Ten years ago, Iron Man released to critical acclaim and ushered in a new age of cinematic fervor. Since then, we have gotten twenty films in the franchise all building up to a climactic showdown with the overarching antagonist, Thanos. While his story isn’t over quite yet, we did finally get to see what the MCU was building up to in Infinity War. Almost every single major character played a role in the film as Thanos utterly dominated our heroes, ultimately coming out the victor and Snapping away half of existence. It was a morbid end to a film that we all believed would bring Thanos’ story to a close.
Although we still have The Avengers 4 to look forward to, it’s hard to imagine that any single film in the franchise will be met with the same event-like status and acclaim as Infinity War. A movie so bombastic, Infinity War may very well change the landscape of blockbuster cinema. As a result of its popularity, people tend to write it off quite a bit as a shallow superhero movie. While it does have its shallow moments, Infinity War is far more nuanced than the masses give it credit for.
25 Thanos Couldn’t Just “Make More Resources”
If you’re the kind of person who considers it a plot hole that Thanos didn’t create more resources with the Infinity Stones, you’ve missed the point of his character. Thanos could never just “make more resources,” because that’s not what’s motivating him. In his eyes, the world doesn’t have a lack of resources; it has an overabundance of people.
Character motivations don't work like that.
The fact the film never addresses this alternative point of view is a good thing, too, as this isn’t an idea worth humoring or justifying. Thanos is a villain and his motivations to do not need to be justified. Even then, the MCU is telling a story. It isn’t compelling if the main antagonist wants to create more resources instead of wiping out half of humanity.
24 Thanos Expecting Gamora On Knowhere Isn’t A Plot Hole
It’s not unusual to see fans claim that Thanos expecting Gamora on Knowhere is a plot hole. On a purely surface level, it does make some degree of sense. After all, how would Thanos know she would go to him? More importantly, why would he bother waiting if his goal is to collect the stones as fast as possible?
When it comes down to it, though, there are multiple ways to answer this “plot hole.” The clearest answer is that Thanos knew Gamora would eventually go to Knowhere because Nebula told him. Another alternative answer is that Thanos just seized the opportunity to nab Gamora while she was around.
23 Infinity War Is A Complete Story
There is this idea that Infinity War is just one half of a larger two-part movie and, while the films did begin that way, it is quite clear that the script is over and done by the last scene. By the time credits roll, the story of Infinity War is over. Mind you, this is not to say the story of the MCU is over, but just this one individual film.
The MCU could have realistically ended here.
This is a movie following Thanos’ goal to wipe out half of humanity. At the end of the film, he succeeds and peacefully retires. There’s really nothing more to the story. Is it a morbid ending? Of course it is, but all the major arcs come to a close and the story is thematically and narratively resolved.
22 Tony Isn’t The Main Character
Since the MCU is inherently an ensemble franchise, it can be difficult to pinpoint one singular “main character.” Most fans agree that the overarching protagonist is either Tony Stark or Steve Rogers with logic dictating that it may very well be the former. Coming into Infinity War, though, Tony isn’t the main character.
The movie does try to pass off the illusion he is, granted. Of all the heroes, Tony has the most screen time and the clearest character arc. He’s the one who fights Thanos last and he’s the character who drives the “hero” side of the plot. At the end of the day, though, he’s just a supporting player in another character’s story.
21 Thanos Is The Main Character
It shouldn’t come as no surprise, but Thanos is indeed Infinity War’s main character. This doesn’t mean he isn't’ the villain or the MCU’s overarching antagonist, but the film is very much about Thanos. Thanos drives the plot, Thanos has the most screen time, and Thanos has the most definable arc.
They could have called the movie "Thanos: Infinity War."
Thanos has his ideals challenged halfway through the movie, requiring him to sacrifice the person he loves most to stay true to his resolve. Thanos fights for a cause he genuinely believes in, and it’s morally grey enough to sway audiences. Thanos bookends the movie, capping us off with a scene of him watching the sunset. Thanos is the main character.
20 The Hulk Wasn’t Cut From The Movie
Marketing is often misleading. Given the cynical nature of the movie industry, it can be easy to claim that marketing is often intentionally misleading, and sometimes it done for cynical purposes, but this is far from the case with Infinity War. Despite the Hulk appearing in multiple trailers, he was never actually a part of the film.
He's there in spirit.
Rather, the Hulk was alluded to in trailers specifically to make fans question Bruce’s arc going into the movie. He can’t trigger Hulk, but the trailers show Hulk! Naturally, he’ll transform. Bruce doesn’t, though, he doesn’t have it in him. It’s a gem of marketing that helped mold a unique and powerful character arc for Bruce.
19 There’s A Reason We Don’t See Thanos On Xandar
“Show, don’t tell” is a golden rule of writing, and as it should be. It is far more effective to show the audience something than to tell them it occurred. At the same time, not every rule is meant to be followed with such a stiff rigidness. In some cases, it can be beneficial to simply allude to events off-screen.
Skipping over Thanos’ conquering of Xandar is incredibly important as it immediately establishes him as a threat we cannot realistically comprehend. When we later see how much damage we can do, the impact is all the more powerful. Showing Xandar early would have robbed Thanos of his endgame weight.
18 Marvel Was Always Going To Spoil The Reversal Of The Snap
Look, Disney is running a business, and Marvel Studios is part of said business. There was no realistic outcome where we didn’t know that Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Dr. Stange were going to come back after the Snap. When it comes down to it, movies needed to be marketed and advertised. Not even the MCU can get away with a weak marketing campaign.
Spider-Man: Far From Home needs its marketing campaign.
The Snap’s reversal was always going to be spoiled, because it logically always needed to be from a business perspective. Is that good storytelling? Not really, but the impact of uncertainty really only lasts until new movies are made so it’s ultimately better to spoil it early and ensure the continuation of the series.
17 Thor Getting A New Weapon Doesn’t Reverse His Arc
Phase 3 has been far kinder to Thor than Phases 1 and 2. Not only is his movie arguably the best one in the Phase, he actually has a character arc that develops him instead of simply circling around the concept of “development.” Having lost his eye and hammer, Thor has become a new man.
Which brings into question: does giving him a new weapon invalidate his arc? No, not really. Thor still has to work for his new weapon. He suffers for it. He needs to earn that strength back. It does not reverse his arc at all. What does reverse it is giving him a new eye- gone is the remainder of pain and growth.
16 The Black Order Was Always Going To Be Window Dressing
The only thing more surprising than the Black Order basically amounting to fodder is the MCU fanbase assuming they would be anything but fodder. Who was built up for ten years? Thanos or the Black Order? I’ll give you a hint, it’s the one that’s the name of an actual person and not an organization.
Not everyone has to be important.
The Black Order doesn’t need to be more than what it is. They work as a group of baddies meant to be taken out before the final showdown with Thanos. They all lose by the end of the film, but why shouldn’t they? This is not their story. If this were The Avengers: Black Order, maybe it’d be more egregious, but that isn’t the case.
15 Steve And Tony Were Never Going To Meet In Infinity War
Considering Phase 3 opened with a film that tore its two de facto leads apart, it’s only natural to want to see them reunite in the film the entire franchise has been building up to for years. At the same time, Infinity War did not mark the end of Phase 3, far from it. Three movies were still left at the time of its release.
Narratively, Steve and Tony reuniting in any movie but the literal finale of Phase 3 would be premature. Their arc needs to end as it began. Is it disappointing? Sure it is, but why isn’t a story allowed to use disappointment intentionally? If anything, this will just make their reunion all the more meaningful.
14 The Russos Intentionally Kept Cap On The Sidelines
If you’re a big fan of the Cap, chances are you weren’t particularly impressed with his role in Infinity War. Compared to the rest of the original Avengers- save for Hawkeye and Black Widow- Cap plays a very minimal role in the overall plot. All his major beats come at the middle or very end.
He can't be the center of attention all the time.
This is intentional, though. Keep in mind that the Russos previously only wrote stories about the Cap for the MCU. Of course, they’d want to cut their teeth on new material. Besides, focusing so little on Cap allows his arc to be all the bigger in the next film. Steve will no doubt play a massive role in The Avengers 4.
13 Cap’s New Shields Aren’t Permanent
Speaking of Cap, how about those new shields. They aren’t very… shield-like are they? Following the abandonment of his signature shield, Steve adorned himself with Wakandan shields that looked more like gauntlets. While they’re cool enough in their own right, they don’t exactly feel true to the character. Fret not, though, this is only temporary. When Tony and Steve reunite in the final film of Phase 3, you can bet Steve will take up his familiar shield one last time.
12 The Asgardians Aren’t All Gone
The most pressing misconception about Thanos is that the opening establishes him as a hypocrite. After violently assaulting Thor’s ship, Thanos wipes out all the Asgardians, leaving Thor without a race. Except that’s not what actually happened is it? Visually, it seems to be the case, but looks can be deceiving.
They're still kicking.
Considering we know that Valkyrie is still alive, not every Asgardian was butchered. It’s heavily suggested that only half of Asgard was wiped out. The opening is just so bombastically visceral, though, that it’s hard not to perceive Thanos’ introduction as anything other than a mass slaughter.
11 Shuri Being Smarter Doesn’t Make Bruce Dumb
Shuri is smart, almost impossibly so. This has been a beat of contention for the fanbase since her first appearance. The fact that she’s so young doesn’t help matters either. When Shuri questioned Bruce’s inability to revive Vision himself, fans considered it one step too far, belittling Bruce to elevate Shuri.
That’s not really the case, though. Keep in mind that Shuri is from the technological apex of the modern world, Wakanda. She will naturally know more than Bruce no matter how smart Bruce is. Yes, Shuri is legitimately smarter than Bruce Banner, and probably Tony, but that doesn’t make either of them dumb.
10 Gamora And The Bubbles
Gamora’s near self-infliction is one of the darker moments in the entire film. Pushed to the edge, she sees no choice but to take her own life to prevent her father from achieving his goals. Unfortunately for her, Thanos’ powers have evolved to the point where he can turn her dagger into bubbles.
Always dig past the surface.
This scene has been criticized for playing up a comedic angle in a serious moment by alluding to a previous scene with a humorous tone. While the bubbles are immediately a funny image, this is intentional. Thanos is creating a perverse version of a familiar concept to prevent his daughter’s suicide. There are layers to these bubbles.
9 Wanda Isn’t All That Powerful
Widely considered to be one of the strongest Avengers, and only getting stronger with each new film, her lack of complete success in Infinity War was contentious to say the least. Considering how Phase 3 opened- showcasing her destructive power front and center — why would the Russos hold back now?
Well, because she actually isn’t that powerful and never has been. Wanda’s power is reckless. Her strength comes from how unpolished and unrefined she is. She legitimately fights well in the movie, but she was never going to be a goliath like Thanos. At best, she could damage him. At worst, Thanos exposes Wanda’s powers for what they are.
8 Vision Was In No Position To Fight Thanos
On the other hand, while Wanda was absolutely justified in losing, Vision’s defeat against Thanos can come off a bit odd. After all, Vision is a literal Infinity Stone when it comes down to it. He should be able to deflect Thanos with more ease than he did in the actual film. He shouldn’t have won, but he should have fought better.
Thanos would have bodied Vision either way.
At least on a surface level, that is. In truth, Vision was in no position for a fair fight against Thanos. Throughout the whole movie, he is clearly struggling physically, mentally, and emotionally. When it comes for their match, Vision is basically completely comatose. His loss was inevitable.
7 Peter Quill Attacking Thanos Wasn’t Dumb At All
Headline aside, Peter Quill attacking Thanos right as they were about to defeat him was indeed incredibly dumb. Dumb in reason, though. Although fanboys may state otherwise, it is perfectly acceptable for characters to act foolishly so long as their foolish actions are actually in-character.
Peter Quill acted poorly. He acted irrationally and emotionally, but Peter is an irrational and emotional character. Upon hearing that the woman he loved was sacrificed, he would naturally lash out. He ruined their plan, but it made perfect sense. He is an unhinged and damaged man. That fight ended the only way it could have.
6 Thanos Isn’t Evil
It feels almost wrong to write considering Thanos’ central motivation is to wipe out half the universe’s population, but he isn’t evil. Not even a little bit. There is no malice of hatred in what Thanos is doing. He is coming from a place of pain and vulnerability. He understand what he is doing is contentious, but know it must be done. Does that make him evil? Not in the slightest. Does that make him a bad guy? Debatable. Does that make him right? Not even a little bit.
5 But He Isn’t Right
Although Thanos may not be evil, a lack of malice does not necessarily make one’s actions right. Thanos is unquestionably and objectively in the wrong throughout the whole movie. While he has good intentions, said intentions require wiping out half the universe to save it. Thanos is coming from a protective place, but it is not his right to save the world this way.
He's still a pretty awful guy when it comes down to it.
Rather, it is on the onus of each individual species and planet to protect themselves, to ensure they do not suffer the same fate as Titan. Thanos’ motivations are so close to his heart, however, that he can’t break free from his train of thought to actually look at the situation rationally. He is driven by emotion first and foremost.
4 The Movie Knows You Know The Snapped Characters Are Safe
Even from an in-universe perspective, the MCU isn’t really pretending that the Snapped characters aren’t coming back. Obviously, the main characters don’t know this so they react accordingly, but the narrative places more emphasis on who survived than who got snapped. For good reason.
Those who got Snapped are safe. The Narrative recognizes this. Those who didn’t? They’re in actual danger. If they lose their lives in the next movie, they won’t be coming back. The Snap was a narrative safety net, ensuring that major characters helming Phase 4 would survive. Keep your eyes on the OG Avengers, they don’t have much time left.
3 The Snap Isn’t The Point Of The Movie
As is perhaps to be expected, the Snap is all anyone has been able to talk about since Infinity War’s release. Never did the mass audience believe that Thanos could have realistically won and taken half the world’s population with him. It’s a morbid finale to a movie one decade in the making.
We didn't wait ten years not to see Thanos snap.
It isn’t the point, though. Not really. Rather, the point of the movie is the establishing of Thanos’ character. Who is he? What drives him? Why is he doing this? Those are all far more important than the Snap itself. While the Snap will play a large role in the next film, Phase 3’s ending will only work because we got to know Thanos so well.
2 The Avengers Had To Lose No Matter What
Some fans have taken issue with the Avengers losing so blatantly to Thanos. After all, this is the MCU! It’s a superhero story and the superheroes lost!? That doesn’t seem right at all. Loss is important though. All good stories require their heroes to lose so that they may rise again. There was no way Thanos could be defeated in one film.
After being built up for nearly twenty movies, defeating Thanos in his debut film would have come off rather lackluster. By simply extending his presence by one movie, Thanos becomes a more imposing antagonist. His victory also makes his inevitable loss all the more satisfying. The good guys need to lose sometimes.
1 Avengers 4 Won’t Pick Up Right After Infinity War
Long before Phase 3 began in proper, the Thanos saga was going to end with a two-part film, both titled Infinity War Part 1 and Part 2 respectively. At the time, slicing up finale movies in half was quite popular, in large part due to Deathly Hallows, but the notoriety wore off fast and Marvel Studios dropped the premise.
That said, with the film we ended up getting, don’t expect to see The Avengers 4 to pick up right after Infinity War. More than likely, we’ll be getting a time skip into the future, picking up in a world post-Snap. This move makes the most narrative sense and allows for both films to stand on their own which is what Marvel clearly wants now.