I cry in movies. A lot. There are movies that inevitability get me going. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is my favorite movie of all time and also the movie I watch whenever I go through a breakup. It never fails get me going. Her is also a big waterworks catalyst. Hell, even The Fast and the Furious 7 made me cry when that car crashed through four skyscrapers in a row. Sublime.
That said, never in my life did I think I was going to cry during a Marvel movie. But last night during Avengers: Infinity War, I did. Several times. Maybe it was just the collective building wave of catharsis for a decade’s worth of films that cascaded over me all at once. Maybe these movies have been written better than I’ve previously given them credit for.
Either way, I’ve cataloged every time I cried during Infinity War here so you can join me in my grief and sublime joy.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Loki. Tom Hiddleston brings a great deal to the role and I know plenty of people adore him, but I’ve never seen a lot redeeming qualities in the guy. He’s more than willing to feed members of his family to the dogs for just the slightest taste of power. He’s constantly scheming and only slightly interested in redemption.
That said, Thor: Ragnarok really did a lot for the character. By the end of that film, it really did seem like Loki was actually interested in trying to redeem himself, returning to Earth in order to help lead the Asgardian refugees. Then everything changed when Thanos attacked.
When Thanos started torturing Thor to get Loki to reveal the location of the Tessarect, I was sure Loki would find a way to take his leave and the stone along with him. Surprisingly though, he didn’t. He gave Thanos the stone in exchange for Thor’s life. Okay, I thought. Good for you, Loki.
And then he pulled out the dagger. And my eyes went wide. I whispered to myself, “you are not gonna do this. You are not that good.” But he was. And he did. And he died for it. And I was absolutely beside myself, tearing up for the biggest shit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There are a lot of people who want to kill Thanos, but only one of them will get to land the fatal blow. While Thor is clearly the most prepared to kill the mad titan throughout this movie, I’ve always been on Team Drax. I mean, killing Thanos and getting revenge for the deaths of his daughter and wife is basically is only motivation. And he’s so earnest about it that it’s hard not to respect his one wish in life, even if it’s likely a death wish.
So yeah, his unplanned assault on Thanos in the Collector’s lair was stupid. But I was pumped. This means so much to Drax and you can see it in his face as he rushes towards his mortal enemy. He feels vengeance coursing through his veins so strongly that you can’t help but feel it too. You want this for him. You need this burly sack of muscles to finally be able to relax. It’s going to happen. You can feel it. And. Then.
Drax stops midair and falls apart, disassembling into Picasso-esque cubes. Mantis turns to ribbons right behind him. And you SCREAM. “WHAT THE HELL.” Not only did they actually use the reality stone correctly, they used it to BRUTALIZE two of the most easily lovable secondary characters in the MCU.
It’s at that point you realize Infinity War sucks and all it wants to do is make you sad. And you’re still angry crying even when Thanos’ curse is undone and Drax and Mantis are put back together. You fling those tears at the Russos for causing this.
This is your fault, you whisper, hoping they can hear you from their swimming pool of cash.
Every time Ludwig Goransson’s “Wakanda” theme started playing during Infinity War, I was ready to throw my arms up in rapturous glee. Black Panther not only smashed records– it smashed my heart. It’s currently my favorite Marvel movie for its daring and bold visual choices, unparalleled supporting cast, and obviously the charm of T’Challa himself. Any chance we have to spend more time in the Afro-Futurist paradise with Okoye, M’Baku, and Shuri is a chance I’ll hold onto for dear life.
But the whole time, I was waiting for a moment. That moment. And when it finally came, with an army of Thanos’ minions at the gate, I started FREAKING out. As the camera zoomed in on Chadwick Boseman’s regal face I felt the tears welling up in my eyes.
And he did it. He crossed his arms. He screamed “Wakanda Forever.” The Dora Milaje and the Border tribe screamed it back. I screamed. I cried.
Vision’s Traumatizing Fate
Scarlet Witch’s and Vision’s romance in the MCU has been…rocky, to say the least. I don’t mind Elizabeth Olsen despite her uneven accent and think that Paul Bettany has done a surprisingly solid job of pretending to be a tin man for so many years. I mean…the make up alone is a test of endurance. But they haven’t really had a lot of time to build their relationship in the films and the actors have next to no chemistry.
That said, what happens to Vision at the end of Infinity War left traumatized for life. As Thanos lands on Earth, five Infinity Stones in hand, Vision begs his partner to kill him. Wanda refuses, but Vision keeps on begging. Their faces in this moment really sell the scene for me and for if only one time, I really do feel like these two love each other. And so it’s brutal when Wanda finally does what Vision asks, blasting her own lover to bits.
Of course, Thanos has the fucking Time Stone now, so we get to watch a ridiculously painful scene where Vision, having just sacrificed himself to save the universe, is put back together from nothing. And then, before he realizes what’s happening, Thanos rips the Mind Stone out of his head. And you see Vision, color draining from his body, collapse to the ground with a giant hole in his “skull.”
Just think about that. You begged the person whom you loved most in the world to kill you. And she did it, thinking it was the only way to save the universe. You died so she could live. But then, from nothing you return. Fully formed. Having failed. Realizing that for only the briefest moment before Grimmace reaches into your head and kills you again.
Tell me that doesn’t just fill you with too much existential dread. Oh, and yeah. As your partner cries over your toneless body, she turns to dust too because you both failed.
Okoye’s face as her king gets dusted
Okoye actress Danai Gurira is an international treasure and we need to protect her (well, she doesn’t really need protection but I’m just saying. She’s wonderful). Her face is so expressive. Just look at that still and tell me you don’t feel joy welling up from the center of your heart.
Her eyes speak volumes. And Infinity War knows that. She gives Bruce Banner in the Hulkbuster suit a side-eye early on that will be immortalized as a gif very soon. And then, at the end of Infinity War, Danai’s eyes ruin us.
As T’Challa wanders through the brutalized battleground inside Wakanda, he finds Okoye lying prone in the grass. The kind king we’ve come to idolize reaches towards her, telling her that “this is no place to die.” She looks towards him. She knows and we know that nobody says a line like that unless they’re about to have something horrible happen to them.
And yeah. It does. He turns to ash right in front of Okoye, arm still outstretched. And there’s this mix of confusion, horror, and sorrow on Okoye’s face that turned me into a huge wreck.
Lord knows Marvel can’t kill their cash cow, but god did Danai’s acting make me feel like they just did.
“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.”
This is the big one, guys. The one the Russos milked extra hard because they knew how much it would hurt. And oh man, it did.
Clocking in at an extra thirty seconds longer than any other scene where a major character fades to dust, as Tony Stark cradles Peter Parker in his arms you realize just how awful this is for the both of them. Tony has failed to protect someone he cares about again. He was Peter’s surrogate dad and can do nothing to stop him from turning to nothingness.
And god does Tom Holland sell this moment hard. Every movement. Every moment where his voice fills more and more with fear. As his quippy speech morphs into a painful whimper. As he tells Tony “I don’t want to go.” This is the moment. This is where even the most cynical viewer has to break.
Marvel finally found their perfect Spider-Man and then they killed him. It was even more messed up than you thought it could be.
Alex is the New Media Editor of the Comics Beat. He is also a freelance comics editor with previous credits at First Second, Top Cow, and Papercutz. He primarily covers DC Comics and Magic: the Gathering.