With Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, Anthony and Joe Russo have proven to be directors capable of making exceptional films within the MCU construct. This was also why I felt confident in their abilities as filmmakers to make Avengers: Infinity War into something special. With that being said, I was also fully aware that the task they were taking on was a massive one that presented some potentially obvious issues that would be difficult for anyone to tackle successfully in every facet.
In Infinity War, the Avengers face the deadliest opponent they’ve ever come across when they are forced to oppose Thanos (Josh Brolin). With life on Earth and the universe being threatened, the group must bury their most recent grudges and form an alliance that’s centered around strong bonds and an even stronger desire to survive. If they’re unable to do this, Thanos and his army will rule and destroy all that is left unguarded. All he needs to do is collect the highly protected infinity stones that hold more power than anything our protagonists may be able to muster.
As Infinity War moved along, my worries about the potentially disjointed nature of it all proved not to be unfounded. It’s easy to forgive this in the early going since you realize that they have to set everything up, but it’s hard to ignore or give a complete pass to as we push forward. Because of the circumstances, this problem is easily predictable since there are so many characters that need to be fit into it.
And while they’re doing this, there’s also a bunch of unpacking being done in terms of the story. This takes up a large chunk of the film’s run time as it kind of seems like a set up to something bigger for the upcoming Avengers movie that’s being released in May of 2019. From a cinematic standpoint, this isn’t a bad thing, but it just goes to show how much the Russo brothers are working with just to get everything where it needs to be.
One thing that all of this material does that some people may not like is that it limits the screen time some of the characters get. Once again, this was to be expected, but it also leads to plenty of these guys not having a lot to do other than making some appearances and fighting when the time comes for them to engage in the violent encounters we expect. From a personal standpoint, this was a bit of a disappointment simply because my absolute favorites didn’t have a great deal to do.
With everything that I’ve pointed out so far, it’s clear that there are a lot to elements at play. This makes it easy to see why this carries such a long run time, but another reason for this being as long as it is comes down to some scenes being unnecessarily extended. In some instances, I found myself wanting these scenes to move faster as I honestly felt they were wasting too much time. In retrospect, it sounds weird since I actually liked some of the things that I think should have been removed.
A portion of what I would have gotten rid of was some of the comedy. I found most of it to be amusing, but it stays around longer than it needs to at certain points. To get things flowing better and quicker, this stuff should have been reduced. Then again, I’m sure there will be plenty of people will disagree with me and not have an issue with them at all. For them, simply being in this universe for an extended period of time will be worth it.
The other scenes that I’m speaking of have to do with building up the backstory of Thanos. Some of this helps in giving us what is required for us to understand who he is and what he’s all about, but even some of this is excessive. I don’t usually complain about developing the backstory of a character, but this was a bit much. Instead, how about focusing more on the other guys who people have grown attached to over the years a little more?
As far as the villains as a whole are concerned, they’re solid overall. One thing that is a definite positive with them is the level of danger that they all bring along with them. From the moment they show up on-screen, I found myself trying to figure out just how the heroes would come out victorious. This was a tough question to answer each and every time, and that’s kind of what you want from antagonists that are supposed to be threatening.
Unlike Thanos, the rest of the villains have virtually no depth and aren’t really worth caring about in that sense. They’re just here to be bad guys and to cause most of the destruction that we witness in Infinity War. They don’t really add much else, but they’re so much of a threat that it’s easy to forgive. Plus, the movie is already very long to begin with. You didn’t really need it to be extended any more than it already is. Doing so would have just hurt what we have being offered to us.
While all of my complaints are valid, Infinity War does manage to do well whenever it starts moving. Whether it’s the comedy, the action, reintroducing some of the characters or having them interacting with one another for the first time, there’s plenty to like in these specific areas. The final battle also helps elevate this higher than it seemed like it was going to get. Before this, I was thinking it was just a decent movie, but the last series of fights turn out to be one of the best parts of the entire picture.
And yes, there are some actual casualties on the side of the heroes this time. I know this is one of the biggest criticisms that people have had when it comes to these Marvel flicks, so it was important to finally add that somehow. I’d imagine that some people want some major deaths while others may not want many (if any) of their favorites being put down. Since I’m not giving out spoilers, I’m not willing to say what type you actually get. What I will say is that your reaction to the kinds of deaths you get will depend on what you wanted going into it.
Avengers: Infinity War is neither a classic or one of the best Marvel movies we’ve seen, but it’s a good, solid flick that gets the job done overall. It has its issues both big and small (like a specific actress missing her accent and some minor tweaks that should have been made toward the end), but most of this works in spite of it having so many different pieces to fit together. For this, I commend the people behind it, but I hope they’re able to improve upon what’s already here and deliver something even better in the next Avengers movie that’s soon to follow.
Robert Downey Jr.
Film Length: 156 minutes
Release Date: April 27, 2018
Distributor: Marvel Studios
- Score - 7/107/10