Monday, April 30, 2018

Avengers Infinity War Review

(Non Spoiler Review)


Oh, you want more? Okay, let's put everything into perspective.

Ten years ago, Marvel had an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, to see if they can become something more. It began with The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man in 2008. It continued with Captain America, and Thor, culminating into one awesome movie called Marvel's Avengers in 2012.

But they didn't stop there! That was only "Phase One".

They added a few sequels, plus other classic comic book characters to the line-up, from Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Spider-man and eventually going into space to add my personal favorite, The Guardians of the Galaxy. Between the amazing cast, many genius directors, and of course epic writing, the real hero, Producer Kevin Feige, continued to understand what comic fans want from a super hero movie, with very few missteps.

So before going to see the newest Avengers movie, Infinity War, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you like comic book/superhero movies?
2. Have you seen (and enjoyed) MOST of the Marvel movies from the last decade?

If you answer "no" to these questions... seriously, why the hell are you here???

I can only imagine you just wanted to read my goofy comments, because Infinity War is definitely NOT for you. It's a sequel, based on a long running series of movies. You don't necessarily have to watch them all to understand what's going on, but you should have some background into this universe before just blindly purchasing a ticket. And if this isn't your thing, that's fine. Please go see a Rom-com and stay out of my theater. I Feel Pretty is playing, or even Super Troopers 2, if you're into that sort of thing.

But for the rest of us... of course you'll love Infinity War!

It's not an exaggeration to call this movie 'epic'. Between the fantastic visuals featuring many different worlds, amazing characters, and and a well crafted story, Marvel Studios once again, gave us some impressive bang for our theater bucks.

Okay in fairness, I won't say this is the BEST Marvel movie ever. And going in, I did feel a bit 'meh' by the idea. There has been a lot of super hero movies in the last few years, and not all of them have been good. Some (misguided?) people are talking about "Super Hero Fatigue", because they can't imagine any need to make another one. To me, that's a ridiculous concept, because I'll always appreciate a new super hero movie. But I do think a lot of the marketing gets exhausting, and we are definitely getting unnecessarily overwhelmed by the hype. It would be easy for any studio to show one trailer 6 months before release date, without any other advertising, and they would still break box office records through word of nerd mouth.

And for myself, I've always preferred solo comic stories. Maybe a group ensemble is too much for my tiny brain to grasp. Even theatrically, I want one hero to focus on, because with so many characters, I can't imagine a director successfully telling a well balanced story.

But just as Joss Whedon did with the first two Avengers movies, the Russo Brothers figured out how to make a movie that fans could appreciate.

For the most part, they stuck with the Marvel formula, which admittedly consists of a LOT of CGI, and some jokes that felt a bit forced. Although I still did LOL a few times.

But if I can nitpick a moment, a few cosmetic things did bother me. And no, I'm not talking about Black Widow's blonde hair, (although that did feel somewhat irksome). I'm talking about the idea of Thor's short hair, and Captain America growing a beard. Are they turning into the same person??? They seem to be losing their identity.

And with Bucky's new beard, what happens if he decides to cut his hair?

I was also very underwhelmed with Hulk/Banner's involvement in the story. I've been a Hulk fan for many years, so I was disappointed with his portrayal. His particular story just didn't make any sense to me based on what I know of his character.

But everyone else seemed to be at the peak of their ability. Of course there were a lot of characters to follow, but the core of this movie was Thanos. Can I say Josh Brolin 'killed it'? We've seen him in the background for several previous movies, so it was great to see him finally step up and give quite a bit of depth to this character.

And one thing I normally look for in a movie, is heart. After ten years of getting to know these characters, plus many more decades of their legacy to appreciate, I can say there is plenty of things to get emotionally attached to. They've earned our love and respect. We do care about what happens to them. We genuinely care about who lives and who... dies.

Okay, not really a spoiler, because if you're familiar with the comic this is based on, you know some of the heroes die in this battle. I haven't read it (yet) but my extreme nerdy friends tell me there are some changes in the theatrical version, so don't go into this thinking you know what will happen. But also keep in mind, in the world of comic books, dead doesn't always mean dead.

However in the real world, there is one thing that could ultimately destroy Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Contract Negotiations. Some of the actors have chosen not to renew. Even though there are many sequels currently in production for the next few years, there could still be a few changes to the universe planned.

So for the most part, Infinity War is pretty awesome, and a lot of fun, but it's also the darkest in tone of all the Marvel movies.

"...But Deeesher, where does this rank with all the other Marvel movies???"
My friends and I are always trying to rate Marvel movies from favorite to least favorite since they began in 2008, so to help you understand things from my perspective, I'd like to present my personal ranking (my reviews clickable if I wrote one):

1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
2. Avengers (2012)
3. Iron Man (2008)
4. Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 (2017)
5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
6. Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)
7. Civil War (2016)
8. Infinity War (2018)
9. Ant-Man (2015)
10. Thor Ragnarok (2017)
11. Black Panther
12. Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)
13. Thor The Dark World (2013)
14. Avengers Age of Ultron (2015)
15. Doctor Strange (2016)
16. Iron Man 2 (2010)
17. The Incredible Hulk (2008) (my edit)
*DISCLAIMER - As a fan of the Hulk, I enjoyed this movie, however I felt there was some unnecessarily sappy moments. Many great scenes were also deleted that I would have kept. So I created a version that felt better in many ways. Although I still think Liv Tyler was a poor casting choice for Betty, my edit improved many other aspects of this movie.

18. Thor (2011)
19. Iron Man 3 (2013)

I seriously hope this is on the blu-ray as a deleted scene...

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