Yet another Disney Marvel flick, just with a lot more superheroes.
Avengers: Infinity War continues the trend in a series that has quickly become one of the most obsessed and hyped film franchises, second only to the other gigantic Disney conglomerate, Star Wars. And much like the latter, Disney’s entries into the superhero genre have been formulated and calculated successes that appeal to both children and infatuated nerds. For these reasons, I feel like every one of their films has hastily been put up on a pedestal with the notion that they are some of the greatest movies ever made, much like I’ve seen talked about for The Avengers series. But just like my thoughts on most of Disney’s Marvel films, Avengers: Infinity War is simply another one of these films that follows familiar paths. Is it the most ambitious superhero movie crossover to date? Sure. Does ambition translate automatically to being great? Well, no.
What works best for Avengers: Infinity War is that it’s just a good blockbuster flick. It’s got everything that is required for an action-superhero movie in terms of interesting superheroes, and gigantic action set pieces. All of which is done with great visual effects, including big budgeted explosions and an ensemble of extras that really made me feel less bad for paying top dollar to see this film at the cinema. It’s rare for me to justify paying an amount of money equivalent to what I could get to own it on Blu-Ray but seeing the credits at the end convinced me enough that this was worth it because of just how many people worked on this film. And these are all aspects that are great but it’s also everything that I’ve come to expect with this series, which is mainly my problem with Avengers: Infinity War. It’s not doing anything new.
Yes, it’s setting the standard for how to balance an array of major characters in one film but it’s something that by now I’ve become climatized to. I saw it in the first Avengers and then I saw it in smaller scale versions with Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: Civil War, Spiderman: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. I know that it can be done and it’s not really that special to me anymore. Sure, it’s cool to see but the focus needs to drift away from the spectacle of seeing so many superheroes combined and put effort into the actual fucking story which should be the most important thing in a film. Because damn, did this film just feel like a classic cookie-cutter Disney Marvel film, and in my view, had an assortment of plot-related issues which I’ll get into more detail at the end of this review in spoiler talk.
But what I will say is that everything felt, for the most part, safe. As a comedy, I didn’t really find any joke hilarious, though there were certain moments that made me laugh. I enjoyed Chris Pratt’s brand of humor the most and the same could be said for the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy team. It was definitely better than the “comedic gags” I watched in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, so I was thankful they could resurrect some of those aspects which made the first more of an enjoyable watch compared to the other Marvel films. But aside from that, the rest of the film was devoid of anything genuinely funny to me.
Everything that happened on the dramatic end was expected and I could see from the get-go how it was going to end, especially since I knew that there is going to be a part two in 2019. What bugged me the most about the drama injected into it, was that half of those moments didn’t necessarily have to be that dramatic because they were brought up by dumb things characters did. Again, I’ll go into details at the end of this review but I was left scratching my head at why particular superheroes did what they did. There were a lot of scenarios where they would try to do something, but it always resulted in the opposite of their intentions and I don’t really understand why they tried to do that in the first place. I could tell exactly how it was going to end and it didn’t really seem smart for any of them to take the actions that they took. It was just dumb.
I also thought the ending was weird and almost anticlimactic. I feel like they were trying to emphasize this emotional weight to the story towards the final scenes but everything just felt flat or out of place. Maybe it was the choice to not play any emotional type music in the background because for the most part it was just really quiet to the point where I could just hear characters footsteps and then every now and then they spoke. It was awkward and it irked me to the point where it didn’t really feel like a strong way to finish, especially since I was enjoying the third act up until that point.
In summary, I’d still recommend seeing this film if you got the chance to check it out on the big screen as it’s practically the best way to experience all of the nonsensical blockbuster action. My rating might seem low to many but it’s a reflection of how this film isn’t really that different from the rest of the series. It takes aspects from different parts of the franchise and puts them into a seemingly new and updated bundle, but it doesn’t make it an original or great film. It’s exactly what it’s trying to be, and it doesn’t need to be anything else aside from a simple big old superhero movie that’s intended to generate as much money as possible. I probably won’t be seeing it again anytime soon but see it if you want to.
Issues with certain aspects of the plot are as follows:
1. At the very beginning, we are introduced to the leftovers of a battle between Thanos and Thor and his brother Loki. Whilst I like the aspect of starting off the film in this way and straight into a small action set piece, I’m left with a few questions and qualms.
For example, when the Hulk does eventually appear (seemingly on perfect cue like he was waiting for Loki to summon him with the typical words of “we have a Hulk”), he comes out of nowhere to attack Thanos and I’m left wondering where the hell was he all this time? Was he just chilling out in the back waiting to strike or was he not already in the battle before and would have therefore been hurt just as bad as Thor was? On that same point, why wasn’t Loki just as beaten up like Thor? Did he seriously just pretend to be bad yet again the whole time and sit out the entire battle sequence that killed everyone on the entire ship except Thor and The Hulk? OK. Whatever.
I also could see from a mile away that Loki was pretending to be bad to try and “trick” Thanos with what is such a dumb and cliché move of holding a knife behind your back whilst you walk up to him pledging your allegiance. Firstly, why the fuck are you even trying to do this and do the writers really think we see this whole move as some sort of a surprise? Like “Oh shit, Thanos you have no clue what’s coming, wait till you see this” sort of thing? because the only real surprise is why the hell are you writing such a stupid trope in 2018. It feels like that moment has been almost exclusively targeted towards kids so that it’s so easy for them to pick up, which reaffirms the way I view who all the Marvel films are made for.
But what’s worse is that Loki somehow thinks it’s actually a good idea. Like here’s Thanos, this gigantic big fuck off dude who’s decimated your entire ship and crew, who’s not only just fucked up The Incredible Hulk but also possesses two infinity stones, one of which that you literally just gave him a minute ago. And you’re going to come at him, with a dagger to his throat? Are you fucking kidding me? Fuck off. I could not at all give a crap when he died a few moments later because of it but I know you’ll pop up again in the sequel. Whatever.
2. Later when Thanos has to acquire the soul stone with the help of Gamora, he is presented with the consequence that he must bring up a sacrifice and the whole “a soul for a soul” notion comes into play. For whatever reason, it takes Gamora way too long to realize what is going to happen and she somehow is in the state of mind that “Ha-ha! The universe has got you now bitch. What are you going to do Thanos? You’ve come so close and now the universe turns around and says to you, no”. Are you kidding me? It’s so obvious that he’s just about to fucking murder your ass, what are you even thinking? By that point, she attempts to kill herself in vain because of course, it’s too late, given this is something she should have done literally five fucking minutes ago instead of going on a massive rant with a “bold and defiant speech”. But alright whatever, just get on with it and throw her off the cliff.
Also, I wasn’t convinced that Thanos truly loved Gamora through how his affection for her was shown in the movie up until that point. But this was critical and necessary since the only way to acquire the soul stone was to sacrifice someone who he loved and a “soul for a soul”. So when I saw those tears shed by Thanos, I didn’t really feel like they were genuine enough for me to believe but whatever. Let’s move on.
3. When Iron Man along with Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and half of the Guardians of the Galaxy team subdue Thanos momentarily whilst they attempt to grab off the golden glove that holds all of his infinity stones, Peter Quill decides at the worst time to lose his fucking shit at Thanos for killing Gamora. They’re just about to get the glove off and our fucking Star-Lord decides to get hot-headed all of a sudden when he hears a rumor that Gamora is dead. He starts aggravating Thanos which ends with him punching Thanos in the face, therefore waking him up and losing the fight. Quill. What the fuck are you doing? Even Iron Man was yelling at you to cool your fucking jets as all of that could wait when they get rid of his glove and then you could have your chance to yell at him all you want. But nope, it has to be now. I’m angry and mad and I’ve got to create conflict so the good guys don’t win yet until part two comes. Fuck off. And just quietly, why weren’t any of them attempting to cut off Thanos arm instead of just pulling it off?
I also want to raise an issue with the previous fight sequence before that moment because it feels like they held off on some of the superhero abilities with in particular, Doctor Strange. As a team, they’re all tackling Thanos to hold him down and coming at him from all angles but of course, he breaks free. Then later Doctor Strange fights him one on one and uses his incredible ability to create multiple versions of himself to hold down Thanos but why the fuck wasn’t this just used five minutes ago since that’s exactly what you were all were trying to do? Did you just realize that you could do this particular move at that moment? Because it sure as hell would have helped when it was literally needed five minutes ago.
It also feels similar to what happened at the beginning of the movie when Doctor Strange’s assistant transported one of Thanos’s children/servants to a completely new place after it took almost forever battling him. Why the fuck wasn’t this an option earlier and why didn’t you do this then? It would have sure as shit helped Iron Man and Spider-Man a whole great deal but OK, whatever.
4. Whilst I understand that Thanos’s ambition is to attempt fixing the apparent overpopulation in the universe and its depletion of resources, by removing 50% of everyone that exists. I still don’t really get at how this is at all a full proof plan. I like that it does make him more complex as a villain because he does have somewhat more of an agenda compared to just wanting to take over the universe. But still, is this not just a temporary solution to the problem? Are you going to get rid of 50% of people someday in the future when it does get overpopulated again? How do you know the universe has really been depleted of resources if this all started with the sole example of your planet? Even if you’ve visited others and seen a similar example, the universe is an incredibly large place so at what sample space do you realize the universe is in a dire situation and decide that there are too many people in it? Is it after the 20th planet that Thanos checks out and then he says “ok, I need to fix this”? Surely with such power from all the infinity stones, could you not do the opposite and provide enough resources for the universe? If it’s as almighty and powerful as it sounds cracked up to be, could this not be possible? Maybe it might not be but why doesn’t at least one of the Avenger’s try to bring this up and convince him differently. Otherwise it then just feels like a facade for you to go back to the classic villain trope of wanting complete domination of the universe.
Furthermore, Thanos’s whole ambition to restore balance to the universe also feels off because his whole plan is to just what? Get rid of 50% of everyone that exists. I don’t really get how that will restore balance and why it’s something essential to do so unless again it’s just a facade for you to take over complete domination of the universe. But it also isn’t, because you haven’t completely taken over all your enemies as 50% of the people that are left, also include some of the superheroes that were fighting you throughout the whole fucking film. Do you just want to feel the need to relax now knowing you’ve accomplished your goal and everything is “right” with the universe and that others aren’t going to come after you because of what you’ve done? What are you on about? There’s still very much threats coming at you.
But going back to the original point, how does eliminating 50% of everyone going to restore balance. I get that it’s because it’s going to be done randomly but don’t you see that that’s the very issue that might not necessarily make it balanced? It’s all a matter of chance. What if the remaining 50% of people are filled up with predominantly more bad people and a lot of criminals or villains? Is the balance then restored? What’s your definition of balance? Can you have one side completely good or one end completely bad without the two being needed to effectively create this whole idea of a balance between good and bad? It’s only good because we know what bad is. In the TV series Death Note, it dealt with eliminating people from this world to restore balance but by only targeting those that were specifically bad and were criminals. There was no element of chance to it, so I don’t really see how what your doing is going to accomplish the goal of restoring “balance” to the universe when it very well is just going to make an alternate version of it, just with 50% fewer people.
5. I thought the whole “he can destroy the universe just like that with the click of his finger” was just a cheesy way of creating an analogy for how powerful Thanos could be. But then it actually turned out to be something to take literally. Um, what haha? What if Thanos was listening to music one day and accidentally clicked his fingers to the time of the beat? Would this mean 50% of people living in the universe automatically die? OK, maybe he has to give an intention or a thought process to this as a desire whilst he’s doing the click but why did he have to do it with that particular action? Could the writers not think of anything else for him to do that would awaken the power of the infinity stones? It just seems so dumb. Is that the only move required to trigger the power of the infinity stones to kill everyone like it’s some sort of video-game configuration? Why couldn’t it be something else? I don’t get it. It’s dumb and silly. What happens if he clicks again? Will there be another 50% of people die, so it goes through another half-life of the universe? Whatever.
I also love the fact that this click came after Thor threw his upgraded “Thanos-killing” axe at him but it didn’t work because as Thanos prompted him “he should have aimed for the head”. What are you doing Thor? This isn’t some fucking game, though it sometimes seems like it is. Always go for the head. Period. It’s like the rules of Zombieland. You’re lucky to even be alive because for some reason Thanos forgot another rule of that said aforementioned great film and that is to always double-tap because instead he just left you on the spaceship to be blown up. Why didn’t he kill you more convincingly just like he did with your brother Loki? Do all these characters just suck at executing at such crucial moments? What the fuck.
6. This is less of a spoiler but a complaint regardless. There were different settings throughout the film and we got reminded of exactly where they were because of the annoying title cards that came up. Why did this have to be a thing? It was just so unnecessary and wasn’t crucial at all to the story. Card’s that came up to say “oh look, we’re in space. Now we’re in Scotland. Now we’re in Titan” didn’t need to be there. The only one that was useful was for the location known as “Knowhere” because it helped those that may have been confused when they heard that they had to go to a place that sounded exactly like “nowhere” but again, did it have to be there? No. It was just silly and pointless and took me out of the movie for that moment.
7. I don’t really see how people could be surprised that this film ended as a cliffhanger and the film was sort of trying to build it up as a surprise that the Avengers lost so we could feel the emotional connection of seeing half of them die. As soon as I knew that this film was going to be split up into two massive cash cows, I automatically expected that this was going to end on a cliffhanger note to set up what will be the final resounding comeback in the second. It’s not really a surprise and again, the directors shouldn’t be focusing on this as an aspect and instead be worried more so about what the writers were actually doing with the story. But OK, whatever.
8. Aside from the moment at the beginning of the film that I brought up, there’s also a lot of other instances of where Thanos pretty much could end this entire series if he only took the necessary actions to do so. Here I bring up the times where he’d meet the individuals of the Avengers crew but for some reason decided not to kill them. For example, when he met Peter Quill for the first time and he’s holding Gamora hostage. Why the fuck did you not kill him and the rest of his team if indeed you’ve been doing that throughout your life by destroying entire fucking planets? Are you wanting the 50% element of chance to do so by waiting to get all the infinity stones and then let the universe decide or “judge” by random who gets to survive? If so, why did you already kill Loki at the beginning? Why are you sending your children/servants to kill the others guarding the stones, effectively adding to the possibility of having blood on your hands? All of which, you’ve also deemed “necessary sacrifices” and “merciful actions”. Just fucking kill Peter Quill and the rest of the Guardians, along with Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and anyone else that I saw you battle against. If you’re hellbent on completing your mission for “the greater good of mankind”, which also means fighting all those that oppose you, this is what you need to fucking do. But OK, it’s a Disney Marvel superhero film and we can’t take it too seriously because it’s meant to be a hero film and the good guys have to win somehow. Whatever.
9. Did anyone else find it off or strange that when Tony Stark/Iron Man had to go call Steve Rogers/Captain America, he pulls out this fucking old school flip phone? Like this is the Tony Stark who is a Playboy Billionaire and the electronic genius who created Iron Man with incredibly advanced technology and he’s walking around with a fucking 90’s Motorola-like flip phone? What the fuck?
I also love that Bruce Banner/The Hulk later then finds this phone somewhere amongst the rubble after the first encounter with Thanos’ children just randomly and it’s still not destroyed. What would have happened if he couldn’t find it? Does that mean he wouldn’t be able to get in contact with Captain America and then that’s it? You couldn’t even use Doctor Strange’s assistant because nope, he fucks off for the rest of the movie as well. Also does Tony Stark not have a lock code on his phone so anyone who picks it up could have access to his contacts? OK, whatever.
10. I didn’t really understand the tension between Tony Stark and Doctor Strange throughout the first half of the film. I get that Tony was of the mind that they should destroy the infinity stone Doctor Strange was possessing and that in response, Doctor Strange was against this idea and desired to use it against Thanos. But why did this mean that they had to continue on with the plan of meeting Thanos at his home of Titan to set up some sort of ambush? You’ve made this decision at the point where there’s only fucking three of you (including Spider-Man), and you don’t think it’s a good idea to go back to Earth because of what exactly? Yes, it would be bringing the fight back to an environment that is your hone and which would, of course, bring in a lot of civilian casualties just like there was in the first two Avengers. But why wouldn’t you at least go back to check in with the rest of your fucking team and get reinforcements cause holy shit, you’re more than likely going to need it. Even still, why don’t you just go back home and check-in with how things are going in case your fucking friends need some help, which of course they did. Later when Thor got his upgraded axe made, what’s the first thing he did? Literally the next scene he came back to Earth right in the middle of a crucial moment to help out the battle for Wakanda. Why didn’t you do the same thing and instead just have this stupid tension for the sake of tension?
11. There are others but by this point, I’m done talking about this film.