Photo from Wikimedia Commons by Christianlorenz97. (CC BY-SA 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/
WARNING: Spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution.
“Avengers: Infinity War” hit theaters April 27 and has quickly risen to the top of the box office charts, beating out “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for highest-grossing film, becoming the biggest global opening in history. This film was 10 years in the making, including a cast of more than 20 superheroes from the Marvel universe. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with an 84 percent rating by Rotten Tomatoes critics and 92 percent by the audience. Many students believe that the film’s success was well-deserved.
Junior graphic design major Jennifer Johnson had great anticipation for the film.
“The fact that this has been in the works and building up for 10 years, through 18 films, there’s no doubt it was going to be big,” Johnson said. “I even blocked about 30 words and phrases on Twitter to be safe, because I wanted to experience it with a fresh mind.”
For junior creative writing major Ashley Musick, she was afraid that her limited knowledge of the Marvel universe would impact her viewing experience.
“Since I haven’t seen all the Marvel films, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to understand it, but I found the film very easy to follow,” Musick said.
Captain America leads Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Black Widow, The Hulk and others towards an unseen foe. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.
It took a couple viewings for junior strategic corporate communications major Brandon Garcia to really appreciate the film.
“The first time I saw it, I came out very entertained but very skeptical and unsure of the quality of the narrative,” Garcia said. “The second time I saw it, I decided to analyze it a bit more and realized that this movie is subtly genius.”
Marvel’s Iron Man. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.
Throughout all the moments in the film, junior graphic design major Olivia Hosbein especially enjoyed the humor.
“I think the jokes are genuinely funny and help lighten the mood, being that they are trying to save the universe and all, which is pretty bleak,” Hosbein said.
Erin Crowder, a sophomore communications studies major, loved seeing powerful women working as a team on screen.
“My favorite part of the movie was the scene with Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and Okoye as they fought Proxima Midnight,” Crowder said. “I don’t necessarily consider myself to be a feminist, but I was definitely getting behind this scene and its girl power.”
Mantis tries to wake Thor as the rest of the Guardians crew stands by. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.
There were also moments that weren’t as popular with audiences.
“I really didn’t like how Loki died. He’s supposed to be the God of Mischief, and his big plan to defeat Thanos is to sneak a knife on him?” Crowder said. “He should have gained Thanos’ trust by being at his side, and then come up with a creative way of attack. A knife isn’t going to bring him down.”
Johnson was disappointed with the film’s ending.
“Not because it was poor writing or anything, but because it completely mutilated my heart.” Johnson states, clearly overwhelmed by the turn of events. “Killing Groot for the second time is unacceptable. It was hard enough to watch him sacrifice himself in the first “Guardians,”, and now that he’s closer to being fully grown, they kill him off again? I also can’t get Spider-Man’s scene out of my head. ‘Mr. Stark I don’t feel so good…I don’t want to go.’ That was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve had to watch. He’s so pure and just wants to help save the universe with uncle Tony!”
Spider-Man clings to the side of an alien spaceship. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.
Ultimately, the film drew a range of emotions from its audience. Musick had conflicting feelings about Thanos.
“He was a villain you couldn’t fully hate,” she said. “I saw a little bit of logic in his methods, and I think that’s kind of the scary part. Of course you can’t wipe half of the planet out, that’s immoral. But then you can also see his point in that it allows the people left to have a better existence and balance out the universe.”
The movie left Johnson in contemplation for days.
“It’s been five days since I saw it and I’m still thinking about it constantly,” she said. “After that ending, I was in denial and literally couldn’t go to sleep because of how upset I was. I think Captain America did a great job summing up all of my emotions at the end, defeated and on the ground simply muttering, ‘oh God.’”
Without a happy ending, Musick felt defeated by the movie.
“A superhero movie is there to provide hope and this idea of no matter what, we can save the world and good will always prevail. But to lose so many of our heroes and have that not be the case, it was really a hard concept to walk away with,” she said. “It was like you were being told that your hope was false, this is reality and that superheroes don’t always win.”
Thanos on his way to collect all six Infinity Stones. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.
The ambiguous ending and promise of a fourth Avengers film left students to wonder what will happen next.
“I have hope that somehow everyone who died didn’t actually die and Thanos will be defeated,” Hosbein said. “I don’t know how they’re going to do it, but they just have to.”
Johnson doesn’t believe the popular theories of other fans.
“A lot of people think that they’ll get the Time Stone and bring everyone back. In my opinion, that seems too easy and is the same as saying it was all a dream.” Johnson said, “Dr. Strange was very persistent in the fact that he would do whatever it takes to protect the Time Stone from Thanos, even if it meant letting Stark and Parker die. However, when it came to it, Strange ended up giving it over and said that it was the only way. Earlier he looked into the future and saw that the Avengers only win 1 out of 14,000,605 scenarios. He knew what he was doing, and I guess we have to put our faith into him and that everything that happened needed to, in order for them to eventually win.”
Dr. Strange and Wong protect the Time Stone. Photo by Disney used with permission under fair use.
“I think the technology Wakanda has will help get the Infinity Stones back, or somehow reverse Thanos’ actions.” Musick said, “Since we were just introduced to Wakanda in “Black Panther,” there is still a lot we don’t know about their tech.”
While the next Avengers film will not be released until May of 2019, other Marvel films are set to hit theaters this year, such as “Ant-man and The Wasp” July 6 and “Venom” Oct. 5.