SPOILERS – SPOILERS – SPOILERS – SPOILERS – SPOILERS – SPOILERS – SPOILERS – SPOILERS
You were warned.
Okay, if you’ve seen the film then I can tell you that when I used the word ‘moments’ in the title of this piece what I am really talking about are the deaths. I said moments but I meant deaths, it is the saddest deaths in Avengers: Infinity War I’m discussing. Deaths, not moments. Okay, if you’ve seen the movie I can also show you this picture and you will gulp at the audacity of that ending all over again.
Yep, tragically but poetically all bar the original Avengers line up have gone. We thought that Cap or Tony might not make it and this was teased in the film but as it is it’s been a case of last in/first out on a huge scale. Okay, I know a lot of these deaths won’t hold, some of these folks are already lined up for various sequels but nonetheless, when have you seen a blockbuster movie where the bad guy wins in such dramatic fashion? Taken on its own merits this is bold stuff. Luke losing a hand and Han catching a chill just doesn’t compare.
It isn’t just the ending either. Immediately that the film starts the whole of Thor: Ragnarok is rendered entirely pointless. Odin’s son may have saved Asgard but not for long. If he’d left alone at least they could have died in their beds. Heimdall is the first named character to go (unless Valkyrie didn’t jumped ship as we hope she did) and his demise is moving but it is Loki that is the first real choker. It’s a noble, if slightly pointless, sacrifice too. You’ve got to wonder why the guy put himself so directly in harm’s way and you’ve got to wonder if it was another fake out. I fear it wasn’t.
The next big gut punch is Gamora. What a way to find out that your surrogate father does really adore you. ‘Ha! You’ve failed you don’t love anything. Oh, you do. You love me? Oh!’ That means I….. aargh!’ (I paraphrase.) I’m pretty sure she’ll be back though and I’m sure it will be related to where a soul sacrificed for the Soul Stone ends up. Maybe we can expect a whole Search for Spock thing in Guardians Vol. 3.
Vision’s death is threatened throughout the whole film and when it comes it is heart-rending. Then when it comes again two minutes later it is heart-rending again. Vis’ relationship with Wanda the Witch was merely hinted at in Civil War but suddenly they are in love and we have bought into it 100% and then it is tragically over. These guys probably only have ten minutes of screen time but they go the full Romeo and Juliet. Shortly after this of course Thanos clicks his fingers and Ms Maximoff follows him into oblivion.
Bucky is the first to go in the cull and his departure is quick but powerful. He just looks at his lifelong buddy (and theirs are long lives) and utters that single questioning confused word of such poignancy; “Steve?”
At this point you realise no one is safe but when Doctor Strange goes it is a bit of a surprise. It seemed likely that he was going to be key to the resolution since he can time travel and enter the quantum realm and stuff. On the surface it appears that the Doc has pretty much caused the whole thing by giving up his stone, or at least enabled it, but that’s not the case (it was Star-Lord’s fault). Stephen Strange saw the one way in which they could beat Thanos and presumably it involved Tony so he couldn’t let him die. It did seem that Downey Jr was actually bowing out at one point but the newlywed was one of the few to survive with Nebula there to get him home.
Surprisingly Tony’s protege didn’t make it but having seen Black Panther go moments earlier we already knew that these deaths would not be final. Having established this they still managed to get the most from Spider-Man’s exit. More that Quill, more than Groot (barely a sapling), more than Drax or Mantis (loved their bit paying homage to the abstract thought scene in Inside Out) or Falcon. The passing of Peter Parker is possibly the hardest one because he’s so scared. Stark has worked hard to keep the kid alive and as they hug (two guys in metal suits so not a warm hug) it is mortifying.
Thankfully the very last death is played for laughs, Samuel L. Jackson being cut down just as he is about to complete his expletive catch phrase.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is left heavily depleted then. It is literally half of what it was.
Side bar: presumably those to die were chosen at random. How did Thanos know he wouldn’t be ending any of his followers (if they’d still been alive) or himself. Maybe it wasn’t random, did he spare Nebula in the end? (He did spare Nebula right? So many people died I couldn’t swear I’ve got the tally right. I don’t remember seeing War Machine go but I might have.)
Anyway, the MCU is in a mess and it’ll take a marvel to fix it.