Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Composer: Alan Silvestri

Starring: Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Chris Pratt, Sean Gunn, William Hurt

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Destiny arrives.

Plot: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to half the universe.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.


In a word...it's pretty fuckin' great.   In some ways it's more of a marvel that these people were able to make a movie involving nearly thirty main characters and giving each of them something to do that justifies their inclusion AND using them in a way that serves the picture as a whole without feeling like they got the short end of the stick.  Because this is such a huge film (part one and the conclusion coming in almost exactly one year) I'm just going to throw out some thoughts based on my first viewing.  The IMAX 3D is outstanding and it will be the only way I see it the next time.  I'm rarely impressed with post conversion 3D but this one blew me away.  It makes a difference.  There's a lot of movie here and they start off running and barely stop until the credits roll.  It's battle after battle with the final one being the biggest and heaviest.  A LOT OF PEOPLE DIE in this picture and that really surprised me.  But then again, I suspect that most or all of them will somehow return by the end of the next film because there are sequels on record coming out for some of these characters so there's at least that.  Some of their deaths have more weight than others (Spidey had me choked up something fierce - that kid is so damned endearing).

Thanos is fantastic.  Even though he's a psychopath, he's a psychopath with a legitimate and reasonable (to him) goal.  His motivation is admirable to a point but it is fucked up and there are better ways to handle his endgame.  This is his picture and Brolin knocks it out of the park.  It would've been nicer for him to be more sympathetic so that you could kind of root for the guy much like the two sides in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016).  But as it stands, it works well enough to get the point across and better than most villains in comic book movies.  We spend a lot of time with him and he even has a tender moment with Gamora which was a wonderful respite from the massive amount of action that fills the movie.  And everything from Thanos' finger snap to the end was excellent.  My only complaint is the forced humor which often didn't work or got in the way of the otherwise excellent flow of the film.  For example, as the monsters are at the barrier of Wakanda, T'Challa, his massive army plus a few of the Avengers, are making their way to stop them which begins the climactic battle for the final Infinity Stone.  Okoye and T'Challa have a brief exchange that goes something like this:

Okoye: When you said you wanted to open Wakanda to the world I didn't expect this.
T'Challa: Then what were you expecting?
Okoye: I don't know, a Starbucks or something.

Really?  Jokes just before their entire population is potentially about to be wiped out?  It's so out of place it's embarrassing.  That's just one of several moments where the comedy goes too far.  It's so bad that it's all too noticeable and often groan-inducing.  I'd like to know those responsible for insisting on this kind of bullshit when it wasn't needed.  Some of the humor works but the kind mentioned above rarely did.  It literally feels like there were moments in the script where someone just wrote in "INSERT JOKE HERE" and let amateurs fill in the gags.  It's just too fuckin' much, man.  Outside of that gripe, it's a remarkable achievement for these people to make a movie that juggles so much, give a lot more time to a somewhat sympathetic villain, to kill off a lot of people AND let the bad guy win.  The final shot of the film with Thanos sitting down and seeing his life's dream completed, with that smile on his face was so cool.  Of course all of this will change and he will be defeated because there's the sequel coming in a year but it's a hell of a way to end a super hero movie.  Oh, and my favorite super hero super moment was when Doctor Strange replicates himself many fold to battle Thanos.  I'm sure we'll find out in part 2 that he's THE reason that Thanos is defeated.  I can't fucking wait to see how.

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