Breaking box office records and hearts aplenty, Avengers: Infinity War will undoubtedly remain one of the biggest films of the year. It certainly delivered one of the most shocking and memorable movie moments for some time, with THAT tragic ending leaving many people’s emotions in tatters.
But now that the dust (sobs) has settled somewhat, and our minds turn to Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers 4, we can look at the film with a more critical eye. It may have punched us right in the feels, but does the ending to Infinity War fully work? Or is that final sequence filled with falsehoods?
Well, let’s take a look…
The Success Of The Shared Universe Model
To briefly recap, Avengers: Infinity War charts Thanos’s quest to collect the powerful Infinity Stones and end half of all life in the universe. In doing so, his actions will (supposedly) improve the living quality of the remaining half. Despite opposition, Thanos completes his collection and snaps his fingers. As a result, a host of popular heroes fade into nothingness before our eyes, including Spider-Man who, heartbreakingly, dies in Tony Stark’s arms.
Spidey’s death is clearly a crucial one, but the decision to end Infinity War on this extinction-level event is very notable. Few mainstream movies end with their enemies besting the heroes, or on such a despairing note. It’s easy to see why these moments have been compared to the downbeat ending of The Empire Strikes Back.
Those final interactions between Peter Parker and Tony Stark have struck a chord with audiences, too, instantly becoming a meme and being touted as a highlight of the film by its fans. Moreover, not only is this due to some nifty direction and acting, but also because of Marvel’s shared universe.
Iron Man is beloved by audiences because they’ve shared so much time with him, as he’s jumped from his solo outings to Spidey-tutoring. Therefore, the image of Stark holding a disintegrating Peter is as potent and emotional as it is, thanks to over a decade’s worth of work groundwork from Marvel.
In short, the studio has transplanted the dynamic, interconnected world of their comics onto our cinema screens. In doing so, they’ve recreated that heartfelt connection to every fiction, worldly development and every character within it. However, as it is with comics, having all of these interweaving solo properties coalesce in one movie presents other kinds of problems.