IS THERE AN AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019), BUILDING AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

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Movies being split into two parters used lớn be a big trend, và five upcoming two-part blockbusters are bringing that trend back lớn cinemas.


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Numerous big blockbusters have been split into two parts since the success of Avengers: Infinity and Avengers: Endgame. In the early 2010s, two-part movies were something of a growing trend, particularly as finales for long-running franchises. This was seen in such popular movie series as the Harry PotterTwilight films, but the trend seemingly petered out following the release of the Hunger Games' two-part finale, Mockingjay Part One & Part Two.

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe would revive the idea of a two-part finale with the release of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the two movies serving as the over of the MCU's Infinity Saga. Since then, the idea of highly anticipated movies being divided into two parts has begun khổng lồ see a visible resurgence, with two parters being used as both franchise finales or two series installments simply being filmed back-to-back. Here are five upcoming big movies that are being released in two parts.


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Based on Frank Herbert's eponymous 1965 novel, Denis Villeneuve's Dune is the second big-screen adaptation of the seminal sci-fi classic following 1984's Dune film. Directed by David Lynch, the original 137-minute cut of Dune is significantly truncated from the movie initially intended by Lynch, with the director distancing himself from the film as a result (though a 186-minute version has been aired on television.) By contrast, Villeneuve's Dune is releasing in two parts, with the first half of Dune: Part One releasing in October 2021 and Dune: Part Two debuting in November 2023.


Given the extremely epic & expansive scope of Herbert's novel và of the Dune universe, the decision for Villenevue's Dune khổng lồ be a two-parter is narratively beneficial to it. The original Dune saw a very mixed reception upon its 1984 release, with many feeling the story was attempting khổng lồ cram too much material from such a large novel into slightly more than two hours. Dune: Part One and Dune: Part Two vì chưng not have to contend with that issue, with the former enjoying a highly positive reception & even earning Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

As promised, here it is: The second half of my look into how Avengers: Infinity War pulls off the seemingly impossible task of bringing together the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While I mentioned in the first post that Infinity War utilizes five stories, I have yet to lớn touch on the question of why. I’ve already discussed how the movie finds multiple uses for every scene in order to be incredibly efficient with its time, và this is the same thinking that brings us to lớn the use multiple stories.

By separating characters into different groups, each with its own main character to lớn follow, it creates the ability to lớn give more time to the minor characters, as well as attention to lớn each of the five Infinity Stones that Thanos has yet to lớn gather. But this also creates its own issue. It isn’t enough to lớn just separate into groups; the stories need lớn be unified or else the whole movie can feel like just a jumble of disparate elements.

So, how does it unite its stories?

Part Two: Uniting the Stones (Err… Stories)

Avengers: Infinity War has one primary story và four secondary stories that are all intercut together. The most important story belongs to lớn Thanos, who is made the protagonist. The next four belong to lớn Thor, Gamora, Scarlet Witch, and Iron Man.

These stories are made lớn feel united rather than as separate parts by finding connections khổng lồ three key points. These points are the plot of collecting the Infinity Stones, the thematic question of whether a nhân vật can sacrifice someone they love, and the character of Thanos.

THANOS

The basic premise of Thanos’ story is that he is a man who needs lớn collect the six Infinity Stones in order khổng lồ save the universe from the same fate that befell his own planet. He is trying lớn save everyone else because he couldn’t save his own people.


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Some time ago, Thanos lived on Titan. As the population grew, the resources were no longer enough to lớn sustain the inhabitants. Thanos came up with a plan lớn save them; if they created a sort of lottery that would randomly choose half of the population lớn be killed, the remaining half could thrive. He is not listened to. Instead he’s declared mad and, well, the planet and all its inhabitants die. After Titan is gone, Thanos makes it his mission khổng lồ carry out his original plan. He’ll save the entire universe by halving its population.

Thanos begins his mission by amassing an army and personally going from planet to planet khổng lồ kill half of the living beings on it at random. Two keys things happen at some point during this crusade. One: he begins adopting children from some of the planets he visits. Two: he learns about the Infinity Stones, and how they could allow him khổng lồ reach his goal with just the snap of his fingers.

So far, all this backstory is given in exposition throughout Infinity War, but now we’ve reached the actual events of the movie. He’s more actively going after the Infinity Stones now, even sending his children out lớn collect two of them for him. But there is one he can’t locate. One that is said to lớn have been missing so long that no one knows where it is hidden; no one except, of course, his daughter Gamora.

Thanos và Gamora travel to lớn the planet Vormir to collect the Soul Stone, only khổng lồ discover that it can only be retrieved by sacrificing someone you love. Thanos can’t turn his back on his mission, & so feels forced to go through this sacrifice.

Big fights ensue for the final Infinity Stones. After Thanos has collected them all, he snaps his fingers, và half of the universe’s population fades to lớn dust.

Finally, Thanos teleports himself khổng lồ a peaceful planet. With his mission complete, he can let himself rest.

This story is the main focus of Avengers: Infinity War. As mentioned above, each of these stories connects to the plot of collecting the six Infinity Stones, and this is one of the ways in which Thanos is shown lớn be the protagonist. The plot is entirely tied to his own story. Where others have one or two Infinity Stones connected to them, Thanos is one who collects them all.


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Then there is his connection lớn the theme. In one way or another, Thanos is connected to every single iteration of this question being asked. What is most interesting with his story, is that he gets a bit of a different version of it. Thanos is forced to lớn choose between sacrificing his favourite daughter or giving up on his mission; the mission he sees as the only way to lớn save half of the universe. While the question of sacrificing a loved one comes up repeatedly, this is the only time where there is never a sense of urgency in answering it. Outside of his own will to complete his mission, there is no force pushing Thanos to lớn make a choice at all. This is an important fact to keep in mind as we look at the other stories.

There is also the matter of why Thanos aims to lớn carry out the particular plan of killing half of the universe’s population. There are many arguments to be made as to lớn why this is not the best plan, especially with the power of the six Infinity Stones at his disposal. The fact that he is singular in his pursuits, even when they may not be the most logical, in another thing that should be kept in mind.

THOR

Thor’s story is that of a classic hero’s quest following a tragic figure. After his people are killed, Thor goes in search of a weapon capable of killing Thanos in order to lớn avenge his people. He even faces what are essentially Herculean trials in order to lớn have the weapon forged.


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Thor is the very first anh hùng we see in this movie, và the one whose story gets the most screen time aside from Thanos’. In the movie’s commentary, the writers (Christopher Markus and Stephen Mc
Feely) & the directors (Anthony and Joe Russo) agree that the only thing that keeps Thor from being considered the protagonist is that in the kết thúc he loses and Thanos wins.

Of course, if they were to go the route of Thor winning và taking the place of the main protagonist, I’d imagine that they would also completely restructure the movie in order to lớn give him the focus that Thanos currently has. With a movie this interwoven, one little change can create massive ripple effects. But this “what if” scenario is sort of a digression…

Thor’s connection to the Infinity Stones was already discussed in the first half of this article. Thor’s brother Loki is in possession of the Space Stone, the first of five that are collected by Thanos in Infinity War.

In terms of broader story structure, Thor’s connection to the Infinity Stones is unique from the other four stories in that it begins and ends at the time of his inciting incident. The Infinity Stones are not his concern for the majority of the movie, rather, they act only to get him involved and send him on the path toward his new axe, Stormbreaker.

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The way his story connects khổng lồ the theme acts the same way. When Thor is held captive, Loki is given the option of handing over the Space Stone or watching Thor be killed. Loki chooses to lớn save lớn Thor, and not only that, but shows a small moment of heroism when he attempts khổng lồ kill Thanos himself. When all of this leads to Loki’s death, it pushes Thor even harder toward his quest for vengeance.

For his connection khổng lồ Thanos, Thor takes on the position of a survivor of one of Thanos’ attacks. While Thanos sees his work as noble, Thor is the counterpoint, showing the devastation và loss that comes about from Thanos’ plan. By putting Thor in this position, Infinity War is already questioning the choices Thanos is making.


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On đứng đầu of this, more about Thanos is revealed through Thor’s trip to Nidavellir lớn have a weapon forged. Here we learn the origin of the Infinity Gauntlet, the device that allows Thanos to harness the nguồn of all six Infinity Stones. But more than this, we see an example of Thanos acting counter lớn what he claims his mission entails.

Thanos claims that in order to lớn save the universe he must halve the population, and that it should be done completely at random in order to keep everything fair and balanced. On Nidavellir, he acts differently. Of the three hundred dwarfs that lived and worked on this forge, Thanos left only one alive. Và even that one, Eitri, had his hands encased in metal khổng lồ prevent him from ever working again. This was not an act of random population control, but rather genocide in order lớn cover his own trail. It’s proof that Thanos makes exceptions lớn the rules he has placed upon his work, the rules that are the only argument to lớn his choices being for the good.

GAMORA

Gamora’s story is one of needing khổng lồ prevent Thanos from collecting the Infinity Stones. Before the events of this movie, she has already located the only maps to the Soul Stone and burned it. She puts herself in the place as, possibly, the only living person who knows where it is.


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Out of the four characters making up the secondary stories, Gamora is the most involved with all three elements that have been mentioned. For starters, hers is the only secondary story that intersects with two Infinity Stones. She is both the only one who knows the location of the Soul Stone, and she races off to kill Thanos before he can get the Reality Stone.

Furthermore, when it comes to lớn the theme, she is the only character to lớn be put in every possible position for the question. She is held by Thanos while Star-Lord is forced lớn choose if he can kill her to save the universe. She is made to choose while her sister, Nebula, is tortured by Thanos. And finally, she is the one that Thanos sacrifices in order khổng lồ get the Soul Stone.

Through her, we see the most shades of grey as to which is the right answer. When it comes to lớn telling Star-Lord to lớn sacrifice her, she is more than willing to die. But when the question is turned around on her, & she must decide if she can sacrifice someone with the exact same stakes on the line (revealing the location of the Soul Stone), she can’t vì it. It is much easier for her khổng lồ sacrifice herself by asking someone else lớn kill her, than it is for her lớn let someone else be sacrificed because of her.

This repetition seen in Gamora’s story brings extra attention khổng lồ Thanos’ choice. Again, there was nothing creating a sense of urgency to lớn him making any choice at all, outside of his own will, & yet he took only a moment before deciding he must sacrifice her.


Gamora’s story impacts Thanos’ more than just in how it shines more light on his answer to Infinity War’s theme. Gamora is in the position of one of his adopted children. More than that, she is explicitly shown to lớn be the one he loves most. Given her unique position in being so close to lớn him, and yet still trying khổng lồ stop the plan he believes will save the universe, helps underscore how insane the plan really is.

There is only one flashback in this entire movie, and it’s the moment when Thanos found Gamora & decided he liked her enough khổng lồ adopt her. Thanos’ army has split up the population of Gamora’s trang chủ planet into rows of people on either side, but Thanos takes Gamora away before a side is chosen for her. She isn’t someone who happened lớn be on the half who lives, she is taken out of the equation entirely, because he likes her. While he preaches how uncaring his methods are in who lives and who dies, he is proving here that this isn’t true. It is random only for those who he does not feel a connection to.

When we reach the end of the movie, though it is true that Thanos had a 50-50 chance of surviving the snap if he were to put himself on the line, it doesn’t feel lượt thích random chance that he lives. Because of Gamora’s flashback, và Thor’s time on Nidavellir, we’ve seen that he is more than willing lớn change his own rules khổng lồ suit his self-interest. Và though it feels like cheating khổng lồ bring up anything from Avengers: Endgame, I will mention that Nebula tells the Avengers that Thanos always planned khổng lồ retire after completing his mission, meaning he had no intention of being one of the 50% who die.

And then there is what we can learn about Thanos from how he treats his children. The first interaction we see between Thanos and Gamora in present day has Gamora killing him. She falls apart, crying over what she’s had to do. Turns out, Thanos has already acquired the Reality Stone & has used it lớn create this illusion to demo her. He believes that her tears over his dead body are a sign that she loves him. This “test” is a manipulation that could only seem reasonable to lớn a sociopath. It is a sign of emotional abuse that he has already been putting her through.

This leads khổng lồ Star-Lord being asked khổng lồ keep his promise that he will kill Gamora lớn stop Thanos from taking her. Hearing what Gamora is asking, Thanos forces her face closer khổng lồ Star-Lord’s gun, demanding Star-Lord pull the trigger. He only prevents Gamora’s death at the last moment by using the Reality Stone khổng lồ change the gun’s blasts to lớn bubbles. Even with her death prevented, the emotional toll of being forced to lớn kill the woman he loves is devasting lớn Star-Lord.


Thanos takes Gamora back to his ship, where he has been torturing Nebula, and this is where Gamora is forced khổng lồ choose whether or not khổng lồ sacrifice her sister. If this scene of torturing his own daughter isn’t enough khổng lồ show how twisted Thanos really is, Nebula’s part-mechanical nature is in itself evidence of this. It is explained in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 that Thanos would have Gamora & Nebula fight as children, & every time Nebula would lose, Thanos would have part of her body replaced to make her stronger. He wasn’t only abusive lớn those he called his children, he made them complicit in the abuse of each other.

Through Gamora’s story, we get our deepest look into how Thanos actually is, rather than just how he preaches lớn be. Her need to prevent Thanos from collecting the Infinity Stones is because she is trying to lớn protect the entire universe from her abuser.

SCARLET WITCH

Wanda, the Scarlet Witch, has a story about trying to avoid the thematic question all together. Wanda wants lớn find a way khổng lồ save half the universe without having to lớn sacrifice her loved one, Vision.


Though Wanda only interacts with one of the Infinity Stones, she is arguable more connected to lớn that one than any other person is khổng lồ the Infinity Stones. Not only is she in love with a man who is in part the living consciousness of the Mind Stone, but her powers were given to her by experiments with it.

It is this quality connection lớn one of the Infinity Stones that intertwines Wanda’s relationship lớn the theme và to Thanos.

Early on in her story it is revealed that one way to lớn stop Thanos is to kill Vision by destroying the mind stone. Not only that, but it is explicitly said that Wanda may be the only one with the nguồn to bởi vì this, because of how her powers were originated by it.

Unlike every other secondary story, where a character is asked the question & must decide immediately, Wanda is given the chance to lớn weigh the options. To help this debate, are three characters each arguing for a possible choice. There is Vision, telling Wanda she must kill him, that his life isn’t worth all of those that will be lost to lớn Thanos. There is Captain America, who argues that they don’t trade lives, and therefore Vision must be saved. And there is Bruce Banner, who comes up with the possibility lớn remove the Mind Stone without killing Vision.

Because of the lack of defined deadline for the most of Infinity War, Wanda’s choice most closely resembles that of Thanos’s. There is one glaring difference though: where Wanda does everything in her power to lớn avoid having to make the choice of sacrificing Vision, Thanos takes only a moment khổng lồ decide that sacrificing Gamora is his best option.


At height of the climax of Infinity War, Wanda gives in & uses her powers to lớn destroy the Mind Stone, killing Vision. She is the only character aside from Thanos who succeeds in sacrificing someone they love. Thanos highlights the similarities between the two of them when he rubs her head, telling her he understands what she feels. But even this, given the context of the situation, shows how disconnected he is from real empathy. He marks these as the same choice when in reality he is the one who forced both of them to make their choices, completely changing the dynamics of their individual situations. And, again, making him look sociopathic.

IRON MAN

The fourth và final secondary story in Avengers: Infinity War belongs to lớn none other than the character who began the entire MCU, Iron Man aka Tony Stark. His story is one of going after Thanos on Titan in order to prevent him from ever coming khổng lồ Earth. There are a lot of reasons why Tony chooses to take on Thanos the moment he puts a name khổng lồ the impending threat, và it all starts with the first Avengers.

Toward the end of Avengers, Tony flies a bomb into space, where he sees for himself how many ships are in the fleet looking lớn attack Earth. This sight is enough to send Tony spiraling into PTSD in Iron Man 3. He begins making as many new suits as he can imagine in order lớn prepare for this impending threat.


Tony feels that it his responsibility to lớn save the world from whoever or whatever may come khổng lồ it. This is driven trang chủ in Avengers: Age of Ultron when the nightmare that Scarlet Witch puts him into shows himself as the only surviving Avenger. Captain America’s last words to him being that Tony could have saved them. This leads Tony lớn attempting to lớn give artificial intelligence khổng lồ his suits in order to lớn create a “suit of armor around the world”. Harnessing the power of the Mind Stone, this plan is what creates Ultron, who’s own goals are lớn create an extinction cấp độ event. Tony tries to bởi vì the same thing again, only this time, thankfully, he creates Vision.

Because of everything that Tony has been through prior to lớn Infinity War, when he is given the chance to fight Thanos, he feels it is his only option, even when this means bringing the Time Stone directly to Thanos. Tony is so caught up in wanting lớn prevent his nightmare from coming true, he doesn’t even consider what it means if he fails.

Of course, as this is Thanos’ movie, Tony does fail.

Tony is part of a bigger group on Titan, but in the end the fight comes down khổng lồ a one on one between the him & Thanos, & Tony gives it everything he has. The only thing that prevents Thanos from killing Tony is that Doctor Strange gives up the Time Stone khổng lồ save his life.

If it isn’t obvious from the description of Tony’s arc throughout all of the Avengers movies, his connection lớn Thanos is that they are mirrors of each other on parallel journeys. Even Thanos admits this when he confides that he too is “cursed by knowledge”. They are both characters who saw a threat lớn their planet và came up with extreme measures through which to lớn save it; Thanos through lowering the population, and Tony through trying khổng lồ create robots that could protect the planet. They both used Infinity Stones in their attempts. They both were thought to lớn be crazy but didn’t stop them from trying the same thing again.

When the fight between Tony & Thanos is drawing lớn a close, Tony is able to lớn get one good shot in. He doesn’t vì a lot of damage, but he is able khổng lồ make a small cut on Thanos’ right cheek. Even though Tony loses the fight, this moment calls back to a similar one in Iron Man 2. When Tony first fights Whiplash, Tony gets a cut on his left cheek. When the two speak afterward, Whiplash believes he’s won, saying, “If you can make God bleed, then people will cease lớn believe in him. Và there will be blood in the water, và the sharks will come. The truth, all I have to vì is sit here and watch, as the world will consume you.”


I’ve already said the two characters are mirrors of each other, and now even the location of their cuts is mirrored, each being on the opposite cheek. Whiplash’s words explain that the fact that Tony managed to lớn get blood from Thanos at all, proves he can be beaten. Between this moment and Doctor Strange’s final line of them being in the over game now, it is the smallest glimmer of hope presenting itself.

Even with everything these two characters seem to have in common, we know that they can’t be the same. Iron Man is a superhero, and regardless of Thanos being the protagonist of this movie, we know he is a villain. If we only had the perspectives of these two characters, it might be more difficult lớn see the difference, but then there are the other three secondary stories.

Through Thor we see that Thanos is willing lớn kill not only for his mission, but in order khổng lồ prevent anyone from getting in his way. Through Gamora we are able to see through the noble front & find that he is an emotionally unstable abuser. & finally, through Scarlet Witch we see how hard a nhân vật fights to lớn avoid having lớn sacrifice someone else, contrasting with how easily Thanos sacrifices Gamora.

Not only bởi these all reveal differences between Thanos and Iron Man, there is also the fact that Thanos lives after the snap. I’ve already admitted that, yes, there is a 1/2 chance he could have lived. But, with everything we have seen of him, it is fair khổng lồ say he more than likely removed himself from this supposedly random event.

Contrasting this, Tony has proven time and again that he is more than willing khổng lồ die lớn protect people. He risks sacrificing himself at the end of Iron Man when he tells Pepper to flip a switch that releases energy enough to lớn defeat Stane. Tony’s entire story in Avengers is about proving that he is willing to lớn sacrifice himself for others. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony risks sacrificing himself to save the day when his creation nearly destroys the world.


Avengers: Infinity War’s theme is all about asking the question of whether or not a anh hùng can sacrifice someone they love khổng lồ save half the universe. It is a question with no clear right answer presented in the movie. An important difference that is revealed here is that Thanos is only willing to lớn sacrifice others, whereas the heroes show that they would always choose to lớn sacrifice themselves first.

CONCLUSIONS

Avengers: Infinity War is possibly the most ambitious movie that has ever been made.

Some may argue that Avengers: Endgame is more ambitious because it is the true climax of the Infinity Saga, và of course because of its final battle scene that brings in every nhân vật in the MCU for a single fight. But Endgame can only bởi what it does because of the ways in which Infinity War brings this massive universe together, & then pares in down in order khổng lồ make it a more manageable kích cỡ for the bulk of Endgame. (This being said, that final battle in Endgame is probably the most ambitious single scene ever.)

Between these two parts, I have delved into many of the ways it manages to lớn both fit in so much and tell a unified story, but there is still so much that could be talked about with this movie. There are the ways that it makes the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy visually make sense together when they have been kept apart up until now và have fairly different styles. There is the editing that weaves these separate elements together, building in pacing as the movie moves closer to lớn the end. There are all the ways it uses the past movies for shorthand, a subject I only touched on. Even just listing what each one of the less focused on characters does to be given importance within the movie, which is quite a bit when there are thirty-four of them. There’s even the whole topic of how it utilizes, or differentiates itself from, the comic canon of the Infinity War storyline.

The subject of how Infinity War pulls off telling its story is one so large it could possibly be talked about for as many parts as there are movies leading up khổng lồ it. But for now at least, this is where I am leaving it.

However someone feels about its quality, be it their favourite MCU movie or they hate comic book movies all together, from the standpoint of how it is written is hard to deny how interesting it is.

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