Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War *NO SPOILERS*

Details: Directed by Anthony RussoJoe Russo. Stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo. About two and a half hours long. The imdb site is https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4154756/

I’ve watched every single movie in the Marvel cinematic universe since the first Iron Man movie. In that context, I really enjoyed Avengers: Infinity War. I think that if you have not kept up to date or watched a substantial number of the Marvel superhero movies, then you may still enjoy the film, but not as much as someone who has. No spoilers ahead and no discussion of the plot.

There are simply too many revealing plot points to even approach discussion on the plot so I just won’t say anything about that.

I will discuss the tone though. While there is a lot of serious dramatic moments, this is still a Marvel movie. Jokes are constantly peppered throughout the film. A problem I’ve had with Marvel movies in the past is that there is too much humor and not enough respect for moments that are supposed to be weighty. Infinity War definitely handles its humor better than past Marvel films. There is less of it, but there is still a lot of humor considering the type of story they’re trying to tell. There were still moments where I felt the humor took away from potential places for emotion.

There are a ton of special/computer generated effects in the film and they were all done well. There are a lot of great visuals here (as expected of Industrial Light and Magic). Pretty much every single shot likely had some computer generated effects added in. The music in this film was also pretty good. It was contextually better and more memorable than the music of the prior Avengers films.

I think what ultimately is the greatest strength of this film and its greatest weakness is the reliance on the prior Marvel movies to set up the plot in this one. As someone who’s watched all the prior Marvel films, I knew who everyone was. I knew the struggles they went through and the preexisting bonds they had with each other. So when I saw those relationships and developments in their character play out in Infinity War, I was satisfied. I’ve even read a substantial amount of Marvel comic books so seeing those images and references to the comic books on the big screen was pretty magical.

I imagine that some who hasn’t watched any of the prior Marvel films may see Infinity War as just another science fiction/action movie loaded to the brim with explosions and special effects. And they would be mostly right. There are so many different plot lines going on, most of which were established in other films. It’s easy to see how someone might get lost. Unless you’ve thrown money at Marvel/Disney for the last couple of years, you are unlikely to get too much out of the film or even understand a lot of what’s going on. Furthermore, there are a ton of named characters in this movie. Most of these characters who have been well established in prior films generally get around one or two lines. A few characters get some time to shine, but generally, you’re not getting that much character development or time spent with any one character. It’s easy to see how that may leave most of the characters in this film feeling neglected or two dimensional.

The action scenes were done well. I just wish there was some progression to it. In my favorite action movies, the action scenes have some sort of progression. It’s like a story within a story. There’s a buildup of expectations throughout the film until you finally reach that climactic battle. Then the battle itself builds up as the characters unleash more powerful techniques through the fight scene. There’s some of that here, but not as much as I would like. Winter Soldier had some amazing fight scenes that had a sort of rhythm to them. Infinity has some fun fight scenes, but they just felt a little rushed and lacking in emotion. You need to keep in mind that a lot of what this film presents was set up in other films over the last ten years. This is the climax of all the prior Marvel movies. Within Infinity War itself, there isn’t that much thoughtfully paced setup. The whole movie is meant to be this big bombastic climax.

Additionally, if I were to rank this film among all the Marvel films it would probably rank somewhere in the fourth or fifth position. Winter Soldier is still easily number one, but Infinity War ranks somewhere at the same level as Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. It’s better than Civil War in my opinion because the action is simply on a larger scale and you get to see even more interactions between even more characters. The small amount of narrative in Infinity War was also more believable to me than the motivations in Civil War.

Overall, I really enjoyed Infinity War. I confess, a large part of that was because I saw it in a very quiet, very comfortable theater with reclining seats. I was practically lying down when I watched the film. It was very comfortable. As for the film itself, Infinity War is a reward for all of us suckers who have been throwing money at Marvel and Mickey Mouse for the last decade. Infinity War is not a revolutionary film, it’s just the next step in the progression of the superhero movie genre. It takes everything Marvel has built and throws it all into one two and a half hour movie. If you like Marvel even a little, then Infinity War is a must watch. If you don’t like action movies or think superhero stuff is for losers, you still won’t enjoy Infinity War. You should still probably watch it just to say you did to all your friends who watched it.

Score: 8.1/10

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