They did it.
Avengers: Infinity War is a gigantic movie by the biggest movie franchise currently active, and stars half of Hollywood. It’s got something like 30 main characters, four or five main plots, and is two and a half hours long. To say this is an event would be an understatement.
The first thing I should mention is that this movie brings a very, very welcome change to the MCU: consequence. The first five minutes of this film are some of the most brutal five minutes in Marvel history. There is a reason for this, and it’s one name. One name that you’re going to remember for a long, long time.
Thanos is hands-down the best Marvel villain they’ve ever put to screen. Maybe even better than Marvel villains outside the MCU. He avoids every single pitfall that other Marvel villains have fallen into time and time again. Every. Single. One. He’s not charismatic, he’s not charming, he’s not funny, and as a result, he’s pure, unadulterated intimidation. There was never a moment where I thought he wasn’t the strongest character on screen. “But Dawson,” you must be thinking, “that doesn’t make a great villain. I thought Ronan was the strongest character on screen in Guardians of the Galaxy, and he sucked balls.” Correct. Which is why they did everything else right, too.
Unlike Ronan, Thanos’ motivation is clearly defined and understandable. Just because it’s understandable, however, doesn’t mean that anyone in their right mind agrees. What makes it scarier is the fact that he’s realized this. He’s rationalized the fact that no one agrees with him. He’s the hero of his own story, so he has the same conviction and determination as our heroes. The only thing different between the Avengers and Thanos is he’s ruthless. I’d say he doesn’t have problems with doing what needs to be done to accomplish his goals, but he does. This is the real turning point between him and other Marvel villains. There’s one decision in this movie that rips Thanos apart just as much as it breaks the audience. That’s what surprised me about him. He’s not some brainless, brutish idiot or an over-intelligent bore. He’s a character, not a caricature, and that’s what makes him so strong.
Something that becomes immediately obvious is that Thanos has a mountain of development in this movie, and no one else does. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, because no one else needs development. They’ve all had entire movies dedicated to their characters. This movie has the privilege of skipping an entire part of superhero cinema (the origin) to get to the part we all came to see: the action. And oh boy, does this movie deliver on that.
This movie is a sprawl of superpowered punching and blasting, and it’s all great. Every hero gets a chance to show off their capabilities, resulting in fights that resemble outrageous action scenes you might have come up with as a child, only this time it’s fully visualized and more awesome than your five-year-old brain could have ever comprehended. The fights only get better as Thanos acquires more Infinity Stones and he’s able to bend everything around him to his will (moments where he shows off the power of the gauntlet are some of the coolest in the entire movie). I only have one complaint concerning the action: The Russo brothers have always excelled at hand-to-hand, street martial arts-type fights. The fight on the bridge with The Winter Soldier in Cap 2 is one of the coolest fights in the entire MCU, and it’s truly a shame that they didn’t get to show off their talent for fights like that in this movie. There’s a little bit of it in the very beginning, but it doesn’t show up anywhere else. To be fair, I’m not really sure where they’d put it, but it’s still a little disappointing to not see any more of their trademark, well-choreographed fisticuffs.
The impact of the action would be severely lessened if the effects sucked. It’s no secret that I thought Marvel had been on a downward trend in the effects department, and I wasn’t sure why this was the case. I think I know now. I think they took most of the effects people they had and made them work on this movie, because this movie looks incredible. Surprisingly, this is the most convincing CG-fest to be released in a long time. Every penny they spent on this movie is visible. It’s so polished and detailed, I kept forgetting that most of the things and people around the characters weren’t real. Most of the settings in this movie are likely digital creations. Thanos is entirely CG. It sure doesn’t feel like it.
Something else I need to mention is the acting. The acting in this movie is phenomenal all-around. Josh Brolin is brilliant as Thanos, RDJ once again knocks it out of the park as Iron Man, Dave Bautista’s Drax is the funniest part of the movie, but there was one surprise I didn’t see coming. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. As if he needed to prove himself further, Holland cranks up the talent so much that he made me cry. Three tears fell from my sight balls as I watched this wonderfully talented man act. He’s that good.
Before we get to this movie’s biggest achievement next to Thanos, we have to address its’ greatest flaw: pacing. Only in the first 45 minutes, though. As each of the plotlines get rolling and some converge, the switching between them is sometimes a little jarring. It tries its’ best to be as smooth as possible, and I think it succeeds. I don’t think they could have found a better way to transition between each plot than the one they went with. The entire movie is such a massive juggling act that it was bound to fumble a few balls at some point. I’m just glad it wasn’t any of the super important balls. Wouldn’t want to lose those balls.
I shouldn’t be allowed to have my own website.
I mentioned the first five minutes at the beginning of this review and how brutal they were. What I didn’t mention is what beats them: The last five minutes. Although I can’t go into specifics, I can say this: in addition to being some of the most devastating five minutes in Marvel history, they’re also some of the most beautifully done five minutes to hit Marvel screens, and is only as effective as it is because of the foundations laid by everything that preceded it.
This movie has ten years and eighteen movies behind it. The ultimate goal from the start was probably to have a movie event like this, but Marvel knew that it could only be done with two things: time and commitment. Marvel knows that any studio can make a mindless movie where a bunch of things blow up around characters you don’t care about, and it would probably make money. Maybe enough to warrant a few movies. But mindless action doesn’t compel audiences to stay invested in a franchise. Look at how DC’s doing. Justice League made less money than Suicide Squad. That might be the most depressing sentence I’ve ever written. Meanwhile, this movie broke $1 billion worldwide in just eleven days. That’s the fastest billion anyone’s made in cinema history. Why? Because Marvel made characters. There is never a single moment where I was confused about what was going on, who was on screen, why they were there, any of it. That’s incredible. This movie plays out more like the finale to a TV show rather than a movie, and that’s why it works so well. It has hours upon hours of development before it, and this movie is a truly satisfying culmination of everything Marvel’s worked for. Bravo, fellas. Bravo.
8/10. If I did fractions, it would be 8.75.
Up next: Mystery movie.Connect to me