Ever since Avengers: Endgame was released, many fans have been bringing up various plot holes in the movie. Most of these are inevitable in a film that features time travel, and some of them are little quibbles addressed directly in the pic itself, but some are actually good points that appear to have been thought of in advance by the directors.
Since the film hit theaters, Joe and Anthony Russo have been opening up on the titanic effort it took to make Infinity War and Endgame, and (no doubt relieved that they can finally openly discuss the plot), have started to address some of these fan questions.
One of the most common is why doesn’t Doctor Strange simply use his portal technology to dismember Thanos? Why bother fighting him in combat when Strange could open a portal around his neck and decapitate him, or send his Infinity Gauntlet wielding arm to the middle of nowhere, right? After all, when Wong was fighting the gigantic Cull Obsidian in Avengers: Infinity War, the portal closing on his arm neatly severed it.
Well, here’s what the Russos had to say about it:
“Thanos’ skin is almost impenetrable, we don’t know whether Doctor Strange had the capability to do it. If he failed to cut it on time, Thanos would still able to do the snap. Doctor Strange realized this issue during his millions of test runs.”
Fair enough, I think. Having Strange analyze millions of failed runs and realize there’s only one way in which they can beat Thanos solves a lot of questions about “why didn’t they just do this?” – because the answer can always be, “Strange saw that happen and it didn’t work.”
I think they very smartly kept Cumberbatch’s hero busy during the final battle with Thanos as well by having him keep a flood at bay. After all, he’s one of the most powerful people on Earth and his power-set is still quite fuzzily defined. We do get a taste of what he might be capable of in a few moments of the climactic battle of Avengers: Endgame though, in which he really goes all out on the invading army – it’s pretty awesome stuff.
Still, we’ll no doubt get to see a true demonstration of the limits of Strange’s powers in Doctor Strange 2, which is in some stage of development for Phase 4. I wouldn’t expect it until 2021, though.