Avengers: Infinity War takes our faith in “Earth’s Mightiest Heros” coming together to save mankind and beats the ever-loving hell out of it for 156 minutes. Don’t arrive late, have your snacks on hand, and for the love of all that’s holy, DON’T GET COMFORTABLE!
Because in ‘Infinity War’, Thanos is Here and He Doesn’t Have Time for Your Shit
Damian: The movie starts out showing Thanos means business, after 6 years of teasing [and sitting on his throne] leaving audiences/fans saying, “Do something.” Then he does, and all I want is for him to SIT BACK DOWN. Did I mention? Thanos is that final boss fight you need multiple lives to beat. Except here, the heroes only have one shot. I wasn’t ready.
Ro: I sat excitedly watching the pre-title sequence, but then realized it was going nowhere good for my people. I knew immediately 1) the Russo Brothers were about to hurt my feelings and 2) no one is safe. How they gonna do all that before showing me the Avengers title logo? I really wasn’t ready.
The Russo Brothers and Marvel watched Game of Thrones‘ death toll rack up and said, “Oh, is that how we’re doing things now? All right, bet.”
Ro: Infinity War translates breathtaking cinematography, relatively seamless CGI, and make-up into great comic-styling. The choice plays very well with the film’s deeper narrative. It visually presents all these elements like a perfectly drawn and well-plotted crossover issue. This is all done while maintaining the integrity and “look and feel” of an Avengers film.
Damian: Those responsible for all the “light and magic” in Avengers: Infinity War produced some visually stunning moments. The image of Thanos standing under a jet black sky with an eclipsed sun is why computer wallpapers exist. Spidey swinging through wreckage mid-fight is awe-inspiring. Thanos wants to wipe out half the inhabitants of the universes and I see why with the credits containing the other half. I endorse his goal because those post-credits cut-scenes couldn’t come soon enough.
The Narrative (seriously, here there be no spoilers)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a formula. It’s a tried-and-true wordbuilding style from which it rarely deviates, particularly in Avengers movies. But Avengers: Infinity War is here to gather all your feelings about the MCU and Marvel comics together, and then show you what we NOT gonna do.
Ro: Infinity War gives enough context and framing that you can watch it as a stand-alone film. You won’t be fully clued into each character’s backstory, but the film’s linear storytelling with deliberate (and informative) flashbacks fills in gaps well enough for all to enjoy the ride.
There’s (once again) a real story with depth and heart. The Russos pull the pieces together with humor, ironic hat-tips to the comic source material, and when shit gets real, it’s because it truly needs to.
Damian: This feels like a comic book with all the characters on their own missions across the universe. Everyone has something to do and nothing feels like filler or advertisement for another film. Yes, I’m looking at you Age of Ultron. You thought I forgot about how you wasted Thor, didn’t you…
Damian: Thanos is a well-developed character. The movie spends the perfect amount of time on his backstory and motives. It never stops to be like, “Stop Naruto, don’t you wanna hear Killadittacon’s backstory for 15 episodes?” Here, the flashbacks and other storytelling devices are brief but strongly get the point across.
Ro: I had no problems with how the story developed and introduced Thanos the Mad Titan. He’s a practically unstoppable, egomaniacal world-destroyer. Avengers: Infinity War puts Thanos’ agenda front and center, and highlights his keen intelligence and unbending will. Then, it forces you to understand his motives and madness. It’s no secret; Thanos intends to reconstruct reality using a fully-powered Infinity Gauntlet. He’s a villain with a capital V, hellbent on reshaping the world as a moral imperative.
Infinity War uses the best elements of its comic source material. It built an intimidating (finally) adversary to pit against the Avengers and their allies. Flashbacks and conversations interspersed with savvy and strategic (but necessary) deviations from its comic inspiration clue you into what’s really going on with Thanos.
Ro: Infinity War moves with a steady forward momentum that’s tension-filled and ominous. There are noticeable drop-offs – for storytelling and worldbuilding – that could’ve transitioned better as the film presses forward towards the finale. However, overall, the score set the right tone and accents for a plot that pulls you in with vibrant imagery and layered storytelling. It expertly works its way through a massive cast giving their all to span the universe with humor, horror, and heartbreak.
This film (and story) is far less “Avengers Unite” or “crash/bang/pow the universe is saved”, and more about building a compelling narrative about the tragic (and often horrific) costs of change and salvation. Infinity War ups all the storytelling elements, purposefully tying them to character development and crucial action sequences all driving the plot.
Damian: The pacing mimics a comic in the way it’ll jump back and forth without being too disjointed.
The action is a mixed bag here. It’s surprising since the Russos delivered stellar sequences in previous entries. It feels like some sequences were only to give characters “a moment”; a checkbox of showing off their power before moving on to the 70 other characters. This doesn’t mean the fights aren’t quality. It’s just that spectacle took priority over the content sometimes. Wakanda’s fight is an example of how “filler” the action can get, mixed in with standout moments. Besides that, Infinity War delivers many cut-throat battles.
Ro and Damian: Avengers team members hooking up with The Guardians works more often than not. Intensity and comedy never before mixed so well. However, tonally there are some clashes with the overall plot lines. It doesn’t, however, detract overmuch from the chemistry of many of the film’s pairings.
‘Infinity War’ Is Here to Play With Your Emotions
Damian: The dialogue is sharp as a knife, supported by each actor fully embodying their roles – whether it be Rocket’s quips causing me to cackle, or a heartfelt speech from Thor making me tear up. “Rollercoaster of emotion” doesn’t begin to describe this, because those rides end and I still haven’t gotten off this one.
The Children of Thanos are dangerous and menacing. They’re more than mere throwaway henchmen here. They serve the story and each is strong enough to serve as the main baddie in solo films. No matter how harrowing it is to witness the heroes struggle against them, you haven’t seen a thing till Thanos comes in. They’re like simple math and Thanos is algebra, where letters enter the game out of nowhere, effing everything up.
Thanos fights worked the spectacle in brilliantly with the frenetic action, smartly utilizing every character. Balance is the word of the day. This movie finds a lot of that in the comedy, fights, and drama.
Ro: This film stays emotionally connected to those aligned against Thanos perfectly. As they scatter across the universe in search of the means to stop him; you really feel their struggle and pain.
The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany)
Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t care if you adore love stories or seeing this pair slowly coming into their own. This film is here to force you to choose between the fate of the few versus the fate of it all. Step-by-step, you’ll watch as heroes face hard choices and confront the harsh reality of their circumstances.
If Thanos’s perspective doesn’t make you hesitate for at least a second before condemning him unequivocally as the “big bad”, I have a personality test I’d love for you to take.
All Hail the Returning Warriors
As heroes step forward to join the fight, you’ll have an almost visceral reaction. There’s an excellent score to call icon moments and characters to mind. I’ll admit the moment when Steve Rogers steps into frame is damn near poetic. I was here for it and the fight that follows was the perfect way to set the stage for the ruckus to come.
One of the most notable moments is when the theme music for Wakanda begins to play. The return to the home of T’Challa is the connection to the Avengers so many were trying to force into Black Panther. This return is by no means a quick “add-on” intended to capitalize on that film’s success. Wakanda is ground zero for the battle to come because it’s the cradle of intelligence and innovation needed in this time of crisis.
There are touching and humorous moments throughout to balance out the complete and utter wreckage to come as the battle rages. This is where I’m supposed to tell you everything’s going to be all right, but I’m not a liar.
At the End of It All…
Sit back because Avengers: Infinity War may not be the best film in the MCU, but it’s a great one that’s here to change the game.
Damian: Avengers: Infinity War is a water-cooler film that won’t be talked about for weeks, but rather years. The laughs, the twists, and the emotionally-charged scenes come together in a package well worth the 10-year wait. It showcases the strongest aspects of the MCU in one package and fixes a glaring weak villain issue. The storytelling standard in the genre has been raised, touting one of the most robust antagonists at the top. #ThanosDemandsYourSilence isn’t just a hashtag, but a prediction for how you’ll leave the theater.
The movie ends with a definitive period. When those credits rolled, it felt like Marvel had mugged me of all my emotions. I hugged the person next to me for a while to recover. Tissues should come with every ticket purchase because I shouldn’t have to ruin a stranger’s shirt for no reason. While the run-time is longer than that stray mustache hair on your grandma’s face, it never feels that way. Clocking in at a little under three hours, there’s hardly a moment wasted.
Ro: Avengers: Infinity War was nothing like I expected and absolutely EVERYTHING I needed. Marvel has created a natural segue for new people to take up the mantle of iconic characters without the need to reboot/reload or drag us through any new “origin story” films that’ll undo all the good work the MCU’s put in to-date. By taking its own cinematic road map and rules, Infinity War opens the door for the next phase of the MCU. It’s just not the door audiences (or fans) are expecting to be escorted (shoved) through and into the future.
I can’t wait for Part 2, but I swear I’m taking alcohol with me. Y’all, Marvel not gonna catch me unawares again.
Got your Avengers: Infinity War ticket at the ready? Do you have a prediction you want to share so you can see how you stack up against what really goes down? Let DHTG know. Hit us up in the comments!