Avengers: Infinity War, 2018
Signed up the 28/03/2017
This review is spoiler-free
Avengers: Infinity War has been on everyone's (who follows movies religiously like myself anyways) mind since the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's not until the recent MCU film that we've all been driven to the ends of our wits with anticipation, as we had long known what comes after the epic events that would take place in Wakanda. Well, it's finally here! It's only been hours since Infinity War landed on our screens worldwide, and, boy, is it a movie that lives up to its name!
This Russo Brothers film marks the beginning of the end of an era and so determines itself to live up to all of what's expected thereof. Afterall, the film has been praised to be "10 years in the making". Does it live up to what it has been hyped to be? Hmm, it's not as simple as saying either yes or no. If you're familiar with the MCU and its now-19 films, then some of this movie's downfalls wouldn't weigh down on you until later in the year through retrospection. For now though, as a religious follower, I would say the movie satisfies enough with both character development, plot and overall story.
If, though, you're an occasional movie goer who isn't that up-to-date, if at all, with the MCU then you might have a problem keeping up with the film, and worse off you might even end up squealing at the screen in pure dissatisfaction as the credits begin rolling. In its almost-three hours, the movie feels too short and disconnected to culminate itself into one of the best of the MCU, though it rubs shoulders with that league. Those are dangerous waters to tread in for a film of this big a scale. Though this movie is only the first part of a two-part story, it is always a good idea to have the movie steady enough as a standalone film- so that it may be watched independently from its 2/2 without any plot and progression obstructions. In simpler terms, Avengers: Infinity War doesn't feel like a whole movie, granted it isn't, as the missing pieces are too large and glaring to avoid. It feels like more of a trailer for next year's Avengers film- though epic and enjoyable.
The story, though at the surface is seemingly brave, pressing and catastrophic (for a Marvel movie), ties itself into a void which the audience doesn't know what to do with. This comes as a result of the dark and more emotional elements that the movie wants to introduce to the MCU begin to feel more like mere gimmicks to combat the "Marvel movies are too shallow" narrative. The film's tone seems to become more and more overwhelming for the Russos as they struggle to pander to the crowd that expects humor and "fun", while also trying to please the crowd that has been begging for more serious and dire themes within this universe. It is worth mentioning, though, that Doctor Strange has been woven so well as the more mature and serious character, that this fact has helped a great deal of the movie balance out the humor variations that can't seem to stop gushing out of Star-Lord, Peter Parker, Rocket and the likes.
While on the subject of characters, if Doctor Strange isn't stealing the show with his mysterious demeanour and charm, wisdom and skill, it's Black Widow doing just that, if not a notch better. If there were ever any doubts that she deserves her own film, she proves that she does in this particular movie. Every other character too, in fact. Every one of the Avengers is given more significant screentime where we get to explore their capabilities as heroes- from Falcon to War Machine, to Scarlet Witch. Holy shit! Scarlet Witch! This is the best you'll ever witness her since she was introduced to the MCU in terms of the type hero she is.
Visually, the film is not without a few CGI blunders here and there but it comes through when it needs to. This is a true and serious superhero cross-over epic and we get to experience this visually from beginning to end. The contrasting colours and textures (especially those stunning textures), are something to marvel at at least when the story drags on and on in some parts.
The film gets too overexplanatory as it tries to make up for the many holes and rushed sub-plots, as it races to the final confrontation between the Avengers and the Mad Titan himself, Thanos. Not even the super emotional moments that meant well stick with you for long enough to really matter, which says something about the pacing of the film. Just as the Russos missed with some of the dark and emotional moments, they also tripped a few times with badly timed humor.
Overall, Avengers: Infinity War is a movie about Thanos, co-led by the unrelenting villian. This in particular was interesting as it's not oftentimes we witness a film, of this nature anyway, centering around the villian and thus pleading for the audience to somewhat sympathise with said villian. Although spending more time with Thanos, exploring some of his backstory, took away from precious time with our beloved heroes, the decision to include the villian in the bigger part of the story in fact helped the story feel more genuine.
Infinity War is an action-packed, epic, thrilling hellova ride! It doesn't pace itself as well as it could've, but it doesn't completely quiver either. This is thanks to characters such as Black Widow, Doctor Strange, (a more distraught) Tony and (gasps!) Thor. Oh, the Mighty Thor! I'm so glad that they decided to take the God of Thunder more seriously in this film as to restore his significance as an Avenger once and for all.
Though you'll spend your time wishing that Infinity War part 2 would come sooner after watching this film, you can at least be comforted in the fact that it is coming at all. As I mentioned above, this movie doesn't work well as a standalone film, and with this fact alone I can conclude that it is as worthy a watch as it is not. If you're Marvel fan who has enjoyed all MCU films, you'll be alright. As a general watcher, and for those who were expecting for this film to be a grand shift from the usual Disney/Marvel offering, you might have to wait a little longer.
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