‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is a 10 year promise kept

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is a 10 year promise kept

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is a 10 year promise kept
April 28
23:18 2018

Hype is a double-edged sword.

It can be rewarding, cathartic and fulfilling all at the same time. It’s also deceptive, in that it often plays with one’s expectations, and it has a tendency to force out the response someone wants to have rather than the response something actually deserves.

I’m torn between feeling both a great sense of accomplishment for “Avengers: Infinity War” directors Joe and Anthony Russo, as well as an intense feeling of trepidation after writing this review so soon after my second viewing.

This truly is the culmination of what Marvel has been promising for so long, and while it doesn’t stand well enough on its own, and while there are other films in the universe that are constructed more logically, I firmly believe is the best Marvel film, all things considered.

I’m awestruck by everything here, and it is so rare a promise of this scale is actually kept.

“Avengers: Infinity War” has many plot lines. While I will not go into detail about them individually, I will say this: Josh Brolin’s Thanos, a titan who hopes to acquire the fabled Infinity Stones, is coming. He needs these stones to power the Infinity Gauntlet, a glove with the power to wipe out half of the universe.

Along the way, the Avengers, as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy and even some uninitiated heroes, all unite in their attempts to keep them from him. While many characters’ plot lines never intersect, they all have the same goal and put up one hell of a fight for the universe’s most threatening titan.

The first thing you have to concede when watching this film is that there really is no “first act.” The previous films really do give the context necessary to understand every character.

At a staggering 76 named characters from the comics, there is very little time for formalities. While no film should rely so heavily on previous work as this one does, adapting a comic run of this scale to film does require a bit of rewiring your expectations. While you certainly don’t need to watch all 18 films leading to this, having done so lends a deeper appreciation of every second of the 160-minute run time. While that may seem long, because the film covers so much ground from so many different angles, it actually feels short.

At its best, it felt like a movie that knew what it had to do and cut out everything not directly essential in relation to Thanos.

At its worst, it feels like a “best hits” of the Avengers and friends, often sidelining too many characters. Still, if anything, it made me excited for what comes next for these characters in their respective solo films, as well as the untitled Avengers sequal coming next year.

However, Thanos is given an unexpectedly large amount of screen time. Marvel has only recently begun to understand how to create complex villains, and while I struggle to say he’s the best or most thoughtfully constructed and grounded (Michael B Jordan’s Killmonger comes to mind), any villain in comparison feels quaint when considering the scale of his motivations and ambition.

What’s more is that Thanos is not really all that evil. While he does his fair share of torture — he no doubt commits atrocities — his character is surprisingly empathetic. Like Black Panther’s Killmonger, he’s not so easy to read, and his deeds are surprisingly understandable, if not misplaced in execution.

This attempt at understanding Thanos beyond the surface level villain role is often assisted by the score.

For me, the score of the film is the most important component when adding flair.

While the classic “Avengers” theme song can be heard multiple times throughout the film, it’s often the more introspective moments involving piano solos and violin plucks that find their way into the most poignant moments with Thanos himself.

These are the moments that really bring this movie to life.

I truly have never seen a score compliment a character and his trials so masterfully than here, lending its pain, sorrow and triumph to Thanos’ face.

In a universe full of fun action and dumb villains, the work here is staggeringly impressive. Thanos is without a doubt the most interesting character on screen, and the score is essential to fully understand his burden.

I do have minor gripes with the film, though.

The most noticeable being with the Black Order, Thanos’ followers. They are poorly integrated, and their CG is extremely subpar. It also feels as though some characters don’t fully understand the stakes, and so the fact that they are so eager and “ride or die” to save the world feels slightly unearned.

Additionally, there are just a few too many questionable decisions from heroes that make the writing feel a bit flimsy at times. These are to be expected with a movie of this scale, though.

While it is not a perfect movie, “Avengers: Infinity War” is the perfect superhero epic.

With the right amount of deviation to subvert expectations, this movie feels like an appreciation of both the fans’ hopes as well as the comics.

This is Marvel. This is a 10-year promise brought to life almost exactly how I imagined it.

My rating: 4.8/5

 Featured Image: Courtesy Facebook

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Zach Helms

Zach Helms

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