Movie Review: “Avengers: Infinity War”
After the events of Thor: Ragnarok, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) leads the Asgardians to their new home on Earth. On their journey, they are met by Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his forces. Thanos is on his way to Earth as well in his hunt for the Infinity Stones. He believes that the universe is overpopulated and does not have enough food or natural resources for everyone. Thanos is quite possibly the most powerful being in the galaxy and he goes through Thor’s ship with little effort. Now he is headed straight for earth to retrieve the Time Stone and the Mind Stone.
Thanos has spent his life conquering planets and wiping out half of each civilization in an effort to save the universe from starvation and poverty. However, all his efforts have seen little results because he is simply moving too slowly to make a major impact. With all six Infinity Stones, he would be able to wipe out half of the universe’s population with, literally, a snap of of his fingers. He has tracked all of the Infinity Stones (except for the Soul Stone) and, while he has sent most of his forces to Earth to retrieve two of the Stones, he has also sent forces across the galaxy to retreive the others. While The Avengers are still separated after the events of Captain America: Civil War, they are met with their most difficult challenge yet and must make a united effort to defend the Infinity Stones and stop Thanos from becoming more powerful than they can handle. While Earth's mightiest heroes are dealing with the biggest fight of their lives, The Guardian's of the Galaxy are headed to Knowhere to retrieve and protect the Reality Stone.
The Pros & Cons
The Avengers [ft. Guardian of the Galaxy] (+10pts)
The Infinity Stones (+8pts)
The Black Order (-2pts)
Pro: Thanos (+10pts)
I really did not expect to be a big fan of Thanos due to Marvel's history of poorly developed villains, but he was a captivating presence throughout this movie. While most will not agree with his method's, audiences will understand where he is coming from and what he is trying to do. In his eyes, he is saving the universe. In his eyes, he knows what needs to be done and anyone that stands in his way is simply a casualty who does not see the bigger picture. He is desperate to save the universe from poverty and hunger. While he plans on wiping out half of life throughout the universe, he sees it as mercy (as opposed to genocide). Marvel usually drops the ball on it's villains but Thanos was definitely an exception. This was almost more of a Thanos movie than it was an Avengers movie. The character gets a ton of development, which made the threat feel like a spectacle.
Thanos was a compelling villain because he made sense. His means are far too extreme, but he is trying to save the universe from dying. He does not care about humanity (specifically) or the countless civilizations across the universe. He cares about sparing all life from living in a universe filled with fear, cruelty, hunger, and poverty. Thanos was a compelling villain but he was also intimidating. He is definitely stronger than anything The Avengers (or Guardians of the Galaxy) have faced before (and that is without taking the Infinity Stones into consideration). Thanos does not enjoy killing, but as far as he is concerned, The Avengers are trying to stop him from saving the universe, which is something that he simply will not allow.
Con: Asgard (-2pts)
It was honestly tough to find issues that I had with the movie, but one of the movie's minor flaws was in relation to the Asgardians. After Thor: Ragnarok, Thor has taken the mantle of King and is leading the Asgardians to their new home. However, this is not a Thor movie. This is an Avenger's movie and, as cluttered as the film already was, adding all of the new Thor characters would make it even more cluttered.
The filmmakers kind of explain away all of Thor's allies so that they can get Thor alone and helping the Avengers. I understand why this was done, but I did not feel the impact that Thor should have felt as a result of this. After the last movie, Thor has lost a lot and I did not think that this movie gives Thor a proper mourning period. I understand that this is not a Thor movie, but it seemed like the filmmakers separated Thor from his individual story in a pretty lazy way. The filmmakers kind of just got all of the Thor "baggage" out of the way as fast as possible.
Pro: The Avengers [ft. Guardians of the Galaxy] (+10pts)
I have loved all of the Marvel movies and have been waiting for the Infinity War storyline since the introduction of Thanos in Marvel's The Avengers. That being said, I was a little nervous going into this movie due to the massive cast of heroes. Again, I loved all of the previous movies, but I was concerned that the filmmakers would struggle to juggle all of these great characters. Fortunately, the filmmakers did a truly incredible job of managing it all and they blended the various personas together seemlessly. They did this by separating the heroes into groups.
There are six infinity stones that are spread across the galaxy so there are many different places that the heroes need to go. The solution was to split the team of heroes into three groups. So rather than try to balance over a dozen major characters at once, the filmmakers split them into groups. We had one group with Doctor Strange and the Time Stone, another group with Vision and the Mind Stone, and a third group going to meet the Collector and the Reality Stone. This provided a nice balance and definitely made the movie feel less cluttered. Rather than juggle so many individual characters, the filmmakers only had to juggle three groups.
Pro: Cluttered (-4pts)
While I thought that the filmmakers did a great job of balancing the giant cast of heroes, I still thought the movie felt a little too cluttered. There are just too many characters to be able to give all of them proper focus. Now, the Russo brothers (directors of Avengers: Infinity War) have said that the characters who did not get much focus this time will get more focus in the next Avengers movie (part two of the Infinity War story which is set to be realeased next May). However, I am reviewing this as an independent movie and there were a few too many major characters who were left on the back burner because there just was not enough time to focus on them all.
Pro: The Infinity Stones (+8pts)
This should really be no surprise, given the movie's title, but the Infinity Stones are a huge part of this story. The movie starts with Thanos already in possession of the Power Stone (from Guardians of the Galaxy) and he is desperate to get the others. The Space Stone was in Odin’s vault before Thor: Ragnarok, the Reality Stone is with The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) on Knowhere, the Time Stone is with Doctor Strange, the Mind Stone is powering Vision, and the location of the Soul Stone has yet to be determined. This worked well because it gave the filmmakers a reason to split up the heroes while also making the movie really feel like the whole universe is at stake.
It gives each group of characters a mission to strive for while also continuously increasing the threat (Thanos). He grows more powerful with each Infinity Stone and gives The Avengers (and the audience) a sense of helplessness. The threat is greater than anything they have seen before, and the stakes are higher than they have ever been. The Infinity Stones being scattered across the universe gave the movie a fun adventure feel while also providing a ton of fun action sequences between the various characters. This movie is a spectacle and the Infinity Stones were a major reason why.
Con: The Black Order (-2pts)
The Black Order was a necessary group for this story, but I felt that the filmmakers kind of dropped the ball with them. Of the group, Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) was the only one that got any real focus, and I liked the character quite a bit. Ebony Maw is extremely powerful and could give the avengers a run for their money on his own. He is also extremely loyal and obsessed with Thanos which hyped up the movie’s main villain to a god-like degree. Ebony Maw was done well but the same cannot be said for his fellow members of The Black Order.
Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon), Corvus Glaive (Michael James Shaw), and Cull Obsidian (Terry Notary) are formidable foes but get no real focus. They are big parts of the comics and have various skill sets, but are really just in this movie to give The Avengers formidable characters to fight when Thanos is not around. The little of them that we saw, made me want to see more of these characters but this cast was too cluttered to be able to focus on them in this film. I think an accurate comparison would be to compare them to General Zod’s henchmen in Man of Steel; they are powerful and can go toe-to-toe with The Avengers, but they were really just bodies for our heroes to fight. I think Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight are pretty cool characters in the comics so I hope we see more of them (and what they are capable of) in future movies.
Grade: A+ (95pts)
Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of all the previous movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Over the past ten years, we have slowly been introduced to more and more heroes while also learning about the Infinity Stones and what they are capable of. The hype for this movie has been slowly building for the past decade and the movie honestly lives up to it. We get a great villain with Thanos, we get almost all of the heroes that we have loved over the past 18 movies, and we get it all with some epic action.
You have seen the adds saying that this movie is a “spectacle”. Rest assured, this is no exaggeration. Not only do we get an incredible cast of heroes, we also get a menacing and compelling villain. Audiences will not agree with his methods but they will understand his goal as well as how desperate he is to achieve it. He is a compelling villain but he is also a menacing one. The filmmakers did the best they could with such a cluttered cast and we got a ton of great action sequences and entertaining banter. Marvel has had some great movies, but this is arguably their best one yet. Avengers: Infinity War is a must see movie event with iconic heroes, an epic villain, incredible action, funny (but not over-powering) comedy, and stakes higher than they have ever been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.