The pinnacle of MCU’s ten-year existence is its 19th full-length film Avengers: Infinity War. Since I am a fan of these movies, it will be difficult to be objective, but I'll still try. By the way, no worries, this review will have NO SPOILERS.
What this all is about?
Over ten years, through a careful intertwining of the plot lines in all its movies, the Marvel Studios was preparing a spectator for this event. Summarizing the history of good-old heroes like Iron Man and Cap, and introducing the cosmic and magical components by means of Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange, little by little, it vaguely pointing to the greatest danger to the heroes - the cosmic titan Thanos.
The alien attack on New York in the first Avengers is his deed. Similarly, he was given a sufficient introduction in The Guardians of the Galaxy. After all, Gamora with Nebula are his adopted daughters. Then, in Age of Ultron, Marvel finally shows that Thanos is tired of dealing through an intermediary and decides to take the matters in his own hands. What is his goal? Collect all six of the Infinity Stones and establish a balance in the universe. Now we came abreast with the main and only inevitable flaw of this movie.
Take another look at the attached poster. You can count 24 heroes on it, and even more of them are in the movie. Each of them was revealed to the viewer in previous movies and comes prepared for the Infinity War. Therefore, the movie creators don’t spend any screen time on introducing the characters to a viewer. The heroes simply exist in that movie and participate in action, as they are already familiar to the spectators since long before. The main flaw of the movie follows from this approach. If you didn’t follow the story developments in the MCU, or simply forgot what has happened before, you wouldn’t understand a thing and would simply see at the epic crowd of superheroes.
One can pose the questions, pardon the pun, infinitely, depending on the viewer’s knowledge. What are those stones? Who is this angry purple man? Why Thor is one-eyed? Speaking raccoon… Are you serious? Some african shooting from spears?. What about the green and blue women, attempting to kill their own father? What the hell is going on?
It is likely that the viewer, indifferent to that entire super hero epic, and not holding in his mind all the key events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wouldn’t feel any tension or experience emotional attachment to the actions. While for an informed viewer, the degree of emotional tension is on the elevated level.
Advantages and how all this looks like.
Infinity War is epic, insanely beautiful, perfectly balanced and edited wonderfully-staged superhero blockbuster. To view this triumph of special effects not in IMAX – is a crime and blasphemy. There is always an unstop action in this movie, the viewer is joggled between several major story lines, giving each of them exactly as much of screen time as necessary.
Despite the great threat hanging over the heroes, the first half of the movie has a decent portion of good and relevant humor: the characters trolling each other, joking, and some situations turned out funny - for example, the meeting of the Guardians and Thor shown in trailer, or verbal skirmishes between Stark and Strange, who have the hard time figuring out, which of them is greater one and billionaire-philanthropist-playboy-mage-MasteroftheMysticArts. In general, it is quite interesting to observe the on-screen chemistry between the characters, who are long familiar to the viewer, but first met in the same scene in this movie.
Thanos. Thanos, starring Josh Brolin (motion capture and facial expressions), is the movie’s main asset, the jewel of this film. As a fan, I was surprised that many consider Erik Killmonger from Black Panther as the best villain of Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can shove him as far as possible because Thanos - that's who kicks the crap of any antagonist, claiming to be the best villain, with the snap of his fingers.
Villain or not, Thanos is a creature with a crystal clear motivation, carrying a real threat to Avengers. Because of their great numbers and constant shuffling, Avengers are taking a second plane behind this insane tyrant, as he looks awesome on the screen. Clearly realizing what he wants, he tirelessly follows his goal. He is merciful and treats his adversaries with a certain leniency, or even respect, but for him this is no more than an amusement, since the result is the only thing that counts. On the way to this result, he stops at nothing.
The last half hour of the movie, along with the grandiose final climax, is difficult to compare with anything else or analyze as you just sit, full of insane tension, and patiently watch the action under the divine musical orchestral accompaniment. Then it is the end with the most powerful, but predictable cliffhanger ending, and the traditional post-credits scene.
I’m speechless. One should just see this on screen! Marvel Studios, since The Winter Soldier, holds the highest bar of quality, so there is no need in excessive huffing and puffing in graphics, sound and production. Their perennial problem was useless villains, that were getting rid of somewhere in the end of the movie within one scene. Erik Killmonger, who got kicked in the ass in a dull fight in the end, falls into the same category. The exception, in my opinion, was only Helmut Zemo from Civil War, but exceptions only confirm the rule. Now, with the introduction of Thanos, I think, the issue with the antagonists will be resolved.
After the end of watching, it comes the realization that the new Avengers are not reminiscent any of those previous films. As I said above, the reason lies in the fact that this film is not about the Avengers, but about Thanos.
Movies like this one are shot once in a decade, so it's impossible to miss such a large-scale event for the cinema (the film already beats all world records at a box-office, which, in fact, was predictable). I strongly recommend that you prepare for viewing, even if you refresh your memory (or better just watch) the events of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok. Well, in general, the network has a sufficient number of videos, which contain a brief retelling of the MCU.
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