Monday, April 30, 2018

[Review] Avengers: Infinity War

"So this is it? It's all been leading to this."

Avengers: Infinity War is now the pinnacle of a MASSIVE MOVIE. If you looked up MASSIVE MOVIE in an encyclopedia, Infinity War would be pictured there, and it wouldn't even fit on the page. But it's also a MASSIVE amount of fun and thrilling excitement. This thing is an epic culmination of Marvel's master plan. It's a superhero extravaganza where the stakes are higher than ever.

The film sees an abundance of Marvel characters join forces, you know -- the usual Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, etc...), Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and much much more (I mean, look at that poster). There's even a welcome return to Wakanda. Here, the valiant heros must do all they can to stop Thanos - their most powerful opponent thus far. If Thanos collects all six Infinity stones, he can virtually end the universe with the snap of a finger (a very big finger).

With so many characters and so much going on all at once, there isn't a completely coherent flow to all the scene transitions and setting hopping, but it's actually juggled better than I anticipated. And frankly, the events are so monumental and so entertaining that it's easy to roll with as we eagerly await what will pop off next. The film erupts with climactic, universe-shifting battles -- whether on Earth, in space, or in different dimensions. And it's just downright cool to see some of the characters -- that we've been watching for years -- come face-to-face and interact with each other for the first time (stubbornly prideful quips and all). This certainly adds a fresh dynamic to the festivities - an aspect that Marvel has always pulled off really well. The film's duration clocks in at a whopping 160 minutes, but to me, it didn't feel that long, because I was enjoying the spectacle so much.

And amidst all the colossal, power-clashing, super-blockbuster elements, it's truly the smaller humorous details (this movie is really funny) that stand out the most -- like Spider-Man and Star Lord's connection over pop culture references, Thor earnestly referring to Rocket Raccoon as "Rabbit", teenage Groot's grungy defiance... And then there's Drax, who's the real MVP of one-liners. The guy is an absolute hoot. Notice how I'm pretty much mentioning all the Guardians? Yeah, they're still the all-stars of the MCU.

But even though there's a lot of fun and games in Infinity War, this installment carries a slightly darker tone. Here, our superheroes are at their most vulnerable and out-matched. Thanos is damn near invincible, practically holding the keys to the universe in his fist (a very big fist). Honestly though -- as scary as he is -- it's his rippled chin that gave me nightmares. Anyway, with so much despair in the air comes some major dilemmas and drastic sacrifices for our heros, which lead to some emotionally potent moments.

So yeah, Infinity War is definitely a chaotic cluster, and it stuffers from the 'Part I' syndrome -- meaning that there isn't a solid conclusion (the cliffhanger ending might leave you feeling slightly indifferent). But up until that point, this massive movie provides most of the stuff that Marvel fans could hope for. And we'll keep coming back. My only question: Where was Korg?

* 8.5/10 *

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