begs to be killed by him. Chris Pratt and Saldana make the scene so damned good, too, down to the moment Thanos turns the ammo into bubbles and takes off with her.

Oh and in the process, Mantis and Drax get disintegrated into cubes, creating the only fake out deaths in the whole movie. It became apparent to me that the reality stone was going to be used by the special effects team the best of all the stones.

Stevie’s Back! Back Again!

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War Machine makes his first appearance and Thaddeus Ross makes his only appearance, revealing that the Accords arrangement no longer appeals to Rhodey. This leads to a scene where the Avengers are basically reformed outside the umbrella of the Accords. Steve and his Avengers walk in with Vision, and Banner is already with Rhodey at Avengers HQ. The Hulk/Black Widow romance is addressed for 8 seconds before never being spoken about again… A bit disappointing, but what can you do?

A plan gets formed as to what they can do about Thanos. They’ll bring the mind stone to Wakanda where their technology can hopefully separate the stone from Vision’s head. Vision alternatively offers a Plan B where he sacrifices himself by using Wanda’s mind stone powers against him, destroying the stone before Thanos can get it first. This is immediately rejected because “we don’t trade lives”. Awesome line! And then we see Black Panther and Okoye enter from stage right to recruit Bucky, now White Wolf, for the impending battle.

We also find out that Hawkeye and Ant-Man aren’t in this movie due to being on house arrest granted by a plea deal. This instantaneously depressed me, because you’d think something like this would warrant some assembling by everyone. But nope! Also, this is the first Avengers film not to have all six original Avengers. I’m kinda peeved about that.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Hugo Weaving

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I’m gonna start combining scenes to make this go faster. On Thanos’ ship he and Gamora share a scene further showing the dysfunctional father/daughter dynamic between the two. Thanos really shows himself to be a relatable character in this scene. He really shows here that he really does care about Gamora unlike anyone else in the universe. He even tries to accommodate her with food. Gamora, while making her displeasure with him apparent, does show signs of history in the way she talks to him. Thanos also reveals his motivation for the first of two instances. His genocidal mindset is horrifying and despicable, but at the same time logical. As he explains, you literally see him putting two and two together as he goes from word to word. It kind of reminds me of Ultron in a way, but more human. This is the moment that really made me enjoy this character, because now, while not agreeing with him, I can see that he’s coming from the right place.

Josh Brolin’s delivery of the following line was actually a bit bone-chilling. They agree that they’re both disappointed in each other, though Thanos says he’s not disappointed in her for not finding the soul stone: “But because you did.”

Nebula is seen being tortured and mostly disassembled, unintentionally giving up Gamora through her recorded memories. Thanos actually scolds her for being a bad liar, which is so fucked up and well delivered. Thanos almost kills Nebula before Gamora gives up the location of the stone on Vormir.

She escorts Thanos to the location of the stone on a… HILL! After all that build-up, we now know that the famous THANOS acronym Easter egg goes as follows: Teseract, Hill, Aether, Necklace, Orb, and Scepter. Life is now complete… I still think the H should’ve been Hemidell, though. While on the topic of resolutions, we also get payoff for a plot-point I didn’t even remember not being resolved. Red Skull is in this movie. Granted, it’s not Hugo Weaving playing him, but still. The crowd in my theater were completely taken aback by this. You could feel the confusion in the air and the filthy casuals turning to their MCU fan friends in unison saying “who is that?”

Red Skull leads Gamora and Thanos on a cliff and says the only way to get the soul stone is via the sacrifice of a loved one. Now, that’s brilliant!… Wait, no! I just realized where this is going! Gamora, take the hint and run before he put two and two togethe-. Oh shit he’s sad! That’s not a good sign. What is he saying? “I’m sorry little one”? Fuck! No! Oh, look, the pocket knife, and… it turned into butterflies. Damn it, Gamora break free! Break free before it’s too late!… NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Man, if that’s not the most emotionally taxing scene in the movie. That whole sequence was so well acted. So tragically written. I honestly thought for a second this would’ve ended up a fakeout, too, with the catch being that Thanos didn’t know what true love was. Then he gets the stone, and I realized I actually like this scenario a bit better. It’s much more fitting.

Death of a Squidward

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Been a while since we’ve talked about these characters, but weren’t there also like 3 Avengers in space or something? (Yeah, I skipped around a little).

On the Black Order’s ship we see Ebony Maw torturing Doctor Strange for the time stone. I really like how this setup worked, because we have a subtle callback to Doctor Strange here in the fact that Maw chooses to torture him by slowly sticking his body with floating needles. So on top of physical torture, there’s an element of psychological and emotional torture as well. Tony watches from the distance wondering how he’s gonna save Strange when Spidey appears behind him. The two have a small back-in-forth similar to their established Homecoming dynamic that was mad cool. What’s even cooler is the plan Peter comes up with based on “this really old movie, Aliens“. Peter is a hardcore moviebuff in this movie, and I love that they honed on that here not once but twice! (Second instance coming soon).

Peter’s plan: distract Maw by inserting a billionaire, genius, playboy philanthropist at the front on the ship. Thankfully, they had one of those on board or else this plan would never work. While Tony diverts Maw’s attention with his awesomeness, they bust a hole in the ship, sucking Maw into space while Strange is roped in by Peter with the Iron Spider-legs that ARE in the movie. Hell yeah!!! Now I get some more Stark and Strange banter in my life. In this sequence two of my favorite lines take place: Strange saying “I’m just confused by this relationship. Who is this [Spidey], your ward?” and Tony asking Strange if he concurs. (No one laughed at that last joke in the audience, but I did. I felt so alone).

So, Stark convinces Strange to take the battle to Thanos instead of waiting for them to come back to New York with more stones. Strange reluctantly agrees under the condition that he will protect the time stone at all costs even if it means the deaths of Stark and Peter. Then Tony “knights” Peter as an Avenger, making all of the audience smile in unison. Hey, I just realized that if Tony made Peter’s wish come true, does that technically make Peter like a Make a Wish kid?… I’m sorry on so many levels for that joke. Moving on!

From this moment on I will be eliminating “Peter” from my vocabulary due to the upcoming meetup. On Titan, Spidey, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange meet half of the Guardians of the Galaxy. (That felt good to say). It’s actually a great fight scene marginally cooler than the Iron Man/Thor/Cap fight from Avengers. I especially like how Doctor Strange’s cape smothers Drax immediately and then Drax is on the floor screaming “Die, blanket of death!” The scene ends with a Mexican standoff as well as a lesson in the 5 W’s. Who, what, why, and the other two. This leads to — say it with me now — a Guardians/Avengers teamup. Give me a second while I take a cold shower.

I’m back now.

Why, Peter Dinklage, What Are You Doing Here?

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Speaking of plotpoints I haven’t gotten to in a while, what ever happened to Thor, Rocket, and Groot? As I said earlier, they took one of Quill’s pods to Nidavellir. I’m just gonna do myself a favor and try my best not to type that word ever again. I keep missing the ‘d’ and ‘v’ and I’m placing ‘e’s’ in the wrong place and… you don’t care.

Anyway, this moment with Thor and Rocket on the pod is actually a mad cool moment. Thor seems a bit less chipper than usual and Rocket senses that. In a purposefully out of character moment, he tries to give Thor the old pep talk, but finds that Thor’s pretty much lost everyone today. Father died of old age, mother got killed by an elf, sister had to be killed by Thor, brother got strangled in front of him, best friend got stabbed in the chest in front of him. It’s clear at this point, helped by a great bit of acting by Chris Hemsworth, that he really doesn’t care if he dies because “what else could I lose”. He’s trying to stay as positive as he can, but it’s clear he’s running solely on vengeance and obligation at this point.

Thor may be having a rough day, but at least Rocket gave him a new eyeball. A gift from one eye socket to another, smellier one so to speak. Consolation prize I guess. Oh, and apparently Thor took Groot language classes as an elective, so this transaction will go a ton smoother.

The trio finally makes it to N-n-Neverland. There they find what they’re looking for, which is also what we all never knew we were looking for until now: a giant space “dwarf” played by Peter Dinklage. His name is Eitri and he made the Infinity Gauntlet. His entire planet’s population was killed by Thanos except for him and the only people who could’ve protected him were the Asgardians. (Now I feel bad). Thor gives Eitri a pep talk and convinces him to help them fight back against Thanos with a new hammer. He agrees and work begins on getting N-n-Nineveh back up and running.

Thor uses a harness attached to Rocket’s pod to get it running I guess, and then Thor flips a switch that brings N-n-Nigahiga is back online momentarily. Unfortunately, something has jammed the central thingy, and Thor needs to risk his life by using his enviably large arms to hold the switch open. The power of this is enough to forge the hammer, I guess, but Thor falls to the ground nearly dead. Almost dead twice in one day. Bummer. The hammer is needed to save him, but it needs a handle and they’re running out of time.

Will Thor survive? Find out in like a few paragraphs, because now everything starts to converge for the big final battle.

Wakanda For…Maybe a Few More Scenes

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Back on Earth, the Avengers reach Wakanda to meet T’Challa, Okoye and Bucky. A cool joke is made between War Machine and Banner about whether or not to bow in front of T’Challa, and then we see Shuri, who finds a way to separate Vision from the stone. Unfortunately, since Stark and Banner can’t code for shit compared to Shuri (which as a comp sci major, I found hilarious), it’ll take time for her to undo all the “nerve connections”. Wouldn’t be a problem if not for the Black Order conveniently being at Wakanda’s border trying to break in. Everyone on the front lines! The war on two fronts is about to begin. But first, let’s check back briefly with the group on Titan before we talk about the final battle.

That’s So Stephen

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On Titan, Quill and Stark argue about a plan that’ll outdo Thanos in a scene you probably saw a small glimpse of in every trailer. The standout lines of this scene include Mantis saying “Taking ass, kicking names”, Starlord and Spidey arguing about movies like Footloose, and Peter’s math skills.

During this exchange, Doctor Strange is in the background having a time stone induced fit while floating in the air (as all of us do). It’s at this moment that where, out of nowhere, Doctor Strange becomes one of the most important characters in this story. For he decided to be smart about his Infinity Stone powers and look into the future to see how many scenarios of the upcoming battle will result in their victory. The answer: 1 out of 14 million. Now, remember he did this, because this will become important later on.

Some time later Thanos finally arrives on Titan as expected, having a cool little chat with Doctor Strange. They talk about the weather, sports, and the philosophy of genocide on a universal scale. Thanos manages to give even more insight on his mindset, revealing that his beliefs originated from the horrible demise of his own home planet due to overpopulation. That planet — you guessed it — Titan. And yes, he does use the reality stone to show us Titan in its former glory. And yes, it is still a kickass effect.

During their conversation, Tony comes in from above and crushes Thanos with a piece of metal or something, and the final battle(s) begin!

A War on Two Fronts

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The final battle goes back and forth between Wakanda and Titan in a sequence that is as confusing to remember chronologically as it is to talk about here. So, for simplicity, I’ll ditch my storytelling format and just skip to full-on highlight mode. Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about the final battle(s).

What I don’t like is the way this whole third act is edited together. In their defense this was probably the best they could’ve done to show a final battle that takes place in like 3 locations: Titan, Wakanda, and N-n-Nightcrawler. It still isn’t great, though. The format simply goes like this: show a big block of one battle location for like 10 minutes, then spend another 5 minutes on N-n-Never mind, and then spend another 10 minutes on Titan. It just lacks focus overall, but I guess it beats random, sporadic jump cuts. I’ll take it! At least they’re all entertaining.

Of the three battle locations I liked the one on Titan the most. The cast there shows a lot more of those unique character interactions I was looking forward to, especially compared to the battle of Wakanda that matches up characters we’ve already seen together for the most part. But I digress. The Titan scene is great! Starlord comes up with a plan to distract Thanos as individuals, taking advantage of Doctor Strange’s magic. This, combined with a sneak attack by Nebula (who I forgot to mention escaped and told the Guardians to meet her on Titan), overwhelms Thanos to the point where Drax is pinning his legs, Strange and a trap by Starlord is holding down his arms, and Mantis comes from above and sedates him with her powers while Iron Man and Spidey try to pull the gauntlet off Thanos’ hand. It’s an awesome ass plan for a Footloose-loving a-hole.

And then… Starlord fucks up his own plan. This is a part of the movie a lot of people are split about. Hell, a ton of memes saying Starlord’s a piece of shit for what he did are floating around all over social media. Don’t believe me? Look:

Some say this makes Starlord mad unlikable now. Others justify it due to his impulsive, emotional nature. We had some whataboutisms comparing Peter’s actions here to Tony’s actions in Civil War. The reactions to this are actually very interesting. I personally would be on a “Peter Quill sucks” train, too, if not for one scene in the end. I’ll explain shortly how Peter Quill’s fuck-up actually helped the Avengers win the war.

Slight sidenote: I wish Nebula’s little explanation of what happened to Gamora was handled a bit better in the writing process. As it is now, it kinda looks like she didn’t know what happened one minute and then all the sudden does. Just a nitpick.

Thanos breaks free because Starlord accidentally strikes Mantis’ hand in rage. He then wrecks every last one of them and a mono y mono occurs between Iron Man and Thanos. One of my top 5 moments of the movie hands down is this very fight. Tony and Thanos have a small exchange of words revealing that each have given each other grief (Callback to Avengers 2 ftw). Tony proceeds to handle Thanos a lot better than I expected, but then shit goes way off the rails and SHANK! Me and the whole audience around me now knows what its like to have a jaw hit the floor. I thought in this moment, “Holy shit! I swore it was gonna be Cap. This is so fucked!” Then I realize he’s not actually dead yet when Strange gives Thanos the time stone in exchange for Tony’s life, completely contradicting what he said he’d do earlier. Everyone’s slightly relieved, but also confused and concerned. Again, I’ll explain why this all makes sense in a second.

Now, let’s talk about Wakanda. As I said, this fight pales in comparison to the Titan fight, but it’s still pretty badass all things considered. I like how this highlights how much of an awesome duo Black Panther and Captain America are on the battlefield. The way they handle their strategy on the fly together was so awesome! Opening the gates of Wakanda was a pretty cool moment, too. I love how the scene builds up with the Wakandan army chanting before: “WANKANDA FOREVER!” Now shit gets real and so much happens here it’s actually hard to recall it all.

Some highlights included Bruce being in the Hulkbuster, since sadly Hulk refuses to come out. It was cool to see exactly what a perfect Hulk would be like in a way. All of Hulk’s strength complete with Banner’s wit. There’s also a cool all-female fight scene between Proxima Midnight and the combined forces of Black Widow, Okoye, and eventually Scarlet Witch, who comes down from protecting Vision to just annihilate the enemies. Okoye’s reaction is perfect: “Why was she up there this whole time?”

And, of course, the fan favorite moment of the battle is the sudden appearance of Thor, Groot, and Rocket on Earth… Oh, how? Well, Groot decided to actually do something for once and made a handle out of his own regenerable arm, creating Stormbreaker (the sequel to Mjolnir) and saving Thor’s life. Stormbreaker also comes with built-in bifrost capabilities to help get across the galaxy in a hurry and make quite the mark when you get there. All for the low-low price of $free.99. Call toll-free at 1-800-NOTAREALNUMBER.com.

Joking aside it was awesome to see Thor come in to the tune of the Avengers theme; that on top of seeing Groot and Rocket on Earth having banter with Winter Soldier and Captain America? I can’t! I just can’t!

But then Thanos finally comes down to Earth and everything goes to shit pretty quickly. The time has now come for Vision’s Plan B, resulting in one of the most emotionally heavy moments of the movie. Combine that with a montage of everyone getting their asses kicked by an all-powerful Thanos, and you have one of the most hectic climaxes of any action film in a long time. Vision and the mind stone are destroyed right before Thanos could get to him first… but not before he could use the time stone to bring Vision back to life only to kill him a second, gruesome time. Vision is now the fourth character to die in the movie pre-snap. More on that in a second.

Thanos now has all of the Infinity Stones. He won! And all he must do is snap his finger to complete his missio- OOOOOOHHH!

Thor coming in from above with Stormbreaker saying a badass line. And so once again the day is saved, thanks to… wait, Thanos has something to say. Let’s listen: “You should’ve gone for the head”…

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Snap!

And so, in an ending as iconic as this entire movie, half of existence vanishes in a puff of dust. The movie ends on a stressful, shocking, and somber note as we see many of our favorite characters get wiped from existence. Both people we expected and could never have seen coming. The final scene of the film shows Thanos resting, watching the sunset with his damaged Infinity Gauntlet looking pleased and at peace as he, the mad Titan, has won.

The End-ish!

There’s an end credit scene where Maria Hill and Nick Fury fade away, too, but not before Fury calls Captain Marvel on an intergalactic pager. Does that make me feel better after seeing Spider-Man die? No. But at least it’s a cool tease.

Closing Thoughts

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Whew! That was one hell of a ride if I’ve ever witnessed one. Not just the movie, but this post. I’m over 6000 words at this point! This took way longer to talk about than expected, but before we all go, let’s recap on just a couple more things.

What we’ve learned from this movie was the give and take that comes from a movie that has so many characters in it. Although, we’ve also learned what the best possible case scenario of that kind of film looks like. While it could’ve been edited a bit better, we still had a film that told a story where focus was given where it needed to be placed and everyone had their moment to shine. We had action scenes that come as close to the term “comic book” as you could get, completing the mission the MCU has set itself on accomplishing since the beginning: adapting these stories for the big screen in an effective way.

When my group and I walked out of the theater, we were all shocked out of our minds, and counting how many of us actually made it out of Infinity War alive. No surprise, I was eliminated, but at least I was the last death in the movie. Only 3 out of 9 of us survived: My mother who wore Captain America, my older brother who wore the Hulkbuster Iron Man, and my youngest brother who wore Thor. We all left the theater, on the way back retrieving a bottle of Captain Morgan, pouring one out for the homies and making plans to see the film again. As of me writing this we’re preparing to see it for our 4th time soon.

Finally, I never talked about why I forgave Starlord’s actions. I’ll go into this a lot more in a future post, because it’ll take too long to talk about here, but remember how I said Doctor Strange becomes the most important character of the movie? Notice how Tony tries his best to calm Quill down and everyone’s struggling, but Strange is uncharacteristically quiet. It’s almost like he was letting this happen. Notice how calm he seems in almost every point of the battle. Notice how when he finally gives up the time stone he neither let’s Thanos kill Stark nor gives the stone right away, almost as if he was timing it with when Vision is killed on Earth by Scarlet Witch. Notice how when it’s all said and done, he tells Tony that they’re now in the “endgame” and that “this was the only way”. He eventually fades away before he could go into specifics, but could this have been all part of Doc’s plan? I think so. That’s why I don’t hate Starlord. That’s why I think Starlord, if I may be so bold, may have actually saved the day. But this is a topic I’d love to expand on another time.

In the end, the film managed to accomplish the impossible and surpass just about everyone’s expectations and actually shock people. The film has transcended from a mere movie to a full-blown phenomenon. A talking point that will engulf the minds of moviegoers for the next year to come; maybe even longer. I highly recommend seeing this movie for yourself if for some reason you haven’t, but hopefully you have. If so, please feel free to leave me you’re thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War in the comments below! Join the conversation, and while you’re there, let me know how you liked this first post in this new series. Want me to make these posts shorter? I want that, too!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading! (For real, thank you! This post is 7000+ words, so kutos to you for making it through).

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