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Spectrum » Entertainment

Posted at: May 13, 2018, 2:34 AM; last updated: May 13, 2018, 2:47 AM (IST)

Simply MARVELous

Here’s a lowdown on what makes Avengers: Infinity War the biggest worldwide film opening
Simply MARVELous
it figures: Avengers: Infinity War is the fastest movie ever to hit $1 billion

Priyanka Singh

There’s magic, there’s Marvel, there’s Marvel Magic. And then, a wondrous shebang of superheroes. Marvel has you spoilt for choice — Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Panther, Thor, Black Widow, Black Ant, and more. Take your pick; again, there needn’t be just one.

Hardcore fans have been waiting for Infinity War for nearly a decade of the release of Iron Man (2008). The long wait culminates in Infinity War, ending with Black Panther (early 2018). The wait also explains the astonishing figures: In India, the latest from the Marvel stable has had the highest weekend opening, mopping up Rs 94 crore. Worldwide, it hit the $1 billion mark in a record 11 days, with Forbes declaring it the ‘fastest-grossing global grosser in history’. What makes this Avengers film exceptional? 

Dark, dark world

It is acknowledged by fans as ‘dark’; as dark as the DC Universe (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc.) The superheroes are hopelessly  powerless against the formidable Thanos (Josh Brolin), who has no back history in films, barring a glimpse cameo. (Perhaps to make up for it, Marvel will be coming out with a novel exclusively on him: Thanos — Titan Consumed.)

The collective might of the Avengers — Spiderman is, finally, christened an Avenger, albeit reluctantly, by Iron Man — and the Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord, Mantis, Drax, Rocket, Groot) are unable to take on the indefatigable Thanos.

Opens with the villain

Infinity War opens with the greatest evil the Avengers have hitherto faced: a departure since villains in Marvel films are introduced as the film progresses. The opening scene sets the pace, unsettling fans. This time the heroes are up against the worst ever yet.

Evil Triumphs

The superheroes lose — unheard, unseen in the history of superhero-dom. No victory of good over evil here. Thanos smashes the living force out of each one of them. After the initial humiliating drubbing, Hulk (Thanos makes mush of Hulk) refuses to emerge out of Bruce Banner in the rest of the film, even in the ‘last, last second’ when he is needed the most.

Battered and bruised, mocked and humiliated (‘In time you will know what it’s like to lose’, bellows Thanos), they are still heroes for their spirited give-it-your-all fight till their last. For fans, it is not a shameful defeat.

STAND NO CHANCE

The heroes collaborate, but their special powers are no match to Thanos, who determinedly collects all six Infinity Stones — each representing a dimension: Space, Power, Reality, Mind, Time, Soul — making him unbeatable; and allowing him to — alas — demolish them, and half of humanity, with a snap of his finger. What is his beef? Thanos believes only he has the will and strength to restore ‘balance’ in the universe. ‘There are too many mouths to feed and not enough resources to go around’. Altruistic, he would have him believe of himself: the one who hopes to preserve humanity by randomly wiping out most of it.

The fans are constantly on the edge: who goes next. To enjoy the film, one needn’t be a fan, or have read Marvel comics, or seen any, or all, of the 18 films in the series. One can still enjoy the generic ‘Marvel humour’, the storyline, the spectacular visual effects that take the film to another level. The nuances, however, will be lost since some threads will hang lose. Let’s say it helps to be a fan. The experience is that much more enjoyable; the anguish and fear that much more real.

Fairytales may lose appeal in the real world, but superheroes grow taller in imagination and belief, embodying the rare and admirable qualities in a human — incorruptible, selfless, bravest of brave, unflinching goodness....

While first-timers would head towards the exit as the credits roll, the fans stay put, eagerly and patiently, as a thousand names roll by, awaiting the post-credit scene. That is where the cue is: what next! Make way for a new hero: Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers). And Marvel fans are sold. There is always more coming. Perhaps the heroes will be resurrected? Another Marvel thing: endless possibilities, endless fan theories.

Be a Marvel fan, or a DC buff. Even better, be both.


The 18-film prelude

Iron Man

Iron Man 2

Thor

Captain America: The First Avenger

The Incredible Hulk

The Avengers

Iron Man 3

Thor: The Dark World

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Guardians of the Galaxy

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Ant-Man

Captain America: Civil War

Doctor Strange

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Thor: Ragnarok

Black Panther

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