Movies: Avengers: Infinity War

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, and just a whole bunch of people, I mean really, was this necessary?
Directed by: Anthony & Joe Russo
Written by: Like, 12 Guys and Not a Single Woman, So F*** Off
Marvel, 2018
PG-13; 149 minutes
2.0 stars (out of 5)



People are going to like this movie, so I know I'm swimming upstream. And it's not because I want to be "different" or "contrary." I just really didn't enjoy it.

I mean, there were a couple moments I enjoyed, and a couple times I actually laughed, but overall this felt like it was trying way too hard.

And then I heard—as we were driving to the cinema—that there's going to be another one, so this isn't even, you know, the entire story. It's just a really long movie that gets you, what? Halfway there?


I'm no longer impressed by all the spectacle. And I've read fan fiction that's better and more engaging than this script.

The story, which we've sort of known for a while now, is that Thanos is trying to collect the six Infinity Stones and put them in his gauntlet. His goal is to save the universe by eliminating half the population in it. Similar to culling seals or whatever, I guess, the idea being that we don't have enough resources and therefore must cut down the burdens on those resources.

The one thing I can say for the movie is that Thanos is actually an interesting villain. He has depth and feeling, so that's a nice change.

The attempts to play up emotions in the protagonists, however, fell flat. These characters no longer have personalities.


Yes, there are deaths. We lose people who I call JIEs: "just important enough" (without being the headliners). Anyway, there's a Time Stone, so we know that eventually all these people are coming back. That's the problem with Marvel movies; there never really are any stakes.

A villain who basically has all the power actually makes things less interesting, too. I said above that Thanos is an interesting villain, and he is interesting—as a character. But his having all this power makes every fight feel feeble and unnecessary. Oh, he can change reality? Well, then, if reality can change at whim, then there is no longer any such thing as reality, is there? Whee! Nothing matters anymore!

Such stupid decisions, too. Why try to pull the gauntlet off Thanos? Why not just destroy the Stones, or take them, or cut Thanos' arm off or something? (Do not give me a lecture about how the Stones can't be removed, or the gauntlet is impervious, or anything like that. At the very least, Thanos' arm is certainly not indestructible.)

Meanwhile, I think they were trying to have Dr. Strange and Tony Stark out-ego one another, but it just didn't scan. Why didn't Strange use the Time Stone to, I dunno, stop time or something? Do another infinite loop until they won the fight? Like, anything useful?

On the plus side, Thor kept calling Rocket a rabbit, and that was amusing. For a while. But the writers leaned into what they thought was an emotional core to this movie—namely the relationships between characters—and therefore went light on the levity, which I found sorely lacking, and somewhat forced in the places it did occur. The funny is what makes Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok some of the best movies in the series. And while this one is certainly tackling a more sober story line, they could have used more laughs, if only to break up the monotony.

That said, two dramatic moments gave me chills: Cap stepping out of the shadows in Scotland, and Thor arriving in Wakanda.

Bottom line: I was underwhelmed. Not that it matters what I think; this movie will make its money and people will be in line for the next one, too. Those same people who overeat at buffets because they insist on getting their money's worth and figure it's worth the bellyache.

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