Marvel Studios released a little film called Avengers: Infinity War (you may have heard of it). It was the culmination of 10 years worth of build up into the most ambitious crossover film ever produced. Lucky for them, and REALLY lucky for us, it was super bad ass. The film has been deconstructed and pulled apart since its release and likely will continue to be until at least Avengers 4 comes out next year.
Usually I'm good at picking up on Easter Eggs and other nods to the comic books, TV shows, etc. However, there's one theme in the film I picked up on that I haven't seen anyone talk about yet. All throughout the film, Thanos goes on and on about how the universe needs to be perfectly balanced in order to survive. It's his mantra for whatever reason. But the theme of being perfectly balanced extends to more than just Thanos's mission. Stay with me here:
There are six Infinity Stones. Throughout the film six characters are given the option to either kill to protect a stone or to save a life and sacrifice the stone to Thanos. The only stone exempt from this is the Power Stone because Thanos has it at the beginning of the film. But still six for six. Here we go:
LOKI - THE TESSERACT/SPACE STONE - SAVES THOR
The film's jarring opening sequence starts with Thanos and his homies decimating what's left of the already small band of surviving Asgardians following the ending of Thor: Ragnarok. In an unsurprising turn of events, we learn that Loki stole the Tesseract from Asgard before it was destroyed. Thanos says he'll kill Thor if Loki doesn't give it up. Loki says, "Eh kill him." Then he follows up with, "Jk lol." Thanos takes the Tesseract and kills Loki in the process. Bummer.
STAR LORD - THE REALITY STONE - ATTEMPTS TO KILL GAMORA
Honestly, this one surprised me a lot but made me love Peter Quill more in this franchise. The Guardians go to Knowhere to try and take the Reality Stone before Thanos can get his hands on it. On the way there, Gamora tells Quill that she knows something Thanos doesn't know and if she's captured he needs to kill her. Quill reluctantly agrees. While on Knowhere, Gamora is captured by Thanos and she begs Quill to keep his promise. After a long mental debate (expertly acted by Chris Pratt) and sarcastic coaxing by Thanos, Quill does pull the trigger. However, since he waited like 2 years to do it, Thanos turned his bullets and gun into bubbles. Still . . . Quill knew the cost and he was willing to pay it to protect the universe. Until later that is when he fucked it all up . . .
GAMORA - THE SOUL STONE - SAVES NEBULA FROM TORTURE
While captured by her foster daddy Thanos, Gamora goes on and on about how she doesn't know where the Soul Stone is. But ya know, Thanos ain't no pushover. He knows what's up. He shows her that he's kidnapped Nebula and is torturing her. He shows her Nebula's memory banks and Gamora's confession that she knows where the Soul Stone is but she'll never tell Thanos. Which brings me to my previous point that Nebula is useless and ruins everything. I know I haven't mentioned here before but I've mentioned it in my personal life enough that it's probably gotten around to you at some point. In any event, Thanos uses the Power Stone to torture Nebula. Gamora can't take it and says she'll take Thanos to the Stone if he leaves Nebula alone. Personally, I think these characters are too forgiving of people that have tried to murder them in the past but . . . whatever.
THANOS - THE SOUL STONE - WILLING TO KILL GAMORA
Whew . . . Father of the year right? Yikes! Gamora leads Thanos to Vormir where they meet the Red Skull (cuz why not). Skull tells them that he is the Guardian of the stone and to take it requires a sacrifice, "a soul for a soul." Gamora laughs thinking that Thanos doesn't love anything enough to sacrifice it to obtain the stone. Turns out, Thanos actually did love his "daughter" Gamora and is willing to give her soul so that he can save the universe. I mean . . . she just asked her boyfriend to kill her . . . Maybe she has a type? I dunno. Either way, he throws her over the edge like any good father would and gets his bangin ass Soul Stone. Which does . . . I don't know actually. Completes the set?
DOCTOR STRANGE - THE TIME STONE - SAVES IRON MAN
While flying through outer space, Tony Stark (Iron Man, in case you didn't know) says he thinks that the best course of action is to take the fight to Thanos on his home turf. Strange reluctantly agrees and then adds that if it comes down to protecting the Time Stone, Stark, or Spider-Man he won't hesitate to let either of them die to keep the stone out of Thanos's hands. Stark agrees to this. Because . . . I would too? I dunno, these guys are mean to each other. Just be friends already!
Anyway, later in the film, Thanos comes back to Titan and faces off against Spider-Man, Iron Man, Star Lord, Dr. Strange, Drax, and Mantis. They are barely a match for him. Then Star Lord goes and fucks everything up. You know what happens. Anyway, Thanos takes a piece of Stark's armor and stabs him with it. Which I was convinced was the end of Iron Man. I was like, "There it is! His contract's up!" But Strange begged for Stark's life in exchange for the Time Stone. He hands it over to Thanos and Thanos true to his word leaves Stark alone and then travels to Earth to get the last stone. One could argue that Strange gave up the stone because out of the 14 million outcomes he saw it was the only way to stop him but I'd like to think that Strange's medical oath of "do no harm" stayed with him. But I guess we won't know till Avengers 4 comes out and makes fools out of all of us.
SCARLET WITCH - THE MIND STONE - WILLING TO KILL VISION
In a tragic turn of events, Shuri is not able to save Vision's consciousness despite being kind of a smart ass to Banner about it (that's what you get for being cocky, kid). Vision pleads with Wanda to destroy the Mind Stone because it's the only way to stop Thanos from achieving his goal. Wanda recognizes that there is no other way and uses her power to push Thanos aside and destory the Mind Stone/Vision in the process. Like holy shit, that's some power. Thanos tells her that he understands her pain and then much to the surprise of surprisingly a lot of people (cuz I totally saw it coming), Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse Vision's death (Yay!) and then kill him all over again to get the Mind Stone (Damn it!).
Then Thanos does the finger snap and wipes out all the Avengers that still have movies left on their contracts and leaves the ones behind we're about to say "Bye, Felicia!" to. In all seriousness though, it's a heart wrenching ending. Thanos is a dick and I hope he gets his in Avengers 4.
Again, this observation is a little uneven due to Thanos already having the Power Stone at the start of the film but we chalk that up to the filmmakers wanting to get the film started as quickly as possible. A smart move considering that it would have been repetitive to show Thanos destroying everyone and everything. As much as I'd love to see John C. Reilly and Glenn Close from Guardians of the Galaxy again . . . well it wouldn't have been worth it.
In any event, we are three for three. Did the filmmakers intend for this? Maybe. Even if not, it's an awesome thing to think about and adds a new layer to an already fantastic film. What does this mean for Avengers 4? I dunno . . . But I'm willing to bet that Cap's line, "We don't trade lives" will come into play. We'll find out soon enough!
Till Next Time!
JJ - the Comic Junkie!
Interesting concept. I think it goes Hand in hand with the theme of sacrifice.ReplyDelete