Friday, April 27, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War

(Movie Review)

****SPOILERS****

Positives
* Wow, these Marvel movies, huh?  Every time they keep upping the ante.  And every time I keep thinking they can't possibly pull it off.  And yet they keep pulling it off.

* Related to the above point:
When I first heard that Marvel was doing a movie about all the heroes fighting Thanos, I thought, "Well, okay, but you can't possibly build an interesting story around that."
And then they went ahead and built an interesting story around it.
Not only that, but it's clear now that they've been setting up a lot of the pieces for this movie over their last several movies, in order to get all the characters to exactly the spots they needed to be for this movie to work.
It's quite clever really.
Often when I get out of a Hollywood movie, I think to myself, "Well, geez, I could have written that."
In this case, looking at all the clever set-ups and pay-offs that have cumulated in this movie, I'm thinking to myself, "I definitely couldn't have written this."

* The movie is almost all fight scenes, but to give credit where credit is due, the fight scenes are really awesome.

* Lots of fun seeing all these characters from different movies meet each other for the first time, and finally interact.

* Lots of humor.

Negatives
* So, I was a big comic book geek in my youth.  
And as a comic book geek, one problem that I often noticed is that the more bizarrely powerful the heroes got, the more bizarrely powerful the villains had to get in order to make it interesting.
Particularly with team-up comics (like Teen Titans or Justice League) the combined power of the heroes is so powerful that they usually have to invent some sort of god-like villain in order to create any kind of stakes.
But the problem with an omnipotent villain is that :
1) the story quickly becomes pretty ridiculous, and 
2) it creates all sorts of plot holes--mostly along the lines of "Well if he had the power to do that in one scene, why didn't he have the power to do it again in another scene."
Thanos is a classic example of this problem.  A practically omnipotent villain, who acquires the power to alter reality, and move in time.  
I'm pretty sure that if you went through and analyzed this story carefully, it wouldn't be full of plot holes.  Thanos's powers did not seem consistent from one scene to the next.

Mixed Bag
 * So, no Hawkeye or Ant-Man in this movie, huh?  Given all the other superheroes this movie was juggling, I hardly missed them.  But still, I wonder why they didn't work in some sort of brief cameo for them?  What do you suppose was the behind the scenes reason?

* So, we all know Spider-Man and Black Panther aren't really dead.  Of course they're not dead, we all know that more Spider-Man and Black Panther movies are in production.  So they can't be dead.
So that attempt to make us think they were dead is really kind of pathetic, isn't it?
I was tempted to put this in the negative column, but then eventually I decided that this wasn't really Marvel's fault.  They can't really do anything about the fact that the big budget Hollywood movie machine is too much of a behemoth to keep anything secret.
It's a losing game trying to build tension about characters who we know have more franchise films coming out, but I guess I don't blame them for trying.

* Since this film ended on a cliff-hanger, full judgement on the success of this story will have to wait until part 2 comes out next year.
Obviously we know most of the superheros will be resurrected somehow (see the above point).  But how?  Will it be in a cheap cop-out way, or will it be in a way that feels authentic to the story?
And how far reaching will this resurrection be?  Will characters that were killed earlier in the movie (like Loki or Gamora) also be resurrected?
Since it was already established in this movie that the infinity stones control the movement through time, I'm a bit worried the resolution will involve some sort of going back in time.
Generally I really hate the idea of going back in time to resolve plot points.  (Exceptions can be made for movies where the whole premise is about going back in time to fix something--like Back to the Future.  Then it's fair enough, because that's the premise. But if going back in time is just an addendum at the end of the movie, then I don't like it.)
But we'll have to wait and see I guess.

Rating :
9 out of 10 Stars--Quite possibly the best super hero movie ever.  Certainly the most ambitious super hero movie ever.  Close to 10 out of 10 stars, but it loses one star for 2 reasons--the godlike villain problem, and the cliffhanger ending.

2 comments:

Whisky Prajer said...

I'm expecting to watch this on Sunday. Would you recommend regular or 3D?

Joel Swagman said...

This is definitely a movie that demands to be seen on the big screen. But I'm not sure 3D is necessary. Regular should be fine.