It’s been 24 hours since I’ve seen Infinity War and I’d just like to say that I didn’t… really… like it.
I sent a rant to my sister afterwards and I’m posting it here.
The very simplistic morality here: sacrificing half the population for big ideas is bad, and, the more morally gray version is that sacrificing individual players to save the entire universe is also bad. But the one… doesn’t follow the other, sorry.
I’m sure there will be some major solution that involves using the stones rather than destroying them, like how Harry uses the hallows rather than just stealing them and whatnot, and the lesson will be that intent is important which is a good simplistic moral. but like, the amount of time both teams wasted not destroying the stones was stupid. Especially in Wanda/Captain America’s case, where Dr. Strange wasn’t there to be omnipotent. Like the point is that the superheroes are fighting this fascist who thinks killing half the people saves the rest but here are these elites who think killing their friend to save half the universe is a bummer. There’s no complexity there. The only good part was when Quill was going to kill Gamora but Thanos stopped him. That Wanda eventually tried but didn’t do it right away is stupid.
Quill getting mad and ruining Tony’s plan is perfectly fine, that’s human. Wanda being like “but my robot boyfriend” is human too, but she had time to deal with it and come to terms with it. And WAY WORSE was Dr. Strange, deciding at the last second to let Thanos do his thing by giving him the time stone in exchange for Tony’s life.
I’m assuming he knows that somehow this course of events will lead to righting everything but if that’s the case then:
- a) He hasn’t learned to be a team player, which is what his arc was supposed to be, since he starts out on their space adventure by saying, “I’m not saving you or the kid over the stone,” and now he’s saving Tony over the stone. But he isn’t really sparing Tony’s life and sacrificing the stone and half the universe. He’s just letting this play out so that everything gets undone. The theme of putting individuals above the more lofty goals is meaningless because he isn’t really doing that, he’s just doing lousy comic book time reverse stuff. If the point is that to ultimately save the universe they need Tony so for now they sacrifice the stone and the universe to save Tony so that he can later save the universe and, I guess, the stone, that’s… not the theme. Or I guess in some stupid convoluted Randian way it is, but, it’s really bad.
- b) If you’re going to be an avenger you put the rest of the universe above yourself. Which is what Thanos did for his stupid goals and he’s bad. Soooooo… The Avengers is just about a group of people who never have to make hard sacrifices because plot conveniences get them out of it and they generally don’t even consider those sacrifices for more than half a second because “that would be vaguely evil,” and they get to just do whatever they want with literally no guiding principles. That’s stupid.
There is no moral complexity here. No one is examining good versus evil or heroism as a thing to question and be careful with. It’s just sort of spectacle.
I only liked the Guardians’ parts and Thor. Thor’s lightning moment was good, I thought, though it could have been much stronger with better focus. Also now that Rocket is alone, and every one of his friends is dead, that random set up between him and Thor about how Thor has lost everyone but Rockt hasn’t now means that the two of them are BFFs and work through their feelings together and in doing so save all their friends, right? Because if that’s a subplot in the sequel then I’ll bother watching it.
But so. Is anyone going to stay dead? And if not, what’s the point? Where is the tension? Why did I watch all of this play out, where really only Starlord learned anything (and not really, he’s dealt with grief before), if it’s all going to get erased in the end? Why isn’t the next going further than just presenting Captain America’s lack of an arc and instead cutting him and the other boring ones out entirely and just being called God of Thunder and the Rabbit Save the Universe because honestly, you could make an excellent movie out of that, focusing in on things that are interesting, and just having everyone else be there as cameos.