Movie Review: Avengers-Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War is a bad movie. It has terrible pacing issues, a distinct lack of chemistry between characters, and an ending that defies all credulity.
Well, there it is. 10 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe world-building, kicked apart like a petulant child’s sandcastle. Avengers: Infinity War was the payoff to what has been an unprecedented string of successful films, most of which were lauded for being well above the summer blockbuster average. Instead of a film that delighted or shocked, we get a movie that plods, panders, and beggars belief. This movie had 18 films paving the way for it, but after 2 hours and 40 minutes Infinity War still manages to feel incomplete and desperate for a sequel.
In short, avoid this film. Just wait for Avengers 4, which is going to just undo everything this film did anyway.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Thanos, the Mad Titan has finally decided to go collect the Infinity Stones, and it is up to The Avengers, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and The Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him. Should they fail, half the universe will die.
- The first hour of the movie moves at a snappy pace, with quips and bullets flying everywhere. There are a lot of moving pieces in Infinity War, and the first section of the film sets the stakes fairly well.
- The CGI is very good. Thanos looks impressive, with some of the best facial animation I’ve seen since World of Warcraft. The characters have weight to them, fixing a flaw that was about the only negative I had with Black Panther.
- Thanos is an above average villain. Josh Brolin does a stand-out job, and a re-imagining of his motivations makes the character believable and even worthy of empathy at times.
What Didn’t Work
The middle of the film is glacial. After the solid setup, the film bogs down for almost an hour. And there was so little action that during my 7:30 showing I kept listening for booms from the theater next door (the 7:00 showing) so I could roughly gauge when I should wake up.
Even with such a long run-time, things felt slapped together, with elements like the fate of the Nova Corp., Hawkeye’s whereabouts, and the love story between Vision and The Scarlet Witch unceremoniously dumped on us via dialogue.
- The search for the Soul Stone was a real let down, both for fans of the comics and the MCU. All the other stones had individual movies building up to them. There have also been teases of characters that had comic-connections to the Soul Stone in previous films. The final stone’s reveal felt lazy; a cheap excuse to cameo one character and kill another. If you hated The Last Jedi for not paying off story elements teased in previous movies, The Soul Stone arc might give you an aneurysm.
A lot of the makeshift team-ups suffered from a lack of chemistry, something the MCU hasn’t had a problem with since… ever. One of the strengths of Marvel movies were the unique, distinct aesthetics of each movie. This strength becomes a weakness in Infinity War, where all these flavors have to mix together. Jokes continually fight with serious moments, some characters don’t play well off each other, and the action doesn’t blend well. I didn’t think Age of Ultron was fantastic, but the movie had a stylistic through-line for how each character was going to jibe with each other, especially in the fights. Here, everything feels like a messy melee, and it robs some characters of their uniqueness.
The acting isn’t that great. Going hand in hand with poorly executed pair-ups, some of the actors seemed downright uninterested in being in this film. Robert Downey Jr. was the worst offender. My least favorite by a mile though… was Spider-Man (Tom Holland). After 3 MCU movies with our new webslinger, I’m confident that Marvel doesn’t know how to write him, and Holland has even less of a clue how to act him. He’s not witty or smart, he constantly gets smooshed by things (even after they went to great pains to show that he has a functioning Spider Sense), and he’s still just a Tony Stark star-f*cker. It’s really offputting.
Also: Peter Dinklage was terrible as one of the few new characters in Infinity War. He started off fine, then affected a bizzare accent that was laughably bad. If I was Marvel, I would pull a Destiny and replace him with another actor for the DVD release.
- The climax of the movie was god-awful. It felt like the Game of Thrones ethos of “kill the one you were least expecting, whether it makes sense or not”. Which would work if most of the deaths weren’t rendered laughably hollow (highlight the hidden text if you want a spoiler) by the fact THAT WE KNOW SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO DIED HAVE STANDALONE MOVIES IN THE PIPELINE. Nothing had any weight, and Infinity War might as well have ended with Kevin Feige begging you to see Avengers 4.
The universe has many wonders, but it’s mostly filled with nothing. Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is mostly wonders, but Infinity War decided to join Thor: The Dark World in the nothingness. The Dark World pretty much existed to give the MCU another Infinity Stone, and Avengers: Infinity War pretty much exists to give us Avengers 4. It has very little of merit on it’s own: it’s pieced together from the stingers of 18 other movies and relies on the promise of a sequel to try and land its meandering plot. The action isn’t anything special, a pot-luck where everyone decided to bring their blandest offerings to the table.
I’m not a ride or die MCU fanboy, but I still left this film deeply disappointed by the opportunity lost. Marvel Comics has a pretty toxic reputation for lackluster crossover events in their comics; in my opinion, they just earned that same reputation in their cinematic universe.