Infinity War is a tough movie to review. Why? Because there’s a lot to process, and the film is jam-packed with characters, plot twists and set-pieces. Let’s get right into it (no spoilers until the last section which you can easily skip).
Considering the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been been building towards this film for ten years (and 19 films), it’s a miracle that Infinity War can juggle dozens of characters and subplots with such skill. In fact, the script does an outstanding job of giving each hero a time to shine, while driving the narrative forward with a genuine sense of dread and urgency. It also helps that the film provides a deep exploration into the universe’s ultimate big bad: Thanos. Motion captured by James Brolin, the sinister villain is a complex antagonist with a believable set of motivations and principles. In addition, Brolin’s delivery helps overcome a somewhat cartoonish appearance (because really, how threatening can a purple man look?).
Technically, the film is a downright marvel (pun intended). With vibrant cinematography and breathtaking action, it’s a real feast for the senses. Impressively enough, you never lose track of the characters during the bombastic CGI-infused battles. Too many action flicks struggle to keep things coherent thanks to choppy editing and confusing staging, but directors Anthony and Joe Russo ensure you always know EXACTLY what’s going on and who’s kicking whose butt. That’s no easy feat!
(Skip right to the conclusion if you haven’t seen the film because I will spoil EVERYTHING now)
An Underwhelming Ending
I hate to say it, but I was severely underwhelmed by Infinity War‘s ending. I like the idea of a bleak and hopeless closer (seeing as how part two comes out in May 2019 and there was no way we’d get a happy bookend), but seeing so many of our heroes turn to dust was just bizarre. We all know Black Panther and the gang are not dead (hell, they’ve all got sequels lined up in the next few years), and that cheapens the twist’s impact as a result. Death is supposed to MEAN something (just look at how powerful Gamora and Vision’s demises are). When you know this ending will be retconned in the first ten minutes of Infinity War part two, the narrative loses its stakes.
Bits & Stones
– Thanos’ murder of Loki is an excellent start to the film. It really sets the stage for what’s to come.
– Spidey’s new suit is just PHENOMENAL. Actually, Tom Holland is phenomenal in the role. He’s definitely my fave Spidey (we got three in the last 15 years after all).
– Thanos’ minions (The Black Order) are first-rate additions to the film. Ebony Maw is a devious hoot!
– Did T’Challa/Black Panther get a total of two lines the entire film?
– Thor and Quill’s dynamic was hysterical.
– I bet Peter Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) loved playing a non-little person for once. I miss that show!
– It was a real cop-out to not have The Hulk make an appearance at the end. I guess they’re leaving that for part two. Not cool writers.
– Gamora’s death was incredible. I just wish we got one last action scene with Zoe Saldana kicking butt.
– I was SURE the writers would kill off Tony when he got stabbed by Thanos; that would have been a much more memorable ending to the film. Still, it certainly feels like he or Steve will perish in next year’s closer to clear the way for a new team (in Marvel’s Phase Four).
– Loved Natasha and Okoye coming to Wanda’s rescue and taking out Proxima Midnight. Can that female Marvel team-up happen already?
– The post-credit sequence with the beeper is a reference to Captain Marvel (starring Brie Larson) which comes out March 9, 2019.
Although the ending could have been more impactful, Infinity War is still one hell of a mindblowing blockbuster with superb characterization and thrilling action.