Avengers: Infinity War arrived on digital download yesterday, so tonight I’m giving it a re-watch from the comfort of the sofa. As I watch the movie, I will be dissecting and discussing it in order to comment on what works, what doesn’t and what clues might be littered throughout the movie for next year’s Avengers 4.

This is only the second time I’ve watched Infinity War since it was released back in April, so I expect to get all excited again and to see things I’ve no doubt forgotten about. Hopefully I’ll also pick up on anything I missed the first time around.

*Clicks play*

30seconds – I’m so excited.

1min – I’ve got Amazon X-Ray up on the TV screen right now, which is telling me that Kenneth Branagh is one of the dead Asgardians in the opening scene. Yeah, I can’t spot him. This thing could tell me Meryl Streep is here and I’d have to take its word for it.

2mins – Incidentally, this is a great opening scene and the perfect way to (re)introduce Thanos. He’s wiped out the Asgardians, which tells us everything we need to know about the type of character he is. Plus, all the members of his Black Order are suitably creepy. I’m reminded of Masters of the Universe (1987)… only with a decent budget. Man, that’s a film that could of benefited from just a little extra dollar. Just think what we could have had. Sorry, I’m getting distracted.

5mins – The Hulk has just been defeated by Thanos. Again this is a great way of demonstrating how powerful he is. If you can whoop the Hulk you’re pretty bad ass.

5mins 50secs – The first onscreen death and it’s Heimdall. Even if some of the characters are resurrected in Avengers 4, I feel like this is the end for Heimdall. He sacrificed himself to save the Hulk and this seems like a good place for the character to be retired. Plus, this now leaves Idris Elba free to go off and take on new roles. *Cough* Bond *Cough*

9mins – Time for onscreen death number two now and it’s Loki! I can feel a great disturbance in the Loki fan community; as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Black Order

Image: Marvel Studios/Disney

9mins 20secs – The death of Loki seems to hurt more than the death of Heimdall, as Loki has been such an integral part of the MCU. He was the reason the Avengers first came together and his on/off relationship with Thor has been very entertaining to watch. That said, this also feels like the correct place to leave his character. I’m calling it now, he’s not coming back.

9mins 30secs – Thanos: “No resurrections, this time.” This line alone suggests Loki isn’t coming back. No matter who gets resurrected after this film, this is surely it for Loki.

12mins – In New York… Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are talking about having kids. This whole conversation, with Tony talking about a child, plays into his relationship with Peter Parker. It also foreshadows the guilt he feels over Peter’s death. Nice set up.

13mins – A little bit of exposition now, to explain what the six Infinity Stones are. Space, Reality, Power, Soul, Mind and Time, in case you were wondering. Audiences are already familiar with Thanos and the Infinity Stones by this point, thanks to all the set up in previous movies, but for those who have never seen a Marvel movie (hey, it happens), this scene lays out everything you need to know. The truth is, outside of all the character threads, there’s not much to really know about this story. Thanos wants the Stones, the Avengers need to stop him, that’s pretty much it.

17mins 30secs – This is it. The Black Order have arrived in New York. From here on out the movie doesn’t really let up. I really should have peed before I put this film on. Or got some snacks.

18mins – And here’s Spidey! I’m so glad that Marvel & Sony worked out a deal regarding Spider-Man, before this movie became a reality. The Marvel Universe – whatever shape it takes – always needs Spider-Man in it. He’s the every man character that we can all relate to. Plus, he’s funny. Everyone likes funny.

18mins 45secs – The Stan Lee cameo! Stan as a bus driver. The Stan Lee cameo never gets old.

20mins – Bruce Banner is struggling to Hulk out. Is this because he’s afraid of Thanos, or is there more to it than that? I think this is an internal struggle and is not directly linked to Hulk. Either way, this provides a great excuse to give Mark Ruffalo more screen time without the need to replace him with the Hulk after a couple of lines. I hope he demanded more money.

23mins – The battle between the good guys and the bad is pure comic book through and through. As a comic book fan of 25+ years, this is the sort of thing I dreamed about as a kid – seeing fight scenes and team-ups like this. I still can’t quite believe this is actually a reality. Hey, I’m allowed to get gushy over things like this, I grew up with Nicholas Hammond as Spider-Man and had to endure that shitty Generation X (1996) TV movie!

25mins 30secs – Spider-Man has been given a new suit and it’s an upgrade, similar in design to the Iron Spider suit that Spider-Man gets in the comic book version of Civil War. This suit has arms!

26mins – I like the idea of Spider-Man having a new suit, just a shame this film couldn’t have been used to introduce the symbiote, which in turn could link to this year’s Venom movie. Ah, well.

Iron Spider

Image: ©Marvel Studios/Disney

27mins 20secs – Banner is calling Steve Rogers. His number is 678-136-7092, should anyone want to get in touch. I bet he’s getting a million calls about PPIs right now.

27mins 30secs – The Guardians of the Galaxy! This is the first time that the Guardians have appeared in an Avengers movie or have interacted with the wider MCU.

32mins – It’s good to see the interaction between Thor & the Guardians (especially Star-Lord). Great way to bring some comedy into the movie. It’s just a shame that the plot line that follows is a bit confusing. Gamora decides to go in search of Thanos, when really she should be getting as far away from him as possible. I’ll explain in a couple of minutes.

36mins 40secs – We’re now in Edinburgh, picking up with Scarlet Witch and the Vision. My brother and sister-in-law live in Edinburgh, so it’s fun to see a couple of the Avengers just walking the streets of the city. This is another great aspect of the MCU, the fact that the characters roam around in real-world locations as opposed to the DC Universe where the heroes live in fictional towns and cities.

37mins – By the way, I’m not slagging off DC; I like both Marvel and DC. Although I could probably spend an hour slagging off the recent DC movies. Do you have time? You don’t? Really? Maybe next time.

38mins – A sign in a takeaway window reads: ‘We will deep fry your kebab’. Yep, definitely in Scotland. Just need to see another sign for Irn-Bru now and we’re all set.

40mins 40secs – Captain America has just made his entrance, closely followed by Falcon and Black Widow. What an entrance! WHAT AN ENTRANCE. This isn’t Mr. America or Joe America, this is Captain America! Salute, damn it!

41mins – This whole scene is taking place in Edinburgh Waverley Station… just in case anyone wants to know.

43mins – A flashback now, to explore the history between Gamora and Thanos. The Chitauri feature in this scene. This is the alien race that invade Earth (under the leadership of Loki) in The Avengers.

45mins – So this is where things get a little stupid. Gamora is asking Star-Lord to kill her, if Thanos manages to capture her. Gamora is asking this because she has information that she knows Thanos needs. OK… so why is she not in the ship with Thor, Rocket and Groot, which is heading away from Thanos?! If she knows she is the key to Thanos getting his hands on a stone, why is she heading towards him?! This makes no sense.

Gamora

Image: ©Marvel Studios/Disney

45mins 30secs – If this was a plot hole in the comics, someone would now write in to explain away this plot hole. The logical explanation is that Gamora had to take this course of action in order for the events to play out the way they do, thus giving Doctor Strange the only possible outcome in which the heroes win (more about that later).

46mins – If someone had written into Marvel Comics with that explanation then they’d probably have their letter printed in a comic and they would have been awarded a ‘No-Prize’ for their trouble. I wish I had a No-Prize.

50mins – Gamora thinks she’s just killed Thanos, but of course she hasn’t because he’s just tricked her with the Reality Stone. Ooh, isn’t he awful.

54mins – William Hurt is back as Secretary Ross. This is his third appearance in the MCU, following turns in The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Captain America: Civil War (2016). The Incredible Hulk gets largely ignored these days, so it’s good to see a few references here and there.

56mins – A brief explanation as to where Hawkeye and Ant-Man are. Following the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp, we now know where Scott Lang was during the events of this movie, so what exactly was Hawkeye up to?

57mins 45secs – Captain America: “We don’t trade lives, Vision.” Hmm… could this be a bit of foreshadowing? I’ve previously offered up a theory about what might happen in Avengers 4, specifically the way in which all of the deceased characters might come back. I’m going to say it again, I believe that there will be some kind of trade, with the surviving heroes giving their lives for those that have fallen.

58mins 30secs – Wakanda!

1hr 1min – Major Spider-Man hair continuity issues here. Peter Parker’s slicked back hair has suddenly turned into curtains… and back to slick again. The magic of cinema.

1hr 4mins – Doctor Strange: “If it comes to saving you, or the kid, or the Time Stone, I will not hesitate to let either of you die. I can’t, because the universe depends on it.” Hmm… I’ll come back to this line later, because he goes against his own words.

1hr 5mins – Spidey officially becomes an Avenger. Whoop!

Iron Man

Image: ©Marvel Studios/Disney

1hr 5mins 30secs – Tony Stark is such an important character in the MCU. He’s been thinking about Thanos ever since the events of The Avengers – this is the sort of backstory you can only create by developing a universe the way Marvel Studios has. And to think, Robert Downey Jr. could have easily quit the MCU years ago when his original contract came to an end. Really glad he didn’t. I bet his bank manager is glad too.

1hr 9mins – Nebula has just appeared and now it’s been revealed that Gamora is the key to finding the Soul Stone. See, this whole thing could have been avoided if Gamora had just gone in the other ship. D’oh!

1h 12mins – Thor, Rocket and Groot are off on their mission to obtain a new hammer. The first time I watched Infinity War I wasn’t convinced there was any real point to this plot line as it felt like an excuse to give these characters something to do while all the other characters were being juggled around the screen. Watching this a second time I have less issues with it, although it still does feel a little like filler.

1hr 20mins – I’m at the half-way point and the Guardians have just met up with Iron Man, Spidey & Doctor Strange.

1hr 23mins – Doctor Strange is doing the Time Stone thing, looking into all the possible alternate outcomes of their conflict with Thanos. Strange looked at 14,000,605 possible futures and only one of those resulted in a win. Now from this point onward we have to assume that everything he does is to ensure this outcome comes to fruition, because, well, why wouldn’t he work towards that outcome?! More importantly, why would he tell us this if it wasn’t a key plot point?

1hr 25mins – Time for a surprise cameo and it’s the Red Skull! This character was last seen in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) where he was played by Hugo Weaving. Since playing the Red Skull, Weaving has been pretty vocal about not wanting to reprise the role, which is why for Infinity War the character is played by Ross Marquand. Not that you can really tell, as Marquand does a great job.

1hr 26mins – Incidentally, with Red Skull popping up here (and with a different actor taking the role) it’s pretty likely this isn’t the last time we’ll see the character in an MCU movie. I very much expect him to be a part of future movies. Yay!

1hr 30mins – Thanos has just killed Gamora and looks genuinely upset about what he’s done. THIS is how you make a bad guy into a three dimensional character, you humanise him.

1hr 31mins – This movie is gorgeous to look at. I know there’s a heck of a lot of CGI, but all of the worlds and landscapes are so stunning.

1hr 37mins – It’s been said many times before, but the battle in Wakanda really does look a lot like the Battle of Naboo from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999). I keep expecting Jar Jar Binks to walk by.

Wakanda

Image: Marvel Studios/Disney

1hr 41mins – The barrier is down, it’s now Wakandans (and assorted Avengers) versus creepy multi-armed aliens.

1h 45mins – Thor, Groot and Rocket have just arrived in Wakanda. Shit’s about to get real.

1hr 48mins – The big Iron Man/Spidey/Doctor Strange/Guardians/Thanos fight is taking place… which Star-Lord is shortly set to mess up.

1hr 49mins – Now this is where I need to discuss the ongoing theory about Doctor Strange. As this fight progresses, it appears as if the good guys are winning. That is until Star-Lord cocks it up. So, did Strange know this was going to happen? Surely if he knew Star-Lord was going to be the deciding factor here he could have just worked around this? Holding him off for a couple of minutes could have saved all the hassle to follow…

1hr 50mins – …unless of course something else would have caused Thanos to break free. Perhaps something always threw a spanner in the works at the last minute.

1hr 57mins – The Hulk still refusing to surface. Gotta love the Hulk. I do wonder if this is a character that will be retired after Avengers 4. I hope not. I’d love to see another solo Hulk movie.

1hr 58mins – Another reference to trading lives. Perhaps this is as far as my theory goes – not so much foreshadowing for the next film, but a nice link back to earlier in the movie. I suppose we will see in time. Now I’m less convinced there will be a trade. Hmm…

2hr 1min – Thanos appears to have killed Tony Stark, but as we know, this isn’t the case. When I watched this in the cinema I believed this was it for Robert Downey Jr. I figured this was the end of the road for Iron Man.

Doctor Strange

Image: Marvel Studios/Disney

2hr 2mins – Doctor Strange: “Spare his life and I will give you the stone.” So, despite what Strange said earlier in the movie, he is willing to give up the Time Stone to protect Tony Stark. This has to be the biggest confirmation that he DOES have a plan. This scene simply wouldn’t make sense otherwise.

2hrs 4mins – When asked why he gave up the stone, Strange comments: “We’re in the end game now.” He knows. HE KNOWS! He’s definitely given up the Time Stone for a reason.

2hrs 7mins – All the Avengers are falling, while Scarlet Witch is killing Vision (as he requested) in order to destroy the Mind Stone. This scene is pretty cool because it looks like she achieves her goal…  only for Thanos to turn back time and get the upper hand.

2hrs 10mins – Thanos has all of the Stones, it looks like he’s going to win. But wait, this is a Disney movie, the bad guy always appears to win, right up until the final second when the hero turns things around!

2hrs 11mins – Yeah, not in this Disney movie. With a click of his fingers the universe is screwed. Thanos has won.

2hrs 12mins 45secs – Bucky is the first to turn to dust.

2hrs 13mins 30secs – Followed by Black Panther and Groot.

2hrs 14mins – And now Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Mantis, Drax, Star-Lord…

2hr 15mins – Doctor Strange: “Tony, there was no other way.” Yep, he totally knows what he’s doing, even though he’s now fading away too.

2hrs 15mins 30secs – And the hardest one to say goodbye to, Spider-Man. I’m not crying, you are!

2hr 17mins 30secs – And this is where the movie ends (prior to the credit scene). Thanos has won. The Avengers lost.

WHAT AN ENDING! The heroes lost, the universe has been decimated and now I have to sit through about ten minutes of credits to get to the post credit scene.

*Fast forwards the end credits*

2hrs 27mins 30secs – A quick post credit scene featuring Maria Hill and Nick Fury. I’ve previously gone into detail about what this scene is all about, so I won’t cover old ground, I’ll simply say this is one of my favourite post credit scenes in any MCU movie. Possibly even my most favourite.

2hrs 29mins – And I’m done. The movie is over, I can now pee. But seriously, what a movie. Infinity War is just so, so good. I preferred it more the second time too.

*Switches movie off*

OK, so from re-watching Infinity War it is very clear that Doctor Strange is the key. He has a plan, that plan is in motion and so long as nothing messes it up (Star-Lord, I’m looking at you) then everything should be fine.

Well, I say “everything should be fine”, when in reality I still expect a bunch of deaths in the next movie. Or at the very least, many characters to be retired.

I believe we’ve definitely seen the last of Loki and Heimdall, but all the other deaths are most likely reversible – except possibly Vision.

As for what happens next, well we need Strange’s plan to come to fruition, we need to discover what the heck is going on with the Hulk, we could do with even more fire power to defeat Thanos and we need a fitting end to this current era of the MCU. I’m pretty sure we’ll get all of these things.

What excites me the most is the fact that while this movie feels like the beginning of the end, it also feels like the beginning of something new. Red Skull is back; Doctor Strange is clearly a big deal for the safety of the MCU (more so than he has been before); and we have all of these heroes, like Spidey and Black Panther primed and ready to take this series forward (once they get resurrected).

But are the characters dead? Or have they merely been whisked away somewhere else? Still much to ponder.

Avengers 4 can not come soon enough.