Avengers: Infinity War has officially become the biggest superhero film in history, with topping the $1.5 billion mark so far (thanks to it opening in China this week). But it’s not just a superhero slugfest of epic proportions or a massive video game come to life. There’s more than meets the eye to Avengers: Infinity War than just fast-paced quips and explosive action.

There are plenty of carefully planned details in Avengers: Infinity War, ranging from quietly set up story beats to visual callbacks, references to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and nods to absentees or seeming plot holes. And that’s not even counting the comic book references!

So what should you look out for in this massive Marvel team-up of superheroes as they battle an intergalactic threat that’s intent on murdering half the universe? Let The Popping Post’s biggest nerd tell you what you need to look out for in your second (or third or fourth or fifth) viewing of Avengers: Infinity War.

Oh, and, there will be spoilers.

1.  Spider-Man’s strength level

Ever since his introduction, Spider-Man has been consistently portrayed as one of the strongest superheroes after Thor and Hulk – despite the fact that he’s a lot smaller than most of the other superheroes. He catches a punch from Winter Soldier’s bionic arm in Captain America: Civil War and holds together a ship that’s falling apart in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

So it’s no surprise that he easily blocks Cull Obsidian’s blow (the big guy), when Iron Man himself is struggling with the baddie.

Later on, when Spider-Man is trying to save Doctor Strange from being sucked up  by a tractor beam into a spaceship, he grabs onto a nearby lamppost as an anchor. However, the tractor beam and Spider-Man are both so strong that he ends up yanking up the lamppost as he gets sucked in anyway.

He doesn’t seem to break a sweat in either case – which is what you’d expect from someone who is strong enough to hold a ship together, right?

 

2. Iron Man has an incredible amount of respect for Captain America

Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Avengers: Infinity War. Credit: Avengers Facebook Page

Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Avengers: Infinity War. Credit: Avengers Facebook Page

In the beginning of the movie, Iron Man takes out a lousy, old-fashioned flip phone and contemplates calling Captain America on it, which made headlines when a lazy Kiss92 deejay asked Joe Russo about it and was accused of giving away the movie plotline before Avengers: Infinity War was released.

Nope. It’s the flip phone that Captain America sent to Iron Man at the end of Captain America: Civil War. Although yes, Iron Man should have just ripped the number and stored it on his own computer database, the fact that he didn’t shows how much respect he has for Captain America. After all, their previous clash was about values – and Iron Man is respecting Captain America’s values (and privacy) by not taking the phone number. Also, it’s got to be really inconvenient for Iron Man to be doing this.

Think about it – Iron Man has virtually every piece of data stored in his computer systems. He’s also been carrying the phone around on him all the time (and we can tell that Iron Man’s the type who likes to travel light, given his nanotech armour in the film). Why would he carry something that, to him, would be a bulky, awkward thing to have in his pockets all the time – unless he really respects Captain America?

3. Black Widow and Proxima Midnight’s rivalry

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers: Infinity War. Credit: Avengers Facebook Page

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers: Infinity War. Credit: Avengers Facebook Page

In the first encounter between Black Widow (plus Captain America, Falcon, Vision, and Scarlet Witch) and Proxima Midnight [Thanos’s female lackey] (plus Corvus Glaive), they defeat Thanos’s two henchmen fairly easily, leaving Corvus Glaive wounded. They show mercy to the villains, who escape. But not without the following exchange.

Black Widow: “We don’t want to kill you, but we will.”

Proxima Midnight: “You’ll never get the chance again.”

Guess what? She’s wrong. In the final battle at Wakanda, Black Widow fights Proxima Midnight and ends up being last person to battle her before the villainess is shredded into bloody blue pieces by a marauding vehicle.

It gives poetic closure to their first meeting.

 

4. Iron Man’s life and death arc

Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Wong, and Bruce Banner. Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Wong, and Bruce Banner. Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

From a story perspective, it’s really important to understand that one of Iron Man’s desires is to sire a child of his own. His conversation with Pepper Potts at the beginning reveals this.

What Iron Man doesn’t quite realise is that he already has a son of his own, in the form of Spider-Man. The way he takes care of (and disciplines) him on Ebony Maw’s spaceship shows us how Iron Man would behave as a father. Most importantly, he’s afraid that Spider-Man would die – because it’d be like his own son dying.

So in the conclusion, when Thanos has murdered half the universe and the victims are turning to ash, it’s touching that Iron Man has a moment with Spider-Man before the latter crumbles into dust. It’s not just Spider-Man dying – it’s Iron Man confronting his worst fear, to have his son perish in front of him.

Iron Man’s first scene in the film is about new life – but his last scene is about death. It gives a neat sense of closure to Iron Man’s journey.

 

5. War Machine is walking perfectly with his exoskeletal leg braces

War Machine (with a leg brace), Captain America and Black Widow. Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

War Machine (with a leg brace), Captain America and Black Widow. Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

In Captain America: Civil War, the strife between the heroes ends when a major tragedy results – War Machine is hit by a stray blast that leaves him paralysed.

But then, since Don Cheadle didn’t annoy Marvel the way Terrence Howard (the actor who portrayed the character originally) did, he’s not going to be so unceremoniously removed from the franchise.

So he’s back in Avengers: Infinity War – sporting the exoskeletal leg brace that he was learning how to use in Captain America: Civil War (in that ending scene with Stan Lee’s cameo). While it looked like he would be limping forever with the brace after Captain America: Civil War, it looks like he’s completely mastered it here!

 

6. Captain America looks like a dishevelled war veteran – because he IS

Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in Avengers: Infinity War. Credit: Avengers Facebook Page

Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in Avengers: Infinity War. Credit: Avengers Facebook Page

Captain America’s bearded look has been the subject of debate, because it makes him look like a grumpy war veteran rather than the clean-cut soldier that we’ve all been used to seeing.

But that is the whole point of the look.

Because Captain America, now in exile and shield-less, IS a war veteran.

It’s a subtle but interesting character design for Captain America, who is never called as such in the film (he’s just referred to as the Captain).

 

7. Thor’s eyes are different colours

Eyes? Yes, this is a spoiler, he gets a new eye in the film. But of course, since it’s a different eye (as opposed to his eye growing back), his eyes are different colours.

There is a term for this – heterochromia – because there are real superhumans who have different coloured eyes, although Thor is not one of them.

It can be most clearly seen in Thor’s fight with Thanos at the end, when there’s a close-up of the now two-eyed Thor.

 

8. The heroes accurately forecast the villains’ plan of attack on Wakanda

Okoye (Danai Gurira), Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson) and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

Okoye (Danai Gurira), Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson) and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

In the final battle, a contrived circumstance leads to the heroes opening up Wakanda’s citywide forcefield so that they can fight the alien hordes. To be specific, it’s stated that the rampaging army is circling around the forcefield, where there’s an opening/weak spot at the back. To lead the mindless soldiers back to the front, Black Panther opens the forcefield, leading to an all-out melee fray.

But… that’s exactly what Corvus Glaive does in the film. He ambushes Shuri and Vision alone, presumably by sneaking through said opening. So if you’re wondering how he suddenly pops up, that’s what happens.

 

9. Thanos’ characterisation

Thanos (Josh Brolin). Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

Thanos (Josh Brolin). Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

Although Thanos is a grumpy giant purple grape (with a lot less depth, IMHO, than his portrayal in the comics) with takes himself too seriously, his characterisation is fairly consistent.

Namely, how he gets what he wants by torturing the loved ones of his victims. Look at the opening scene, where he tortures Thor to get Loki to reveal the Tesseract (they are brothers). Or how he tortures Nebula to get Gamora to reveal the location of the Soul Stone (they are sisters).

So it’s fitting that, in order for him to acquire the Soul Stone – he himself is tortured because of a loved one. And as a result, he has to sacrifice his daughter (a loved one) to gain ultimate power.

 

10. Doctor Strange’s request to spare Iron Man’s life

Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Drax (Dave Bautista), Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Drax (Dave Bautista), Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Credit: Marvel Studios 2018

In the fight against Thanos, we’re all momentarily worried that this is when Iron Man bites it – because Thanos stabs the helpless hero in the stomach after a brutal fight.

However, Doctor Strange makes a deal – spare Iron Man’s life in exchange for the Time Stone. Thanos leaves Iron Man alone, takes the Time Stone, then goes on his merry way to acquire godhood.

But it would appear that this request to spare Iron Man’s life may have gone far beyond just that one fight. When Thanos wipes out half the universe later, everyone he fought on Titan (Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Star Lord, Drax, Mantis) dies – except Iron Man. It would appear that he’s honoured Doctor Strange’s promise to its fullest extent.

Which may mean that he would be forbidden to kill Iron Man as a result of this promise. We’re pretty sure this will come into play in the next movie. And we’re calling it now.

Thanos can’t kill Iron Man because that’s how he got the Time Stone, and that will be his undoing.

 

11. Ant-Man and Hawkeye are under house arrest

Scott Lang (Ant-Man) and Clint Barton (Hawkeye) are under house arrest, as mentioned in a conversation earlier in the film. That’s why they’re not around in the film.

12. Groot calls Rocket “dad” just before turning into ash

In one of the final scenes where half of the good guys turn into dust, teenage Groot shouts one final “I am Groot” before he too, vanishes. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has revealed on Twitter that those words are to be translated into “Dad”. While Gunn didn’t mention who Groot was addressing, fans believe that it would make perfect sense that it was meant for Rocket. If you remember, Rocket was the one who tearfully saved a cutting from old Groot when he blew himself up to save his friends in the first movie. Rocket has been a father figure to baby Groot since that cutting sprouted leaves in a plant pot.

Avengers: Infinity War. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Avengers: Infinity War. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The question isn’t whether you’ll watch Avengers: Infinity War. It’s about how many times you need to watch it! The film already looks magnificent in regular theatres – so imagine how they’d look in 3D, on GVmax, or screened with the latest Barco laser projectors at GV Paya Lebar? Since it’s a two-and-a-half hour film, you might also want to pamper your bottoms (and give your lumbar some added support) with Duo Deluxe seats instead. Or why not enjoy the greatest movie of 2018 with the greatest cinematic experience possible – Gold Class seats?

The more comfortable you are, the more details you’ll catch. Greater comfort will lead to sharper eyes, and you might even have spotted some details that everyone else missed (then you can go viral when you point it out).

Don’t just watch Avengers: Infinity War – make sure you savour it as an experience.

 

 

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Credits: Golden Village Cinemas, Avengers Facebook Page, Marvel Studios, IndieWire

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