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Avengers: Infinity War -- Spoilers Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jake Lipson, Apr 27, 2018.

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  1. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    Huh? :unsure:
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO Berserker
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    There are a lot of interesting theories bubbling about out there on the net.

    One that I read recently was that the trailer for Infinity War actually contains scenes that we will see in Endgame.

    The one scene I do remember from the IW trailer is all the heroes running towards camera together getting ready to battle Thanos on Wakanda. That scene shows Hulk in full form running towards the camera with everyone else.

    In IW, that doesn't happen - Hulk refuses to emerge.

    The theory postulates that this scene is actually a time-travel style redo where they battle Thanos again on Wakanda but this time Hulk participates.

    It's interesting and not terribly likely, but it's fun to consider possibilities like those.
     
  3. Tommy R

    Tommy R Supporting Actor

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    I chalked that up to maybe they 100% made up a fake shot for the trailer. You never know though.
     
  4. JimmyO

    JimmyO Berserker
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    I did too. Not really changing my mind about that, but it would be very interesting if it were true that it is actually a shot from Endgame and we were all pranked.
     
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  5. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    The Russos confirmed that was in fact the case in some interview they did last year around the time of release. I don't have the link offhand, but I distinctly remember them saying that.
     
  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I don't think it was so much a fake shot as it was that they had two versions of that ending that they were kicking around: One where the Hulk finally does come out, and one where he still refused to come out.

    Once they decided that Banner wouldn't be one of the ones wiped out by Thanos, the decision probably became pretty clear to leave the inner conflict between Banner and the Hulk as something unresolved that would carry over into Endgame.
     
  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I could be wrong, but my memory matches Jake’s - that they copped to making a fake shot for the trailer to disguise that Banner not being able to transform into Hulk was a major plot point.

    If they had included the shot as it appears in the finished film, a large portion of the audience would have been clued into that plot development months in advance, instead of being genuinely surprised while watching the film.
     
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  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Road to Endgame Revisit #20:
    Several decades from now, when the superhero genre has mostly exhausted itself, and film historians are looking back at genre as a whole, I think Avengers: Infinity War will be looked at very much like The Searchers is for the Western genre: both a standout out of the genre, and a transitional demarcation for the genre. I don't know where the superhero genre is heading after the 1-2 punch of Infinity War and Endgame, but I know it will be different because of these movies.

    I began these revisits with Captain America: The First Avenger just over a month ago. In the weeks since, I feel like I've binge watched the greatest television series of all time, where every episode cost over $100 million to make and did a great job telling a worthwhile episodic plot while contributing to the ongoing mythology. It's made it more difficult watching regular television, because even the best shows feel disappointing by comparison.

    The twenty-plus movie project culminates with Infinity War, which builds on everything that has come before to achieve a thrilling, at times mesmerizing crescendo. It's an astounding achievement of short-form storytelling built upon an astounding achievement of long-form storytelling.

    The first hour of the movie, from Thanos to Bucky Barnes, is a cascading series of introductions and reintroductions. The roster of characters is absolutely enormous. Like the first Avengers, all of the entrances here have real weight and impact -- something Age of Ultron fell short on. This is the largest number of major superheroes assembled in one movie, and the presentation never allows you to forget it. At the same time, there's so much that needs to get done that the movie proceeds at breakneck speed; before we've had a chance to catch our breath, we're onto the next thing. This is the fastest two-and-a-half hour movie I've ever seen.

    The production values also help sell the event status of this movie. It was shot using the IMAX variant of the Alexa 65 camera, with Ultra Panavision 70 lenses. The lighting, the colors, the quality of the CG imagery, all feels like a step up. My one complaint is with IMAX's insistence on exclusive framing for its screens. Infinity War was shot in the 1.9:1 aspect ratio, and then cropped to 2.39:1 for conventional theaters and home video. The first time I saw Infinity War was in an IMAX theater, and the 1.9:1 framing played beautifully. The shot compositions felt expansive and epic. The 2.39:1 conventional framing contains all of the information needed to understand what's going on, but the top and bottom of the framing feels very tight, with the tops of characters' heads often lopped off even in wide shots. The first Avengers was shot in 1.85:1 and released in that aspect ratio for all distribution methods. Rather than try to serve two masters with two different "correct" aspect ratios, I wish they'd just released the movie in 1.9:1 on all screens and on disc.

    Alan Silvestri was the first composer to give the Marvel Cinematic Universe a memorable theme, with Captain America: The First Avenger, and his return is welcome here after sitting out Age of Ultron. Some will be disappointed that -- aside from Ludwig Göransson's Black Panther theme announcing our return to Wakanda, and a couple brief allusions to Captain America's theme and Doctor Strange's theme -- the score doesn't build on the music written for the various sub-franchises. But the Avengers music itself has become so memorable, and Silvestri's ability to write both bombast and emotion is so strong, that the music helps elevate the goings on as a major motion picture event.

    The first Avengers owes a great debt to Seven Samurai and The Dirty Dozen. Age of Ultron stumbled a bit by taking the Frankenstein story and then bogging it down with a plethora of side attractions, playing off things from other movies and setting up things for other movies. Infinity War has way more characters than even Age of Ultron: twelve Avengers (Thor, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Black Panther); seven Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, Nebula); four additional Children of Thanos (Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive); and dozens of supporting characters from the various sub-franchises. Adding to that challenge, it also had to serve as both the first half of a two-part story and a standalone movie with a satisfying beginning, middle, and end.

    The Russo brothers and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely must have looked at all of the assembled pieces and realized that there's a couple dozen heroes but only one primary villain. So the way they imposed order and structure on this daunting roster of characters was to make the villain the movie's protagonist. Thanos starts the movie with one goal: to collect all of the Infinity Stones and use them to wipe out half of all living beings in the universe. And Infinity War documents how he goes about accomplishing that task.

    So while we have nearly twenty heroes -- and the movie, somewhat miraculously, gives each of them at least a couple moments in the limelight to shine -- they are all deployed solely in the context of how they further or thwart Thanos's goals.

    The movie begins in media res, shortly after the mid-credits scene of Thor: Ragnarok. Thanos has acquired the Power Stone that was left in the protection of the Nova Corps at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy. He conquered Xandar, and decimated the surviving population. Now he has targeted the refugee vessel containing the Asgardian families who survived Ragnarök, because Loki smuggled the Tesseract (containing the Space Stone) on board. Half of the Asgardians were allowed to evacuate, while the remainder lay dead or dying as the movie begins. On one hand, it feels like a waste of one of the most intriguing things to come of Thor: Ragnarok: the prospect of the Asgardians settling on Earth. On the other hand, it -- reinforced by the heroic deaths of Loki and Heimdall, arguably the Thor sub-franchise's two most prominent supporting characters -- is effective at signaling to the audience that the stakes have been raised and that nobody in the movie is safe.

    Before Heimdall is killed, he manages to summon the Bifrost and transport Bruce Banner to Earth. Crashing through the Sanctum Sanctorum like a falling asteroid, Banner understands that his role is clear: to serve as the harbinger of Thanos, and give Earth as much advance notice as he can to mount some kind of defense. Bruce fills in Wong and Doctor Strange, who in turn yank Tony Stark away from a romantic walk in Central Park. No sooner has Tony been filled in on the threat, and Bruce filled in on the events of Civil War, than the first two Children of Thanos arrive in a very public way, seeking the Time Stone around Doctor Strange's neck. Peter Parker, on a field trip with his best friend Ned and a couple of the minor supporting characters from Spider-Man: Homecoming, slips out of the school bus and puts on his costume. This fight sequence is deliberately reminiscent of the Battle of New York that closed out the first Avengers, albeit with far fewer combatants on both sides. It is another signal to the audience about the expanded scope of this movie: we're taking the biggest thing from that movie, and we're beginning with it.

    As a consequence of the battle, the narrative splinters again, with Iron Man and Spider-Man blast off into outer space to rescue Doctor Strange and the Time Stone from Ebony Maw, while Wong hangs back to protect the Sanctum and Bruce attempts to rally Earth's mightiest heroes on the home front.

    Before we move forward with either plot thread, though, "Rubberband Man" portends the arrival of the Guardians of the Galaxy, while a location caption helpfully informs us that they're in "Space". They have answered the Statesman's distress call that opened the movie, but arrive only to find destruction and debris. A few moments later, Thor smashes into their windshield, and the cosmic side of this narrative kicks into high gear. Guardians writer/director James Gunn is credited as an executive producer on this movie, and reportedly did a dialogue polish on the scenes featuring the Guardians. Gamora and Nebula used to be Children of Thanos and Thanos ordered the deaths of Drax's family, so the stakes are as personal for them as they are for Thor, who has now lost every person he has ever loved. Here the narrative splinters yet again: Thor, Rocket, and Groot are off to Nidavellir (one of the Nine Realms heretofore unseen) to forge a weapon that will reignite the god powers that were extinguished when Asgard fell, while Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, and Mantis head off to Knowhere to confront Thanos.

    Back on Earth, Scarlet Witch and Vision -- more human than ever -- are having an illicit rendezvous in Edinburgh, Scotland when two more Children of Thanos arrive to seize the Mind Stone embedded in Vision's forehead. I really love this sequence. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany sell the intimacy and vulnerability of star crossed lovers on opposite sides of a conflict. And then, once the action starts, make for a wonderful united front. There are three living Marvel superheroes going into Infinity War who were enhanced by Infinity Stones:
    1. Captain Marvel, granted cosmic powers by a blast of energy from the Space Stone, in 1989.
    2. Scarlet Witch, granted telepathic and telekinetic powers as a result of Hydra experiments involving the Mind Stone, sometime between 2012 and 2014.
    3. Vision was created by combining the JARVIS AI from Tony Stark's home and armor, the synthetic body created by Helen Cho, and the Mind Stone.
    It is not coincidental that the three are among the most innately powerful beings in the MCU. The Edinburgh battle is the first time we've seen Scarlet Witch fully trained and at full mastery of her abilities. It is a sight to behold. But she is hamstrung by the need to protect a gravely injured Vision.

    It's a testament to Chris Evans's portrayal, and the careful development of the character over the course of three standalone movies and two Avengers movies, that when Steve Rogers appears in silhouette, the audience's immediate reaction is to sigh with relief. Even though he's objectively far less powerful than Scarlet Witch or Vision, there's a sense that everything is going to be fine and Captain America is going to find a way to save the day. He's got Falcon and Black Widow in tow, his partners in crime from The Winter Soldier and fellow fugitives as a result of the events of Civil War. Once again, the Children of Thanos find the threat more formidable than they'd anticipated. The aligned forces of Team Cap force Thanos's children to retreat.

    The cold open, with Hank and Janet heading off on the mission that would trap her in the Quantum Realm, shows how much the de-aging technology had improved between Ant-Man movies. It's not quite perfect here, but it doesn't trigger that uncomfortable uncanny valley effect that the S.H.I.E.L.D. scene in the eighties did in the first film.

    Inside Knowhere, the Guardians become suspicious about the lack of activity but nevertheless plan their strategy of attack when they reach Thanos. Things go awry right out of the gate. It soon becomes clear that they're too late; Thanos seized the Reality Stone from the Collector before they arrived, and he used to create a massive illusion to test the depth of Gamora's feeling toward him. Star-Lord is forced to watch helplessly as Thanos kidnaps Gamora.

    Back on Earth, the narrative finally starts to consolidate a bit, as Team Cap arrive at the "new" Avengers facility north of New York City and are reunited with James Rhodes. The United Nations is more concerned with asserting its authority than it is with addressing the threat posed by Thanos, and as a result Rhodey finally cuts off communications in disgust. Banner fills everybody in on the situation with Thanos. A bit of exposition informs us that Hawkeye and Ant-Man are unavailable, confined to house arrest as a result of plea deals in the aftermath of Civil War. I'm not sure this lines up with Ant-Man and the Wasp, where Scott Lang completes the house arrest portion of his sentence weeks or even months prior to the events of this movie. But I'm willing to write it off as Natasha having outdated information. The real purpose, of course, is to reduce the headcount in a movie already overstuffed with characters. Once it becomes clear that Thanos is after the Mind Stone, and that Scarlet Witch has the power to destroy it, the mission of Team Cap crystallizes into separating the Mind Stone from Vision and destroying it before Thanos can get his hands on it. But that is a highly complex thing to do, requiring very advanced technology. With Tony lost in space, Cap suggests they head to Wakanda.

    In Wakanda, T'Challa and Okoye conscript Bucky Barnes, now known locally as the White Wolf, into the fight to come. T'Challa presents Barnes with a new bionic arm designed by his little sister. I love that the design of the arm feels like the same technology as the other stuff we've from Wakanda.

    Meanwhile, Thanos holds Gamora captive on his flagship. He's trying to get her to reveal the location of the Soul Stone, while she's pointing out all of the traumas he inflicted on her as a child, beginning with the genocide of half the people on her home planet. The Thanos/Gamora relationship is arguably the core relationship in the movie. The flashback to the moment they met captures both the horror of his simple but brutal arithmetic, and his tenderness and care toward his adoptive daughter. Thanos is a monster, but he loves Gamora and part of her loves him too. One doesn't get the sense that he loves Nebula though, given the torture he's inflicting upon her. But Gamora does love her, and Thanos knows it, and exploits it.

    Elsewhere in the galaxy, Thor, Rocket, and Groot land in Nidavellir and find it a cold dark husk of its former glory. This is the realm of the Dwarves, massive beings who were skilled forgers and blacksmiths. Eitri, their king, is the only one left. He was forced to forge the Infinity Gauntlet under duress, and then Thanos wiped out his people anyway, presumably to prevent the creation of any weapon that could challenge him. As a final measure, he encased Eitri's hands in molten metal. The casting of Peter Dinklage as Eitri is brilliant, both for upending the audience's expectations and for taking advantage of unique opportunities. Because of his dwarfism, Dinklage is not proportioned like people of normal stature. Resized to 15 or 20 feet tall, he's far broader and thicker than a person of normal stature would be resized to 15 or 20 feet tall. It's one of those sequences that feels like bullshit Thor mythology, but it really plays because Dinklage really sells Eitri's despair, and the visuals of forging Stormbreaker are so impactful. I love the beat where teen Groot sacrifices his arm to create an axe handle for Stormbreaker. There's nice symbolism in something so powerful being held together by something so organic and delicate.

    Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange -- having condemned Ebony Maw to the vacuum of space -- crash land on Titan, Thanos's devastated home world. Most of the Guardians are also on their way, after having been summoned via a message that Nebula managed to get out. Strange uses the Time Stone to look into various outcomes for their current predicament. Of the 14,000,605 scenarios he reviewed, the Avengers only prevailed in one.

    While Tony and Peter process that ominous news, Thanos and Gamora have arrived on Vormir, which is suitably eerie for the home of the Soul Stone. the movie shot at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil, which features rolling sand dunes intermingled with fresh water lagoons. To this landscape, the movie applies otherworldly lighting courtesy of a start in permanent eclipse. This sequence contains probably my favorite reveal of the movie: When the Tesseract banished the Red Skull at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, it banished him to Vormir, to be the new keeper of the Soul Stone. Hugo Weaving was not interested in reprising his role, but they had made full 3D scans of Weaving in character with the makeup and prosthetics during the production of The First Avenger. As a result, they were able to recreate the Red Skull as a fully CG creation. This Red Skull is halfway between the Red Skull from that movie an a worn and battered apparition. Ross Marquand, celebrated for his impressions, provides the voice and motion capture for the character in this movie. Red Skull feels different than he did in that movie, because he's serving a different role in this movie, but the voice is so spot on that I left the theater the first time convinced that it had been Weaving in that role. But technically impressive, and ominous for a future where we'd like to still have an objective truth.

    Thanos's sacrifice of Gamora is really emotional. You believe that Thanos really is devastated by it, and you get the sense that the Soul Stone really does extract a toll to acquire it. Alan Silvestri's score is a particular standout in these scenes.

    Back on Earth, the elements slot into place for the epic battle in Wakanda. It's one of those really fortuitous things; at the time Marvel Studios conceived of this ending, they couldn't have known what a massive cultural phenomenon Black Panther would turn out to be two months earlier. Having Wakanda play such a large role, and having that continuity with the design and geography from that movie, really allowed Infinity War to build off of Black Panther's momentum.

    But it's my biggest frustration with the film: Captain America's stance that "We don't trade lives." I think it's justified by the journey Cap has been on leading to this point, especially the lengths he went to in order to save Bucky in Civil War. But I also think it's selfish and indefensible. In Civil War, Cap had to balance the possibility that many people would get hurt against the certainty that Bucky would get her or even killed. Under those circumstances, I can buy standing up for the needs of the few against the will of the many.

    However, this situation is different. He is asking the Wakandans to harbor the Mind Stone when he knows Thanos is coming, in order to attempt to save his friend's life. Once Thanos's children arrived on the perimeter of the Wakandan dome, the math changed. Cap was now balancing the certainty that his friend would die against the certainty that thousands of Wakandans would die. At that point, the only smart tactical move would have been to destroy the Mind Stone immediately, so that Thanos's children would not be incentivized to attack. The decision to prioritize Vision's life over the lives of the Wakandans rubbed me the wrong way when I first saw the movie, and it rubs me the wrong way now. In order for this Wakandan battle to work, they needed a better reason for why they couldn't destroy the Mind Stoen right away.

    Peter Quill's rage-fueled attack on Thanos during the battle on Titan likewise strikes a false note with me. It reminded me a lot of the final act of Civil War, when Tony learns who killed his parents and flies into homicidal rage at Bucky and Cap. Both felt like moments that only happened because the writers needed them to happen, a rare complaint when it comes to Markus/McFeely scripts. Quill's smart enough to know that the only way you kill Thanos is if you manage to get the gauntlet off of his hand.

    Most intriguing is Doctor Strange's decision to give up the Time Stone if Thanos spares Tony Stark. After Thanos teleports to Earth to pursue the last Infinity Stone, Strange tells Stark that they're in the endgame now. For whatever reason, the 1 in 14 million chance to stop Thanos requires Tony Stark to be alive. One gets the sense that even as things get very, very bad for our heroes, things are proceeding exactly according to Doctor Strange's plan.

    With Thanos's arrival imminent, Vision finally convinces her to sacrifice him and destroy the stone. This she ultimately does, even though it devastates her. Unfortunately, it all proves to be moot as Thanos uses the newly acquired Time Stone to turn back time and rip it right out of Vision's forehead. Thanos has collected all of the Infinity Stones. The gauntlet is fully powered.

    Thor makes one last valiant effort to stop Thanos, but -- as Thanos himself pointed out -- Thor should have aimed for Thanos's head. Thanos snaps his fingers, and that's that: Half of all life in the universe crumbles into ash.

    It's a pretty staggeringly subversive move for a major blockbuster to make, telling a story where the good guys lose. And a staggering number of them die. On Titan, only Tony Stark and Nebula are left standing. Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Drax, and Mantis have all crumbled to ash. On Earth, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, and Groot all crumble into dust.

    It is notable, however, that the none of the OG Avengers that assembled for the Battle of New York -- Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye -- are seen crumbling to ash. The five that are present in this movie are all shown as having survived the decimation. If this movie was bursting at the seams with characters, the Snap certainly thinned the ranks and simplified things. The characters who had the most to do this time around mostly died, and the characters who had the least to do this time around mostly survived.

    The movie ends with Thanos as he finally rests, and watches the sun rise on a grateful universe. The protagonist has accomplished his mission.

    After the increasingly elaborate end credits for MCU movies, this one has simple white creidts on a black background. Partly I think this is because this is only the first half of a two-part story. But it's also fitting in terms of mood at a point where so many important characters have just died.

    Connections to other parts of the MCU: This is the culmination of all of the movies that came before it. The movie picks up very shortly after where the Thor: Ragnarok mid-credits left off. In Central Park, Pepper Potts is wearing the engagement ring from Spider-Man: Homecoming. More than half the Avengers are international fugitives as a result of Civil War. Red Skull comes from Captain America: The First Avenger. The consequences of the Snap in this movie play out in the mid-credits and post-credits scenes of Ant-Man and the Wasp. The major one, though, come from the end credits scene of this movie, where Nick Fury manages to activate a really upgraded pager to summon Captain Marvel from some far off place. The mid-credits scene from Captain Marvel picks up where this post-credits sequence left off, with Carol Danvers appearing in the offices of Team Surviving Avengers.
     
  9. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    (Emphasis mine.)

    I see what you did there. ;)

    This leads to one of the admittedly very minor quibbles I have with the movie. I agree with the reasoning that we didn't need to see Thanos acquire the Power Stone; since we knew where it was, and since none of our main characters are currently there, it was easy for them to just say he already got it. That's all fine.

    But it bothers me a bit later on when the Guardians are introduced. These are the heroes who are known all over the galaxy for saving Xandar in their first film. Thanos' victory at Xandar essentially undoes the Guardians' victory from the first film, since the population was still ravaged; it was just by Thanos instead of Ronan, and delayed by a few years. When Thor tells the Guardians this, how is it that he knows that information, but they don't? We saw Thor have this big adventure in Ragnarok, and then we see the ship attacked in the beginning of this film, and as you noted, those things are just moments apart. So, did Thanos do a long monologue about how he got the Power Stone when he invaded the Asgardian ship? I don't see any other way for Thor to have obtained that information in the momentary time span between Ragnarok and Infinity War. Thor certainly doesn't have any idea about the Xandar attack during Ragnarok, but that's when it must have happened.

    Also, more to the point...you'd think word of Xandar falling would have reached the Guardians, because they're the heroes of Xandar. What have they been doing that they didn't hear about this earlier? It seems weird that they don't take this news harder, since it completely undoes their first movie.

    I'm going to put the following in spoiler brackets just to be safe for anyone who is sensitive, but since the information came from Marvel, I don't think it really is one.
    Also, Marvel has confirmed by way of issuing her character poster in color that Valkyrie from Ragnarok is alive and survived Thanos' massacre on the ship. But that information should have come from the movie Infinity War itself, rather than from a poster for its follow-up. It could have been as easy as Thanos saying, "Be grateful to me that I let Valkyrie [and any others that might have been with her] go." One line of dialogue wouldn't have added to the running time in any substantial way. It would have made her re-introduction into Endgame cleaner. (I assume she must be in there, or else she wouldn't have gotten a poster.)
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    The Asgardians were evacuated on a massive ship stolen from Sakaar. I'm not sure whether that ship has the same jump technology as the smaller vessels in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Part of me thinks it doesn't, because otherwise they'd have already reached Earth. Given that, it's possible that quite a bit of time went by between the pre-credits ending of Thor: Ragnarok and the mid-credits scene.

    It also stands to reason that Asgard kept tabs on all of the Infinity Stones. So they would have known that the Power Stone was on Xandar. Once Thanos showed up with the power stone in the gauntlet, they would have been able to put two and two together. The fact that Thor told the Guardians the Xandar was decimated specifically the prior week leads me to believe that Thanos or one of his Children did do some monologuing during the slaughter aboard the Statesman.

    On the other hand, the Guardians are pretty self-absorbed and frequently operating well off the beaten path. Given that only a week had gone by, I can buy that they hadn't heard anything. I can also buy that the news that Thanos's genocide of half the universe is imminent has a way of focusing their attention on the matter at hand -- especially because Gamora and Drax have such personal reasons for wanting Thanos dead.

    I do agree with this. It needed to be a lot clearer that Thanos let half of the Asgardians go. And as arguably the only one of Thor's top lieutenants who present at the end of Ragnarok but not present for Thanos's slaughter, it makes sense that she'd be the one to lead them away.
     
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  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I agree. We also don't know where they are in proximity to Xandar when we pick up the Guardians in the film. It's also been about four years since they were there, so I just think that means it plays differently than if Thanos showed up on Xandar moments after they left. It's not that the Guardians would cease to care, but more that a planet they helped out on four years ago probably wasn't at the top of their radar after all this time had passed.
     
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  12. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    I think you answered your own question. Yes, Thanos boasted to Thor about getting the stone from Xandar.

    Thor mentioned that it happened “last week”. So it wasn’t very long ago. We don’t know enough about “Space” to know how quickly information can spread, and if it was already being reported the Guardians probably were probably too busy doing their thing over the last few days to watch space CNN.

    And I think the Guardians’ reaction after hearing about Xandar’s decimation was shown in their faces. But their interaction with them was years ago and they were in the middle of another immediate threat situation and had other things to discuss when this information was delivered.
     
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  13. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    But it wasn’t Cap’s call to make, or Vision’s. It was Wanda’s. She was the only one who could destroy the Mind Stone and it required her to execute the person she loved to do so. That wasn’t happening just because Cap told her it was the safest call, or because Vision says he’s ok with it and asks her to do it. It was only ever going to happen when she herself realizes that their was absolutely no chance of another way and no other choice. Cap understood that, and he took her to the place where there was the best chance of avoiding that. Once they got there things just moved much faster than they anticipated, but still she wasn’t about to kill him until there was no other choice.

    As you subsequently pointed out, her destroying the stone and sacrificing Vision was devastating to her. And it wasn’t just a quick thing like pulling a trigger. It was a process, and it was devastating the entire time.

    I just can’t imagine her choosing to go through this at the Avengers compound or in Suri’s lab when thinking there may be another option
    003FAF6E-A97E-40CE-AC7D-72666EDBA519.

    Unless this was bearing down on her and it was clear there no other choice
    D16E0B00-457C-458E-9FF6-48A8486742B0.
    It was an act filled with emotion that was only performed in desperation. Couldn’t have happened just because Cap decided “No, Wanda just kill him now”.
     
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  14. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I don't see it so much as a plot hole or a writer's contrivance so much as just a reflection of the humanity of Wanda (and Cap too) that it wasn't that simple a matter of them.

    I just recently rewatched Danny Boyle's 2007 film "Sunshine" and Chris Evans has a key role in it as a very pragmatic engineer on the astronaut team who makes a speech about how literally none of their lives have any value in the context of their mission needing to succeed in order to save the entire human race and all life on earth. It's quite a contrast from his performance and conclusions in the Cap role. My own thought process tends to be more like that of the Evans character in Sunshine - that any individual concern is meaningless and unimportant in the face of a species-wide event. But I'm not the one that has to execute someone else in that scenario.

    I think on some level it's also easier for me to give it a pass because once Thanos gets the time stone, all bets are off, because he can go back and do it all as many times as it takes to get what he wants. So even if Wanda had destroyed the mind stone right then and there at the Avengers headquarters, before Thanos even arrived on earth - Thanos still could have used the time stone to undo that destruction and get what he wanted. There was no scenario where a time stone-wielding Thanos doesn't get the rest of the stones. And given the power that Thanos had already amassed, there was no realistic scenario where he didn't get the time stone either. Even if Tony and Quill and the rest had gotten the gauntlet off of Thanos' hand, I don't see that being the end of the problem. He can easily overpower them even without the stones; he would have gotten it back. Thanos was too powerful and too far along the path to be stopped.

    So on the one hand, I think Cap is being unrealistically and unreasonably stubborn, but on the other hand, I don't think it really matters how he reacted because I don't think anything could have changed the end result.

    The only person who might have had the power to change the pre-snap outcome would have been Thor if he had gone for the head. I wonder if that'll actually be a plot point in Endgame, Thor at least berating himself or being chastised by others for not taking the kill shot.
     
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  15. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    Right. In a “real world” scenario, I’d be leaning towards the safe “numbers” call as well. Especially if I wasn’t the one executing a loved one. But if I had to kill my mother, or my little nephew to save the world while being told that there is a “chance” it could be saved without having to do that I’m not doing it until I decide that the other chance no longer exists, no matter who is telling me it isn’t the safest decision. And even then I don’t know. If I did I’d have to do myself right afterwards. Telling someone else to do it, sure I’ll be the cold hearted pragmatic survivalist. So it doesn’t matter what Cap says here or “decides”. It’s not his decision. I don’t think Cap is being stubborn because it’s not his decision. It is Wanda’s. He told her it’s a high price, and she’s the only one who could pay it.

    The whole movie is filled with “imperfect” characters making emotional/human choices that ultimately allow Thanos to achieve his goal.

    -Strange not disappearing into some sort of mystical whatever to hide himself and the Time Stone.

    -Gamora giving up the location of the Soul Stone to save her sister.

    -Quill breaking down at the news of Gamora’s murder (when the murderer is right in front of him)

    On the flip side of that, Quill did make an extremely difficult choice to kill Gamora (his love) because he promised her to do so. And he actually followed through on it. He made the same choice Wanda had to make, and he did it when it wasn’t “in the last moment”, if you know what it mean. Thanos stopping it didn’t chance the fact that Quill chose to kill her. I think something like that left him emotionally wrecked on the inside. So yeah he screwed up on Titan, but I think that when he learned that the bastard killed her anyway, after already being tortured with guilt over trying to kill her himself, he simply snapped.

    -Thor wanting the revenge boast instead of going for the head and an immediate kill.

    It been a while since I’ve listened to it, but I’m pretty sure all these things were discussed by the Russos and Markus/McFeely in the commentary (or in other interviews). Emphasizing that these imperfect, flawed people made difficult and emotional (not perfect) decisions.
     
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  16. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I think if that had been emphasized more, it would have played better for me. You're absolutely right that Wanda's the only one who could get the job done, and I'd buy that she would be so focused on saving Vision that she wouldn't care about the larger picture. But I think someone needed to make the argument that the many were being sacrificed for the one.

    This definitely negates Wanda/Cap's culpability in risking the lives of literally half the beings in the universe to save Vision. But doesn't change the fact, for me, that there are a lot of dead people on that battlefield that didn't have to die -- even before the Snap.

    I've got to believe that Thanos dies via head injury in Endgame. It's sort of like Chekhov's gun; why introduce it if you're not going to pay it off later?
     
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  17. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I'd put my money there too.

    I've been avoiding all Infinity Wars spoilers, so I make this guess based only on what is in Infinity War and not whatever's been floating around in the outside world for ages. But I believe that somehow time travel will come into play, and that there will be a scenario where they have to fight that battle over, and this time aim for a different result, and that something like that would be the key.

    My completely uneducated guess is that they travel through time but discover that doing everything again isn't easy, and that some of the original Avengers perish along the way to reliving that moment, and that the excruciating decision will come from "Changing time is enormously difficult and if one or more Avenger dies in replaying history towards a favorable outcome, do we keep trying until everyone makes it out alive, or do we accept that there will be different collateral damage this time?"

    That may be part of Cap's story arc... to go from being a character who says "We don't trade lives" to being one who understands that, as difficult as it is on a personal level, one life can't be worth more than half of all sentient life in all of creation.
     
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  18. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    My wife and I rewatched Infinity War; I've seen it a bunch of times since it's left theaters but she hasn't seen it since it was still playing in IMAX.

    This time, there's one detail that I couldn't stop thinking about. It's probably an insignificant costume design choice and not a major plot point or key to Endgame or anything, and it's not even the first time I noticed this detail, but... every single time we see Steve Rogers, he's wearing an earpiece that's connected to who-knows-what. We never see him explicitly use it prior to the final battle. In the final battle, everyone is talking via radio communications to everyone else, but it's part of Steve's outfit for the entire movie.

    It's almost certainly a costume design choice.

    But I started thinking about this really cool, really obscure time travel movie called "Primer" - and a significant plot point in that film has to do with a character wearing an earpiece that we, as the audience, think nothing of when we first notice it.
     
  19. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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    As an aside, Primer is one of my all time favourite movies. It's the only movie I have ever watched three times in a row in the same night (on disc, of course).
     
  20. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I did that too! Was working at Blockbuster at the time, so it came in with the new releases that we'd get to check out in advance, and I had no idea what it was. Took it home, was blown away. I think the disc had two commentary tracks, and I watched them both immediately. Incredible film. It's a shame that Shane Carruth isn't fully funded cause he's a guy who should be given as much money as he wants to do whatever he'd like.
     
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