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That is one of the most famous catchphrases of the multi-character Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Incredible Hulk is a massive green giant filled with inhuman strength–inducing anger. Anger is his superpower. With it, he does smash. Therefore, a really good way to demonstrate an opponent’s strength is to show him or her smashing the Hulk.
Thanos is a creature known for his destructive world-view. In previous movie incarnations of the character, his rage and venom precede him, though largely, he just sat on high in his stony throne in a stark darkness. In this movie, Thanos climbs from his chilling perch and moves throughout space demonstrating that rage in the interest of one goal.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, “Infinity War” reconnects most of the beloved gods and heroes responsible for saving multi-worlds over and again. This time, they band in the interest of keeping Thanos from acquiring the six infinity stones and thus ultimate supremacy.
Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, “Avengers: Infinity War,” is a winding tale about the strong will. It is the kind of focus created by trauma and heartache. Thanos will never return to the pain of his childhood and he will save the entire universe from knowing such hurt.
The goal: balance.
A noble cause. The ecosystem wants to function at stasis. Gurus teach ways to find balance in hectic everyday lives. Babies become precious spectacles as they fight to find it on their feet.
But what about the balance that man cannot comprehend? Though Thanos is a Titan, a god-like creature, his will forces him into the realm of deity, one to fear and perhaps worship. A deity with the authority to decide who lives and who does not.
Death works as salvation. Because of it, “Infinity War” can be seen as a critique on the Abrahamic religions, particularly the Christian idea of the rapture, most pointedly, a question about a god with the will to save some, but not others.
From the beginning, no punches are pulled. The rug of expectation is immediately yanked from under the audience’s feet. The movie unfolds and nausea bubbles in the tummy. What is happening?
The excitement is there. The action is there. The magic. The costumes. The cool banter. And each hero gets his or her moment in the spotlight. Some do outshine others. Like Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy team. Those are the funniest and most emotional scenes.
With all hands on deck and every hero making an appearance, Thanos, portrayed by Josh Brolin, is the central character. He ties everyone together and his will drives the story. There may be worry that an actor claims a career because of their parents when they have famous actor parents, but Josh Brolin proves to be his own man.
Humanizing comes in the form of understanding and empathy for this terror. It takes a skilled performer to add deep drama to something that’s really nothing more than a live-action movie cartoon and give substance and dimension to a creature thought to be purely evil.
Yet, “Avengers: Infinity War” is beyond frustrating. It is infuriating. And it is so good. The Avengers creative team has taken a huge risk and it pays off. By the end, the emotional takeaway is so beyond previous experiences, there’s no choice but to be completely in. When is the next one?