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The Avengers: Infinity War

Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018
Dave!And lo, Marvel Studios absolutely wasn't kidding when they taunted that Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of the past ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is not idle hype. Though Comic Book Reality being what it is, you have to wonder just how much of what happens in this truly epic film will have lasting effects on where we are going forward. Something tells me not all of it is going to all be washed away. What ends up sticking is anybody's guess. Except not really...

Avengers: Infinity War Movie Poster

If you've ever read comics before... if you've ever been left hanging in the middle of a two-part comic book story before... then there's nothing much in Infinity War that could be all that shocking to you. Likewise, anticipating the thrust of the story in next year's still-untitled-conclusion-movie also doesn't take much effort. And yet... Infinity War actually did redefine the word "epic" when it comes to super-hero movies... or movies in general, really. Obviously, my thoughts on the film are going into a spoiler-laden extended entry, which you absolutely do not want to read if you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War yet. You've been warned. And also... another warning? Skip any trailers you haven't watched yet. One pretty major spoiler was dropped in one of the trailers I saw, and I'm still pretty raw about it. And now? This is your last chance. Do not proceed unless having a movie ruined is something you enjoy. Spoilers await in an extended entry...

Spoiler Zone!

Alrighty then. In many ways, Avengers: Infinity War is misnamed. "Infinity War" implies that The Avengers will be fighting a war that goes on forever. If you've seen the movie, you know that's not quite true. Though the battle of good vs. evil does go on forever, this is truly the end for Earth's Mightiest Heroes as they are now. Perhaps in some ways that are permanent. It would be more accurate to say that this movie is the "War for The Infinity Gauntlet," a weapon of unimaginable abilities. Whomever wears The Infinity Gauntlet has mastery over all six fundamental energies which have defined the universe since it began (as defined by the half-dozen Infinity Gems the gauntlet contains... Power, Space, Reality, Soul, Time, and Mind... most of which have been finding their way into Marvel Studios films for the past several years). Thanos wants to assemble the gauntlet so he can finish the mission he set out upon ages ago: destroy half of all living things in the Universe. His motivations for doing so are, by his thinking, a way of saving the Universe from itself. Too few resources are being fought over by too many beings, so getting rid of half of them will put the Universe back in balance. It's a noble goal, I suppose, and ample screen-time is given to Thanos so he can sell the audience on the idea of it all. He kinda succeeds, which is deserving of a hat-tip to directors Joe and Anthony Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. They gave us one hell of a story. And at the end of that story, half the Universe (as well as half the Marvel characters) are dead. Like I said... no surprise. If you've read even a few comics, you know that the villains usually triumph before they are ultimately defeated. Going into the movie I expected Thanos to win. I expected heroes to die. that's how comic book stories work. They always have. But even death ain't permenent in comics, so that's something that has to be factored in. Unless Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 is going to consist solely of Rocket Raccoon, at least some of those deaths will be temporary. Unless somebody other than Peter Parker is going to be Spider-Man in the Homecoming sequel, his death is temporary. Unless Marvel is going to kiss their money-making machine goodbye by having somebody else become Black Panther, he's coming back. If I were a betting man... I'd speculate that most everybody who died in Infinity War will come back so that the "final deaths" that are yet to come will be the real rug that gets jerked from under our feet. Things I liked...
  • The team-ups that happened. Having Doctor Strange, Iron Man, and Spider-Man mixing it up with the Guardians of the Galaxy is what this movie was made for. It worked incredibly well. My favorite being Thor teaming up with Groot and Rocket.
  • Vision and Scarlet Witch. This romantic pairing came right out of the comic books. Only time will tell if we get another chance at seeing this epic romance unfold further.
  • Doctor Strange. Very cool that he ended up having such a huge part in the story. And, if you were paying attention, ultimately the solution to the Thanos Problem as well. Thank heavens that Marvel changed their schedule to accomodate Benedict Cumberbatch in the role... I can't fathom anybody else bringing what he does to the character.
  • Nick Fury. We know that he will be a big part of bringing Captain Marvel to the big screen, somehow in the past... and having him appear with Maria Hill in the closing credits scene... then have him summon Carol Danvers... it's all comic book goodness that can't be denied.
  • Shuri. They didn't just give her an opportunity to prove her smarts... they did it in the best possible way. Since her brother got dusted, it would be very cool indeed if she became the temporary Black Panther until her brother ultimately returns.
  • Red Skull?!? What a cool surprise! And a welcome one. It was a bit of a bummer that Hugo Weaving didn't reprise the role. I know he said he didn't want to ever do it again... but why in the hell wouldn't you want to conclude the character you originated? Boo! The replacement was as good as we could have hoped for though, so there's that.
  • Gamora. The backbone and heart of the story was right here. That Zoe Saldana had to act opposite a plethora of CGI effects, including Thanos himself, only goes to show how talented she truly is.
  • Visuals. And speaking of CGI effects, how frickin' amazing was everything? There was just so much CGI that things could have so easily fell apart. But Thanos and his Black Order children were flawless. As was most everything else that was overwhelming my senses. The only misstep I spotted was Bruce Banner in the Hulkbuster armor at the end... it was jarring just how bad it was... but everything else? Movie magic.
  • Ant-Man and Hawkeye MIA. I expected to be mad at whatever lame excuse Marvel came up with for keeping them out of Infinity War, but it actually made perfect sense. They have families. They took plea deals. Done and done. They are all but confirmed for the next Avengers movie, so why not sit them out here? What could they have added?
Things I didn't like...
  • The Hulk MIA. Where was he? Why make Banner the feature player when it's The Hulk everybody wants to see. We got maybe five minutes and then... poof? WTF?
  • Korg, Miek, and Valkyrie MIA. Did I blink and miss them in the opening salvo with Thor, Loki, and Thanos? My guess is that they... and a goodly sum of Asgardians... escaped the carnage.
  • The team-ups that didn't happened. Captain America, Falcon, and Black Widow were together again. As always. And I really wish we could have got better mingling with others. Black Widow and Okoye was just a small taste of what should have been a feast.
  • Wakanda. Despite being the site of one of the movie's biggest battles, Wakanda felt "tacked-on." Like the battle could have taken place anywhere and the film wouldn't have suffered for it. Maybe I would have felt different if the plot thread to save Vison had actually worked (and I'm guessing it probably actually did... we just haven't seen it yet), but it didn't have the integral presence it should have been given in the movie to me.
  • Asgard. Odds are, Loki and Heimdal are permanently dead. I guess I'm okay with that because something has to have lasting effect, and this could be that. But all the rest of Asgard? It's insane that they survived Ragnarok only to die off-screen like this, which is why I hope it's temporary.
  • The Iron Spider. Yes, Spider-Man's new metal costume is straight out of the comic books and is very cool... but it takes away what makes Spider-Man be Spider-Man, and I have to wonder how they are going to go back to his "regular-already-too-powerful-costume" before the Homecoming sequel. This cannot be a permanent change, because this is not Spider-Man.
  • Star-Lord Stupidity. Having Peter Quill be the reason that Thanos wins was a stupid, stupid, stupid story twist that absolutely wasn't needed. He loves Gamora. We get it. You don't have to turn him into a Thanos accomplice over it.
  • Focus. Or rather, lack thereof. Splitting everybody up was a plausible part of the story that didn't bother me, but the way they kept jerking between the plot threads made a bit of a rough go of getting through the film. A cosmic-spanning odyssey I can get behind... I just wish they had divided it up into bigger chunks.
  • The Black Order. The "Children of Thanos" were worthy challengers to various Avengers, but were so ill-defined as to make that challenge suspect. One minute they are massively powerful... the next minute they were tossed away or killed like they were nothing. Half the time, I didn't even know what their powers might be, which kept things confusing. One guy could levitate stuff. The rest were strong. Is that it, or did I miss something?
  • Netflix and No Chill. Would it have killed them to even hint that Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage exist?
  • Infinity Spoilers. The advertising campaign from Marvel was pretty shitty in that it was filled with spoilers. You could tell from the ads that Spider-Man most probably dies given Stark's reaction being on full display. You also knew that Thanos destroyed the Asgardians because there was an ad where Thor is saying "What more can be taken from me?" (or something like that). It was a forgone conclusion what was going to happen after having seen the end-credits scene from Thor: Ragnarok. Why not be as vague as possible in the advertising? You know people were going to flock to the movie... why spoil it?
Ultimately I enjoyed Avengers: Infinity War a heck of a lot. Though it's far from the top of my list. The spectacle of it all was almost too much, even though it was done so well for what it was meant to be. With that in mind, it may actually be the best Avengers movie yet, even though I didn't rank it as high as the first one. But I don't think it's the best Marvel movie. It definitely ranks behind Black Panther, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Doctor Strange, and Thor: Ragnarok, for example. Not sure it it places higher than Civil War, but it's probably in that area. Definitely deserving of an "A," that's for sure. I can't wait to see how they wrap it up. But if you want my guesses on that I've put my speculations in an addendum at the bottom of this entry. Time to update my "Y2K Super-Hero Comic Book Renaissance" scorecard... Ant-Man... A The Avengers... A+ Avengers: Age of Ultron... A Avengers: Infinity War... A Batman Begins... A Batman Dark Knight... A+ Batman Dark Knight Rises... A Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice... D Big Hero Six... A+ Black Panther... A+ Blade... B Blade 2... B Blade Trinity... B- Captain America... A+ Captain America: The Winter Soldier... A+ Captain America: Civil War... A+ Catwoman... F Daredevil... B- Daredevil (Director's Cut)... B+ Deadpool... A Deadpool 2... A Doctor Strange... A Electra Woman and Dyna Girl... B- Elektra... D Fantastic Four (2005)... C Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer... D Fantastic Four (2015)... D+ Guardians of the Galaxy... A+ Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2... A Ghost Rider... C Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance... D Green Hornet... D Green Lantern... C+ Hellboy... A Hellboy 2: Golden Army... A Hulk... C- Incredible Hulk... B The Incredibles... A+ Iron Man... A+ Iron Man 2... A- Iron Man 3... A+ Jonah Hex... F Kick-Ass... B+ Kick-Ass 2... B- Man of Steel... F- Punisher... C+ Punisher War Zone... C Scott Pilgrim vs. The World... C Spider-Man... B+ Spider-Man 2... A Spider-Man 3... D- Amazing Spider-Man... B Amazing Spider-Man 2... B- Spider-Man: Homecoming... A+ Suicide Squad... D Superman Returns... C+ Thor... B+ Thor: The Dark World... B Thor: Ragnarok... A+ Watchmen... B The Wolverine... B Wonder Woman... A X-Men... C X-Men 2: United... D X-Men 3: Last Stand... F- X-Men Origins: Wolverine... D X-Men: First Class... B X-Men: Days of Future Past... B- X-Men: Apocalypse... D+ And now for my speculations on the next Avengers movie. Don't read if you don't want it potentially spoiled. Come back in a year and a couple months!

Spoiler Zone!

It's almost certain that Chris Evans will be hanging up Captain America's shield. He's all but confirmed it himself. He never wanted to do it this long, but signed the contract because he wanted to play the character. And, with that in mind, he's been extraordinarily generous in making cameos in other Marvel movies plus extend his contract by one film in order to wrap things up in whatever The Avengers 4 ends up being called. It doesn't take a genius to put 2 and 2 together here and know that Cap is going to die. But, as a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe, he's not going to go out quietly. He's going to go out in the most heroic way possible: saving the Universe. At some point he will wield the Infinity Gauntlet to restore half the lives in the galaxy, then die because humans can't wield infinity stones and live. Perhaps he will restore Asgard along the way? That would be nice. A bunch of Asgardians probably escaped the carnage, but they still have no home. I'm opposed to them setting up shop on Earth like they did in the comics. What I am not sure about is Tony Stark surviving. Robert Downey Jr. seems to love playing the character. I'd love to see him continue. I'd love to have another Iron Man movie. He is the bedrock upon which the Marvel Cinematic Universe was constructed, and he needs to stay. Even if he's no longer active and just makes a cameo from time to time. RDJ could charge a million a pop and donate it to charity. The world needs Tony Stark. As for Thanos? Well, he's the villain and is most likely going to be defeated. There's nowhere to take him after these films. I hope Vision returns. There's so much more to explore with him. Gamora, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Nick Fury, Scarlet Witch, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and most of the others? They're all coming back. Cap's death... along with the deaths of Loki and Heimdal... are enough to satisfy the body count. As to the end? The Infinity Gauntlet is destroyed and dozens of new Marvel movies are announced. Life goes on. For some of us.

Comments

  1. I really enjoyed it a lot. The Lord Of The Rings “space orcs” battle I was a little bored by. Thought they could have focused a little more on the Children Of Thanos there. And the consistency of the strength and abilities of Thanos was off? He smacked down Hulk and all but defeated Thor at the beginning. Then later after acquiring more power via additional stones he struggled a little against other Avengers? I must get out my ‘which Avenger has more powers’ ranking list.

    • Daver says:

      No… the powers of the CHILDREN OF THANOS… The Black Order… were ill-defined and changing. Thanos was consistently powerful.

  2. BE Earl says:

    Agreed on all points. Solid film but not as good as some of the other films in the MCU thus far. And agreed about what will happen in the next film. I can’t wait to see how they pull it off.

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