This blog post unpacks some of my thoughts about Avengers Infinity War, as this part normally appears in the preview before you click the read more button I am going to give you a spoiler free thought before the jump. This Avengers movie is very much like the old-skool Marvel Summer event books – the entire story is in the movie, there are no tie-ins to collect, but it does help if you have a passing knowledge of the stories that came before. Now… With that being said, everything after the jump is spoilers. So, if you haven’t seen the movie don’t make the jump.
Before I go on, the MCU has released eighteen movies and looking back there has been only six I’ve not seen in the movie theater. That is a pretty good cinematic experience to have, and in case you are interested here is the list of the movies I have not seen in theater.
- All the Thor movies – it is Thor and the character is well… Thor and I’ve never been that interested in him outside the Avengers
- Antman – pretty much the same reason as Thor
- Captain America: The Winter Solider – we were going through a tough financial period and just couldn’t swing it.
- Black Panther – I’ve never enjoyed Black Panther as a character, so I wasn’t too hyped to see the movie and then life stuff got in the way of seeing it in the theater. I now feel I missed something special on the big screen, but I am looking forward to the digital release.
Survival Guide Tips
The Infinity War (IW) movie is long, the longest of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Long blockbuster movies aren’t too common, although Lord of the Rings, and the stretched Hobbit movies were an exception. The problem with IW is there is only five minutes after the opening titles that nothing really happens, after that there are no slow-parts to really take a pee break in. So tip number one! Drink a little fluid, use the bathroom before heading in and watch your fluid intake during the movie – no super-gulps or you will miss something important.
The good news the end credits are really long before you get to the end scene, so if you really need to go, this is the time to do it, but be fast!
It helps if you have a passing knowledge of the movies that came before, IW does a good job of being a standalone (for a bookend movie), but you will get a better idea of some of the character relationships, and a couple of the in-jokes if you’ve seen the past movies.
Bad things happen in this movie to characters you really like, if you are of a sensitive nature bring tissues.
The MCU once again shows all its strengths and really pulls in all its past story telling. The Avenger movies are now Phase Bookends and heralds of the next set of stories and Infinity War is pretty much doing the same job – just bigger. This movie shouts blockbuster popcorn movie and plays up to that type, the action starts right from the beginning and beyond a five-minute slowdown after the opening titles it does not stop. Throwing set pieces and sensational action at you at a breakneck pace.
The Russo brothers do an amazing job of putting together a multi-ensemble piece with a huge expansive story and making it all, well… Make sense. The movie so easily could have got lost in itself, or become an Exposition dump, or nothing but apocalyptic cgi porn, yet it avoids all those traps while giving all the cast a time to shine.
The Villian Thanos, so often an issue with Marvel movies was more than one note, Thanos had a pathos to him, a realy motivation that you cannot help but understand. There was a real reason why he was doing what he was doing. And while still diabolical, it made sense, over the dried out evil for evil sake.
The movie grabs you and does not let you go, and you are crushed at the end, as much as the heroes who fought so hard, but failed, are. From the beginning you get the idea that everything is in peril and that feeling does not go away throughout the movie.
There is perhaps one dodgy CGI effect (Thor destroying an Outrider ship, you’ll notice it) that really sticks out of the movie, the rest of it is pretty seemless. Even Thanos has a nice solid feel to him.
My only niggle is this; although a good job is made by this movie to be accessible, you really do need to know what has happened previously to really immerse into the movie. It has taken the MCU ten years to get to this point and IW delivers on ten years of storytelling.
I really cannot say enough good thing about this movie, I don’t see myself as a Marvel Fanboy and have wished time and time again that DC would step up and take the MCU on, but again, Marvel has shown what you can really do with a superhero movie.
And it is spectacular.
Unpack Time – This is Where The Spoilers Begin
There is a lot going on in this movie, some of which I feel was filmed, but then cut, and explained in exposition along the way – so I expect lots of extras in the digital release! I have some stuff to be unpacked here and does contain the real spoilers, let me know what you think.
- Where was Valkyrie? The movie opens with the Asgard Home ship being devastated, we see Thor beat, Heimdall die and watch Loki be strangled (although is Loki really dead remember Dark World?). We witness Hulk get physically beaten in moments, but where was Valkyrie? and I didn’t see the Warbound? My theory she and the Warbound were charged with saving those Asgardians they could, as Thor and company fought a rearguard action to delay Thanos.
- Is Rocket Raccoon really afraid of Thanos? We saw it in the first Guardians movie, Rocket was ready to cut and run to get away from Thanos, rather than try to stop him. Did he volunteer for the mission with Thor to try to save himself and Groot? And what does that mean for his friendships with the rest of the Guardians?
- Nano suit… Really?
- Vision yet again suffers from what I call plot device powers. For a being who can phase and actually has a power level not to far away from Thor, he certain gets beaten easily a lot. This happens in the comics as well, Vision is the one character who always gets beat in the silliest ways. The point being Vision really gets beat up in this movie, when if you follow his power-set he really can dish it out.
- Thor, just how tough are Asgardians? Survives a beating by Thanos, a ship explosion, prolonged exposure in space, the heat of a star and still keeps on swinging. If all the Asgardians are this tough, how come as a race they keep getting beat so easily?
- What deal did Clint (Hawkeye) and Scott (Antman) take that not only took them out of the renegade status, but also seemed to have taken them completely out of the action? When infact it was all Heroes on deck.
- Why Starlord.. Why…
- What did Dr Strange see to make him change his mind about putting the protection of the time gem above Tony and Spider-man? His final words,’It was the only way’ are very symbolic and the good Doctor knew, or saw something in all the futures he scanned, that meant keeping Tony alive was the key to victory.
- Why didn’t Hulk come out to play? Has the big guy being beat so easily got him scared? Does this mean we are going to see the Gray Hulk in the next movie?
- You could technically grow a new Groot from Stormbreakers hilt, and why are Asgardians taught Groot? The World Tree?
- With Thanos’ victory and we see the disintegration of all the Heroes, did y’all note the only ones that didn’t disappear were the original Avengers?
- Anyone catch the Doctor Who reference when Spider-man turned to dust, if you didn’t when you watch the movie again it adds an extra emotional punch to the scene. Especially since Parker constantly references pop-culture items to annoy Tony.
- Why did Nick Fury call Captain Marvel this time? With all the threats the Earth, why was he keeping her as an ace card? Nice touch using a 90’s pager to do so.
- Is Thanos now in a reality of his own making? Or one the gauntlet has trapped him in? Sitting down and watching the sunrise was Thanos’ final wish after all. The Infinity Gems have never given anything without a cost to the wielder, and if I remember my lore correctly, they never quite give you what you desire. While Thanos has literally wiped out half the universe, what are the side-effects? New heroes being born? The birth of Adam Warlock? The mobilization of the Shi’ar Galactic Empire? The origins of Nova Prime? Or perhaps the beginnings of the Annihilation Wave, or the awakenings of Galactus? Nothing in the Marvel universe happens without repercussions.
- I should point out Tony isn’t trapped on Titan, as the Milano is still intact and I am pretty certain Nebula knows how to fly it. Or Thor can now bifrost where ever the plot needs to take him. The battleground has definitely shifted from Earth now.
- Unless I’ve missed something Thanos’ ship is still floating out there in Earth’s orbit
- We all know a second movie is coming and the power of the Infinity Gems have shown the universe can be reset. But will the Heroes that died before the disintegration return? Or are they lost forever because the gems can only reset what they have unmade?
- Norn stones anyone?
With a Black Panther sequel in the works, along with Spider-man and Guardians 3, I know some of those deaths were shock value. It will be interesting to see how the heroes now fight back after being so utterly defeated. Will the return of Captain Marvel rally them? Is it coincidence that the original Avengers team is left standing?
This is just a few of the things I had questions and thoughts about during Infinity War, I am sure on my second viewing I am going to have a lot more. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
It is going to be a long wait until May 2019.