Avengers: Infinity War ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

There's a whole lot of weird nonsense here, but by far the weirdest for me is the film's perspective on love and its impact calculus derived therefrom.

Both Thanos and Peter Quill love Gamora. With Peter it's obvious, and while you could certainly dispute that Thanos's feelings for Gamora aren't reciprocated, he's clearly affected by her death and his own actions in such a way that we're led to believe he loves her, even if that love is toxic & one-sided.

So how do these characters act in the face of their love? Thanos acts in spite of it, betraying his love in the name of his greater political project (even if that project itself is also itself toxic)—he kills her to get the Soul Stone. Quill, on the other hand, selfishly betrays his political project in the name of his love—he knocks Thanos out of Mantis's control when he learns of Gamora's death.

Who is really worse here? Who has taken a more ethical act with regard to their love? The one who sacrifices his personal feelings to save the world (even if only in his twisted vision of it), or the one who forgets the world in a moment of vengeful rage (especially when there was nothing he could do)?

Is this Peter Quill's origin story as a supervillain? I'm not saying what he did is completely incomprehensible—we're all momentarily blinded by own emotions at times. But doesn't he respond the way a villain would? "You took my love away, so now everybody has to die"?

To be honest, I don't think either of them are Doing Good. As much as I'm trying to take a more nuanced look at his motivation, obviously Thanos is actually evil (true heroes find ways around human sacrifice to achieve their goals), but Quill definitely has a lot to atone for as well.

2018

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