After this, we start getting into grouping characters together, and again, I thought all the groups worked. I found myself most enjoying the Iron Man/Spider-Man/Doctor Strange group. I was a little concerned that Tony Stark and Dr. Strange would be a little too similar to play off each other well, but RDJ and Benedict Cumberbatch played off each other so well, with Tom Holland interjecting perfectly. MVP group if you ask me, with The Guardians plus Thor a strong second.
But again, all of this is going on around Thanos, and he is very much the center of this movie with the most development. While he could have been just an angry, one-note killing machine, giving him a since of purpose and a “benevolent cause” of a culling of sorts at least made him sympathetic. And we see all of this really come to a head when he sacrifices Gamora, an MCU death which I think should stick but I already know will not (oh hi Eternity Forge). I was impressed by everything that occurred with Thanos, but nothing more impressive than this scene.
Finally, let’s talk about that ending. First, I was floored by how well-done it was. The Russos did an excellent job building just the perfect sense of dread from the second Thanos taunts Thor to the gut-wrenching death of Peter Parker, I couldn’t help but just, well, marvel at what I was seeing as each character faded into oblivion, with Thanos making good on his promise to wipe out half of all life in the universe. The sequence was just so well done and, in a large group, created one of the most bewildered and confused audiences I’ve ever been a part of. That’s impressive in its own right.
Of course, logically, one of the things that really stinks here is how toothless the whole thing will prove to be. We already know there’s another Spider-Man movie, and we already know there’s a Guardians 3, so of course a lot of this isn’t going to stick. I’m ok with this though, as the point of it was to set up what we’ve all been waiting for: a final showdown for the core Avengers group while cleaning up some of the characters that are a bit too world-breaking. Somehow, I actually find myself more interested in figuring out why some of the more peripheral characters didn’t ended up disappearing – what the hell is Rocket gonna do?! Either way, if “Infinity War’s” chief goal was to get me excited for that 2019 movie, well, it did its job and it did it well.