Avengers: Infinity War was the Game Changer Superhero Movies Needed
In a genre getting closer and closer to oversaturation every year, Marvel pulls off another impressive feat
Throughout this decade, Marvel Studios has solidified themselves as a trailblazer in the movie industry. Who would have thought that a movie studio could build so much success from making different superhero movies that share a cinematic universe if Marvel did not do it in the first place?
It all started with the release of Iron Man which seemed like a risky move at the time. People were not sure if a “B-level” superhero played by the then-infamous Robert Downey Jr. would do well at the box office as well as be an entertaining superhero movie. However, as we all know by now, Iron Man received widespread acclaim as well as box office success while also making a megastar out of Robert Downey Jr.
With the success of Iron Man, Marvel found a formula that made their movies great and commercially successful and this success carried over to their other titular characters like Captain America and Thor and even to their lesser known heroes like the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.
Basically, the typical Marvel movie relies a lot on humor and lightheartedness and that at the end of the day, the heroes save the day.
Now with nineteen movies in the past ten years, you would wonder if the formula has become too predictable or stale even for Marvel’s standards.
However, Marvel had another trick up its sleeve with Avengers: Infinity War, changing the superhero movie genre forever by doing the biggest superhero movie ever made and by going against the formula we all love and grew accustomed to.
This year’s Avengers: Infinity War was Marvel’s biggest and most ambitious movie yet. It features around eighty characters who have shown up in previous Marvel movies. This includes the original Avengers team with mainstays like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk but now they are also joined by all the new heroes they introduced after the first Avengers movie like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther.
The build-up to Infinity War started six years ago when it was revealed during the post-credits scene of the first Avengers movie that Thanos was behind the attack on New York. Now, every single Marvel movie since then has been setting up towards these heroes’ faceoff against probably the strongest villain in the universe.
In this movie, all these heroes who have their own ideologies now have to adjust to one another so that they can stop the one true evil which is Thanos. This leads to a lot of epic crossovers between loved Marvel characters who will meet for the first time in Infinity War along with a lot of quarrels at the beginning of the movie which could mean a lot of funny interactions as well.
While they got to pull off integrating six superheroes who held their own in the box office together as a unit, the fact that they were able to do it again with Infinity War at a much grander scale proves that Marvel Studios are a force to be wrecking with for who knows how long.
Marvel has drastically changed the game just by being able to create and pull off the biggest superhero movie spectacle ever, even amongst high expectations from fans and critics.
Well if they could change the game by just putting this movie out, what more the story in the movie itself?
*Warning, there will be spoilers beyond this point!*
So at this point in time we all know how successful Infinity War has been both critically and successfully.
But it didn’t pan out like a typical Marvel movie, if you went into the cinema expecting the same Marvel formula they have been using all the time, you were immediately proven wrong. This hits you right in the face immediately in the first scene where the first thing you see is a dark place full of dead bodies.
A Marvel movie that starts out with death? Kind of seems like something off-brand, something they should not be doing but as Doctor Strange said, “We’re in the endgame now.”
Then in comes Thanos, the Mad Titan. The ultimate foil of the Avengers for this film.
It was only a matter of time before we would finally see Thanos since the first Avengers movie, he even said it himself, “Destiny arrives all the same, and now it’s here. Or should I say, I am.”
There were still so many things we did not know about him up to this point. Also knowing that Marvel has a history of underdeveloped villains, this could have been a concern leading up to the film itself.
But leave it to Marvel, for coming through by showing how layered Thanos is as a character. He isn’t just an ordinary bad guy that wants to destroy the world just because he wants to. The writers were able to build his character as someone that is believable as the single threat that can stop the Avengers while also making him a sympathetic character that has a lot of emotional depth.
From the get-go, they instantly show how powerful he is by besting Hulk in combat without even using any Infinity Stone. He beat up Hulk so bad, he became too scared to even come out in the movie. Then as he tries to gather all the Infinity Stones, you can see him get stronger and stronger as another stone gets added to his gauntlet.
However, it was his conversations and interactions with his daughter, Gamora, that showed the complexity to his character.
The writers were able to build him up as someone that is believable as the single threat that can stop the Avengers while also making him a sympathetic character that has a lot of emotional depth.
His motivations were clear, he felt like he had this burden of being the one to have to get rid of half of humanity as a sacrifice so that everyone else that will live can live a much better life. It did not seem like he wants to do it but he feels like he must carry that responsibility.
This was never more evident than when he had to sacrifice someone he loved for the Soul Stone. At first you would wonder if he actually loved something just as Gamora said, but it was obvious that him having to push his daughter to her death was something that really burdened him. We also got to confirm that in the ending when he spoke to a vision of Gamora, when she asked “What did it cost?” and Thanos replies, “Everything.”
Yeah, so, the movie ends with Thanos winning and removing half of the universe. Who would have expected that? Did the ending make sense having Thanos win?
Well, looking at it from a different perspective, you could easily say that this was Thanos’ story and that the ending made sense because in his story he was able to do what he promised to do which is to remove half the universe.
This was such a bold move that turned out to be great for Marvel because of all the reactions from fans and critics which leads to more people talking about the film.
Infinity War became such a game changer just by being made, but what Marvel did in the movie itself by straying away from their formula and showing that ending and still succeeding proves that there are still a lot of ways to make the superhero movie genre feel fresh again.