As a heads-up, the first bit of this article will be spoiler-free, with the latter section (clearly marked) full of all the juicy tidbits you DON’T WANT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU SEE THE FILM.
There. You’ve been warned. #ThanosDemandsYourSilence
Well, color me impressed.
Ten years is a lot of build-up for a film. After a decade of storytelling, and literally dozens of storylines, It really seemed to be an impossible feat to combine the many narrative threads.
But man did they nail it.
The absolute highest praise and word I can give to this film is “balance.” The idea of having this many A-listers in just a couple short hours of film never really seems to work, with some either getting shunned completely, or others hogging time and energy. I wasn’t felt lacking from any thread or character, which easily could’ve been this movie’s downfall.
Moreover, the performers all brought their absolute best, and managed to keep the integrity of their individual characters while blending seamlessly with their almost juxtaposed counterparts.
But enough gushing about the actors, I really need to tip my hat to the true heroes of this film: the Russo Brothers. I can’t say this clearly enough- This movie. Should not. Have worked. And it did. So much planning, so much storycraft, and (most importantly) so much faith in their viewers to accept and appreciate risk.
Seriously, if the above image doesn’t make sense to you, I highly recommend you avoid the following until after. The impact of this movie comes in not knowing.
Then come back and gush.
All right. Are all the uninitiated gone?
SO GOOD. SO. GOOD. SOGOOD.
The choices in this movie are unparalleled, and have completely changed the game for any superhero film to come.
Having a three-pronged plot (the Cap/Earth defense, The Iron Man offensive, and the Thor quest) with so many destination changes seems impossible, but it was handled so well, and they overlapped beautifully. The Wakanda-battle ending was one of the best payoff-fights in cinema history, with several characters getting guttural reaction moments. And Thor’s arrival with Stormbreaker? Good Gods.
But the money of this movie is in the surprises (and I’m not just talking about the bi gauntlet-snap at the end, we’ll get to that). Rather than blabbering at length, let me just hit you with the ones I thought were the best:
-The Asgard/Loki death right up at the top of the film. It was brutal, and a sucker-punch after the events of Ragnarok.
-Star-Lord committing to, and being willing to (unsuccessfully) follow through with it.
-THE RETURN OF RED SKULL. Would not have called that at all and it was done so well.
-Thanos killing Gamora, and somehow becoming a slightly sympathetic character because of it.
-Peter Dinklage as Eitri, the master weaponsmith. Such an enjoyable surprise.
-On that note, the forging of Stormbreaker, Groot-handle and all.
-The Iron-Spider suit reveal, with the extra four limbs we were hoping for!
-STAR-LORD RUINING EVERYTHING. Such a good, painful character choice.
…Now, the big one. Thanos wins, and half of everyone dies. Everyone.
The choices on who to take were heartbreaking, and are some of the boldest choices in recent cinema history. Killing off fan favorites like Drax, Black Panther, Groot, Bucky, Star-Lord, and Dr. Strange was a shock.
But I think the hardest, most brilliant, brutal choice was killing off Peter Parker. Remember, the Amazing Spider-Man is a kid, probably 17 or so. And he dies in Tony Stark’s arms, begging not to go. I am amazed Disney and Marvel allowed this choice, and I am so impressed that they did it so well.
Then Cap says, “Oh God.” and that is it. Cut to black. Devastating to the point of a friend seated behind me screaming WHAT?!? at the screen.
Now that the dust has settled, I am left with two nagging questions:
- What are Ant-Man, Wasp, and Hawkeye up to, and how will it affect the events we saw? Their absence was dismissed with a line or two, but I’m betting there’s a lot more to it than that.
- How much of this did Dr. Strange already see in the future using the Time Stone, and are things still going according to the one possible outcome he saw for success?
No matter what, this was a monumental feat of filmmaking, and I am beyond impressed. Well done to Marvel Studios, Disney, the Russo brothers, and everyone involved. You’ve left a mark on cinema history.
Have your own thoughts/praises/opinions/concerns? Comment them below so we can continue the conversation!