So, I had issues with completing my lead-up to “Avengers: Infinity War” but I will complete them. In the meantime, I watched the movie twice yesterday, and so thought I’d share my thoughts.
I enjoyed the movie, and what it got right, it got perfectly. However, there were a lot of things it got wrong and having sat with me, I’m not sure it would make my top three.
What it got right:
- The Fight scene between Thanos and the heroes on Titan was brilliant. How they worked together and nearly succeeded in beating him to how Dr Strange knew they would lose anyway, I loved it. One thing I went into the movie worrying about was how the Russo’s would deal with how over-powered Dr Strange had become in the last movie. However, they did a fine job is showing that he was just as powerful but Thanos was better. They used Mantis well, and I actually enjoyed watching them fail due to their (and specifically Quill’s) personality traits. The interactions between Peter Parker and the others brought the right amount of levity (I laughed just as hard the second time at the line “Magic with a kick”) during these moments. In fact, that is my second point.
- Peter Parker. The only character with whom every humourous line did not seem forced in, someone who brought the childish hope to the situation, and an unwavering belief in the heroes. One of my friends mentioned that he actually choked up on his death.
- The consistency of Characters. Each of the characters we met (minus one glaringly bad mistake) acted and reacted exactly as I, as a fan of the movies, expected they would. The scene where The Guardians met Thor was a nice piece of comic relief, but also consistent with the characters. Tony Stark was the same mix of arrogance and self-loathing he always was, and the Vision/Scarlett Witch romance was just as vomit-inducing as I always saw it.
- The death of Loki. It helps that Tom Hiddleston is an incredible actor, but giving the character the proper send-off was important. He showed his evil side in admitting he stole the Tesseract and being willing to bluff his brother’s death. But he also showed his good side by trying to save his brother and trying to kill Thanos. He showed his arrogance and believing he could kill Thanos. And he died a painful death. The image of him choking seemed so real, with the veins popping and the pain in his voice. Kudos to the visual effects and make-up people for that.
- The acting of Josh Brolin. While I disagree with the writing of Thanos (I’ll get to it), Brolin was extremely believable as the Titan and I respected both his power and his passion.
- There was no Hulk, only Banner. This was surprising, but it worked very well in continuing the arc of the character, especially as Ragnorok was primarily Hulk and has become clear that “Hulk” is no longer simply an animal, but a full character who has gained the ability to make decisions for themselves. Banner was a great character in this film, too, dealing with not having his powers in a similar way to Thor in Ragnorok and Tony in Iron Man 3.
- The post-credit sequence. One scene, Nick Fury, introducing the next major film. Just as the first end scenes were like.
- Thanos won. I could not imagine the movie working if, at some point, Thanos did not complete the gauntlet and kill half the universe. I was not disappointed.
What it got wrong:
- The Character of Thanos. I wanted a “Big Bad”. Someone who was the antithesis of Captain America. As I mentioned in my post about the first Cap movie, his character is the ultimate “Good Guy”, without flaws. I wanted the ultimate “Bad Guy”, without good in him. I wanted the comic-book guy who wanted to kill half the universe just to prove he was the best (and show off to Death). I wanted an obsession with himself. I definitely didn’t want a “cause” or a “moral compass”. I didn’t want to feel sorry for him or empathise with his thinking. I did not want him to believe he was a father who loved his child.
- The Hit-and-Miss humour and tonal shifts. Ignoring that some of the best lines fell flat because they were already in the trailers, some of the lines fell flat because they were in poor context. As an obvious example, Thor and Rogers joking about how they look would be fun, but not when they are in the middle of a battle they are barely surviving. In fact, the whole tone was amiss. Sometimes it was a fun comic-book movie, other times a dark action movie, other times a family drama. And it didn’t work. Even the editing between those tonal shifts was poorly done.
- There was little of Black Widow. She got all of three lines, and the only real moment she got to act was when Banner reappeared in her life. And that really emotional moment was immediately ruined by a pretty lame joke.
- There was an entire plot that should not have existed. Thor getting his axe. Not only did it reverse the entire point of Thor: Ragnorok (that Thor did not need to rely on his weapon to be a King), the story was drawn-out and dull. While I loved the interactions between Thor and Rocket, and it was fun seeing Dinklage play a giant dwarf, the entire scene at the forge appeared dull and I actually yawned BOTH TIMES I saw the movie. It slowed the pace of a movie that really did not have time for slowing down.
- The Soul Stone. Adding completely new information about the Soul Stone without any prior warning came across as the writers going “Fuck, we’re at the end point and didn’t plan for it.” It didn’t explain in any way what the stone was capable of. It helped humanise Thanos (I’ve already talked about hating that).
- While we are talking about that, why wasn’t Hugo Weaving involved? And if they couldn’t get them, why continue to use “Red Skull” as the character when it could have been filled by literally anyone.
- There was no Hawkeye! The reason for him not existing was not acceptable to me, and considering all the other “original” Avengers survived, it bothers me greatly that we have no idea if he did. I also hated there was no Agent Coulson. Though, I’m excited to see how “Agents of SHIELD” deal with this movie.
- While we are at it, what a cop-out. While there were some surprising deaths (Spiderman, Black Panther, most of the Guardians), every original member survived. Some of those surprising deaths also made me feel like the makers were just trying to lock in the audience to force them to watch the next sequels that are coming out before Avengers 4. I’m hoping that will be made up for.
Well, those are my thoughts for now. I’m annoyed I missed the Bluth reference, I’ll definitely watch it again on DVD to see if it improves in my mind. I’ll definitely end up watching Ms Marvel and the next Guardians.
Rated: 5th out of 19.