The Hidden Meaning in Avengers: Infinity War – Earthling Cinema
What if an alien in the future stumbled upon the Russo brother’s Avengers: Infinity Wars? Welcome to Earthling Cinema, where we examine the last remaining artifacts of a once-proud culture and try to understand what human lives were like before their planet was destroyed. I’m your host, Garyx Wormuloid.
This week’s film:
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Production Co: Marvel Studios
Written by: AJ Unitas and Thomas Ambrosini
Directed by: Jared Bauer
Analysis by: Kevin Winzer
Starring: Mark Schroeder (https://twitter.com/mark_schroeder)
Edited by: Ryan Hailey (http://www.ryanhaileydotcom.com/)
Original Music by: David Krystal (http://www.davidkrystalmusic.com)
Opening Animation by: Danny Rapaport
Produced by: Jacob S. Salamon and Emily Dunbar
Hidden Meaning in Avengers: Infinity War – Earthling Cinema
Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Avengers: Infinity War, the crossover event that defined a generation, until it was usurped by the Bridget Jones Extended Universe.
The film is a squeakwell, so all your favorites are back: Spider-Man, Thor, Elon Musk, Shrek, Girl Shrek, Cat Man, this guy — they’re all back.
Infinity War follows Thanos, brother of Grimace, who loves collecting rocks. He loves them so much he straight-up murders Heimdall and Heimdall’s friend, while Shrek hightails it back to the swamp, aka Earth.
He conveniently lands in Dr. Strange’s bachelor dojo, and tells them, “winter is coming.” And it does: in the form of Thanos’s kid brothers. The Avengers protect Strange’s bling, and take the fight to space. The Final Frontier – for humans. Pfft!
In Scotland, for some reason, Wanda and Cosmo get ambushed. But Cap’n America, Black Widow, and Black Man use their karate powers to sufficient effect. Cosmo suggests they cut the stone out of his head, so they head to Africa for a little medical tourism.
In space, the Galaxy Friends assault Thor in a hit and run. And with all their combined might… they decide to split up. Half the crew tries to kill Thanos, but he’s figured out their weakness: bubbles. Unlike my weakness, which is quaaludes. He kidnaps Lady Shrek, while Thor and the other guys do arts and crafts with Tyrion Longister.
Spiderman and Elon flash freeze Voldemort, and then crash land at Thanos’ ranch, along with these guys. They concoct a plan to get back Thanos’s oven mitten, while Strange has a math seizure.
Lady Shrek and Shrek Sr. meet Sunburned Guy, who tells him he’s gotta pawn his daughter for some rock. Over in Africa, the other kids unleash their army, which they’ve just decided to use now.
Back on Titan, Thanos returns to make sure he didn’t leave the oven on, when he’s jumped. The Space-X Team nearly take off his mitt, but Quill finds out his g-f has been m-u-r-d…murdered, that’s faster. Their plan goes to crap, Elon gets knifed, and Strange gives up his chain.
Thor realizes he hasn’t been doing anything for half the movie, and deus axe machinas into the battle. Since the wifi is terrible, Wanda is forced to pop Cosmo’s zit, but Thanos arrives and rewinds everything, because be kind, rewind, man. And with all the stones, he snaps his fingers to that Queen diddy: bada-bum-bum-bum… a-fat, fat-bottomed girls.
Avengers: Infinity War explores what happens when power is allowed to grow unchecked, like that thing on your back I’ve meaning to ask you about, Karen. Thanos possesses many marks of power-obsessed medieval kings, such as a La-Z-boy — “I always hated that chair.” — lackeys who talk weird, — “No other being has ever had the might, nay, the nobility, to wield not one, but two, infinity stones.” — and a jeweled gauntlet like the King of Pop, Mikhail Jackson. He also acts in accordance with the principle of Noblesse Oblige, the idea that nobility is duty-bound to perform certain social responsibilities – like genocide. That ain’t Calculus. And I should know — I failed it. Twice.
This approach echoes sentiments from English scholar, Thomas Malthus-izar Slytherin, in his Essay on the Principles of Human Population. Malthus-izar believed that population could be contained through two methods — proactive checks that increase mortality rates, and preventative checks that decrease birth rates, such as condoms and birkenstocks. But like any good movie villain, Thanos chooses the option that leads to more toy sales. “Thanos! He’s a plague, Tony. He invades planets, he takes what he wants, he wipes out half the population.”
In doing so, Thanos employs the ol’ utilitarian argument that moral choices maximize happiness for the maximum amount of people. By this logic, murdering half the population is preferable to the whole population killing itself. “Going to bed hungry, scrounging for scraps —your planet was on the brink of collapse. I’m the one who stopped that. You know what’s happened since then? The children born have known nothing but full bellies and clear skies, it’s a paradise.” Although, he could make the universe twice as big… screw it.
Ultimately, the film criticizes both Thanos’s unchecked might and his utilitarian ideals, but not his weird tunic and boot combo. His quest for power forces him to choose between ambition and familia. “The hardest choices require the strongest wills.” While he achieves his goal, it costs him everything he holds dear. Namely: his daughter who’s tried to murder him on multiple occasions.
For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. And now a word from my weird intern…