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Avengers: Infinity War brings together stars from the Marvel canon, including films such as Thor and Blank Panther
If you were anything like me in high school, then you were probably excited for the release of Marvel’s The Avengers. The Avengers debuted in 2012, just as we current college seniors were finishing up our sophomore year of high school. It was the first time we as an audience saw an ensemble movie full of superheroes that we’d been engaged with from as early as 2008, when Iron Man first released.
Sure X-Men had already been around, but none of them (other than Wolverine) had as a cool a persona as Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, were as mythical as Thor and certainly none of them were as fun to watch as the Hulk. It also helped that the third X-Men film was terrible, X-Men Origins was terrible and we were roughly the age of four (some of us one) when the first X-Men film came out.
Now a whole 10 years and 18 movies later, we finally have a film that’s supposed to make us feel concerned for the heroes we’ve seen. Avengers: Infinity War’s villain Thanos has been teased since the first Thor film — albeit not very directly. The glimpse that we get in Thor is just a tease at the glove he wears in the trailers for Infinity War. Then if you stayed after the credits for Avengers, you might have seen him grin at the idea of fighting the heroes of Earth.
But it’s not until Guardians of the Galaxy that we actually see “The Mad Titan” in all his glory, portrayed by Josh Brolin. We are told that we should be afraid of him, but he plays such a small role in the film that it’s hard to really accept that idea.
Sure, the argument could be made that if you’ve stayed for every single after-credits scene you would know what he’s up to, but with 32 scenes to date, it’s very easy to lose track of what has happened in those scenes. So it really does makes sense to not really know who he is or what he wants, but that’s what I’m here for!
Basically Thanos is this alien from the planet Titan who saw his entire race destroyed. This made him, well, mad. It fueled him to become just as deadly as his reputation in space already made him out to be.
In his quest to bring balance to the universe — he believes that balance is necessary to prevent extinction — he finds that the best way to accomplish this is to find the Infinity Stones and use them to control (and bend) reality to his will. There’s six of these, and throughout the 18 movies we’ve seen almost all of them. In the first Captain America film and Avengers we get a glimpse at two of these: The tesseract hides the Space Stone, allowing the yielder to travel across space, while the little stone in Loki’s scepter (remember that from the first Avengers) is the Mind Stone.
The Mind Stone was used to create Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron and allows the yielder to manipulate someone else’s mind. In the forgettable Thor: The Dark World, the thing they are fighting for is the Reality Stone, which — you guessed it — allows the holder to warp reality as they wish.
At the end of Thor: The Dark World, this stone is in the hands of Benicio Del Toro’s The Collector, who also helped the audience figure out what everyone in Guardians of the Galaxy was searching for. The Power Stone is left behind at the end of Guardians with the Nova Corps. The last two stones, the Time Stone and Soul Stone, are perhaps the most useful, as they allow the user to manipulate time and control any living or dead soul.
The location of the Soul Stone is the biggest plot point for Infinity War: It’s the only one that nobody holds (the Time Stone is with Dr. Strange). This is where all of our heroes come in. Thanos (presumably) fucks shit up down at the Nova Corps and gets the Tesseract/Space Stone from Loki (we’ve seen it in the trailers) and comes to Earth to find the rest of them. Everyone needs to fight this dude or else he will be able to destroy the entire universe and mould it to his will.
Now I understand the hesitance to see this film after being bombarded with superhero films for the past decade. Some of them don’t feel like they’ll be worth your time, and that’s a fair assumption — believe me, paying $15 at an AMC to watch Ant-Man felt like a robbery.
There’s a very limited number of superhero movies that are considered great, most notably Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, but that doesn’t lessen the achievement that is Infinity War. Marvel has built an empire over the past 10 years and has managed to make things interesting enough that even their worst films profit.
At a time where other superhero universes have failed to generate hype (I’m looking at you DC), Marvel is about to present its crowning jewel. Its recent catalog of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther show that Marvel is more inclined to let its directors influence both the story and visual styles of movies, which it normally (and infamously) hasn’t allowed.
If the cost of uniqueness is occasionally having a big mashup film where everyone “can” possibly die (I’m sure at least two characters are going to die in Infinity War) then sign me up.
Avengers: Infinity War comes out on April 26, and you can go see it locally at the Senator Theatre, Landmark Harbor East Cinema,