Avengers Infinity War is a brilliant movie…if you’ve been keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for the last decade. If you’re one of those
nerds moviegoers then you’ll be enthralled by the film’s action, snappy dialogue, and complexity. If not then you’ll find it to be a strange and confusing mess. Since you’re reading this article then you probably fall into the former category. With your geekdom established, I humbly present you with 10 thoughts on Avengers Infinity War.
[If you don’t want spoilers then stop reading now.]
A Masterfully Woven Tale
The most impressive thing about Avengers Infinity War was how well it mixes multiple characters, teams, and tones. The directors and writers should be lauded for how they skillfully gave an extremely large cast time to shine individually while maintaining the tone of each character and their respective movies. The Guardians of the Galaxy scenes felt like James Gunn creations. Thor’s scenes maintained the excellent humor that was established (by the excellent Taika Waititi) in Thor Ragnarok. The Wakanda scenes had Black Panther’s unique feel, and so on. It was impressive that the directors and writers blended different tones so well in one unified tale.
Superhero team movies are tricky. The creators have to give each character moments in order to justify their presence. In many cases, some of character arcs fall flat or seem forced (see Suicide Squad for a worst-case scenario). It was amazing that Avengers Infinity War used so many characters so well, and in a way that seemed natural.
Surprisingly Sympathetic Thanos
In Marvel Comics, Thanos is a nihilist that’s in love with the personification of death, aptly named Lady Death. He killed half the universe as an act of courtship. Think of him as an immensely powerful interstellar maniac that thinks genocide is the way to a lady’s heart. (On a side note, how do you follow killing half the universe for your heart’s desire?)
Avengers Infinity War Thanos is very, very different from the original. He wanted to kill half the universe in order to restore balance. He believes that overpopulation has lead to an unsustainable universe and the only solution is a culling. In his own way, he believes he’s a hero, taking on an impossible burden in order to do what’s right. Josh Brolin’s performance gave Thanos gravitas and a deranged nobility. And it totally worked.
The best villains in comic books are often the ones that don’t think of themselves as villains. Magneto comes to mind; he does terrible things because he thinks his harsh actions will give his people a better future. That’s how Thanos was in Avengers Infinity War. It was surprising how different he was from the comics version, but not as surprising as how well the changes served the MCU.
The Not-So-Black Order
One of my concerns going into the movie was the adaptation of Thanos’ minions, the Black Order. Visually, they’re perhaps too comic-y, and I was concerned that they’d look silly in a live-action film. I shouldn’t have worried, because the Black Order looked awesome in Avengers Infinity War. They were powerful and menacing (and in Proxima Midnight’s case, kind of sexy).
It was kind of strange that their name was changed to the Children of Thanos and that Black Dwarf was changed to Cull Obsidian (another name the Black Order goes by). Are we not allowed to call things black anymore?
Iron Man vs. Dr. Strange
I loved the rapport between Robert Downey, Jr. and
Benjamin Cummerbund Benedict Cumberbatch. Playing arguably the two most arrogant heroes in the MCU, it was fun watching them go toe-to-toe verbally.
Thor vs. Star Lord
This was another extremely enjoyable pairing. Chris Pratt has long been known as a great funnyman. Chris Hemsworth’s comedic talents were a more recent revelation, first seen in Ghostbusters and fully realized in Thor Ragnarok. While the two split into different teams shortly after meeting up, their initial encounter was fantastic.
Hulk vs. Black Widow
When Bruce and Natasha reunited on screen, I feared the worse. Mercifully, Avengers Infinity War didn’t dwell on the horrid Hulk/Black Widow romance.
Fantastic Humor Everywhere
Great jokes and one-liners came from the expected sources, but I was surprised that some of the straight characters got in some great gags. Captain America’s, “I am Steve Rogers,” response to Groot was hilarious. Okoye’s, “Why was she up there this whole time?” line was excellent.
As many longtime RPadholics know, I hated Dave Batista in WWE and don’t think much of him as a human. That said, I begrudgingly admit that he had my favorite joke in the movie. His delivery of, “I’ll do you one better! Why is Gamora?!?” killed me.
The Stupid Mind Stone Plan
I didn’t understand the plan to remove the Mind Stone from Vision’s head. By the time they got to executing the plan, it was fairly late in the game. Didn’t the heroes realize that Thanos would have the other Infinity Stones, including the
TiVo Time Stone? I suppose they could’ve thought that he hadn’t snagged it yet, but I expect master tacticians like Black Panther and Captain America to plan for all sorts of scenarios.
It’s quite possible that I don’t remember the order of events and which characters knew what. Please leave a comment below if you remember all that information. Having said that, they should have just let Wanda blow up Vision’s head from the get-go. That would have saved a lot of deaths.
Some reviewers have complained about the pacing of Avengers Infinity War. That wasn’t an issue for me at all. In fact, I thought that the pacing was perfect. It didn’t feel like 149 minutes nor did it feel rushed. How did you feel about the film’s pace?
The Culmination of the MCU
Avengers Infinity War was the ultimate expression of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nearly every major character in the MCU was there, making for a truly epic event. I was half-expecting the movie to feel like a glorified reward for fans that have watched all of the previous films, but this wasn’t Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Yes, it had some fan service and a lot of prior knowledge was required in order to fully enjoy the movie, but Avengers Infinity War was great in its own right. For me, it’s in the upper echelon of Marvel movies. How about you? Kindly share any and all thoughts on Avengers Infinity War in the comments section (please!).
[For another take on the movie, check out this review on PaulSemel.com.]