No spoilers here.
I don’t believe there are any.... don’t flip out if I missed something. It’s not the point of this post anyway.
This is my brief, 809 word understanding of the entire franchise, not a recap of what good guy beat up what bad guy etc. Hint: they beat each other up. And it was awesome!
But I digress...
Infinity War and the rest of the Marvel/Star Wars/Pixar/Mickey Mouse movies are totally fun. They’re also intensely calculated and thrilling theme park rides produced by the king of theme park, Walt Disney. And that’s what to expect. Not much else. But also not necessarily a bad thing in a movie. Any comparison between the quality of superhero films today with those made before 2007 is absurd. Ang Lee’s “Hulk” was slightly less engrossing than today’s “Black Panther.”
There are downsides to proven consistency, though. Disney also owns Star Wars. And as a life-long Star Wars fan, it’s unfortunate that their addiction to calculated theme park thrills and tomato scores and sales techniques are so difficult to break from. That mold has so far proven to hinder innovation, as seen in the last two episodes. But I digress.
We are in a new, sharper and more violent age now. A Game of Thrones Age. An age desiring entertainment, maybe even art, which satisfies our most deep, desperate and primal compulsions. Video games are killing simulations and our shock factor television is ultra-violent and our playboy softcore centerfold turns hardcore porn. Even our pg-13 blockbusters follow suit.
In this fantasy world, everything is hyper extended. Cartoon characters portrayed by adult artists, in front of green screens in front of cameras under circumstances no one can believe driven by totally unrealistic cliché motives. Violence, torture, suspense. Our addicted heart beats only race when shaken at the G-spot of violence we desire. And as we become desensitized we need more. Slaughtering aliens is fine now. Seeing their flesh more vividly alive doesn’t hold a candle to the More, for which we’re all collectively searching.
We crave to glimpse our fearful limits of annihilation.
North Korea and the US desire to pretend to find it necessary to have a nuclear war. We obsess over the Russian madman. We incentivize the best of our humanity to create devastating torture weapons. We reach for an itch to satisfy our collective frightened urge to experience a karmic nuclear devastation.
Holy shit. How did we get here from avengers?
These films are shining a light on our consciousness. It’s not articulating new feelings as art is designed to do. But because it makes so much damn money, they instead feed our insecure desires.
Disney, that drunken, money-making mouse, carefully serves calculated captivation to millions and millions of people. All of those people are paying for specific tailor-made subject matter. And in Avengers, that subject matter is the annihilation of half of the human population.
We are toying with these ideas. Longing for them.
And perhaps (in contrast to this Stark tone) this is a healing process. Perhaps this is how we work those urges out. Perhaps we kill in video games because we’ve killed for millions of years and our evolution is still filled with those intense impulses which have nowhere to go. Maybe it’s collective therapy so we don’t have to feel like we have to do it in real life. Maybe hardcore porn is there because, perhaps, sex wasn’t always nice. Maybe bdsm is a controlled and safe environment alleviating our risk from secret pleasurable desires and fears to be tortured and to torture others. Maybe our tv watching. Our news on nuclear Russia. And North Korea. And electing a fascinating and capricious reality show host with nuclear codes. Is all a part of our obsessive fear of disappearing one day. Maybe if we find ways to actively engage with those fears, we’ll find a way to look their results in the face and as we see the reality of horror we can quickly snap our fingers and start time over again. To come so close and satisfy an urge within us. To see it. To know it’s not just in our heads. And then we can move on.
And so we have movies. Like Infinity War. Hyper satisfying adrenaline films depicting absolute extinction of life in the universe.
This is just the basic plot, not a spoiler. I won’t say what happens at the end. Because I hate spoilers.
It probably could be considered a successful film. Its outrageous success may be us healing. Acknowledging our most frightening urges, looking at them, and then starting over. Allowing the dust of some of those fears to gently drift away. And then we start again. The same recurring fears. On a continued cycle. Marching to Infinity.