Director: The Russo Brothers
Screenplay: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Cast: Robert Downey Jr; Chris Evans; Chris Hemsworth; Chris Pratt; Josh Brolin
Summary: Thanos finally does something, spurring the Avengers to go on a series of misadventures.
I saw a little movie the other day called Avengers: Infinity War, the movie’s doing pretty alright at the box office apparently. This is the third Avengers film, and nineteenth (NINETEENTH) installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise overall.
Thanos is finally coming to get his hands on the Infinity Stones in his big quest to wipe out half of life in the galaxy to balance out the universe. But not if our good friends The Avengers have anything to say about it.
My biggest concern going in is how much of a damn mess this movie would be. I was not a big fan of Avengers: Age of Ultron, as that just felt big and messy and at times difficult to really follow. And with more heroes added to the mix since then (Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy etc), it seemed like there’s no way this movie’s not going to be a total trainwreck. But surprisingly they managed to pull it off. The film very cleverly space everything out. Rather than jamming all of the characters together on one big plot line, they find something different for each group of characters to do and the film is interspersed with these different plot threads. It helps the film keep the pace interesting without getting too cluttered, and we also end up with some interesting team ups. Watching Doctor Strange and Tony Stark bounce off each other is fun, while Thor and Rocket Raccoon have some interesting banter.
The biggest standout of the film is Thanos. Josh Brolin does a fantastic job bringing the character to life (although the CGI on him is impressive too). He’s written cleverly too. Thanos isn’t your typical “kill everything, take over the world” style villain. He is flawed and complex. Really, Infinity War is more Thanos’ film than it is The Avengers. The best kinds of villains are the ones that have clear and concise goals and motivation. You don’t have to agree or like their motivations, but the fact that they have one is the key. Thanos isn’t really an evil villain. He’s the bad guy, for sure, but still. It’s impressive that someone who wants to kill half the universe can have sympathetic moments.
The action is great and the effects are (mostly) impressive. There were a few moments were the CG looked a bit odd and not fitting in, but most of the time the movie looked great. And it you’d expect it to. There were like half a dozen screens worth of visual effects artists in the closing credits.
I really only have two major critiques. The first is that at times I felt like the movie should have taken a moment or two for a breather. There were certain little character moments that would have been nice to have seen fleshed out but we didn’t quite get those. I was a little disappointed at the lack of resolution to Bruce Banner being back on Earth and his reunion with characters like Black Widow. I felt like we could have gotten a little more insight into Bucky and his time in Wakanda. But these critiques are more gripes. This was a packed movie at two and a half hours and at the very least, the movie didn’t get bogged down in anything unnecessary.
My second critique goes into spoiler city, so, y’know… spoilers ahead.
The ending of the movie appears ballsy. Half of the Avengers are completely wiped out. It was a shocking and sad moment seeing Spider-Man and Black Panther and almost all the Guardians of the Galaxy just get deleted from existence. But at the same time, it’s hard to take this all seriously. Comic book deaths are a joke as it is, I don’t want to see death treated the same way in the films. The idea that Black Panther and Spider-Man among others are dead is absurd. I could buy them killing of B players like Vision, Scarlet Witch and Falcon etc. but once T’Challa ate it, you knew it was all a farce. There is no way that Marvel is killing off any of its cash cows that early. I was very much expecting Iron Man or Captain America, or possibly Thor to eat it, and they still might. Part II is only a year away. It’s just the idea that the movie is trying to trick you into saying all these characters are dead, when you know they’ll be back within a year, rendering this kind of moot. But that’s the nitpicking nerd in me. I otherwise loved the fact that we got to see a film end with the villain succeeding for a change. The good guys failed. The good guys died. The good guys will still be back next year, so don’t get too flustered about it though.
Despite it’s very few shortcomings, I found Avengers: Infinity War to be an incredibly fun and entertaining movie and a mindblowing achievement. Ten years now Marvel has been churning these movies out, and for my money they haven’t really made a dud yet. Yeah, Age of Ultron was super flawed, but I don’t know if I’d go as far as calling it a “bad movie”. To top it off, I’m really excited to see what happens in the next Avengers movie, and I think that was part of the goal here. Build up hype for Avengers 4.
8 Infinity Stones out of 10 – Go see it. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s dramatic, it’s over the top but can still be somehow grounded at times. Josh Brolin is a treasure.