By Phil Akin
Warning: This review will contain spoilers for Avengers Infinity War
Before moving forward, there’s one thing that is important to know. This is a movie about Thanos. This isn’t an Avengers movie. Yes, I know what the movie is called, and I know almost every hero is involved, but this is a movie about Thanos and his quest to find the Infinity Stones. It’s important to remember that.
Where it succeeded
The beginning of the film. My goodness, the beginning of the film. It perfectly sets up how serious a threat Thanos is. He kills Heimdall and Loki (for real this time) and beats the Hulk so badly he’s scared to come back out for the rest of the film. If that doesn’t scream “high stakes,” then I don’t know what does.
Infinity War succeeded in making the audience feel empathy for the big bad, Thanos. Sure, his quest to extinguish half of all life in the universe is terrible, but we’re made to connect with Thanos in a way we haven’t been able to in the past with other villains. Certain villains like Loki or Baron Zemo have been excellent and relatable to an extent, but Thanos takes it to a whole other level, and it’s all thanks to Josh Brolin’s performance. Had it been any other actor portraying Thanos, I don’t think the movie would have been nearly as good.
Thanos actually cried when he killed Gamora, and that really got to me. The facial features on Thanos were so good I had to remind myself that he wasn’t a real being, and just an actor in a motion capture suit. The way Thanos said “where’s the stone?” when speaking to the Collector was unnerving. The vast majority of performances were amazing. Standouts were Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, and (of course) Josh Brolin.
The directors made it a point to have the viewers feel helpless. The fact that there’s no music/audio when the heroes turn to dust, coupled with the way some of the characters die, left audiences feeling like the heroes really lost. Some finger snap deaths were better than others though. Spider-Man and Star-Lord were probably the best, while others like Black Panther and Falcon were less heartbreaking.
Every group in this movie felt satisfying. There were no bad pairs per se, but some were definitely better than others. Thor and Rocket were excellent. Same with Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, and the others in that group. But except for Scarlet Witch and Vision, the heroes on Earth felt lackluster compared to the ones in space.
To ease the seriousness of beloved characters dying, there were several jokes throughout the film. I like to think Thanos would appreciate the balance between humor and seriousness. Drax was easily the funniest character in the movie. All characters felt like they retained their characteristics from the last movie they were in. For example, the Thor in this movie is the same one from Ragnarok, not Age of Ultron or some other version. It works the same way with the Guardians too.
Where it failed
There were a lot of moments during the film where it was clear that the directors just expected viewers to go along with the plot. The return of Red Skull, how Thanos knew where all the Infinity Stones were, why Black Widow has a different hair color, and many others. Earlier I mentioned how the Hulk was too scared to come back out and fight. That’s something the directors again just wanted us to accept, but it’s the one thing that made no real sense. It would be one thing if the Thanos was around when the Hulk is refusing to transform, but he isn’t. Instead it was the Black Order, which he never fought. Maybe the Hulk was too embarrassed? Who knows. The movie had a habit of benching powerful characters, because Scarlet Witch was hardly utilized until the end of the film.
Not to mention that certain characters like the ones from Black Panther were seemingly snubbed out of screen time, and it felt like Wakanda was only there to serve as the “final battle against faceless enemies.” First New York, then Sokovia, and now Wakanda.
With so many characters in the film, it was to be expected that certain heroes wouldn’t have the same screen time as others, and that some would sort of be shoe-horned into the movie. That being said, some characters felt out of place in the film entirely. Captain America, for example, seemed to show up and punch things, with next to no emotion. Even when Bucky died, Cap didn’t even seem to care. There were no little facial expressions like Thanos had, and he was CGI.
Speaking of GCI, it was clear that the film was rushed in that aspect, and that all resources were poured into making Thanos look good. There was a quick scene where Banner (in the Hulkbuster) and War Machine are standing next to each other, and they both have their helmets off. In that moment, it seems like their heads are just floating there, and the CGI on the two suits aren’t finished. But those are just a few cosmetic gripes, and I feel like Thanos and the Black Order make up for the lack of polish elsewhere.
In the end
It might seem like there’s more failures in the movie than successes, but this really is a fun movie. The important thing to take away from this review is that Infinity War is a Thanos movie, not an Avengers movie. If you’re expecting that huge sweeping shot of all the Avengers together at the same time, you’re going to be disappointed.
From the Avengers’ perspective, there’s still more to do. They need to undo what Thanos did. However, from Thanos’ perspective, the story is finished. There’s nothing left to do. That’s where the movie really shines. Despite all its (mostly) understandable flaws, the movie works from two different angles and it’s wonderful. I can’t stress enough that this is Thanos: The Movie.
Will all of the people who died in this film return? Will some, but not others? Will we see more Red Skull? Was the Infinity Gauntlet broken at the end of the film? Was Star-Lord messing up the entire thing part of Doctor Strange’s plan? Where were Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Hawkeye? Hopefully these questions will be answered in the next film.
Featured image from Leganerd
Avengers Infinity War
This is movie is for everyone who has followed the MCU. However, it’s possible to enjoy the film without seeing every single Marvel film. The important movies to see are Thor: Ragnarok, Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War, and Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. While this may seem like a massive cliffhanger, the story is actually complete from Thanos’ perspective. Despite all of its flaws, the movie ultimately succeeds and does the unthinkable; killing Spider-Man.
Phil majors in both Creative Writing and Telecommunications (Digital Production). He likes to add his own personality when he edits video content. Phil enjoys video games on the rare occasion he has free time, and is always looking for new music.