Marvel’s Infinity War promotes dangerous ideas to young audience members through the movie’s main villain, Thanos.
The newest superhero movie from Marvel, Infinity War, is an ambitious culmination of a 20-film franchise, and it was pulled off surprisingly well. The pacing is not great but serviceable, and the movie never felt too rushed. All of the heroes get their moment and having that many main characters in one movie and still feeling as focused as I did is an astonishing accomplishment by the Russo brothers. Yet there is one glaring flaw in the film that keeps me and a large group from enjoying it: the mad titan himself, Thanos.
Thanos is the main villain of the film, and the protagonist. His goal is to collect all six infinity stones, thus giving him the power to kill half of the universe in one snap. He believes that once he’s done this, the universe will be saved from the population crisis that will come. Now the crux comes when we look at the scene leading up to Thanos getting the soul stone. He forces Gamora, his ‘adopted’ daughter, to tell him where the stone is, and then proceeds to force her to accompany him to said place. When they get there it’s revealed that he needs to sacrifice the thing he loves most to get the stone. He then sacrifices Gamora in an emotional scene that is genuinely tragic, revealing to the audience the lengths Thanos is willing to go to in order to accomplish his goal.
The problem rises when we look deeper at the scene’s themes and ideas. It’s established in Guardians of the Galaxy that Thanos has beaten and abused Gamora her entire life, which makes sense—Thanos is the bad guy after all. Yet when he sacrifices her, he shows real pain and sadness over the death of his daughter. On the surface this is fine, but think about it like this: imagine there is a young boy in the audience whose parents abuse them.
The idea they could get from this is “Abuse = Love.”Now some may argue that Thanos is the bad guy so it shows that it’s wrong to abuse those who you love, and they are right, but it is still a very dangerous theme to play with in a kids’ superhero movie. I’d urge the Russo brothers to be more careful for the coming Infinity War sequel.