Monday, April 30, 2018
You've Got Some Stones On You: Avengers: Infinity War Review
Well...here we are. 10 years after Iron Man kicked of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and 6 years after Thanos turned his head after the end credits of The Avengers, Infinity War has come. There is probably no movie that has more pressure on it to deliver after such a long buildup. Not even The Force Awakens. All that had to do was be better than the prequels. Does Infinity War make good on a decade of waiting and feeding the Marvel machine money?
As we all know Earth's Mightiest Heroes are split apart after Tony and Cap had their billion dollar domestic in Civil War. Tony gets the heads up that this giant flying purple people eater named Thanos is coming and takes time to bitch at Doctor Strange about what to do with the infinity stone around his neck. Meanwhile Cap, Bucky, Falcon and friends are trying to figure out what to do with Vision's stone in his head from the fun Tony had from playing god in Age of Ultron.
This leads to all the players splitting into team ups that make the movie feel a bit fresh even though we have seen all of these characters in a multitude of movies. Thor is galavanting around with Rocket Raccoon and Groot, Tony and Spider-Man are trying to form a plan with Doctor Strange and the rest of the Guardians and Cap and his traitor friends head to Wakanda for some shenanigans.
This is one of the best things in Infinity War. If you are going to have a shit ton of characters at least put them in pairings we have not seen before and have them play off their strengths.
At 2 1/2 hours Infinity War is the longest Marvel movie ever, and yet, still shorter than the director's cut of Batman v Superman. I will say that they use every minute of that time. There is no down time and so many things are happening at once that you will come to what you think is a denouement for a certain set of characters only to be taken to another set where you are like "oh yeah, they are doing this". There really is a lot to digest. But that is to be expected with a movie of this size and scale.
Now let's talk about Thanos.
If I had one irk with the movie it is the mad titan. Not that he is a bad character. Far from it. He is by far the best Marvel villain because he is the only one in 10 years that has had true stakes involved with him trying to complete his task.
He finally has his gold isotoner glove and is ready to rip the universe a new asshole. Or at least that is what it seems. Don't get me wrong, his plan is not exactly kosher, but after his explanation, it isn't the worst thing someone with the power to shape the universe could do. This is one issue that movies seem to want to explore. Give the villain a pseudo sad backstory to give him reason. How about he just is an evil ass? He is almost too relatable. Especially for someone that is supposed to be the ultimate bad dude (shout out to the arcade game). Sure he does horrible things and sacrifices a lot to get his power, but his endgame is not evil for evil's sake. He is more of a universal Ra's al Ghul.
Again, it is not a huge gripe and doesn't detract from the movie as a whole. Thanos is still plenty asshole enough for everyone.
I said on social media after the movie that Infinity War was 30% great, 50% good and 20% ok. After some thought I might change it to 40/40/20. There were a lot of great moments and some great superhero saves that gave me some goosebumps and the ending, even knowing that things will be fixed (mostly) with next year's Avengers film, had substantial weight and a few scenes (which I can not talk about for reasons) actually gave me a single tear effect.
When the audience is audibly asking if that was the end of the movie and people are sitting there say "no, no, no" in disbelief, then you have a movie that did its job.
Also, can I just say how great it is to have Alan Silvestri back doing the soundtrack. He nailed The Avengers soundtrack in 2012 and was not on Age of Ultron and the movie was not as good musically (or a lot of other ways). Dude knows how to craft a large scale sound still after 30+ years.
Infinity War is the biggest Marvel movie ever, but it is not the best. That is not a bad thing. Nothing wrong with being on the outskirts of great.
8.5 Burt Macklins out of 10