I’ve set a warning for spoilers. Let’s be honest though. You knew people were going to die. It’s spring cleaning!
Rating: I’ll give this a B+.
Summary: The Avengers, give or take a few people named Chris, must defeat Stone Cold Steve Thanos before he gets a hold of all the Infinity Stones and ultimate power.
That’s right, a B+. It’s a really, really entertaining movie. The pacing is great. It’s really well balanced for a popcorn movie. It’s an excellent action piece, minus some shakey cam (Is Wakanda just shakey cam territory? Disappointing! What happened!?) People are given the right amount of screentime for the right reasons. Thematically, it’s not as strong as some other Marvel pieces, but I’m impressed with what they were able to do with the amount of time and amount of characters- overall, the amount of stuff that is in this two hours and thirty minutes.
It’s… it’s a lot. With a movie this big, it’s bound to fail in some places. I deducted points for Peter Dinklage because they clearly wrote lines for Tyrion Lannister- can we let the guy do his thing that’s not a Tyrion thing? Also, points off for that “women’s power” moment, which was clearly done as a “Hey, we can do this too! JUST YOU WAIT. BTW, sorry about that JOSS WHEDON thing.” I don’t want to wait. Let’s not get salty over DC doing something right with Wonder Woman– you’ve had 10 years to make me a women’s movie or to highlight women, and you’ve failed, Marvel. Just stick to Black Panther’s Dora Milaje and focus on making Captain Marvel good. Stop pandering. God, that part makes me so mad, I could SPIT. All I can do is bold things to let you know how mad I am about it.
The movie takes place directly after Thor: Ragnorok, which kind of works and doesn’t. On one hand, it’s nice to get straight into it, but it also disregards a lot of what happened in that movie. Kind of makes it feel irrelevant. The nice thing is we’re introduced to Thanos and his self-appointed mission of collecting all of the Infinity Stones. Bruce gets beamed down to Earth, conveniently into Dr. Strange’s headquarters, who can conveniently open portals to locate Tony and let him know what’s going on, and so Tony can conveniently give us clues as to where people are. It’s all very convenient to get us to understand the allure of the stones and what will happen if Thanos gets a hold of them all, as well as to establish people whether in passing (“Scott took a deal”) or by glimpse. Sure. I’m not here for a murder mystery. I’m here for a futuristic Battle of the Pelennor Fields. It’s cool.
Mind you, it takes a really long time to set everyone up- I tried to time this and it’s about 45 minutes if not longer before the last players finally show up (Black Panther peeps, because we literally did just see them). We spend a lot of time with the Guardians (rightfully so) and there is a lot of jokey jokes, non-Guardian banter. I actually liked Dr. Strange in this, I think because he and Tony got to butt heads and we saw two of the more arrogant characters knock each other down. We get to see a lot of characters who previously got the shaft or used as accessories in other movies finally get some decent screentime- most notably, Paul Bettany as Vision (Geoff!) and Ashley Olsen as Scarlet Witch. It’s all a lot of fun and enjoyable to watch.
What’s also really enjoyable to watch is Thanos. His evolution as a villain is second only to Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger- should I be worried now that Marvel has had five decent, distinguishable villains in a row? Thanos has some motive (though it hasn’t fully been revealed) and he’s got a great backstory. It was nice to see that as basic as the protagonists parts were, there was a lot of time and effort put into establishing Thanos’ dominance as well as his inner conflicts. And the CGI wasn’t terrible, though… I’m still calling him Stone Cold Steve Thanos.
Ok, we’re getting into spoiler territory now- scroll past the picture to avoid!
In the process of Thanos getting his power, we do get some characters offed, some in more surprising ways than others. Gamora and Vision, when they die, they hurt. Really, really hurt. They’re done with wonderful arcs throughout the movie, get some beautiful lines before their final moments, and their impact was definitely felt with excellent foreshadowing and lingering effects. Well done. Bravo.
Now here’s where I deducted a few points- the Voldemort Effect and its participants.
I get that there’s a lot of reasons for this, specifically the need to maintain the PG rating and also to make it easier in the next movie. By clearing half the players and leaving the OGs, this let’s us focus in on the original group, their dynamics, and their mission. But there are some major issues with this.
First off, Black Panther just made a billion dollars and people cooed over Tom Holland. They’re not going anywhere. We know they come back. And with that, we know a lot of the others will come back too.
Second, why didn’t Tony or anyone major just get killed? While I think killing Gamora was a bit of a shock and Vision was sad and all, they’re not vastly, emotionally important to the Avengers stage that has already been set for us. You know there’s a huge difference between Vision and Tony Stark dying. There’s less of an “Oh shit, this is real” moment. Infinity War’s stakes just didn’t seem that high as a result. It’s like the lead up episodes in the final season and you know no one will die until the final moments of the show because Kurt Sutter wants to overload your emotions and make you cry on Twitter.
I could go into it more, but those two points alone set up my feelings for the next Avengers movie- it’s going to be predictable. I know someone important, if not multiple big names, will die in the next one- probably the counterparts to the ones that vanished. And everyone that vanished is going to come back.
I think it’s fairly impossible to get a perfect movie out of something this big, but I’m not going to pity point this when it has been done before. I have standards, damnit. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the next one. You know what I’m not looking forward to? The cooler match that is Ant-man and the Wasp.
… As much as I bashed Marvel in the beginning of this, I’m also looking forward to Captain Marvel and I’m glad they’re giving her a solo outing first before mashing her in with everyone else. It’s about time. Just please don’t make this a “WE CAN DO THIS BETTER” movie. She deserves more.