Avengers: Infinity War is a great film for its fantastic character interactions, riveting action scenes, or nail-biting scenarios, but it’s the movie’s ending that feels like a sucker punch to the senses.
Watching this film again last night, I couldn’t help admiring the beauty of a superhero movie that actually decided to turn things in favor of the antagonist.
The scene where Wanda Maximoff has to kill Vision as her fellow Avengers do all they can to stop Thanos is emotionally taxing as the somber music rises in an emotional crescendo that oozes epicness. We get to see Wanda’s immense power highlighted in jaw-dropping fashion as she seeks to destroy the Mind Stone with one hand and hold off Thanos (with five Infinity Stones!) with the other.
And then we have a plot twist within a plot twist within a plot twist! 1. Vision’s dead but Thanos brings him to back life and gets the Mind Stone anyway. (Plot twist.) Thanos has all six Infinity Stones and it seems like The Avengers have lost but Thor arrives in the nick of time to stop him. (Plot twist!) But…he didn’t go for the head and a half-dead but determined Thanos snaps half of all life out of existence anyway. (Ultimate plot twist!!!)
For roughly three minutes we watch our favorite heroes turned into nothing more than brown powder scattered along with the wind. As the horror of the scenario sinks in, Alan Silvestri brilliantly decides to not compose any music for this moment so that we can intake the sheer sense of defeat that The Avengers are feeling. It’s giving me chills just thinking about it.
As Cap mutters those iconic words, “Oh god” the music returns, its lilting tune invoking sorrow and yet a sense of haunting heroism for Thanos’ side of the story. He has won, the good guys had lost, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
As the resoundingly epic score of the movie begins to play against a plain black backdrop for the credits, I can’t help feeling lucky to have been able to see this movie in theaters. Marvel Studios, for so many years, had given us fun stories where the hero always wins. To have an ending that tragic and hopeless feels like the turn of the century in blockbuster cinema and it really changed the idea of what a Marvel movie could be.
This is my favorite film in the MCU hands down and if there is ever a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe better than this I’m going to be a very happy camper.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a Marvel-ous day.