Author Topic: Avengers: Infinity War  (Read 2731 times)

oldkid

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2018, 08:18:23 PM »
Just saw Infinity War last night.  I love this conversation here and there are some parallels to the conversation my daughters and I have been having off and on for the last twelve hours. 

How could characters resurrect, which they must do?  Some theories we discussed:
-Dr. Strange could have done something to the time stone
-The characters could all have been pulled into the soul stone, where they live in an alternative universe (similar to what happened in the comic book, I guess)
-Thanos could meditate on his ways and change his mind
-Another battle with Thanos, the time stone stolen and everything gets put back to the point where Thanos receives the time stone.
-Tony Stark wakes up and it's all a nightmare.  (Okay, we didn't discuss this one)

The tone matches the other Russo Bros films-- kinda funny, but mostly dark, especially Civil War. They can do funny on occasion, but they aren't Joss Whedon.

My main concern going in was too many characters to focus on.  I think the solution they came up with-- focus on the villain, and give other characters moments-- was a good one.  Then you cut most of the main characters out of the plot completely, so if they don't show up until the end of the next film, we won't miss them and there's enough breathing room for the other characters to develop.

But what I really want to talk about is Thanos, the representation of the Hebrew God, as represented in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (BTW, the Greek word for God is Theos)


Sure, the flood was bad, but it isn't the same situation.  First, all of humanity was a murderous bunch at the time of the flood, so there was cause, not just a random pick, and God regretted his decision after, so that he would never do it again.  He repented, which is the opposite of Thanos, sitting on a porch, gazing at the peace he created. 

No, this is more similar to what is commonly called Armageddon, the apocalypse in which all humanity will suffer death or life, most of whom will be placed in their location without knowing why. Even if it isn't random, it will feel random to most of humanity.  And Thanos' priest/prophet is the representation of the church, proclaiming this genocide as salvation and hope, and the sacrifice of (most of) humanity as the just sacrifice.  Frankly, the Christian God is worse, because he will take the majority of humanity and torture them for all of eternity, millions upon millions of years, for not believing correctly.

This is seen in his killing of Gomora, as well.  First, I think his love of his step daughter is seen clearly from the GotG and all through this film.  He played favorites between his step-daughters, seen even in the first Guardians film, not because he despised Nebula, but because he only loved one daughter.  In Genesis, Abraham didn't care for his firstborn son, Ishmael, allowing his wife to do whatever her bias motivated her to do with Ishmael and his mother, her slave, so she left them in the desert to die of thirst.  But Isaac was Abraham's favorite and the one he dearly loved with all his heart.  God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on an altar, saying, "Take your son, your only son, the son whom you love..." repeating three times to emphasize the close relationship they have.  And that relationship was to end in physical abuse, except that God pulled his punch at the end.

According to Chrisitian theologians, this was primarily done to provide a type of what God would do himself with his son. Kill and torture his son despite his love, because the salvation he would provide is worth the price. And that salvation also comes with a cost of killing and torturing (at least) half of humanity.

Ebony Maw is the leader of the cult of Thanos, proclaiming the salvation of Thanos, and calling all of those subjected to the will of Thanos the Children of Thanos.  In Christian theology, all of humanity are children of God because they are all created by God, but they are also in the kingdom of God, and so subject to the will of the all-controlling God.  The church calms the people, trying to make them all amenable to the will of God, especially when it seems evil, when God enacts random judgment against them, such as he did to Job.

From this perspective, Infinity War has a clear theological objective: to reveal the Hebrew God for who he is.  A sympathetic character to a certain degree, but ultimately evil. His will is arbitrary and hateful, even though his ultimate aim is peace in the universe. At best, God is considered misguided and immoral.  The Avengers, despite their misdeeds and errors are better than the one whom millions worship.  It is a takedown of the most popular theology on earth.

In defense of some who honor God, it is a heated discussion within Christianity whether the standard orthodox theology is correct.  Some say that the Bible never teaches eternal torture of humanity, that the separation of humanity is not based on belief, that God's people are supposed to receive but never give persecution, and the inclusion of all people.   Despite this discussion, the takedown of monotheistic religion in Infinity War is mostly correct.  Thanos must be seen as a lesser-evil version of God and if Thanos is wrong and evil, then God of orthodox theology is worse.
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Will

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #61 on: May 09, 2018, 12:29:16 AM »
What I hate about Infinity War is the feeling that nothing that came before it actually matters. For instance: where is Valkyrie? Why introduce a badass character like her then shove her off-screen? I know there will be apologists out there who will say "Well, surely, they couldn't fit her in, it's big enough already!" Hello. They fit Pepper Potts in. She hasn't been a relevant character to this universe since IRON MAN 3. And there's many examples of characters they fit in that don't need to be there. Why cut this for time - especially when RAGNAROK is the movie leads into this? Why? Thor's ONLY comment towards this is that "he killed half of my people" or something like that. The visuals suggests that he killed ALL of his people. There's not a single mention of Valkyrie in the entire movie. Not one.

But it's not just that. Rhodes switched sides on the Sokovia Accords just... because? Tony Stark's anger over the events of CIVIL WAR has subsided... just because? Speaking of Tony Stark, there's nothing this man can't do. He gets STABBED in the CHEST and he just whips out a spray, boom, healed. When Spider-Man is being taken up to space, he gets one of his own suits to fly up and grab Spider-Man. How are they going to explain away why Spider-Man can't have this suit in his next film? 110% guarantee it will just be forgotten. Not mentioned. It only existed at the time to save Spidey and now it's never going to be used again. Convenient. Also, they finally kill the Space Alien guy by... throwing him into space? And Iron Man just covers up the gaping space hole with... yet another gadget? What?

Look, I know a lot of people will say I'm nitpicking and that it's all not supposed to be taken seriously, but if the film is just going to play this fast and wild with its own universe's rules, how can anyone truly take anything that happens in it seriously? Good movies are all about building tension. The sad thing is that the Russo Brothers know this and don't seem to care. None of these characters ever felt like they were in real danger. Thanos has many attempts to kill these characters and it's not like he fails - he doesn't even try most of the time. He's a compelling character in theory but he's the most boring villain any of the MCU superheroes have went up against yet. We get that he's just trying to make the world a better place, but we see that he's clearly after so many of the Avengers here... until he's not. And why not? Because the plot won't allow him to kill anyone. It's not his character. It's the plot.

In CIVIL WAR, Zemo barely does a thing and accomplishes a far greater task than Thanos ever did: he pitted the Avengers against each other. In BLACK PANTHER, Eric may have died at the end, but he got into T'Challa's head - and he won't ever leave. Thanos kills half of the universe. It's evil, but it's dramatically weightless - without even considering the fact that many of them will return. The best villains challenge the protagonist on an ethical plane - they weed themselves into the consciousness of the protagonist. They reveal a weakness within the protagonist. No one actually fights Thanos intellectually. Every scene with Gamora tends to lean that way, but they all end with Gamora basically condemning him for his evilness.

So with the disconnect between the heroes and the real world along with a lack of an intellectually compelling villain, I couldn't connect emotionally with this film at all. I just didn't care, even after all of these years of build up. A lot of these characters felt completely new to me - despite having seen so many of their films, I felt that they were all thrown in here like none of the films happened at all (except maybe Thor and Spider-Man).

---

Another thing that bothered me is that Captain America and Black Widow let the henchmen go at the beginning of the film. There was an article that stated that Cap has killed about fourteen thousand people already, why the sudden "oh maybe we shouldn't" now?


Will

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #62 on: May 09, 2018, 12:53:56 AM »
And I feel like the only reason people don't see it as comparable to Transformers is that Benedict Cumberbatch is more popular a face than Optimus Prime (though I'd argue that Optimus Prime is giving a more compelling performance at this point where as Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be reading cue cards with the direction "I WANT LESS FEELING...  I SAID LESS!!!). Seriously, what's his character? Boring white guy that is sometimes sarcastic?

It's just a boring film that does nothing for the genre but everything for people who love these characters. And most of them are well-written characters. It's the plot that lets them down. Like our own Adam/Josh said, I'd probably like the movie more if there were more scenes like trying to lift the hammer in AGE OF ULTRON. I haven't seen these films to care much for the action scenes in quite some time (punches don't land, edited to shreds, overuse of CGI, lack of stakes, etc.) and they're mostly equally subpar as dramatic arcs, so why not just go full-on comedy? FAST & FURIOUS is basically a comedy series at this point and it's more entertaining than most of these MCU movies. There's no pretense that anything truly matters in the FAST & FURIOUS movies because it's all about getting us to the next insane action set piece that is actually pretty well thought out at times.

pixote

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2018, 03:44:12 AM »
They were my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought Wakanda was forever: I was wrong.

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I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #64 on: May 09, 2018, 04:53:07 AM »
@oldkid:

Thanos' name comes from Thanatos, not Theos, which makes even more sense when you know that in the comics he is the literal lover of Death and worships her.

Also, you are a preacher you say?

I like the idea of continuing the Thanos arc in a direction where he would regret his actions and maybe seek redemption. They would have to find a very compelling reason for him to do so though if even sacrificing his daughter did not dissuade him.
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #65 on: May 09, 2018, 05:11:26 AM »
When Spider-Man is being taken up to space, he gets one of his own suits to fly up and grab Spider-Man. How are they going to explain away why Spider-Man can't have this suit in his next film? 110% guarantee it will just be forgotten. Not mentioned. It only existed at the time to save Spidey and now it's never going to be used again. Convenient.

I like how you're already getting mad about a movie that hasn't come out yet.

Stark covers the whole in the ship with nanobots, the stuff his suits is made from and whose whole point is to be able to adapt to different situations. If anything, you should be questioning how much of the stuff Tony should be able to fit in his gizmo.

Also, he has an arsenal at his disposal but you're surprised he would pack some healing potions? I'm pretty sure your basic private has at least a couple of band aids on him.

He's also seen to be less mad at Cap in the last scene of Civil War, when he's had a chance to calm down. He never hated the guy, they just had a falling out. And both Tony and Stark where pro-accords originally, but they've had the time to change their minds somewhat since with how things went down and the decisions Ross made.

Thanos doesn't kill anyone because he doesn't need to. He doesn't care if they live or die but they're not his enemies so much as hurdles. He only wants the stones and he can get them without wiping them out. He does try to kill the Titan team several times but once he's got the situation under control, there's no need to bother. In Wakanda he can just swat everyone aside. I think it makes him a better character. He's not a sadist out to murder everyone, he's a guy on a quest who is above unnecessary bloodshed.

Valkyrie is probably not in the movie for the reasons 1SO said, Ragnarok came out too little time before this.

And these movies are comedies and they know it. They're funnier than most of the regular supposed comedies that come out every year.
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1SO

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #66 on: May 09, 2018, 10:41:06 AM »
I love the balance given by AGB's post. I've always known that we come at movies from two different places, but I don't know if he's ever expressed his wants and expectations so clearly. It brings a nice balance to my take(s) on the film. Well Done!
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philip918

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #67 on: May 09, 2018, 12:02:10 PM »
Since AGB and 1SO's post have struck a balance, does that mean DH's posts have to die?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 12:04:44 PM by philip918 »

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #68 on: May 09, 2018, 12:04:40 PM »
As always, I am an agent of Chaos.
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oldkid

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Re: Avengers: Infinity War
« Reply #69 on: May 09, 2018, 04:48:47 PM »
@oldkid:

Thanos' name comes from Thanatos, not Theos, which makes even more sense when you know that in the comics he is the literal lover of Death and worships her.

Also, you are a preacher you say?

I like the idea of continuing the Thanos arc in a direction where he would regret his actions and maybe seek redemption. They would have to find a very compelling reason for him to do so though if even sacrificing his daughter did not dissuade him.

Thanatos makes more sense.  In the comic, isn't his SO Lady Death?  So they are Death and Death?

Yes, I am a preacher.  I also don't have a problem poking holes in theology when it's just wrong.

"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky