Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
★★★★ / ★★★★

Those not well-versed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe need not fret: “Avengers: Infinity War,” the accumulation of preceding works of the franchise, as directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, is a supremely entertaining movie, made for viewers who like their action films big and loud without sacrificing creativity and heart. Compounded with the requirement that screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely must juggle over twenty personalities throughout its behemoth running time, while maintaining a breezy forward momentum, the film is without a doubt a successful mainstream entertainment.

It is the correct decision to keep the central conflict at bare minimum: Stop Thanos (Josh Brolin) from acquiring six Infinity Stones. If successful, this would grant him the ability to eliminate half of the universe’s population by merely snapping his fingers. With so many moving parts—some events happen on Earth, others take place in outer space; under each setting are strands designed to come together for climactic battles—it is critical that the story is simple and clean as possible. But the masterstroke is its treatment of the villain.

It is inaccurate to categorize Thanos simply as good or evil. He believes he is saving the universe by performing genocide. On the most basic level, he argument makes sense: resources are scarce while populations continue to rise. His method just so happens to be monstrous, at least based on our morality. But that is not only the reason why he is complex, perhaps even a tragic figure. He is not written to be deranged psychopath who simply wishes to see the universe burn; like the heroes we root for, he is capable of feeling and caring. He is equally determined as those who wish to thwart his plans which makes for a compelling watch.

The special and visual effects are seamless. Hoards of rabid aliens clashing with elegant Wakandan warriors made me think of the epic battles in “The Lord of the Rings” with even more camera acrobatics. When Falcon (Anthony Mackie) soars above the battlefield or when Spider-Man (Tom Holland) swings from one collapsing piece of skyscraper to another, there is an urgency to the aerial shots and danger when the viewer looks down from great heights. When Thanos beats Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) with his bare fists, pieces of his armor fall off like broken teeth. These effects create images that are exciting, brutal, and realistic. I wish more blood and bruises were shown, but perhaps the brand hopes to keep such barbarous images at a minimum.

Having only a limited time to tell the story in an efficient way, characters we wish to get to see or get to know more do not get the attention they deserve. I wanted to bathe in the bromance between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), the hilarious banter between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), as well as the brilliance of Shuri (Letitia Wright), a young scientist with countless inventions. Although not a perfect superhero film, not even a near-perfect one (“The Dark Knight,” “Spider-Man 2,” “The Avengers,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), the picture delivers fresh popcorn entertainment. Notice there is almost always something to laugh at, be nervous about, or worth being curious over.

“Avengers: Infinity War” delivers upon its ambitions. If its risk-taking and playful crossovers is a portent of what is yet to come, not just within the “Avengers” movies but within the Marvel brand as a whole, then it can be assumed that the apices of the franchise remain territories to be discovered. It is only a matter of time.

8 replies »

  1. This is a supremely well written and well articulated review. Enjoyed reading it and sums up most of my feelings rather well. Good work.

  2. I can’t read your review because I haven’t seen the film, however I’m intrigued by your generosity toward it. I feel like these films are an exercise in moving game pieces around a board, and that they often lack the sense of individuality of what we’ve known movies to have. They’re more like instalments of a TV series to me, and I struggle to discern between them. That said, this is the biggest movement in cinema and it’s going to be interesting to see how it perseveres.

    • I guess either one is invested or one isn’t. I can discern among them because I feel every superhero has a distinct look and personality; not to mention that more than half of the movies are actually worth seeing. I hope you like it when you do see it. It’s very quotable and the memes that sprouted are hilarious.

  3. I was going to see this, but then after hearing about all the death, I don’t think I want to see it anymore. I can tell it’s high-quality and better than Age of Dulltron, though! lol. I may man up and see this one, but wait until the next one is released.

    • It’s leagues better than “Age of Ultron.” I still remember the disappointment I felt while watching that movie. Why did hearing of the deaths make you not want to see it ASAP? I’m surprised you’ve avoided specific spoilers at this point…

      • i don’t know if you remember my blog entry about Age of Dulltron, but i was so bored I left the theater with an hour left in the movie. lol. I got a pass from the manager, though…

        I just started seeing headlines on articles and youtube videos hinting at the avengers dying, and that made me not really want to watch; i eventually watched a video to confirm and did not like what I learned. lol. I probably will watch at some point, though. I’m just not in a rush to see Black Panther die, as him and Cap are my favorite Marvel characters; and on that note, I will likely hate what happens in the next installment, as well.

        • I think you’ll like “Infinity Wars” more than “Ultron.” It’s definitely more energetic and the interactions among the superheroes we’ve followed throughout all these years are done in a funny, creative, and tragic ways. My mind still goes back to certain scenes in the movie… which is strange because this usually doesn’t happen. Plus, lots of quotable dialogue. I wished the movie were 4-5 hours long. Haha.

          • Yeah, i think I will like Infinity Wars far more than Ultron; i can already tell it looks like a high-quality film, and very well executed, so it’s not that I don’t think I would like it. I just don’t want to see Black Panther die, and I am thinking Captain will die in the next one, too. This makes me want to stay away. I don’t want to get emotional watching a super hero movie. lol.

Leave a Reply to Cinéologist Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.