℞. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018)

Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment. (Google)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, among others
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

This review contain spoilers. Proceed at your own risk, you’ve been warned!

Watching Anthony and Joe Russo’s AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR made me somehow understand how non-fans would have felt when they watch the new Star Wars movie or another chapter of Harry Potter. INFINITY WAR is a film designed to cater specifically to its fans, and granted, in that area they did a really great job at it. Marvel succesfully emphasized the ‘biggest crossover in Hollywood’ by bringing together infinite amount of beloved characters into one screen, and they cultivated that with the right amount of charms, in this pinnacle of a 10 year old project.

But unfortunately, as much as I tried to join the bandwagon, Marvel still has not completely floored me. As INFINITY WAR is the same old, one-note pop corn flick that Marvel has churned out every single year, but in steroids. Well, to be fair, some of them truly were entertaining, though.

As we have been introduced to most of the characters, and the hints of the main villain spread throughout the 18 prior films, what The Russo Brothers and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had to do was to cram them all in one narrative. Kudos to them and the cast, because some of the encounters and interactions worked really well, and there were a few interesting pairings that call for spin-offs. Each have their fair amount of screentimes and none felt domineering.

The plot is rather straightforward, though; to ‘simply’ stop the bad guy from destroying the world. It’s understandable since a more complex plot would muddle the already packed movie. And although I didn’t agree on the ~depth~ of its villain (I still think his motivation was not fully developed and a little questionable), Thanos is still an interesting character and a somewhat perfect opponent for The Avengers at this point.

My biggest problem was the conclusion, or lack thereof. It’s definitely bold by MCU’s standard, but I didn’t fully buy it because it didn’t feel real. It did not carry any emotional punch whatsoever because it didn’t even feel like an ending. In part, because INFINITY WAR is technically the first half of a 5 hour-ish long movie. It feels like Russo Brothers just hit pause and demand us to wait for the next ‘episode’.

The #Thanosdemandsyoursilence thing is just a misleading marketing tactic, as they know if they had promoted it with a ‘Part 1’ sub title (like the original plan), the hype would probably not have been as big. Moreover, it’s hard to really count the stakes to be that high and serious when the consequences really felt temporary.

I’m not trying to rain on its parade (it’s gonna please their fans and make loads of money anyway), but AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is not as groundbreaking as some people make it out to be. It’s a bit hard to judge it as a standalone film too, since it feels more like a setup to the unavoidable next entry. But of course there are a lot to be admired here; it has charms, humor and heart on its sleeves. It never felt too convoluted and with 2,5 hours running time, somehow it never felt boring either. It’s an exciting spectacle, just like what it’s aiming to be. [B]

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