Everyone has been doing the spoiler-free review, but few have done the spoiler review yet.
I think it’s time.
Spoilers below the cut.
“Infinity War” was pretty good.
It was not great.
But it was pretty good.
I did have some problems with it. First and foremost:
The ending sucked.
You heard me. I said it. I stand by it. The ending SUCKED.
I’m talking about the very, very ending. Not the three part final battle. That was AMAZING. That was incredible. That was worth every cent of admission and every cent made on this movie. It was ridiculously awesome. It was everything everyone hoped it would be and more.
I’m talking about everybody disappearing.
First off, because we know it will be reversed, it robs all of the deaths of any emotional resonance they might have. Too much has gone wrong for this to be the new status quo, so we know that nothing that happened is permanent. Spider-Man’s last words before dissolving were sad and moving and completely worthless, because Spider-Man is not dead. Gamora’s sacrifice was an excellent scene (though it did drag a little bit) that was completely worthless because Gamora’s not dead. Scarlet Witch’s character arc? Nope. Didn’t happen.
The only character deaths that MIGHT be permanent are Loki’s and maybe Gamora’s, because of how early they took place.
The other reason it sucked? We have no idea why Doctor Strange did it. None. We have no inkling whatsoever what his plan is.
Now, I’m not saying we need to be aware of every detail of the Xanatos gambit. I’m not saying we should even know for sure it would work. I’m saying we should have SOME idea of what he’s getting at. We should be able to put the pieces together and say “Oh, so THAT’s his game plan. Wow, that’s risky and bold!”
But we got nothing. As far as we can see what Doctor Strange did made zero sense.
Also, what Starlord did was beyond stupid. I get that it was an emotional moment, but come on, dude.
The post credits reveal was lame. Captain Marvel is a thing. Whatever. Her powers are that she can stretch and stuff, not reverse time, so she has nothing to do with Strange’s plan.
Yeah. The ending sucked.
But the ending isn’t the only part of the movie, and to be fair this isn’t the real ending anyway. Part two DOES promise to be epic as well, and I 100% am going to see it. So in that sense it’s not a total disaster.
The best parts of the movie were the humorous parts. The Guardians of the Galaxy were great. Spider-Man was great, probably the MVP of the film (is it weird that Tom Holland has a much, much better accent than Benedict Cumberbatch?). Most of Bruce Banner’s lines were great.
Captain America was weirdly kind of a non-entity. He had surprisingly little to do. It wasn’t exactly a flaw, per se, but considering how awesome his last two movies were it was a bit surprising.
Robert Downey Jr. again puts on the best performance of the film, portraying a man who has taken a weight on his shoulders that is far too heavy for him to hold and struggling to keep his sanity while his greatest fears come true around him. Once again he deserves an Ocar nomination that he won’t get ’cause superhero film.
I was actually absolutely shocked that he didn’t die. I was fully expecting Thanos to kill him in his final scene, and Spider-Man to have one last moment with his mentor before he passed away. But it didn’t happen!
And of course there is one other awesome thing that needs to be talked about in this movie: The protagonist, Thanos.
That’s right, the protagonist. He is the character who lynchpins the various pieces together, the character with the strongest arc, the character with the clearest goals. He is the one we follow from beginning to end, who interacts with just about all of our main characters at one point or another. He is 100% the protagonist.
And he is a great character.
Thanos is not a monster. He does monstrous things, horrific things, but he is not a monster. He loves his adopted daughter, Gamora. His intentions are good; he acts for what he believes is the good of the universe. He can point to concrete examples that justify his point of view. He admires courage and bravery. He is in his own way sympathetic, even while he commits murder on a cosmic scale. He is the best villain in the entire MCU to date, including characters like Loki, Kilgrave, and the Kingpin. He’s that awesome.
So, yeah. The action scenes were great. There were some terrific performances. It moved a little slowly at points as the various storylines pushed for attention, but the humor was on point. The final action sequence was absolutely, ridiculously fantastic.
So even despite the poor ending, it really was a pretty good movie. I look forward to the sequel. It’s worse than the original Avengers film, “Winter Soldier”, and “Civil War” but better than “Age of Ultron”. I look forward to the sequel wholeheartedly, and strongly recommend it.
8 out of 10 stars.