Avengers Infinity War: Movie Review

avengers-infinity-war-posterSo, I am super psyched that the spoiler that I read last week was actually a dud so I got to enjoy the full impact of Avengers Infinity War at face value.  I admit that I’m pretty impressed by the way the number of stars and action sequences were handled in this movie and I am seriously blown away by how much this franchise has evolved with each new movie.

Synopsis: Thanos (Josh Brolin), the galaxy’s strongest villain finally reveals himself to Earth’s mightiest heroes as he embarks on a quest to collect all six of the Infinity Stones which will grant him an insurmountable amount of power over each aspect of the universe that they control (reality, power, time, soul, mind and space). While Marvel was building the skeleton of their MCU, they were already introducing these infinity stones as they figure in different films. Alternately, we have encountered them as the Tesseract (Thor), The Eye of Agamoto (Doctor Strange), Orb (Guardians of the Galaxy) and the Scepter (Avengers). So now, the Avengers must stop him at all cost before he uses its combined power to commit genocide on all the planets in the galaxy to fulfill his twisted vision of “saving the world.”

There was a lot of room to fail with such a big superstar cast as Avengers Infinity War.  This is why ensemble casts always make me nervous. Aside from making sure that everyone gets their fair amount of screen time, its also hard to juggle the schedules of this big group of A-listers. Well, breathe easy. The good news is, Avengers Infinity War pulled it off quite nicely by strategically dividing up the groups to different missions to keep Thanos and his minions from completing their goal. That’s pretty smart.

strange-ironman-spiderman
Sneaking out of a field trip, Spidey finds himself stuck in space with Iron Man and Doctor Strange

What’s good about Marvel is that they strategically built up the relationships of their characters through their previous movies and Avengers Infinity War definitely benefitted from that.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Spiderman  (Tom Holland) worked together again in this movie and the way Spidey just looked up to his idol and Tony’s begrudging manner of acknowledging that he liked the kid was totally endearing. And although it was the first time that he and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)  met and butted heads, it was funny because they were total opposites. My favorite was when the Doc, in his heavy British accent, called Tony a douchebag.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Star Lord and the crew blended perfectly with the Avengers

The Guardians of the Galaxy were new to the Avenger franchise but they blended perfectly because they provided a lot of comic relief and great musical scoring. Chris Pratt really owned his one liners and made an impact as Star Lord despite being pitted against the likes of Tony Stark and the God of Thunder himself. I also loved the new dynamics established between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Rocket, played by Bradley Cooper (whom he always calls Rabbit in his deep manly voice).

I must admit that I regretted not being able to see Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) on the big screen before this because the battle scene in Wakanda was definitely LIT. It had the best cinematography in the entire movie, hands down. And the warriors of Wakanda definitely knew what they were doing. It was epic. The relationships among Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Panther as well as best bud Bucky aka the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) was also solid and the tension between Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) was also there. Leave us not forget Vision (Paul Bettany) Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).

Loki-Tom-Hiddleston
No Marvel movie is complete with my love, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). I’m glad I got to see him briefly in this Avengers installment

The movie did not waste any time in establishing that it meant business. From the opening sequence alone, it already made a statement that the Infinity War was going to be one hell of a battle. Despite the underlying tone of gloom and doom, I appreciated the fact that script tried to inject light moments when things got too tense. For example, Thanos had his fair share of being called out for his looks (perhaps in response to many fan criticisms about how the villain was rendered). Marvel really knows how to have fun at its own expense and its refreshing to watch.

Thanos
Thanos was referred to as Grimace and made fun of because of his color and his chin, perhaps in reference to memes that came out before the movie was released.

I also appreciated the fact that the script also made an effort to make Thanos more human. True, he was a ruthless, power mad tyrant but in a twisted sense, he actually believed that he was doing the galaxy a favor. While this was all well and good, the prolonged dramatics sometimes worked against the momentum of the film.

On the flipside, while the scenes were handled pretty well to accommodate all of the heroes, I just felt like some of the moments were rushed because the camera needed to shift to the next hero. The fast pace of action still worked but it would have made more impact if more focus was given to the characters in the scene.

Despite all the film’s strengths, there were tons of facepalm moments throughout the film too. The team used the compassion card on the Avengers one too many times in this movie and after the third time they caved because of the same emotional blackmail, I was sick and tired of it. Like, come on. Really? But that’s probably the downside of being a hero. You make the same choices over and over again. Its a job hazard, I guess.

All in all, Avengers Infinity War was definitely a great, entertaining addition to the Marvel franchise. It broke my heart to a tiny million pieces for reasons I will not share in this blog but it definitely worked in every aspect. Although for me, there were a lot of what ifs. What if they acted sooner? What if this character did that? There were a lot of questions in my mind even at the end of the post credit scenes. But these what ifs also make me hopeful that the questions will be answered in the concluding chapter of the Avengers franchise. Kudos to the Russo Brothers who directed the film and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Definitely looking forward to Avengers 4.

 

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