Warning: Spoilers follow for The Avengers: Infinity War.
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I thought The Avengers: Infinity War was a great movie, and as I was watching it, I felt the directors, writers and Marvel went above-and-beyond expectations in that they didn’t really leave any plot holes; however, on more than one occasion the following plot hole or “criticism” has come up.
Some online reviews and articles are stating that a big plot hole in The Avengers: Infinity War is the fact that Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to kill off half the universe instead of fixing things. Thanos’ basic argument is that overpopulation will destroy a “finite” universe, which caused the destruction of his own world of Titan, so he is on a quest to “save” the universe by eliminating half the population. In the movie, he offers proof his way works in that now Gamora’s own homeworld is a paradise.
The online plot hole argument states that with the power of the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos should have used the Infinity Stones to somehow improve the universe so overpopulation isn’t a problem.
I don’t agree with the plot hole theory at at all, and my rebuttal would be quite simply that Thanos isn’t a good guy.
While true, Thanos may think he is doing something good – and is the only one willing to do it – it could be argued that true evil comes from those that think they are doing good, when they are actually doing just the opposite. Obviously comparisons to Hitler and Stalin could be made. While The Avengers: Infinity War didn’t show Thanos quite on the level of Hitler (and by that I mean a “straight up” evil and bad guy), I have no doubt that Thanos is of the same caliber of those mad men.
What The Avengers: Infinity War brilliantly did was to “humanize” Thanos and make the audience feel compassion toward the “Great Titan.” Thanos was on a quest to save the universe, one in which he thought was justified in doing so by any means necessary. The MCU Thanos was quite different than the “Mad Titan” comic book fans are accustomed to which sees Thanos worshipping the cosmic abstract entity, Death. The MCU Thanos is shown crying and actually caring for those under him, and therein I think lies the key to understanding the MCU Thanos.
Watching the movie a second time last night, I noticed a few things about Thanos. He demanded loyalty, he cared for Gamora, even Nebula, and even the Black Order. I believe on more than once occasion, Thanos mentioned he had lost a lot on the day. What Thanos didn’t feel bad about was killing off of the various populations, and he had zero qualms about killing others himself, such as Loki, Heimdall, attempting to kill the Hulk and Stark, etc. Going back to the Hitler and Stalin comparison, I’m sure they cared for people close to them as well, but at the same time had zero reservations in going about completing their dastardly tasks.
A larger factor, however, and one that offers insight into who the MCU Thanos truly is and what he is really about is not who he killed–but who he didn’t kill. We know Thanos didn’t kill Gamora when she was young, Nebula, the Black Order, but who else? Star-Lord. On two occasions, Thanos could have killed Star-Lord, but instead chose not to. Why? Because Thanos doesn’t kill the strong. Thanos tells Star-Lord he likes him after Star-Lord attempts to kill Gamora. It’s the same reason that Thanos saved the young Gamora as he felt she was strong. Further proof of Thanos’ “the strong survive” mentality happens near the last scene when Thanos speaks to Scarlet Witch–who just killed the Vision. Thanos rubs the hair of Scarlet Witch, empathizes with her and can relate to her. He doesn’t kill her, because Scarlet Witch was doing what had to be done, just like Thanos himself.
So why doesn’t Thanos want to use the Infinity Gauntlet to help the universe?
It’s because Thanos believes the universe is weak and not worthy; he looks at them like cattle and only feels others similar to himself should be saved. The strong. When it comes down to it, Thanos is a Mad Titan.
It could be argued Thanos is a representation of the global elite in our own society. An elite class that has the power to remake the world for the better, but instead chooses to create war, disease, famine and death. Why do they do that?