Quick Hit: Mega-packed blockbuster is good but never overcomes Part II syndrome.
I’m probably in the minority out here in the amateur critic world. I really enjoyed Avengers: Infinity War, all three times that I’ve watched it. However, I’m not going to sing its praises from the mountaintops and say that it’s the best Marvel movie there is… because it’s not. I think objectively you can say that, and I think subjectively you can say that too and mean it pretty whole-heartedly. While I don’t think the Russo Brothers could have done much better, it’s hard not to feel immediately sad at the decision to first announce this as two separate movies – because that might have been the best choice overall.
I’m not going to cover the plot here guys – honestly it’s too much at this point with all the tie-ins to the other Marvel-verse stories. Suffice it to say that everyone shows up besides Hawk-eye and the people from the Ant-man movie.
The Russos sure know how to make a superhero movie dramatic. After the old school feel of Captain America: Winter Soldier, we get our characters thrown right into the fire. There isn’t any build-up really, the first scene features Thanos beating the snot out of Thor and the Hulk, for example, besides killing off a few characters that have been around a while. This immediately sets up Thanos as a villain to be reckoned with – which is a lot more than can be said about most of the villains in the Marvelverse. I like that in this scene, they weren’t afraid to mix characters together quickly – it’s one of the best things about this movie really – the ability to combine your characters in exciting ways.
However, the sheer amount of characters inevitably means the movie starts to feel extremely stuffed. The runtime is long, but necessary, and you never feel like the movie is too long – but there are scenes that you which we could have lingered on this or that longer – for example, I thought the Soul Stone scene came across as fairly rushed, despite its need to be an extremely emotional point. I think we get a lot of that in the end of the film too – almost as if the Marvel execs were afraid to hit that three hour bugaboo, and decided to cut some of the characters reactions to what was going on after “The Snap”. This would have at least allowed some more emotional scenes to carry some weight – I understand this is a big budget blockbuster, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leave it with some extreme feels right?
I’ll hold to the code and not go into it much more than that – suffice it to say that the emotional impact of what occurs is a bit muffled by the previous decision to have the movie be two parts.
The movie never lacks for entertainment though – whether it is Thor interacting with the Guardians (which I think may be the best part of the movie and is LONG overdue) or Doctor Strange trading verbal barbs with Tony Stark, there is always something being said in the dialogue that is worth listening to. That’s how the movie holds your attention for nearly three hours, despite being largely set pieces that involve fights, followed by huge exposition dumps by characters as they discuss who they are. I think some of the introductions get a bit rushed though, almost as if all the characters already have heard of each other. I don’t doubt some do – we’ve heard previously that the Avengers pretty much became rock stars after New York – but I don’t think that all of them maybe would be able to accept it in an instant.
Probably the best points plot wise were the stones themselves, which will no doubt have huge implications in the next movie. I personally have a theory involving the time stone that feels like it could retcon the ending a bit. But I like that they didn’t hesitate from showing us the different stones powers when put to use in Thanos’s gauntlet. It shows the true power of each stone individually, and makes the whole scenario much more likely to be intimidating. Speaking of intimidating, Thanos, played by Josh Brolin terrifically, absolutely is. He’s a mountain of a character, both in stature and in mind, and you can tell he actually believes that his choices are the best ones. I’d love to see more of his past stories presented in the verse.
Overall, I liked it, but as I said, there were a lot of “just waits” throughout the film. It pains me to say that, but I’m probably going to give the movie a “B+” because of that.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"