*Spoilers on spoilers on spoilers on…*
We laughed, we cried, and they all died.
Okay, not ALL of our beloved heroes died, but it sure feels like it. Ten years of world building culminated with Thanos running the jewels on half the universe at the end of Infinity War, an ending we’re going to be talking about until “Avengers 4” comes out in 2019.
While we all recover from that downer of a conclusion, allow the NCB staffers that survived “The Snap” dive into ten questions about the movie.
What’s your hottest #infinitytake?
Andrew Rainaldi: The scenes when Thor, Rocket, and Groot arrive on Nidavellir, the story drags a little bit. I understood why, for the story’s sake, a weapon worthy of Thanos was needed, and that a certain amount of time has to be given to that, but that sequence plays in between Thanos fighting various Avengers and Guardians on Titan and the alien army arriving in Wakanda. It’s hard to get excited about metallurgy while all that is going on. Not to mention, Peter Dinklage, one of the hottest actors on television in recent years, felt a little underutilized. I found the journey to Nidavellir more interesting than actually being on Nidavellir.
Dan Soden: I guess I have two hot takes: A member of the Guardians was the breakout star of Infinity War and it wasn’t Gamora, it was Rocket. He absolutely shined in every scene he was in and I would love to see more of him and Thor together moving forward.
My second take is that Thanos will be this generation’s Darth Vader. Something Brian said to me really got me thinking: “Did Marvel give us the best Empire Strikes Back since…Empire Strikes Back?” We really haven’t had a villain with such a slow burn like Thanos since Darth Vader first appeared. Sure we’ve had great villains, but not many have been built up across several movies and cameos like Thanos.
Derek Hernandez: Thank god (Odin?) this was more Avengers than Ultron. This movie had a million reasons to be a convoluted mess, but Feige and company pulled off what seemed impossible a little over a decade ago. Even if you didn’t enjoy the story itself, which COME ON NOW, you have to be in awe of how everything built to this event. “But Infinity War…” is the new “If they can put a man on the moon…”
Bonus take: I’m here for the beepers-are-cool-again movement that’s about to blow up.
Franco Bosco: I’ve seen the movie twice now and I can confidently say that Avengers: Infinity War is ballsy in the best kinds of way. This is an extremely bold and emotional story that could have only been achieved dedicating ten years of films that build towards this war. Everything feels earned and my hat’s off to the Russo Brothers for being able to juggle this lineup of all-star heroes and one intimidating OP villain. This may be early to say, but this is going to be my no. 1 favorite movie of 2018.
Brandon Gonzalez: My hot take is that Thanos is possibly the most likable villain to date. Throughout the film, Thanos has a near perfect balance. Though he is such a strong being who can wipe out anything he chooses to, we also see a human side and one that genuinely does want a better universe, albeit using an extreme method.
Brian Hall: Is it that hot of a take to say that this is probably the best Marvel movie to date? On the one hand, it’s a marvel (teehee) that the Russo brothers managed to achieve a film with so many moving parts, but with a ten-year, 19-film setup, we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s any less than excellent.
Doug Palmer: I’ve said for a long time that Thanos should’ve been a villain earlier in the MCU and that the Avengers should’ve narrowly beaten him with Infinity War being his return. I figured, that way, the audience would know who Thanos is, especially if they hadn’t been comic readers. I was completely wrong. Writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus were incredibly smart in making the movie’s story arc belong to Thanos and allowing the audience to see the MCU from his point of view.
Power rank your top five characters from the movie
- Thor: The most interesting story arch in the movie, and one of the most that we’ve seen in any Marvel movie. The Russo’s take the light-hearted fun of Thor: Ragnarok and destroy it in exactly one scene. Thor’s erratic, broken-spirited monologue to Rocket was some fine writing with excellent delivery by Hemsworth. Despite being a character that took a while to get off the ground, it’s starting to feel like Thor has the highest ceiling.
- Dr. Strange: After a passable yet mediocre origin film and a delightful cameo in Thor: Ragnarok, I was curious to see which version of Stephen Strange we’d get this time around. I’m beyond pleased that it was the latter, only with a massive role in this film. Strange finally looks like the Sorcerer Supreme we were promised, and the sheer amount of stuff he does and dialogue he has is all spectacle.
- Thanos: Thanos is not the best MCU villain. He might not even be top three. But with ten years of buildup and little cameos here and there, having him be far from a flop is, in itself, an achievement.
- Peter Parker: “Please, Mr. Stark, I don’t want to go.” I did not come to a Marvel movie for all these feelings 🙁
- Iron Man/Wong/Bruce Banner/Rocket: All of these character were good and not unbearable despite the quippy dialogue, so them, I guess.
- Thanos. For a guy who was just sitting on his throne not doing jack since 2012, he made quite the impact. It was the Thanos Show and it had to be. It’s been said time and time again that the best villains are the ones who believe they’re doing the right thing and that was Infinity War’s villain to a tee. We can’t justify Thanos and his actions, but we can understand where he’s coming from.
- Thor. This character has evolved exponentially well in each of his outings leading into Infinity War. Aside from Vision and Scarlet Witch, Thor felt like the game changer that could tip the scales against Thanos when it mattered the most.
- Captain America. Otherwise known as “Nomad,” Cap came into the movie like a well-rounded yet rugged badass. Guess that’s what happens when you go off the grid, but regardless, Cap’s attitude and appearance shows another layer of character development in the ol’ boy scout.
- Doctor Strange. Strange played quite the crucial role in this movie, more so than I expected going in. Granted being one of the keeper of the stones, Strange’s banter with the likes of Tony Stark, Spider-Man, and Peter Quill definitely made him a standout.
- Spider-Man: Speaking of the web-slinger, our boy finally committed to being a full-time Avenger! Of course that ending was going to get us all misty-eyed and in the feels, but even Peter sucked it up and didn’t end up crying in front of Tony. He held it in for his guy until the end. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
- Thor: If you told me in 2011 that Thor would be one of my favorite characters from the Avengers I’d have laughed in your face, and not a slight chuckle, but a real ugly laugh where spit flies out. Yet here we are in 2018 and Thor gave me my favorite scene in the movie and my dream for a buddy cop movie with Rocket.
- Thanos: Josh Brolin’s voice made Thanos as a character both monstrous and commanding. I wanted to follow Thanos into battle and at the same time feared him like a child feels the boogeyman. While I feel bad for Damion Poitier, recasting Thanos with Brolin made the character that much better.
- Rocket: Rocket and Thor’s friendship might be my favorite budding bromance since Steve and Dustin talked hair products. Rocket actually having a heart was a great addition to everyone’s favorite shit talker.
- Spider-Man: All I have to say is…“Please, Mr. Stark, I don’t want to go.”
- Gamora: I honestly wasn’t ready to see Gamora go. The scene between her and Peter on Knowhere was unexpectedly touching. Also, all of her scenes with Thanos were A+.
- Thanos: Easy answer as he was the “protagonist” of this story. It was his mission start to finish and we were given a character with real, albeit insane, motivations that paid off in the end.
- Thor: The new Allfather was the only one (besides Thanos) willing to sacrifice to finish his goal and there’s a reason that it paid off.
- Rocket: A continuation of his arc from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Rocket is learning how to be a good teammate, person and leader.
- Doctor Strange: He saw the future and, after saying he never would, gave up the Time Stone without a struggle. He showed that he was incredibly powerful in the showdown with Thanos before sending the Avengers into the “endgame”. Gotta trust the process.
- Iron Man: Stark continues to put the Earth ahead of himself even when he knows it’s probably time to walk away. It nearly cost him everything this time, but his motivation has been all about protecting all the lives he can since Iron Man first came out ten years ago.
- Thanos: This movie wasn’t going to work without a great villain. He’s not compelling in the same way that a character like Killmonger was, but he’s the sort of villain who believes that he is the hero of the story, like Ego from Guardians Vol. 2 And that’s part of what makes him so formidable.
- Thor: In this movie we see Thor with nothing left to lose. Everything from the way he tries to shake of the loss of Asgard when Rocket asks about it to his furious charge into battle while screaming “Bring me Thanos!”
- Rocket: Aside from a wonderful pairing with Thor, they really paid off his obsession with prosthetic body parts from GotG1.
- Spiderman: For the emotional gut-punch. When everyone is turning into dust, I don’t feel particularly sad. But as soon as Peter says “Mr. Stark, I don’t wanna go?” Forget it. That’ll get the water works going.
- Doctor Strange: His powers added a very fun and exciting element to the fight scene on Titan, not to mention his ultimate decision to give the Time Stone to Thanos being an interesting ending to the story.
- Thanos: This is the easiest of the rankings. A great superhero movie needs a great villain. The fact that the Thanos is near immortal and renders Hulk entirely useless is damning. This movie was gonna be a hit regardless, but Thanos puts it over the top.
- Thor: Thor cheated death and was, as he almost always is, willing to sacrifice himself entirely for victory. Unlike Hulk who shriveled once he was beaten by Thanos, Thor had more of a “bring it” mentality.
- Doctor Strange: Strange knew all along defeat was inevitable, yet he did everything possible to make sure Thanos did not get his stone.
- Spider-Man: It’s crazy to think that Spider-Man was an Avenger for a good five minutes yet he played such a crucial role in trying to take down Thanos. The kid is fearless.
- Rocket: Going off what the guys above said, you see his evolution as a leader of the pack and a no nonsense type of character.
- Thanos: For as many characters as there were in this flick, this was Thanos’ story. Oh, and he laid the smackdown on every person that opposed him. Just ask Hulk.
- Thor: That Road Warrior pop when he dropped down into Wakanda though…
- Doctor Strange: He’s the key to the eventual takedown of Thanos, so you have to rank him high.
- Nebula: Now that Gamora had the gak knocked out of her, Nebs knows Thanos better than anybody else in the universe. You know she’s going to be instrumental in locating and later eradicating Grimace.
- Drax: I just wanted to type “Why Gamora?”
What was your favorite moment?
BH: Thor’s arrival on Wakanda gave me goosebumps for a solid minute. Easily the best Marvel scene to date.
AR: Thor’s big entrance to the Wakanda battle is literally the only time I’ve heard an applause in a movie theater that didn’t bother me. As far as simpler moments are concerned, I really liked seeing the Guardians interact with the Avengers. Rocket conversing with Thor made for some of the film’s best interactions, and the fight/Mexican standoff on Titan (Why is Gamora?) was a lot of fun.
BG: Short and sweet. As the others said, the Wakanda entrance. I clapped loudly.
FB: Gotta agree with Brian here, Thor’s entrance along with Rocket and Groot on Wakanda was amazing. The VFX and the score combined made for an awesome moment.
DS: I think we all might agree here that Thor dropping down in the middle of the battle at Wakanda was the greatest scene of the movie. I literally gave a Bill Simmons fist pump when it happened.
DH: Is it cheating if I nominate every Drax gag?
DP: Like almost everyone, Thor dropping in to the battle of Wakanda almost made me clap in the theater. Also, Red Skull’s surprise cameo.
What was your biggest beef with the movie?
DH: Marvel pulling a bait-and-switch with their trailers is wack, but I’ll go with the Black Order being disposed of relatively easily. You’re telling me Ebony Maw could go toe-to-toe with Doc Strange but couldn’t save himself from a freakin’ hole on the side of a ship? And don’t even get me started on how Black Widow could throw hands with Thanos’ kids.
DP: That monster guy that Wong trapped in the arctic; did his hand just grow back or…?
AR: All the great characters you met in Thor: Ragnarok, like Korg and Valkyrie? Well, they’re either dead (Thor clarified that half of Asgard was killed by Thanos) or weren’t relevant enough to be in this movie, so there’s that.
BH: For all the hubub about Captain America going off the grid for two years, he’s barely in the film. We don’t get the Cap/Iron Man awkward face-to-face, we don’t get Cap getting his signature shield, hell, we barely get anything. I’m sure he’ll be more prevalent in the next one, but that was a bummer for me.
FB: If there’s any beef I have with the movie, it’s only a few minor nitpicks. Technically, the film doesn’t feel as well structured as it would appear. We’re constantly jumping all over the place and/or galaxy with different groups of characters, varying in different emotions as well. It can be jarring at times, but I believe all in all, everything still pays dividends by the end.
BG: I really don’t have too many complaints for this film. My *one* “beef” is the love stories stuck in the film, like that of Wanda/Vision or Quill/Gamora, were a little cheesy.
DS: I wasn’t a fan of how The Black Order was depicted in the movie. They watered down the group, most notably leaving out Supergiant and calling them The Children of Thanos. Also I was big on how quickly they killed them off, was hoping at least a few made it to Part 2.
peter quill about That Thing he did pic.twitter.com/okvGFLi6MV
— eva | t. stark & s. strange (@stupidforstark) April 29, 2018
If you had to pin this “L” on any one of the good guys, who would it be and why?
DS: This year’s Golden L goes to Peter Quill for his role as the selfish FWB widow. For those who are going to defend Mr. Quill in this situation, I bring exhibit 1 to the stand.. Nebula. She just lost her sister, because her mentally disturbed father threw her off a cliff so he could bedazzle his glove. Did she screw things up for half of the universe..Nope. But Peter of course has to screw everything up and now Tony Stark has to somehow get back to Earth and tell Aunt May that she’s lost the last person she has left. Shame on you, Peter Quill, shame on you.
BG: It’s Quill no doubt. As the old saying goes, pride goeth before the fall and OH MY GOD was the fall huge. All he had to do was wait a damn minute for the Avengers to get the gauntlet off Thanos but in classic Quill fashion, pride took over. That combined with him not taking out Gamora as she wished really screwed it all up.
AR: Loki. For a master of treachery and mischief, he should have known better than to try to kill Thanos immediately after pledging his “undying” loyalty to him.
BH: The easy answer would be Peter Quill because of the whole accidentally helping Thanos when his team almost had him, but instead I’m giving it to Iron Man and Dr. Strange. You both are supposed to be so smart, yet neither of you could posit the theory that the all-powerful gauntlet that could do anything could double the universe’s resources instead of wiping out half of every race? Seems like they just needed an epiphany and five minutes with Thanos if you ask me.
FB: Peter Quill would be the go-to answer in this case because of his emotions getting the better of him, but can we really blame the guy? (I know some will still say yes) Being arguably the most human character in the MCU, Peter has already loss so much in his life from his mother, then his father, and now the love of his life. Being face to face with the guy who killed Gamora nonetheless, I don’t put all of the “L” on Peter in the heat of the moment.
DH: I’ll forgive anyone who f*cked up after Strange’s look into the future, so I’m pinning this “L” on Nick Fury for not calling in Captain Marvel-sized reinforcements earlier. I’m sure we’ll figure out why Fury couldn’t beep Carol Danvers before Thanos vaporized half the universe, but based on what we know now this is all his fault.
DP: Going outside the box and putting it on the Hulk. When the Avengers needed him the most in the battle of Wakanda, he decided to stay hidden inside of Bruce Banner.
What’s your biggest question coming out of ‘Infinity War’?
BG: Where do we go from here? What happens with Captain Marvel and who comes back?
FB: So, is Ant-Man going to have his work cut out for him come next year in May 2019? It’ll be interesting to see how his sequel with The Wasp plays out in July.
DS: Why doesn’t Carol Danvers own a cell phone? Also, how badass is she going to be that she’s basically the savior of the Avengers?
BH: How much is Captain Marvel going to fuck shit up? Seriously, she’s Nick Fury’s backup plan after the Avengers? I can not wait to see what she brings to the table.
DH: Is there a bigger question than which heroes stay dead? Thanos can’t win, so how they handle the post-snap “deaths” is going to be crucial for the MCU moving forward. Multiple timelines anyone?
Bonus question: It’s not going to happen, but what if T’Challa is for real for real dead? How epic would that backlash be?
DP: Does Thanos have any chance at all against Captain Marvel and new Thor?
AR: We know not everyone who “died” is dead, but who’s going to be resurrected? Loki probably isn’t, but is Gamora?
Where does Thanos sit in the pantheon of MCU villains?
BH: He’s fine. Like I said earlier, not the best, but definitely not the worst. He gets docked points for the whole not doubling the universe’s resources as well.
FB: He very well may sit on the throne when it’s all said and done. He’s up there with the best of them, joining the company of Kilmonger and Loki. We can’t condone his method and reasoning, but we can understand them at the very least.
DS: After watching Black Panther I crowned Killmonger the greatest MCU villain of all time, which really wasn’t a difficult feat. That reign didn’t last too long as Thanos now sits on that throne.
DP: He’s up there. Thanos continued with Killmonger’s theme of intention versus action but on a completely different scale. And he was able to back up his talk even before he assemble the full gauntlet.
BG: He’s near the top. There still isn’t anyone topping Killmonger, however. As I mentioned previously, he has so many things that make him likable and you almost want to praise his ideas. I also think the fact that he gets what he wants and literally ends it with a snap of a finger. Major credit as well goes to Josh Brolin who absolutely nailed it.
DH: Maybe I’m being a prisoner of the moment, but he sits at the top of the villainous heap, in my opinion. Killmonger’s backstory may have been more rooted in a reality we can all relate to, but Thanos’ master plan was for the “greater good” of the universe, not just for a specific hue of skin.
When in doubt, tie goes to the villain who would kick the other villain’s @$$.
AR: At this point, it’s hard to create an ordered ranking of the villains, since they’re all so different in terms of abilities and relatability. But I think he definitely is in the same category as the best. He’s right up there with Loki, Killmonger, Ego, and Vulture – that’s the upper echelon of MCU villains.
If you could replace one Marvel goodie with a DC hero to fight Thanos, who would it be and why?
DP: I think I’d replace Black Widow with Wonder Woman. Let’s see another god go toe-to-toe with Thanos for a minute.
BH: Super-Man with just about anybody, if only because I’d like to see a great Super-Man film in my lifetime.
FB: I’d like to see Green Lantern, specifically Hal Jordan, get a crack at Thanos. And this time, they’d get Green Lantern right. Paging Armie Hammer.
DS: I’d replace War Machine with Swamp Thing. For starters, he’d be one of the smartest members of the Avengers, something that could come in handy. He would also be one of the strongest, and with Hulk out of commission this would be a big time bonus. Now comes the big gets: he has control over all plant life…outside of Groot’s growing powers no one comes close to that skill. Finally, the guy is immortal. As long as there is plant life, there is Swamp Thing, so that little snap business would be null and void when it comes to Swamp Thing.
DH: Wait a minute. How has no one said Batman yet? Dude would’ve totally had a plan to diffuse this Thanos takeover thing. Sorry, War Machine, you get the boot in this scenario.
BG: Give me Super-Man. He can go toe-to-toe with anyone.
AR: Replace Star-Lord with a level-head like Batman and you can bet that they would have definitely gotten that Gauntlet off during the battle on Titan.
Describe your reaction to the movie’s ending in a GIF or meme
BG & BH:
Give us your best theory about where the story goes from here?
DH: There are too many variables for me to come up with one coherent theory, so I’m going to guess these things happen…
- The heroes that got dusted in the end are chilling within the Soul Stone’s world.
- Captain Marvel goes to that station Peter Dinklage was on so he could cast another Infinity Gauntlet. (the mold wasn’t broken)
- Captain Marvel goes through an alternate timeline to acquire all the stones, then faces off against Thanos in the “real” timeline, but right before he snaps his fingers. Gauntlet on Gauntlet violence, yo.
I have no idea how the Quantum Realm plays into this though, but it will.
DP: Safe to say that Captain Marvel and Ant Man will play a role in rallying the remaining heroes. It obviously cost Thanos physically to use the gauntlet at full power and I think we’re going to lose one (or more) of our surviving heroes if they use it to bring everyone else back. I also noticed that Gamora appeared to be trapped in the Soul Stone rather than outright dead, so I think she could play a role fighting Thanos from inside the gauntlet.
BG: I think the time travel factor is there. Captain Marvel takes place before any of this so let’s see the turn that takes. Personally, the characters that “died” will come back in one manner or another. I think it will be the same way they left. With a snap of a finger, Thanos can easily reverse all of this.
BH: Time travel is the obvious one, but I’ll put a fun twist on it and say that the page Fury sends to Captain Marvel in the post-credits scene is not into space like everyone thinks, but back in time.
FB: Thinking the same thing, Brian! Needless to say that pager looked dated. For the sake of the question though, I’ll say Stark and Rodgers will end up having to sacrifice themselves together in one final blaze of glory (as friends once again) to an attempt to save the world. Those two never interacting in Infinity War has to be for a good reason.
DS: I think everyone has the theory that Danvers is going to end up saving the Avengers in some capacity. Like Brian, I’m not sold on the pager sending the message to space, but rather than back in time, I think it’s another dimension all together. Dr Strange was able to travel between dimensions, so him seeing Captain Marvel in his vision wouldn’t be out of the question. I also think that Strange gave up the Time Stone to save Tony because in that one scenario they win and Tony is the reason why.
AR: I agree with a few people above that the people who were turned to ash are not dead, but instead are just in another dimension/another universe/the Soul Stone or wherever. I would try to make a prediction about where the story goes from there, but the Nova Corps being called in the post-credit scene throws too much of a wrench into any guess I would make.