Avengers: Infinity War (Spoiler-Free)

VERDICT

This is the zenith of action films. You will leave exhausted, having experienced the sheer onslaught of emotions and visuals Infinity War throws at you. If you’re going to see this (and you probably are), then pay to see it in theaters where the spectacle can be best appreciated.


REVIEW

The Good: Astounding visuals and cinematography create a spectacle unlike any you’ve ever seen.

Who would’ve thought, that in a film with dozens of characters and, at one point, five separate plot lines running simultaneously, that Josh Brolin’s purple guy would steal the show?

And he does, without question. One of the best villains in recent memory, Brolin portrays a subdued maniac, the contemplative sociopath. He is Hannibal Lecter with a nuclear weapon. It is offputting and intriguing all at the same time. The six-year wait for this performance was worth it.

While he is terrifying, Thanos is not what exhausts the audience. That honor goes to the visuals, cinematography, and staging, which dare to challenge the likes of Avatar.

The sheer spectacle of it all is hard to describe without experiencing it. This movie is huge. This scope has not been since The Return of the King. Hundreds of extras meet thousands of CGI monsters. Colors and aesthetics from a dozen disparate films swirl together.

And somehow, somehow, it all works (for the most part).

The credit for this success certainly belongs in part to the Russo brothers directorial prowess, but more than this, it should be a lesson in the power of editing. You don’t succeed in making a nearly three-hour film with this much stuff without perfect cuts, razor-sharp pacing, and a clear understanding of all the pieces.

Like many of these movies, if you’re watching this for deep drama and complex character arcs, then you’re in the wrong theater. This is the height of drama and visual filmmaking. It sets a new bar for what this medium can do.

And most importantly, it is absolutely fun. Go enjoy yourself. Laugh, cry, and witness this experiment, nearly finished, as it reminds you of what imagination can accomplish.

Last point: the ending is unique. No film in history has dared to try what Infinity War proudly, cockily even, shoves in your face. This alone might be worth the watch.

The Bad:  If you didn’t like it before, you’re not going to like it now.

There is a simple hierarchy that determines whether you will enjoy this movie.

  1. Do you enjoy action movies? If yes, continue.
  2. Do you enjoy blockbuster, bombastic filmmaking? If yes, continue.
  3. Have you enjoyed at least one Marvel film in the past? If yes, then go see it.

If you answered no to any of these questions, then don’t bother.

Because if you don’t like action, or blockbusters, or the style of Marvel, including their humor and narrative style, then you will likely loathe this, their paragon.

While the good things are at their best, the weaknesses are just as highlighted (sans the typical weak villain).

There is not quite enough time spent with any one person, it’s a little too ambitious, with one too many storylines. There is a bit too much exposition because there has to be, in case you missed anything in the last decade.

Conversely, the individual characterizations are boiled down and simplified, because there simply isn’t enough time. With what time there is, the plot forces some relationships to have more time than they deserve.

The end result is a mild feeling of deprivation. The characters you love are in it, but none of them for enough time for you to feel satisfied. Perhaps this is intentional – you can’t help but yearn for next time.

The Ugly: It’s OK to have fun.

Infinity War isn’t for everyone. It is clearly for fans, that much is true.

More importantly, this movie was made for who the Marvel films have always been made for: kids. And those who still have some childlike wonder inside them.

For that group, this is a pretty amazing thing. It is childhood made real, all of your toys smashed together on the big screen. It is just fun, above all else.

The character arcs aren’t always robust. The themes and resolutions are typically simple. The jokes can be too plentiful.

But by god, these movies can be fun. And that is not only OK, it is necessary. Sit back, marvel (pun intended) at the sheer imagination of it all, and let yourself enjoy something without the weight of constant critique.

Be a kid.


Synopsis

“An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.” – Rotten Tomatoes

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Originally from the bear-infested schools of Wyoming, but now lives in Chicago. More importantly, he achieved minor Twitter fame once and hasn’t stopped bringing it up since. He has a healthy obsession with Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Bulbasaur. Please validate him by following him on Twitter, @ericsmorals

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