‘Avengers: Infinity War’ in Conversation

This past week has been an emotional rollercoaster for Marvel fans. 10 years, 19 films, and a lot of heroes have been leading us into Infinity War. Now that we’ve all seen, and grieved over the film, it’s time to talk about it. Much Ado writers talk about their favourite scenes, problems and most importantly, about Carrie Coon’s cameo, in conversation.

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Dilara: We’re opening the conversation with the most important part; We were promised Carrie Coon but so little of her, thoughts on this crime?

Iana: It’s an absolute travesty that Kevin Feige managed to rope in Carrie Coon to do this movie, and she barely got any screentime. Not to mention that her character and Thanos’s other minions were rather useless as villains. I understand the need for multiple foes as the Avengers are split up everywhere, but they just seemed liked empty vessels. I couldn’t even tell them apart. That being said, I hope she comes back for Avengers 4 (though I can’t remember if her character dies).

Dilara: Unfortunately, she dies.

Iana: Ugh!

Llewyn: The Dark Order was wasted! Proxima Midnight especially. In the comics, that league of villains had a fair amount of backstory to them which the movie completely skimmed over. However, I expected this to happen since they announced Carrie Coon’s casting so late in the game. What a shame. There was also so much this movie needed to do that I can’t really see them bothering in the future. I hope she gets to return to the MCU again someday, somehow.

Mary Beth: My friends didn’t even know who Carrie Coon was so it was a double crime. Proxima Midnight looked cool as hell! There was so much more they could have done with the children of Thanos, but ultimately, they felt very shallow, and honestly, I didn’t even realize their different names. We could AT LEAST have gotten more of Proxima Midnight’s fight at the end with Scarlet Witch, Okoye, and Black Widow.

Dilara: I honestly had no idea what her name was till Llewyn said it.

Llewyn: They were definitely cameos at best.

Sydney: I just thought it was cool that she was is in it so I’m happy.

Dilara: That fight at the end with them was rather small.

Mary Beth: Yeah it was.

Sydney: I went in thinking it was just a cameo so I wasn’t disappointed.

Dilara: Throughout the film, I had a “Which one is Carrie Coon?” question hanging in my mind, and not until the scene at Wakanda did I realise she was Carrie Coon. I knew it was a cameo but it reminded me of superhero films’ villain problem. Thanos, for example, is a good villain, we’ve seen him before and know of him. We can say “Oh shit, that’s Thanos!”. I wish they spent some time on his children as well. I think it’s important to see how the villains came together just like heroes. It not only gives them a personality, but makes them more threatening. BUT here is my Carrie Coon theory: I don’t think she is dead. I think she survived and pulled a The Leftovers on their asses. See how everyone just turned to ash? That’s some Leftovers shit right there. She’ll be back for Avengers 4 and turn the rest into ash. Mark my words!

Iana: The post-credits scene has to be ripped straight from the opening of The Leftovers, I swear…

Mary Beth: Honestly, I almost yelled “Wait is this The Leftovers?” at the end.

Llweyn: I do think the Dark Order was never going to be a huge part of the movie — they’re sort of plot devices which is both a good thing for the movie’s focus and a bad thing for anyone excited to see them, which is the true determining factor for how much anyone will enjoy the movie. It really depends on what you’re attached to.

Dilara: Yeah definitely. What did you think of the film as a whole? What were your expectations? Did the film meet them, fell below or exceed?

Iana: I’ve learned to manage my expectations with Marvel films – I find with every new film, I end up leaving disappointed (except recently with Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok). Nevertheless, I still felt rather underwhelmed by the film. After watching Infinity War, I realised that these giant ensemble films just don’t work as well as they probably do in the comic books. I touch on this in my review, but I think Marvel thrives when it spends time on intimate moments focusing on character – and Infinity War lacks that entirely. The film appears to be more concerned with the grand epic showdown between the Avengers and Thanos – and if that’s what you love about it then, by all means, I won’t stop you from loving it – but it just didn’t work for me.

Llewyn: I have a love/hate relationship with the MCU as a whole, and I felt in my mind there was no way this film could live up to the 10 years it was built up from. But I grew up with these characters all my life, so I was prepared, at the very least, to have fun and get emotional. I had nothing but two expectations here: I wanted Marvel to take a big risk and I wanted them to commit to it. In my opinion, they succeeded at the first, and the second will only be answered in time. I was so surprised by this film on the first watch, and my second watch only cemented my love for it even more. I truly think it is something special. I actually loved the character moments and dynamics, I loved the boldness, I loved the experience.

Mary Beth: I actually really enjoyed it, which surprised me. I’ve been experiencing massive Marvel fatigue, but Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther revitalized the series for me. It was much more upsetting than I had expected, too. The scenes with Thanos and Gamora were especially heart-wrenching. I’m also glad that Marvel is leaning into the humor at this point (though in some places, the humor was very jarring). I did have a lot of trouble keeping track of all of the storylines, which is something I’ve constantly struggled with. As soon as I felt oriented with what was happening, the scene and characters changed again.

Iana: When all the Avengers were finally together, that’s when I felt the film finally had something good going. The multiple storylines, while necessary, were a bit scatter-brained – like the film was too expansive to organise into something coherent.

Llewyn: As a Guardians of the Galaxy fan (they’re who I am most emotionally attached to), I loved that they had so much to do here. I think at the cost of that, The Avengers didn’t, which is something I found very odd but seeing how this isn’t a standalone movie I don’t mind it too much.

Sydney: Going in, I was expecting it to be a set up for Avengers 4 and, at the very least, wanted to be entertained if I felt cheated by any storylines. Fortunately, I was thoroughly enthralled by the universe and enjoyed most of the two and a half epic. I thought the episodic structure was refreshing from the typical Marvel structure. If they were all together for the majority of the film, I’m not sure they would have had as much story to tell. Overall, I was shocked by how surprised I was by some of the choices they made, particularly the deaths. But I needed more Cap!

Llewyn: Oh my god, I was actually fully invested in nearly all of the storylines too. Thor and Rocket, Gamora and Thanos, Doctor Strange and Iron Man, are excellent pairings.

Sydney: Agreed! Unexpected pairings but very effective

Mary Beth: Thor and Rocket was something I never knew I needed.

Iana: Basically, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 NEEDS Thor.

Llewyn: Tea.

Dilara: To turn the famous words of Elvis around, I wanted a little less action and a little more conversation, please. When it comes to setting expectations in franchises, I set them within their own universe. In this case, after Black Panther and Ragnarok, and with the film being a milestone of 10 years, I had high expectations and they weren’t met. I still don’t have my mind made up about IW and think I need a second viewing. But my initial response was “Oh okay”. There were moments where I seriously felt bored, which wasn’t something I’d expect from this film. Unlike Llewyn, I’m more emotionally attacked to Avengers than Guardians. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Guardians and I know Avengers will take the centerpiece in Avengers 4 since they had so little in the first one, but some of my favourite characters barely had anything. As a Cap warrior, I was upset. But I understand that’s a personal preference thing. Also, don’t kill me for this, but the whole Thanos/Gamora storyline didn’t quite work for me emotionally, but I also liked that it added Thanos an emotional part that made him a better villain. And I have to mention this because it was so unnecessary–that Peter Dinklage character. In the words of Peter, Tony and the big dude, “What was that? Who was that? Why was that?”

Llewyn: I think I generally said this earlier, but your enjoyment of this movie might really depend on what your preferences are in the characters. Seeing how this is a clearly a part one, I think everyone who was barely shown here will get time to shine in Avengers 4.

Iana: I like how the film explores the morality behind Thanos’s plan – I think it’s interesting that he genuinely thinks he is doing a good deed. Like they say, all villains think they’re the hero, and I think Infinity War puts that idea to good use.

Llewyn: Not only that, but Thanos is the direct reason as to why the Guardians of the Galaxy are so damaged as people. He’s the personification of an abuser, but he’s fully realized and developed and seeing how he hurts the family in this movie is just so brutal. I don’t know how kids can watch this.

Mary Beth: Yeah, I agree. I liked how they gave Thanos more depth, particularly with his motivations and experiences on Titan.

Sydney: I do agree that I wanted more from the original Avengers, but I think it made sense to focus on the Guardians in this film before 4 because Thanos is connected to Gamora. But I fully expect to see more of Cap and the rest of the gang or else I will REVOLT.

Mary Beth: Llewyn, I totally agree about wondering how kids could watch this. It opens with an all-out massacre and I couldn’t imagine how kids who love these characters felt walking out of the theatre.

Llewyn: I was distraught for two days. I don’t know how little kids can take this.

Dilara: Poor kids. Speaking of feelings, how did it feel to watch the film? Cause in a way we have all grown up with these films around and this is THE BIG MOMENT. What were THE FEELS?

Iana: I feel a bit out of place in this conversation because I’ve lost the emotional attachments to the franchise I had when I was growing up on these films. I didn’t feel particularly sad about the deaths, but I wish they didn’t have to kill off Gamora; she was the best Guardian! Although, Peter Parker’s death did make me tear up a little bit. I read this post about how Peter was the only one who felt himself slipping away, whilst everyone else only realised midway through their ash-disintegrating process, and that could’ve been because his spidey senses were going off and that just HURTS.

Llewyn: I said earlier I am very bonded with the Guardians. The second GOTG movie came out at a really tough moment in my life and it really got me through hard times, so I feel forever bonded with these characters. So of course, THEY GOT HIT THE HARDEST HERE! I’m still not recovered from seeing Gamora die, or how Rocket had to watch Groot turn to dust, and how Peter Quill had to see his loved ones turn to dust before he did. And the icing on the cake, my childhood role model Spider-Man became ashes in front of my eyes. Regardless of how they eventually bring these characters back (except Gamora, I think she’s gone for good), it still hurt so bad. What an experience.

Mary Beth: My overall feels were excitement and sadness with a dash of nostalgia. Right before the movie started, I was thinking about how much I enjoyed the first Iron Man and how I asked for all of the MCU movies for Christmas one year and how I felt like it was finally ‘cool’ to be a nerd. Like I had said before, I have been feeling MCU fatigue, but that melted away: it was time to see all of these characters finally meet and fight side by side. It was also deeply upsetting to me, especially watching Thanos manipulate and gaslight Gamora and torture Nebula. I also got hit in the feels repeatedly with Vision and Scarlet Witch, especially when she killed him only to watch him die again by Thanos’s hand. I was emotionally overwhelmed by the whole film when I was not expecting to be.

Llewyn: Mary Beth, I totally feel you with the Thanos part. I really identify with the abuse storylines with the Guardians, so it was rough and taxing. I didn’t feel ready to watch it again my second time.

Sydney: It really made me think about seeing Iron Man when I was eight. My dad made me and my sister see it with him and we’re super annoyed about it. Then, of course, I loved it and have seen all of them since. Now, my sister, who doesn’t really like movies, is getting into the movies too. She literally called me like “Woah, this is actually a really complex universe.” Despite the flak they may get sometimes, Marvel has been able to make good movies and bring so many people together. It’s something so special that few can pull off. But seeing the groups of school kids going to see the film, although the theater was equally packed with adults, made me a bit sad because I realized the “it’s the end of an era” dominated most of my childhood. Almost like when Harry Potter ended for kids who remember buying the first book when it came out.

Llewyn: Yeah, I was actually reminded of when Deathly Hallows Part I came out. This is the beginning of the end, at least.

Dilara: I remember buying the last book and watching the last film of Harry Potter. TRAUMATISED!

Sydney: Exactly!

Dilara: Despite not meeting my expectations, I totally had FEELINGS. I have seen almost all of the MCU films in cinemas and I totally remember watching The First Avenger, it was everything. When Cap appeared to save Wanda and her robot husband, I had chills all over. My love for Cap is extreme and he holds a special place in my heart like I always think “Cap is gonna make everything alright and everyone safe”. So that moment was like “Yes! He is here and now everything will be okay!”. The film also made me realise how attached I was to the characters that I thought that didn’t interest me, like Iron Man. I never related to him much or cared for him but just “knowing” him for all these years I’ve developed care for him without knowing. The moments that brought tears to my eyes were these: Nebula asking “Where is Gamora?”, When T’Challa gave the order and they all started running, him and Cap at the front together, ugh. When Wanda was turning to ash cause she realised it and didn’t do anything just sat there holding Vision, and Peter…. The way he held onto Tony and just kept saying he doesn’t want to die, MY POOR HEART. I mean I know he’ll be back but that doesn’t make it less impactful, at least for me.

Llewyn: Hey, not to make anyone’s day worse or anything- but Peter Parker probably felt the worst pain while dying because of his spider-sense.

Mary Beth: Good Lord…

Dilara: Why would you say something so hurtful? Also, we first see Tony talking about wanting a child, we see him last mourning Peter with his ashes on his arms.

Mary Beth: My heart.

Llewyn: Painful. I know a lot of people thought Homecoming was just okay, but the best part of that was the relationship between Tony and Peter. The Marvel heads knew what they were doing by developing that.

Sydney: I’m still not over that even though I know he’ll be back.

Mary Beth: Tony tries so hard to protect Peter and watching Tony watch Peter disintegrate hurt me.

Dilara: How about your favourite parts? Which part of the film you thought was most well done?

Iana: I loved the ending. Even though I think deaths in Marvel films have lost their emotional heft because of over-reliance on resurrections, it did bring a real gut punch and made me realise that I am quite invested in this story. It’s also pretty gutsy of them to do that in the first place – talk about a cliffhanger.

Llewyn: I think for me the best part of the movie was actually something a lot of people felt it lacked. The character relationships were amazing and everyone was written at their best, the movie never erased any development these characters had from their past movies. I guess without going to huge detail, Thor and Rocket was a big example of this. Rocket went through GOTGv2 learning empathy from Yondu, Thor went through so much emotional turmoil in Ragnarok. Now here they are together bonding through that. That aside, the ending is amazing and the last 10 minutes especially. For one of the most earth-shattering events in this universe, and for as loud as Marvel movies are, the movie ended with a quiet cut to black.

Mary Beth: I think the most well done aspect was the unusual pairings, despite my struggles with keeping up in the beginning. I loved watching Thor call Rocket “rabbit,” Bruce trying to figure out how to greet T’Challa, Peter working with Dr. Strange via portals to fight Thanos, Groot and Cap’s intro, etc. I know they were sometimes short-lived moments but they kept bringing a smile to my face.

Sydney: I thought the transitions between the different “episodes” were really well done. The jumps could make or break the film and it was surprising how smooth they were, if that makes sense. The end, as well, did a phenomenal job of simultaneously making me livid and excited for the next movie, so props to them.

Mary Beth: Also, as frustrating as it could be, the scale of the film was impressive.

Dilara: I think they really established how stakes were too high. You know usually, we know the hero will survive. But this time, firstly there are so many heroes, and secondly, they are not stronger than the villain. So I felt that anyone who doesn’t have a contract for the next film or their sequels could actually die. And another thing they did well is making me like Dr Strange juuuuuust a littleeeee bittttt.

Llewyn: I still hate him but perhaps he can stay. I fantasize about him being Asian often.

Dilara: Let’s turn the question around: Which part of the film you thought was not done well?

Iana: As I said in my review, “the film can barely carry the weight of its own ambition”. While I admire the sheer size of it all, it’s just too much movie for one movie. Combining 50 of your favourite superheroes into one story sounds fun on paper, but it doesn’t translate as well to the screen. It almost feels like every actor needs to squeeze in their obligatory two lines to get their paycheck. The characters feel more like chess pieces on a universe-spanning chess board than actual people (or aliens.) Also, the short gap between Black Panther and Infinity War is not doing the film any favours.

Llewyn: The action set pieces were the worst part of the movie. The Russos were practically put on the map because of the elegance, intimacy and the rush created by their beautifully executed scenes in The Winter Soldier. Civil War, for as much as I dislike the movie, kicked it up so many notches with the airport sequence. It was balancing so many heroes at once and it still managed to be engaging and competent. Infinity War drops the ball, really. The scale is too high and I felt there was a lack of focus. Fighting alien monsters starts to feel empty after a while. Call me weird though, my least favorite part of any MCU films, tends to be action.

Dilara: Me too, action scenes don’t do it for me.

Mary Beth: I agree, Iana. I felt like certain plot lines were rushed. I’m specifically thinking about the plot with Vision. It felt like it was setting up to be the “most important” plot, since he was the one stone they could protect, but it felt pushed to the side to me, as compared to say Thor or the Guardians. As you can probably tell, I really latched onto the Vision. I know there was A LOT to get to but I think the scale, while impressive, was ultimately the biggest struggle.

Iana: Oh, I completely agree, I’m so over 10 people fighting 10,000 faceless creatures that take one hit to kill.

Mary Beth: I also agree about the action! I’d rather watch the Avengers fight the children of Thanos rather than a ton of aliens.

Iana: One-on-one fights are so much more technically impressive than one person fighting an army.

Llewyn: I feel like part of this overstuffed-ness problem is that it IS a sequel to 18 movies at once. I don’t blame anyone for not liking Infinity War for this reason. Though, I feel like I know these characters so well already from previous movies it was never a real problem to me, but for those who have forgotten, the movie doesn’t do enough to help.

Sydney: This hurts my heart to say but Peter Dinklage. Everything his character said seems entirely unnecessary.

Llewyn: Agreed.

Sydney: That’s not as deep but I really disliked it.

Mary Beth: The scene where they were fighting Thanos was more impressive to me because of the strategy behind it, if that makes sense. It wasn’t senseless shooting or punching, it was actual teamwork and it was cooler to watch. Also, Sydney, I agree!

Dilara: I agree with all of you. As I said previously, A LITTLE LESS ACTION PLEASE. It felt like the Russos just read Ryan Murphy’s “My favourite word is more” quote and decided to make a movie around it. A part of bringing 50 characters together that didn’t work for me was the tone. Each avengers/film has a different tone and I think unlike previous films where they are all together, this one failed at matching their tones together. It wasn’t balanced which took away from the impact. Tragedies were overshadowed by comedy, jokes were overshadowed by death and it all happened so quickly. I like films to give audience a breath to take in a moment, tragic or funny, to absorb it. And up until the end where everything went down, I couldn’t have that moment. There is a massacre and suddenly we have an upbeat pop song, there is a funny moment and suddenly a character is in danger.

Llewyn: I agree with the tone problem, but I will say the jokes they made were genuinely hilarious. They cooled off in the last act but it was daunting to witness a massacre in the literal first scene and then we’re back to quips. Also the Guardians without humor, a world I do not want to live in.

Dilara: I’m not saying they shouldn’t be humor. I thought there were hilarious jokes and I laughed a lot. But they didn’t always land at the right moment.

Llewyn: Yeah, I agree!

Dilara: What did everyone think of the ending and post-credits?

Iana: I am SO ready for Brie Larson to save everyone’s asses. Trust women only! When I saw the post-credits and the Captain Marvel logo came up on Nick Fury’s phone I kept poking my mum on the shoulder and excitedly whispering, “Mum! Brie Larson is coming!”

Llewyn: Like I said earlier, the ending is fantastic. I know a lot of people feel that it is gimmicky because these characters may come back, but I think it’s all about the “What if?” here and how it affects our living characters. I’m excited to see Carol Danvers save everyone from this mess.

Mary Beth: First and foremost I am hype for my lord and savior Brie Larson. I muttered, “Bold move, Cotton” as they ended on Thanos just smiling to himself. The ending was so shockingly quiet and subdued, I loved it. It also left me feeling hollow (despite knowing, yes, the characters will come back).

Sydney: Initial thought: HOW DARE YOU? Even though I was very upset, the ending does a great job of setting up the next film. I also thought it was interesting that really only the original Avengers survived. Once I calmed down a bit, I was so happy with the way they incorporated Captain Marvel. She doesn’t even appear but she offers the most epic moment in the film.

Dilara: I thought the ending was really well done, especially how each character disappears. Bucky’s last words are Steve, Wanda is holding onto Vision’s dead body, Peter is in Tony’s arms, T’Challa is with Okoye. Like it all fits the characters and their stories. And for post-credits, ALL HAIL BRIE LARSON OUR LORD AND SAVIOR!

Llewyn: All hail Brie Larson!

Dilara: What are our theories for the next one? We have behind the scenes photos from it that show the characters in costumes/hairstyles from the first Avengers film. And as Sydney pointed out all original Avengers survived.

Llewyn: Okay, my first and most exciting theory is that Captain Marvel is going to be called in mainly because in the comics she does at one point have the ability of time travel. Second, they are introducing Skrulls (Shape-Shifting creatures) in her movie, so they could bring back dead characters in Infinity War and have them be Skrulls- that’s something that can be revealed down the line. Lastly, I’m thinking everyone who lived here, the original Avengers, will have to trade off their lives to restore the balance of the universe. Then Doctor Strange or Captain Marvel will be the center of the MCU instead of Tony. Doctor Strange said he saw one outcome before their encounter with Thanos where they won. I’m assuming he gave the Time Stone to him in order to make that happen. In order to restore balance, our heroes had to die in IW.

Mary Beth: Oh, Llewyn, I like those. My only prediction is that we’re going to lose a big Avenger solely due to what I’ve seen on Twitter.

Sydney: My only theory is that Infinity War was a set up to bring the originals back together for the final film since they’ve been apart for awhile and might be the last time. Also, I think they are going to kill Tony.

Llewyn: We’re definitely going back to the Battle of New York as the set photos suggest! That honestly might make me cry.

Dilara: Why and how are we going back to Battle of New York though?

Llewyn: I think there are a lot of factors. Thanos has the reality stone for one, so he could make them see that in a battle, or Captain Marvel will turn back time, or they go to an alternate universe. These movies are becoming a big web real fast.

Dilara: That makes sense. There are just so many possibilities and we’ll just have to wait. Thank you everyone for joining and my condolences for all the characters we lost.

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