Avengers: Infinity War - Review
Well here it is, one of the biggest events of the millennium. Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. I don't know if anything would stand up to my expectations, but this came close. It wasn't a perfect film, but the good far outweighed the bad. Continue reading to see my thoughts on the biggest film of the year. There are some slight spoilers throughout, but I tried to be as vague as possible. Please see this as fresh and untainted as you can. It is worth the experience.
The directors, Anthony and Joe Russo had a lot to balance here, but the smart move was making all of the heroes equal as supporting characters. The movie is about Thanos. He has a ton of character development. It gave him some depth and shed light on his motivations. The problem is, they crammed it into one movie, where we've had been with the other characters for a decade. If they had slowly fleshed Thanos out over The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Age of Ultron, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, it would have had more of an impact.
Every character that showed up gets at least a small moment to shine. Marvel does fan service to the max here. Infinity War shows how big their universe has become while simultaneously showing how small it can become.
The groups that form all of the subplots are great ones. The most entertaining pairing was Thor with Rocket and Groot, the problem is that they were part of one story line that took way longer than it should have. I love those three characters but kept finding myself wanting to see what happens with the other groups after a while, and for those three to get on with it.
However, the best part is the addition of Spider-Man. There are some characters, that if you took them out of the film, it wouldn't have impacted the plot all that much. But the movie would be fundamentally different without him. The best thing Marvel Studios Boss Kevin Feige has ever done was secure the rights to use that character.
Nothing will ever be the same after this, but this was certainly a part 1 movie. It had the same feel as Back to the Future 2 and The Empire Strikes Back. There is a finality to it, yet with a promise of more to come.
There were some glaring absences that are quite unforgivable now, but may be excused once part 4 happens in a year. But the movie tries - and for the most succeeds - to try and make up for that, with some amazing fan moments.
Thor, Captain America, and the Guardians are responsible for most of them, but Stark and Dr. Strange have their fair share as well.
It is hard to be wowed by special effects in this day and age - we take from the granted. But there was some truly spectacular work done here. The biggest one worth noting is Thanos himself. He truly seemed real, especially his eyes. His eyes had more life behind them than Tarkin from Rogue One. You could see hair follicles on his head. It was really great stuff. Josh Brolin did a wonderful job bringing him to life, it is a performance that deserves a ton of praise.
This film could have easily been a mess. People have tried to balance way less, and have churned out disasters. Infinity War wasn't a perfect movie, but the way the Russos corralled this to become a coherent story under three hours was remarkable. The pacing was a bit off, some really slow moving stories mixed with really fast ones were jarring, especially as they were the ancillary stories to Thanos's quest. The point was to condense the other characters to as few locations as possible, and they took their time in doing so.
As much as I liked Infinity War, it is going to be difficult to judge it alone after Avengers 4 comes out. Those 2 films will make one big story, sort of how Back to the Future 2 and Back to the Future 3 do, and how Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End do. Both examples are stronger when watched together.
With that being said, this is still a whole story. As I mentioned above, the main character here is Thanos. He has motivations and goals. He goes on a fully realized journey throughout the movie to achieve his goals. Whether successful or not, the attempted achievement of his goals comes to a natural conclusion. He has a character arc that is fully realized, and actually quite emotional. The reason why it is slightly off-putting is because we've never had a movie where the supporting characters are ones who have had several of their own movies that we have spent the last decade with. We actually know the supporting characters better than the main character! It is also rare - though not unheard of - to have the villain be the main character. That isn't how movies are supposed to work, but the Russo brothers, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley don't care. Marvel plays by their own rules, and it has paid off so far.
Take the previews for example. There are not a lot of scenes from the previews that are the same in the movie. Some scenes are alternate takes, while others are edited differently to keep secrets. It felt like the previews for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, except intentional. It made the surprises all the more appreciated, actually.
If the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a television show, this was the season finale. The cliffhanger will be resolved in next year's season premiere, and then be a pretty different show after that.
We have two more chapters in this universe before the conclusion of the story presented in Infinity War. Next up is Ant-Man and the Wasp, out in July, then Captain Marvel, which is out next March and is filming now.
I have a feeling that Ant-Man and the Wasp will take place before Infinity War, and I know for a fact that Captain Marvel does, as it is a 90's period piece.
Out of everything that Infinity War did to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, taking its tried and true structure and chucking it out the window for an unknown future is its most bold move yet. After 10 years and 19 entertaining movies (some much better than others, yes, but all had entertaining moments), I trust in Marvel Studios.
It'll be a long wait until May 2019 when Avengers 4 comes out, but I have a feeling it will be worth that wait.
In case you didn't know, Avengers: Infinity War is now in theaters everywhere.