SPOILERS FOR INFINITY WAR FOR REAL YOU GUYS THIS IS NOT A JOKE.
There is a better than not chance that you saw Avengers: Infinity War at some point over the weekend because EVERYONE saw Avengers: Infinity War over the weekend. And EVERYONE cried.
Going into Infinity War, there is a pretty safe chance that you knew what to expect. There would be jokes, there would be spectacle, and we would cry bitter tears over our fallen heroes Iron Man and Captain America. And then that ending happened. Nearly everyone outside of the original saviors of New York City turned to ash at the snap of Thanos’s bejeweled fingers. Now, before everyone comes at me with a “Well, in the comics,” yes. I understand. You got your Ph.D in Marvel. But for many, many fans, Bucky’s confused “… Steve?” was a totally unexpected gut punch. Marvel zigged when we fully expected them to zag, and that is no small task to pull off.
The Russo Brothers spoke with Variety about the devastating ending (Can it even be called an ending? Or is it rather a year-long intermission?) and their dedication to “huge, game-changing events at the end of their movies.” Joe Russo explained:
“We do our best work when we follow our instincts and tell the story we want to tell. We’ve had one or two experiences early in our careers where we didn’t do that and we learned a very hard lesson: When you try to predict what an audience wants, you’re going to make mush. When you commit to the story you want to tell, it tends to have a much more resonant impact on the audience … The audience can tell you they love chocolate ice cream, but if you give it to them every day, they’re going to get sick of it real fast. You’ve got to stay ahead of them.”
I guess that’s fair. Do we really need more fanservice beyond Cap’s incredible beard and Rocket’s determination to steal Bucky’s arm? Anthony Russo continued, emphasizing the need for stakes that feel real.
“Unless you have real stakes, you’re sort of limited in terms of the emotional impact a story can have on you. You have to go to very difficult places for the stakes to feel real, for the characters to feel like they have something to lose, for the audience to feel like they have something at risk. What we’re looking for in storytelling or art is emotional catharsis. And that’s not simply getting what you want. It’s getting an emotional experience that makes you feel and respond to it and energizes you on some level.
I will say this: There is a real commitment on our end to the stakes.”
COOL. Be it pocket universe, Time Stone, or Captain Marvel (or some combination of all three), it is likely that many of the disintegration deaths will be reversed, but surely the price will be a heavy one. Maybe the Avengers will trade lives after all.