To Infinity and Beyond
Avengers: Infinity War (2018): 9 out of 10: Well after eighteenth or so movie, you know the drill. Big Universe killing bad threatens puppies and kittens and our heroes put aside their differences to defeat the big bad and someone dies because the contract negotiations were at a standstill. Yup, I am sure that is what happens here. Okay, so the opening scene reminds me of Alien 3, but I am sure we are done with indiscriminate killing off beloved characters in brutal ways. (Two and a half hours later) Oh dear God…
The Good: This is a hero’s journey. That the hero in question is the big bad Thanos makes this a unique Marvel film. While having a big bad on a hero’s journey is hardly unknown, it often isn’t done this well (I am looking your way Star Wars Prequels). Thanos is a man with a plan. The Avengers are obstacles. And mostly, they play the role of obstacles and setbacks on Thanos’ journey.
Almost everyone comes to the party (sorry Hawkeye) and it is a blast. Thor meets the Guardians of the Galaxy was a particular treat. I liked the way they rewarded viewership of the previous eighteen movies. Avenger’s Infinity War is stuffed with Easter eggs and trivia. In fact, the movie really is amazingly stuffed over a very long runtime. Forget added filler, you get the sense they wanted to put in twice as much stuff as they did.
The Bad: With truncated participation by the individual Avengers, some of them reverted to their baseline trope even though they have had growth over the recent films. I liked Thor in this film, but he seemed to be more a person who had had a psychotic break than an actual hero. (In fairness, this is called out in the film by the rabbit… sorry raccoon.)
Starlord also seems to have lost two films’ worth of character development in many of his scenes. He also got chubby (also called out in the film by the rabbit). There is also some flotsam left over from the Civil War film that needed to hand waved better than it was. Overall, though, a great job bringing such a large cast together.
The Ugly: Mark Ruffalo in the Iron Man Hulkbuster armor just never looked right. Ruffalo looks like a Goomba had escaped from the set of the old Super Mario Bros. movie.
In Conclusion: You know I got some flack from reviewing the original X-Men movies when I pointed out that Magneto had a good point. I am not saying Thanos is right, mind you, but the movie makes a compelling case. If it was just humans, I think I could get behind Thanos’ plan, but since it includes kittens, I am morally opposed. A superb film from a series that has not lacked great films.