Avengers Infinity War - First Reaction and What the Future Holds
By Zak Kneipp
The Russo brothers bring us the culmination of ten years and eighteen films worth of universe building the likes of which will surely be attempted for the next few decades by various other properties. That is to say that Avengers Infinity War Babe Ruth’s the ball directly out of the park in pure action packed fashion. Welcome to the beginning of the end. Reader be warned. Spoilers ahead.
From the opening moments in which we are greeted with the distress call of Thor’s Asgardian refugee ship (last seen in Ragnarok) where we witness the deaths of Loki and Heimdall (the latter of whom sends a defeated Hulk back to earth via bi-frost to warn the others) to the massive final battle between Thanos and the entirety of the Avengers across various locations… sans Hawkeye and Ant-Man who are on house arrest… we are greeted with a virtually non stop action packed superhero fest. The most defining and deeply dramatic of all the marvel films to date; this is everything a fan could have dreamt. But even as the shine of first viewing adulation brightly gleams in this reviewer’s eye. There will undoubtedly be kinks in the armor of this epic team up film. Until then lets just indulge a bit.
Hulk is thrown via bifrost straight through the large round window and into the stairs of Dr. Strange’s home and we are greeted with the title card. Quickly after we find Tony Stark explaining a dream he has had to Pepper while walking through New York when Dr. Strange appears via magic portal and asks Tony for help with Bruce Banner emerging from behind him to ease Tony’s defenses. Tony is informed of Thanos’ impending arrival and the assumed death of Thor. However when asked to contact Captain America and the rest of the Avangers Banner is informed of the events in Civil War and the disbanding of the Avengers. Before Tony can call Cap on the flip phone given to him in Civil War our hero’s find that Thanos’ children have arrived to collect Vision and Strange’s infinity stones. Tony reveals his new nano suit and we discover that Hulk can control whether or not Banner changes and he is seemingly afraid to come out to help. Peter Parker jumps into the fight and is soon sporting the Iron Spider nano suit made by Tony as he Iron-Man and Dr. Strange are jettisoned away to Titan on an alien ship. All while keeping the witty banter to a healthy level while not taking away from the seriousness of the events taking place.
That is just the first ten or twenty minutes of the film. What comes next is a massive race against time as Thanos collects the remaining Infinity Stones in various locations across the universe. With each hero getting fair service and their meetings logical and well planned out. We have pairs and groups of heroes coming together across universes. We have hints to what comes next also. We now know that Ant-Man and Hawkeye were absent from Infinity War publicity because they were in fact not in the film. We know that Ant-Man will likely take place during and after Thanos’ snap of the fingers that effectively erase half the population of the universe. That’s right. The Film ends with a massive battle between Thanos and the remaining heroes left on earth. Thor arrives with the StormBreaker axe and wipes out the majority of the alien army and ships in a stunning show of power and fury culminating in his driving the axe through Thanos’ chest. However before Thanos can die he snaps his fingers and as Thor questions what he has done Thanos backs away into a portal. Leaving the remnants of earths heroes to pick up the pieces as friends family and civilians fade away into dust before their eyes.
We know one thing for sure. Time travel is a big deal now. Dr. Strange uses it to see all the outcomes of the battle with Thanos and reports that out of the millions there is only one where they win. And it is here that we get the biggest plot hole. Iron-Man, Star-Lord, Mantix, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, and Drax have Thanos captured and are attempting to remove his gauntlet by trying to pull it off. However as it is almost completely removed the plan is foiled by Star-Lord's rage in learning that Thanos has killed Gamora. And so I beg the question. Why didn’t they just cut off Thanos’ arm? Iron man has a nano suit of seemingly endless possibilities. Strange could make a magic sword. But this is just nitpicking as the entire scene is remarkably well crafted and the resulting outcome is truly spectacular to witness.
Beyond that what we have here is an epic build up to the next phase of films.
The sole end credits scene finds us in transit with Nick Fury and Agent Hill as people start to disappear. First Agent Hill fades away, then as Fury rushes to pick up a transponder and contact what we discover to be Captain Marvel he fades away as the message sends.
So who faded away with the other half of the universe?
Probably The Wasp
Probably Hank Pym
Who bit the dust before the snap?
Who is left to reverse Thanos’ destruction?
Captain America / Nomad
Bruce Banner / Hulk
Probably Captain Marvel
So what can we expect moving forward?
A prediction from myself would lend to lots of time travel elements bringing us back to square by the end of Avengers 4 (rumored to be called Infinity Gauntlet). We are going to get an alternate version of events that will repair the damage Thanos has dealt while setting up the stage for a new group to take over the MCU. Ant-Man and his quantum realm discoveries will surley factor into a plan put together by the remaining Avengers. We already know that the majority of the characters that faded away due to Thanos’ finger snap will be returning as many of them have sequel films slated for future release. There is no way Marvel is going to kill off Black Panther right after his first solo film broke box office records. Same can be said for the Guardians crew, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Bucky (who is maybe 5 pictures into his 9 picture deal), and most likely all of the characters that faded away at the end of the film.
Here is what is up next for the MCU in order of release:
Ant-Man and the Wasp – Said to take place before and during the events of Infinity War.
Captain Marvel – Said to take place mostly in the 1990’s.
Untitled Avengers 4 – Rumored to be titled “Infinity Gauntlet”
Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel – Story status unknown
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – Story status unknown