While there’s plenty to rave about when it comes to Avengers: Infinity War, there are a few nagging gripes that some have, and one of those is how little screen time went into exploring the Black Order. The group of villains made up of Thanos’ “children” served as the leaders of the Mad Titan’s invasion of earth, but outside of Ebony Maw, they got very little time to shine. During a Q & A at Iowa City High School, directors Joe and Anthony Russo explained what their thinking was with regard to fleshing out the Black Order.
“I think people have been waiting 10 years to have the Marvel heroes together in a 2-and-a-half hour film,” said Joe Russo. “So if I started to go into the history of them — that’s a whole other movie all together. I felt like they did their jobs in the film. And the audience got enough of them in the film — as much as they needed them in the film,” he added. “As much as I like those characters, and as much as I like the comic books, I feel that if I started delving into their backstory it would become unwatchable. [There are] only so many characters you can keep in your head.”
He’s got a point there. The focus of the film needed to be on uniting a massive cast of heroes and on giving us a compelling portrayal of Thanos. As intriguing Ebony Maw is, for example, you can’t argue he didn’t make the most of his literal four combined minutes of screen time. Was anyone screaming about Boba Fett’s screen time in Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi? Or were they merely intrigued and left wanting more?
As for how relatively easily they were dispatched of in Infinity War, Russo is very clear on why they weren’t more complex threats for our Avengers.
“Thanos is the true bad guy of the movie,” Russo said, when asked why they were all beaten pretty easily. “You don’t want the sub-villains overshadowing the supervillain. And we want to save him for the final showdown between him and the heroes,” he added. “They weren’t easy to dispatch all of them — it certainly took a few nasty fights.”
Personally, I didn’t have any qualms with the Black Order’s screen time in Avengers: Infinity War. My issue had more to do with the CG for everyone outside of Maw. While he and Thanos were rendered beautifully, I felt like the others- especially Proxima Midnight- looked like bad PS2 cutscene characters. One of of the listeners of The Revengers Podcast made a great point after we commented on the CG during last week’s episode.
Here’s what commenter Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño said about Midnight:
“I would like to add to what Mario says about Proxima Midnight getting the short stick of the CGI budget: why was she a CG character? OK, fine, she’s tall but she’s not as different than Nebula regarding the amount of makeup that would have been required to create her. Unnecessary CGI if I’ve ever seen one.“
I hadn’t even thought of that, but Diego is so right. Why couldn’t they have just hired a tall, athletic woman, given her a great costume and make-up like Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and augmented some of her with minimal CG like Nebula? Surely it would’ve looked more convincing and saved them some money, as it’s been reported that Infinity War cost nearly half a million dollars per day to produce. Just sayin!
What did you think of the use of the Black Order in Infinity War? Did they get the short end of the stick? Were they used minimally but to maximum effect? Sound off in the comments below!