In “Avengers: Infinity War,” Marvel Gives Up On Optimism
Entertainment

In “Avengers: Infinity War,” Marvel Gives Up On Optimism

Here there be spoilers! And economic analysis!

75
In “Avengers: Infinity War,” Marvel Gives Up On Optimism
Marvel Studios

There are a number of things I don’t like about Avengers: Infinity War. Here’s one of them.

The villain, Thanos, gets many opportunities to explain what he wants and why he’s doing what he’s doing. Thanos believes that there aren’t enough resources to go around in the universe, and so he is out to end suffering by killing half of the universe at random. At first, he pursued this goal with military invasions. Now he’s decided to finish the job more quickly by collecting all of the infinity stones and thereby gaining the power to murder half the universe with just a snap of his fingers. Thanos honestly believes that the surviving half of the universe will thank him for this.

Now I’m all for stories with villains who think they’re doing the right thing. I’m all for thought-provoking alternative solutions to the world’s problems, and for moral grey areas.

But there is nothing thought-provoking about Infinity War, because at no point does anyone put any thought into countering Thanos’s argument. The film shows scene after scene of Thanos politely and calmly explaining himself, and at times even crying about how much he’s suffered on his mission to murder billions of people.

In a movie, especially one with so many characters, every scene counts. With under three hours at your disposal, what you choose to devote minutes to matters.

The result of Infinity War spending so much time on Thanos, and allowing Thanos’s arguments to go unquestioned, is the feeling that we should agree with Thanos that genocide is the answer to lack of resources.

There is one scene – one scene – in which a character tells Thanos he is wrong. Gamora says that she and her people were happy on their world before Thanos killed half of them. But this argument is given zero credibility. Gamora says it in the middle of a rant about how much she hated living with Thanos (a scene that is framed like an immature child throwing a tantrum at her father, instead of a victim standing up to her abuser – but that’s a rant for another day). And Thanos immediately tells Gamora that she’s wrong, and the scene leaves it at that. The “genocide is the answer” argument is allowed to stand, presented as the “mature” response to the universe’s problems.

And that is what makes me mad: Infinity War presents the thesis that the most rational response to hunger and poverty is mass genocide.

Maybe I wouldn’t be as mad if this film was just talking about Earth. This is an argument that people in reality make – that overpopulation is to blame for suffering, that there aren’t enough resources on Earth to go around. We are draining our planet, and it’s easy to blame numbers.

But this isn’t about just Earth. It’s about the entire universe.

Infinity War would have me believe that no one in the entire universe – and this is the Marvel universe, where there are thousands of planets and sentient species, where brilliant people create new technology and elements to make the world a better place, where there is literally magic that can completely alter reality no one in this universe has figured out sustainable living.

Infinity War’s screenwriters have called this film “mature,” quoted here. They have said that this movie is the “culmination,” what every Marvel Studios movie before this one has been building up to over the past almost-twenty films, quoted here.

But none of the people that Marvel Studios has spent twenty movies showing are brilliant, caring problem-solvers ever once says, “Wait – one seventh of the world uses half of the world’s resources! There IS enough to go around!” or “The answer to overpopulation isn’t murder, you jerk, it’s making sure people survive infancy!”

(Please watch the Hans Rosling TedTalks that discuss those statements in more detail. They’re both barely ten minutes long. The resource distribution one is here and the overpopulation one is here.)

Instead, these “brilliant” heroes are made to look absolutely pathetic and thoughtless in the face of the Thanos, whose point of view is presented as both sympathetic and rational, when there is nothing close to morally grey about it and there are multiple more rational responses.

Before the movie began, the theatre played a preview for Deadpool 2. At one point, Deadpool quips, “So dark. You sure you’re not from the DC universe?”

Until now, Marvel Studios’ defining factor from other superhero franchises has been its optimism, its repeated statements that smart people working together will overcome obstacles. Infinity War throws that optimism and faith in intelligence and camaraderie away, in the name of “maturity.” It’s hard for me to see this movie as the story that every other movie has been building up to when its message is the antithesis of the message of every other Marvel movie. And I flat-out can’t see genocide as morally grey.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.

@raincrybeauty

Keep Reading... Show less
YouTube

Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any poor college student, a little kick of caffeine for less than a dollar has always sounded great to me. So, naturally, AriZona Iced Tea has been a go-to for as long as I can remember.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Just Because You're Asked To Be In A Wedding, Doesn't Always Mean You Should Say Yes

If you can't invest time, money, and YOURSELF, maybe say no to the offer for the bride's sake!

Being in a wedding is a really big commitment. I personally think if you've never been in one before, you don't understand the time, money, and energy that goes into being a part of it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

If you're anything like me, you're probably anxious about going back to college. The uncertainty of nearly everything is stressful and makes it difficult to prepare for going back to campus. Take it one step at a time and remain calm! If nothing else, take a look at this list of six essentials for living on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic! You got this!

Keep Reading... Show less

First, let's talk about some reasons people cheat in relationships in the first place:

1. They have low self-esteem.

Are you feeling like you are not good enough? Do you feel like you are not attractive enough? Feeling as if you are not worth the love can lead to self-sabotage.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments