Friday, April 27, 2018

Infinity War


Since Avengers and a shoddily animated post-credits scene, we've been teased with this. So even if, like me, you're beginning to tire of the Marvel Cinematic Formula, then you are probably going to up for this installment. And you should be, because damn if they didn't stick the landing.

In brief: Thanos of Titan (No reference here to comic's original Greek Mythological origin or his actual birth on the Saturnian moon. It's just some planet here.) is after all these plot coupons that have had major to minor appearances in previous films, to crush gemstones from them--the Infinity Stones. He well on his way to collecting them all, when Avengers: Infinity War opens.

What follows is a film structured like a classic comic book crossover with mismatched groups of heroes in different locations try to prevent Thanos or his minions from getting one Infinity Stone or another. Each time they engage them entertainingly. I don't think I felt my interest in the doings flag noticeably over the nearly three hour run time. It is impressive how well paced it is despite the number of location jumps and protagonist shifts. I can't think of any film with an ensemble so sprawling that has done it so well.

And the ending? Well, without significant spoilers let's just say this is the Empire Strikes Back to the Star Wars: A New Hope comprised of entirety of the Cinematic Marvel Universe before.

Are there things not to like? Well, it carries the baggage of previous CMU stuff, so if (like me) you didn't like the "science-fiction"-izing of Asgard and Asgardian, that's all in your face here, starting with Asgardian's sending a distress call like they are Free Trader Beowulf from the cover of Traveller. All you Hawkeye fans (there's gotta be someone) will be disappointed that he isn't in it, and many other characters largely just get brief lines and brief appearances in fight scenes. There is not as much character stuff or dramatic beats here; there just isn't space. In that regard, this is the story of Gamorra, Tony Stark, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Thor, and Thanos, and every one else is showing up just to fight. The CGI is great at times and unaccountably bad in others. Thanos's footsteps always seem too dainty.

And finally, this is perhaps the most comic book of comic book movies, with that fact entailing both good and bad perhaps. This certainly shouldn't be anyone's first Marvel film. It is not as accessible in the way Black Panther or the more comedic Marvel entries like Thor: Ragnarok are.

But overall, I loved it, and if you've been a fan of the other films or even most of them, you probably will too.


2 comments:

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Unknown said...

as a HUGE comic nerd this was so good...but I can imagine people who don't know the Black order or the Asgard Dwarves may have been confused.
so good though...several points during the movie I realized I was watching an EPIC comic cross-over like Crisis or Secret Wars...The Russo brothers succeeded beyond anything I could have expected (And Winter soldier WAS my favorite marvel film before this)