ratcreature: Flail! (flail)
RatCreature ([personal profile] ratcreature) wrote2018-04-28 07:57 pm

Avengers: Infinity War

I watched it yesterday evening...

I had heard that it would end on a cliffhanger (the only spoiler I didn't manage to avoid), but this is really not what I expected. I'm not quite sure what I think about the movie, because it depends so much on how everything resolves in the second part. I mean, it's really not a full movie, but truly just part one, in a way that movies, even in a franchise, normally aren't.

It's more like a season cliffhanger in tv series that ends on a split two parter, and I don't really like that movies now go that way too. Though considering that they try to make their movie franchise resemble a massive comic crossover event, the kind that extorts you to buy all the tie-ins across three dozen series to follow the full plot, it is perhaps unsurprising. But I enjoy somewhat self-contained comics more too, and prefer superhero movies that have standalone plots. Also with comics you don't have to wait a year for the next part.

That said, I did enjoy watching it, and the split narrative as a way to handle the massive cast worked well. And the special effects and different planets and such were great. I did have trouble sometimes understanding the dialogue though -- not sure whether that was me or the sound levels or what, but I missed some of the quips for example.

I mean, as usual the plot had the kind problems that become bothersome if you examine it too closely, and since I don't care about Vision I wasn't into his love story with Wanda.

And the fact that Steve and T'Challa allow some massive ground battle likely to kill many Wakandans to save Vision, rather than just going with his willing sacrifice started to feel like a really forced plot contrivance after a while. I could go with it for a bit, Steve suggesting the Wakandans advanced technology as a possible win-win solution made some sense, but once the alien monster invasion got started way too soon, not making that hard call but rather sacrifice a bunch of Wakandans for a mere chance to save Vision makes no sense.

I've seen some reviewers interpret this as a part of some kind of theme, of Thanos' population cull for the greater good as opposite to the Avengers ethos to always try to save everyone, that then leads to disaster in its own way, because it causes them to loose to Thanos. But this doesn't really hold together for me. Like, Doctor Strange clearly did not really give Thanos the Time Stone to save Tony Stark, but because he had found one solution in millions through his visions that ultimately could lead to Thanos' defeat and for that path to come about he had to give Thanos the gem, and trade for Tony's life.

So in the best case scenario some wizard with extra knowledge making life and death decisions for everyone will work out in the end, which IMO isn't really more ethically sound than someone deciding to end their own life for the greater good based on the more limited knowledge available to them. But then thinking superhero scenarios through for ethical implications always ends up in horrible places, and worse ones the more the powers escalate.

Anyway, like many I was shocked how many characters died, even if most were the text book case of "comic book death" when they just crumbled to dust because of some magic gem universe manipulation, that can be undone by the gadget, and are thus most likely just temporarily dead. However, not knowing what the resolution of this dilemma is yet, it's impossible for me to say, whether I'm going to appreciate it as tension peak in the middle.

Also it doesn't seem like a very good stopping point for fanfic "fixes", because sprawling, ultimately gen, space epics with a giant cast aren't the kind of fix-its fandom likes to write most. Also I've since learned that the symbol in the pager in the after credits was for Captain Marvel and her introductory movie isn't even out.

Though that both Steve and Tony remain undusted, if on different planets right now, makes maybe some team reconciliation fanfic possible. On the upside at least Steve and Bucky got to hug briefly, before Steve lost him again (hopefully temporarily).
marcelo: (Default)

[personal profile] marcelo 2018-04-29 07:42 am (UTC)(link)
My strategic takeaway from the movie was "love means risking half the universe's life for somebody, and hey, you lost" not that anybody else made much of an argument about how insane Wanda's choice was anyway. Love over glory, love over your own life, love over other duties, sure. But at some point the stakes become unarguable.

(Also, I think T'Challa didn't really think things through. He's spent his whole life knowing that Wakanda was the strongest, most advanced, most badass society around. They probably didn't look to hard into the NY attack (if the Americans could stop it, it couldn't have been so bad), so he accepted Rogers' request without a clear understanding of the risks. Understandable hubris, but hubris nonetheless. Classic Outside Context Problem fallout.)

My other takeaway was that Titan must've been a pretty backwards society; reproductive rights, economic access to opportunity, and reasonable technology, generally speaking, seem to stabilize populations on their own (well, those we know of). If it weren't for the fact that he trained as assassins the two women he adopted, I'd say Thanos prefers genocide to feminism. (My fix-it fic would be *somebody explains sociology to Thanos, he snaps his fingers, and suddenly every female-equivalent in the universe has control over her fertility, and every male gets a reminder that Thanos will be swinging by to check on their gender equality and ecological liability laws; two generations later, populations have stabilized all over the Universe* (problem is, the Avengers is basically full of geniuses, but as far as I remember it's all physicists, engineers, medical doctors/mystics, maybe bio-physicists, tacticians... not a single person trained in the humanities in the Avengers, that's the problem)).

But, as you say, this isn't the kind of genre where this kind of analysis leads anywhere.
marcelo: (Default)

[personal profile] marcelo 2018-04-29 08:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Probably on all the planets Thanos ravaged directly some apocalyptic cults inspired by him crop up hoping for a few years that he might deliver the promised good any day now, just to cope with things, and then that reward never comes.

That's a depressingly likely possibility.

And once he gained superpowers of this gauntlet level that he still sticks to such a crude "solution" makes it really obvious that he is just into it for killing half of all sentients.

Maybe the Titans calling him "mad" wasn't an insult as much as clinical diagnosis (Thanos as Harvey Dent meets Darkseid?). In any case, he's not necessarily a reliable narrator.
peoriapeoriawhereart: blond and brunet men peer intently (Napoleon & Illya peer)

[personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart 2018-06-13 07:51 pm (UTC)(link)
It also discounts that whenever there is income inequality, well less than half of the population is using well more than half of the resources.

I fear that this is what comes of substituting 'philosophical' reasons for personal motivation (aka Thanos having a thing for Lady Death and killing half of populations because he doesn't know how to make a mix tape. Peter Quill could have helped, but he was too little.) and more specifically believing Malthus.