Avengers: Infinity War Except Thanos is Cooler Than All of the Avengers Combined


By Samantha Brant ‘19, Contributor; Molly Briggs ‘19, News Editor; Nellie Shih ‘19, Arts and Entertainment Editor

In Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster, Avengers: Infinity War, nearly every existing character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (except Hawkeye and Ant-Man) team up to face their biggest threat yet. Josh Brolin’s Thanos has devised a plan to collect the six infinity stones in order to wipe out half of the universe’s population to save the finite amount of remaining natural resources.

Going in, the three of us had very low expectations since the cast list of the movie takes an hour to scroll through and Thanos bears a slight resemblance to a thumb. We were convinced Marvel had paid Rotten Tomatoes to give them a score above 60%. We were all surprised to find that the movie worked as it divided screen time among the characters fairly evenly. For the characters that didn’t have much screen time, it’s clear they will have more to do in Avengers 4. But, the most important factor was Thanos: he was a well-written villain who actually posed a threat, and had a logical motivation. Why Thanos didn’t just make more resources is unbeknownst to us, but the movie started in a certain direction and followed through with it in a way that captivated the audience and delivered a huge shock value.

One of the most eye-opening scenes of the movie was when Thanos goes to get the Soul Stone (the orange infinity stone). He is told that he needs to give up something he loves – a piece of his soul – in order to acquire the stone. We could feel the excitement rush through the audience, as we all felt it was finally time for Thanos to lose. But when he turned around with tears in his eyes, there was an audible gasp – villains have feelings too. He wasn’t crying because he wanted the stone, he wasn’t crying because he knew his plan had failed — he was crying because he did love someone and he had to kill her. Thanos believed so much in his vision to make the world a better place, that he would kill his own daughter to make that dream a reality.

Marvel has not exactly had the best track record when it comes to villains. From Malekith in Thor: The Dark World, to Dormammu in Doctor Strange, to Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, there has been few truly successful bad guys. Why? Marvel tends not to establish the villain or their motivation, and would have benefitted from making them more relatable. But in Infinity War, Marvel managed to accomplish both aspects with Thanos. What made him stand out was his moral ambiguity. Thanos doesn’t want power for power’s sake, he wants to fix a real problem in the universe, which makes him relatable. He has an actual backstory and his motivations are clear. We can’t help but see his point of view, even if we know he’s supposed to be the bad guy. Similar to Killmonger in Black Panther, we would be so close to rooting for him if he could just see the error of his ways, and this is what sets them apart and makes them what we would classify as “good villains.”

About twenty minutes from the end of the movie, Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse Vision’s death and the destruction of the Mind Stone. At this point, Nellie said out loud, “I literally don’t understand how they can win.” What made the movie work was the fact that the Avengers didn’t win. Infinity War’s ending was an obvious set-up for the next film, but it made sense. Avengers 4 will have to work hard in order to live up to Infinity War’s shock value and realistic tone.

During conversations about the film we had with our friends, a common theme was that Thanos was a good villain. We asked them to share their thoughts:

Stephen Fatuzzo ‘19: “Thanos is such a good villain because he is willing to sacrifice anything for his eventual goal — even his own happiness — to do what he thinks will make the world a better place. And he’s driven/haunted by his past failure/struggle.”

Sam Jaccaci ‘19: “For a Marvel villain to work, they have to show human emotion the audience can relate to. They also have to show they are fighting for a cause that is not totally evil because it invokes a gray area where the audience is not sure whose idea is correct. That turns a mediocre marvel film to an excellent one — Thanos and Killmonger are two examples in my opinion.

“Also it’s easy to stand out as a good Marvel bad guy because they usually suck. Killmonger, Thanos, and the Vulture are the only three that are truly memorable in my opinion.”

Sydney Baker ‘19: “[Thanos’s] plan seemed logical especially with the added evidence that the same thing happened on a smaller scale on Titan…and since they didn’t listen [to Thanos] they went extinct.”

Nevie Smith ‘19: “It was good that [Thanos] “won” in this movie because it was really realistic. I thought Thanos was a good villain because he was fighting for the world to be better and he was willing to sacrifice so much for it (like killing Gamora). It also showed that he had heart and wasn’t just a completely stone-cold bad guy. His moral dilemma showed he’s trying to do something good even though it has horrible consequences.

“Oh, and the whole Spider-Man thing I’m still not over.”

Emilia Mieczykowski ‘21 (Samantha’s friend from dance who goes to Lakota): “[Thanos] gave insight as to why villains are villains and was relatable to the audience. He cared for his world, his people, and most importantly, his daughter. He made it seem like he was looking out for the greater good of the universe, which successfully masked his true, selfish intentions that only regarded the people who Thanos himself thought were worthy of living.”

If you have not already seen Avengers: Infinity War, shame on you for reading this spoiler-ridden article. It’s not a perfect movie, but go see it. It deserves its Rotten Tomatoes rating.