This is easy. This is gonna be short. How was the movie? Well A) It’s a Marvel movie. B) I watched it three times. It was good. Duh. Done. Here’s a trailer for Kingdom Hearts III. Later days.
In a world where I was still working on my thesis, that’s how the review would go, but I’m done now, and I have all the time in the world as I look for jobs and realize that there’s nothing out there for me. So let’s talk about Infinity War. No worries. There won’t be spoilers until the end where it’ll say in big bold font, SPOILER FILLED OBSERVATIONS.
So as I previously said, I watched this film three times. The first was opening night where I was surprised, but not broken. The second time, which was the next day, I sought the flaws in the movie since something felt off during my first watch. The third really was me just kind of falling asleep and watching my roommate react. And boy was she dramatic. The only reason I stayed up through out the movie was because she was freaking out in the seat next to me. So it’s safe to say that I know this movie quite well.
The movie first sets the tone in its opening Marvel intro, you know? The one where it’s a montage of Marvel scenes rather than the comic page flipping they used to do? Anyways, rather than the triumphant music that usually plays, we’re instead given moody depressing music. We’re shown a scene of mass slaughter. We see how imposing Thanos is. How strong he is just by himself, without his crew. This is a large purple-man on a mission. So straight from the get go we, the viewer, understand that we’re in kind of unfamiliar territory. The threat is real. The threat is looming. The threat is already on their path to victory.
The rest of the movie plays out like nearly three hours of torture porn in which we see our beloved cast of characters from other movies we’ve watched leading up to this event, try their hardest and fail over and over and over again. One of the things that truly makes this movie work is the fact that no matter how much the characters have to grieve or lose hope, there’s still a heroic optimism in them, a drive to keep going, throughout the movie up until the last scene.
The other element that makes this movie work is the fact that Thanos is a central character. While his motivations for what he’s doing may be flawed (like very flawed) they’re shown on the screen. And despite the fact that he’s a purple-man’s burden motivated genocidal utilitarian, there’s still some sympathetic aspects to him. Mainly when we’re shown his relationship with his adopted daughter, Gamora. Seeing his perspective added an element necessary for a movie of this scale, because as much as I enjoyed this grand crossover, simply introducing a villain while not allowing the viewer to be invested would be problematic.
Also this grand crossover was a double edged sword. The positive being that we got to see a bunch of beloved characters we’ve watched over many movies interact with each other. And that was fun. For many it’s like fan fiction gone real. Watching the characters interplay and mesh and clash their quirky personalities, wits, and attitudes was one of the most interesting parts of the movie. And it usually led to the audience laughing or gasping quite a bit. But of course there were issues with the grand crossover too. And outside of what might be a lazy critique that some will make, i.e. the fact that the movie can’t stand by itself because it relies on the viewer to watch all the other Marvel movies, to which I can easily reply, Hey. I don’t think you build an entire cinematic universe spanning a decade to make an epic crossover spectacle that stands by itself. If they’re not watching the other movies you’re losing out on the money. And cash rules everything around me, my guy, there’s the fact that there’s a lot of characters. Too many characters. And there’s an old saying I like to adhere to that pertains to both characters in a story and plot lines in a narrative: too many cooks spoil the broth. Here’s a video to show this example.
Okay if you’re not mad at me for putting the above video in this post, thanks. Anyways as much as I love the characters in this movie, there’s simply too many cooks. It’s like having a good time for too long of a time, and you forget the central focuses. Like when I write these blog posts and go on too many tangents or have too many one liners and forget what I’m talking about. Essentially the problem was that with so many characters being squeezed into this film, there wasn’t enough screen time for some of the central figures, i.e. the Avengers. For a film called the Avengers there’s not a lot of Cap in it. And while I get that Cap will probably have a much larger role in Part II this leads to another problem that I try not to have a problem with.
I know that it’s part of the game to have part ones and part twos in order to fit a large narrative into film, but the problem is that we as an audience have figured out the formula for two part features. It’s why I’m surprised I’ve seen so many people actually broken about the ending of this movie. It’s a part one. Things are supposed to end on a cliffhanger. Things are supposed to end badly. We all know that it’s supposed to end badly so that part two can be the story of revenge and triumph. Though Empire Strikes Back is the second movie in the original trilogy, on an overarching narrative sense, it essentially plays the role of a part one. A New Hope (which I sometimes accidentally call The Last Hope because of Star Ocean) serves as an introduction, almost a prologue of sorts. Most of the MCU movies, the ones that introduce the characters seen in Infinity War, are essentially playing the role of A New Hope and we’ve had a lot of them now. Infinity War is our Empire Strikes Back only in the sense of sad narrative where everything goes wrong for our heroes (not at all in quality, because I refuse to put a good movie, Infinity War, on the same level as a spectacular movie, Empire Strikes Back). But the problem is still that we’ve all seen this formula and overall, though we may be hurt, aren’t necessarily surprised. Though the ending of Part I has produced some gucci memes.
My penultimate non-spoiler problem was the handling of the Guardians. They’re a great team and were fun to watch in this movie, but at the same time it felt like there wasn’t a full on capture of them in this film. And that may be because, once again, too many cooks spoil the broth and it’s hard to fit such a large team personality into a movie with other personalities, but sometimes it just felt like the writers didn’t know what to do with them. They’re zany and comedic, but in a Marvel movie with a bunch of quirky and humorous types it’s sometimes hard to find a balance. And I’m not saying that the Guardians were awful in the movie, far from it, they were amazing, but sometimes it felt like…um…remember my review of Justice League? It felt like there was a Flash approach in this movie that already had what would normally be Flash-type characters (by that I solely mean humorous but not awkward humorous).
The last non-spoiler problem was that there’s a moment in this movie where it felt like the writers wrote themselves into a corner and needed a way out, so they had a moment where none of the characters used logic or behaved as they should have and that got the writers out of their corner. It’s been bothering me for a while. And I felt as if it could have been solved differently. But that’s it. Outside of my nitpicking, this was a good movie. Very enjoyable. And everyone should watch it at least once. Also as of writing this review I’ve been invited for fourth viewing. I declined. Too many viewings might ruin the movie for me. I leave you with some SPOILER FILLED OBSERVATIONS. So if you don’t like spoilers, leave. Later days.
SPOILER FILLED OBSERVATIONS
- I had a lot of problems with the selections for who was supposed to survive.
- Why are leaving just Tony on Titan? Why are we leaving him alone? Could have at least kept either Peter.
- So out of the three possible established black superheroes (T’Challa, WarMachine, and Falcon) we kept WarMachine? C’mon, man! At least Okoye and M’Baku are still alive.
- It felt like Marvel didn’t realize Black Panther would succeed as much as it did. This doesn’t have much to do with Infinity War. It’s just an observation.
- Out of my three favorite MCU heroes, Thor, Spidey, and Black Panther, only Thor is alive. I’ll…take it.
- Okay, so when Thor landed in Wakanda I was wondering: A) How did Thor know to come to Wakanda? I know it would have slowed down the movie, but I wanted to see him pick a landing spot/ figure it out. B) Why didn’t “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin play? That would have been amazing.
- Observation to contradict my previous observation: I realize that Infinity War is an Avengers film and therefore Avengers scores should play, but I mean…when we’re in Wakanda I don’t want Avengers scores. I want Ludwig Goransson’s music the entire time (except when Thor lands in Wakanda, I guess).
- So why didn’t Thor hit up Thanos with the Storm Breaker when Thanos was outright fading the fuck out of the other Avengers? Why wait until he had all the stones? Like I understand that showing the Storm Breaker’s power was important (on a comic movie writing sense), but why not show up and help your friends before the 11th hour–only to fail because you didn’t go for the head…
- Okay so my deus ex machina problem was using Starlord as the scapegoat. While it was completely in character to be angry at the situation, he previously stopped Drax earlier in the film from compromising their mission. As mad as he was, he should have understood that removing the glove was of the utmost importance. Also! Nebula could have held him back. Doctor Strange could have warped him away. Iron Man could have blasted him. Spidey could have, for just a second, shot some web and stuck him to a boulder or something. And guess what, they could have still failed because Mantis had already mentioned that Thanos was strong and boom, Thanos breaks out regardless.
- My last observation is more of a question. Can the reality stone create more resources as a means of alternating reality? If so why didn’t Thanos just create more resources/ universe? One can easily say, “That’s prolonging the problem” or “It’s easier to kill”, but in either direction, creating or destroying, the problem would have to be addressed once more centuries or so later. The true problem is that in most cases we actually do have the resources for everyone to live, the problem is human greed and unfortunate man-made systems that have become obstacles for human enjoyment. This really felt like one of those moments where a zany plotline, like wanting to impress Death might’ve been better. Or I guess if characters countered Thanos’ logic with something more than just, killing is bad. Anyways, that’s all all! Truly, later days.