This is one of those rare “event movies” I’ve talked about before. They don’t happen very often, but when they do, they’re fun.

Avengers Infinity War is the culmination of the entire MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), encompassing 10 years and 19 movies, the vast majority of which were actually good. An impressive feat, never before done in Hollywood history.

As usual, I will not spoil anything major in this review, but there will be minor spoilers, just enough to explain my opinions.

What I Liked

1. Tons of characters, all managed very well. This movie did a surprisingly good job at managing a huge amount of big characters and letting them all get in their beats (with just a few exceptions I’ll talk about in a minute). The only movie I’ve ever seen do this better is X-Men 2, but it was still very impressive.

2. Finally! Fantastic villains! Marvel movies almost always have crappy villains, but they finally made a few that were interesting. Thanos is the best villain in the entire MCU, and most of the movie was about him(!), which was a good thing(!). Ebony Maw (the alien wizard guy) was also superb as a villain, and I wish the movie showed more of him.

3. Doctor Strange and Iron Man, the two biggest Alpha Male jerks in the MCU, were really fun to watch together. They argued and got legitimately upset at each other. Loved it. Doctor Strange is my second favorite character in the MCU after Captain America.

4. Great action and direction, but still not as good as the action in Winter Soldier or Civil War, even though all three of these movies had the same directors (the Russo Brothers). Civil War is still my favorite MCU movie by far, as I talked about here, but Infinity War’s action was still fantastic.

5. Elizabeth Olsen and Scarlett Johansson are hot and they’re both in this movie. Although Scarlett is starting to lose her looks just a little bit, and for some bizarre reason, they removed Olsen’s Eastern European accent from her character. Why? What a dumb lack of simple continuity.

6. A very cool MCU villain returns as a big surprise. One MCU villain I’ve been hoping returns does so in this movie, and in a way you don’t expect. It as a gasp! moment. I won’t spoil who it is, but if you’ve seen the movie already, you know who I’m talking about. Very cool.

7. The events of Civil War were respected. One of my concerns about this movie was that it would take all of the events of Civil War and just reset them like they didn’t happen, something the MCU does too often (as well as many other sci-fi franchises like Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who, and so on). Thankfully, that doesn’t happen. Captain America and Iron Man still have a huge problem with each other, and Captain America’s team are still wanted criminals. Nice.

8. Finally! A darker tone! My one complaint about the MCU is that it’s too happy and funny. Everyone loved Thor Ragnarok, and it was an entertaining movie I guess, but I just couldn’t enjoy it because it was way too silly to take seriously. (“My hammer got destroyed! Haha! Funny!” “My eye got gouged out! Haha! Funny!” “My whole planet exploded! Haha! Funny!”)

When I saw the trailers for Age of Ultron, I got really excited. Finally, the MCU was going to present some dark tones with real stakes. But no, that movie was just as silly and happy as the rest. Fuck!

But thankfully, Infinity War finally makes good on the promise made by the advertising for Age of Ultron. This movie is dark, right from the very first scene. While the DC movie universe is too dark, this movie struck just the right tone of dark plus some fun. You can have both.

Well done.

What I Didn’t Like

1. Captain America is seriously shortchanged. He is, or at least has become, the most intresting character in the entire MCU, and in this movie he is given pretty much nothing to do. I realize it’s hard to give everyone their character beats in a movie this crowded, but that’s no excuse; they could have given him 30-60 seconds of some real character moments, and they didn’t in this movie. Oh well; my guess is he’ll have more screen time in the part two, which is coming out next year.

2. Bruce banner has become a joke. Bruce Banner is one of the most complex and dark characters in all of Marvel Comics, and Thor Ragnarok and this movie turn him into a stupid and comedic character which doesn’t at all match the true character he is, as portrayed in the comics and in the movies Incredible Hulk and the first Avengers movie. It’s sad they’ve murdered such an interesting character like this, just to get more laughs. C’mon Marvel, funny shit is what Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy are for, not Bruce Banner!

3. The Peter Dinklage scene took me out of the movie. There’s a scene with Peter Dinklage and it’s way too meta; it takes you out of the movie and doesn’t match anything else that’s going on. I love Dinklage as much as the next guy but the way they shoved him in this movie was a mistake.

4. Biggest problem: As always, death is meaningless. I read and collected comic books when I was a kid, but I never bought any superhero comics (with a tiny few exceptions like The Punisher). The reason was that superheroes never die. It was stupid. Superheroes are in constant danger for years, even decades, and yet they never die, because they can’t (they’d have to cancel their comic run). It takes out all the stakes and risk in your storytelling. Even on the rare occasions they do die, it’s all bullshit, because you know they’re going to come back, every time. Comic book companies made assloads off stupid comic book fans when they “killed” Superman and later “killed” Captain America. Of course they brought both of those characters back, as I knew they would.

The comics I read when I was a kid were the more adult ones like Aliens, The Adventurers, Robotech, and so on, where main characters actually died and never came back. That’s real storytelling, at least to me.

The Marvel movies suffer the same problem. No one ever dies. If someone “dies” (as Loki has many times), it’s bullshit because you know they’ll just come back in a later movie.

So yeah, in Infinity War, several main characters die, but most of them die in ways you know they’re going to come back. So instead of gasping with surprise, I just shrugged. Hey, if this was Lost or Game of Thrones, then I’d be impressed, but it’s not. It’s Marvel.

That being said, some very surprising things occur with this in the movie that were pretty ballsy and that I wasn’t expecting.

So that’s the movie. On the overall, it’s very good and I recommend it.

As a side point, my recent decision to see much less movies has really worked out for me. I’m not seeing nearly as much movies, but the few I am seeing I really like. For example, the last three movies I’ve seen (Infinity War, A Quiet Place, and Ready Player One) I all really liked. I don’t think I’ve actually liked three movies in a row in many years. Good job, Caleb!

19 Comments on “Avengers Infinity War Movie Review

  1. Doctor Strange is my second favorite character in the MCU after Captain America.

    Dude, really? Captain America has like no superpowers at all. Just enhanced strenght, speed, combat ability, etc. Who else has this? Oh yeah, basically every single character in the Marvel universe.

    A bit off-topic, but since we are talking about the Marvel universe, have you seen the FX series Legion? That show is fantastic. It is very different from regular superhero show, much more complex, darker and mind-bending. Totally recommended

  2. Doctor Strange is my second favorite character in the MCU after Captain America.

    I wasn’t able to enjoy him in Doctor Strange because that movie was pretty “deathist” (the villain is the one character trying to extend his life, and one of the (more or less) “good guys” says “death gives meaning to life). It spoiled it all for me, and it was an underlying idea to the whole movie rather than an à-propos. But perhaps I’ll enjoy the character when I watch Infinity War because he’ll be more detached for that context. We’ll see.

    I’m more curious about Thanos’ big line in the trailer, because it reminded me of the Alpha 2.0 mindset in a way: “In time, you will know what it’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail, all the same. Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives“. It sounds like what you’ve been saying about external solutions and the decline of the West: ultimately, all Alpha2.0s are gonna have to face the fact that the world is moving left whether they feel they’re right against that shift or not, and that they’re not gonna steer the ship away from that. So just based on the trailer, I found that “Avengers facing Thanos” is a funny analogy to the Alpha2.0, internal-solutions-focused guy facing western decline and collectivism.

  3. They did a really good job of making Thanos a compelling villain. I was pleased to see that they changed his motivations from being a onetis beta bitch trying to win Death’s approval(personified as a woman in the comics) to wanting to “balance the universe.”

  4. Great point about the hulk! I definetly was hoping they were setting him up to go into the inner world and figure things out.

    I too enjoyed that it was essentially a Thanos movie! I enjoyed the infinity gauntlet comic and thought they did a good job combining the gauntlet quest with the movies, since there must be some constraints. The gauntlet quest really helps the development of Thanos being a little more than just, “oh the really strong villian thats stronger than the last guy.”

    By meta do you mean when you saw Peter Dinklage, you saw Peter Dinklage, not the character he played?

    I was feeling it and shocked when certain one’s died. Looking foward to the next. Doctor Strange knows but we don’t.

  5. Dude, really? Captain America has like no superpowers at all.

    I said my favorite character, not the character with the most interesting or powerful superpowers.

    My favorite superhero of all time is the Punisher and he has literally no superpowers at all.

    have you seen the FX series Legion?

    No. I don’t really watch TV. Don’t have the time.

    I’m more curious about Thanos’ big line in the trailer, because it reminded me of the Alpha 2.0 mindset in a way: “In time, you will know what it’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail, all the same. Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives“. It sounds like what you’ve been saying about external solutions and the decline of the West: ultimately, all Alpha2.0s are gonna have to face the fact that the world is moving left whether they feel they’re right against that shift or not, and that they’re not gonna steer the ship away from that. So just based on the trailer, I found that “Avengers facing Thanos” is a funny analogy to the Alpha2.0, internal-solutions-focused guy facing western decline and collectivism.

    Interesting. I don’t disagree. However, a true Alpha 2.0 has already accepted the world’s shift to the left. Someone who is still emotionally wrestling with this isn’t quite there yet because of his outcome dependence and SP.

    By meta do you mean when you saw Peter Dinklage, you saw Peter Dinklage, not the character he played?

    More than that; they purposely cast him as a giant because he’s a midget in real life. It was lame.

  6. The comics I read when I was a kid were the more adult ones like Aliens, The Adventurers, Robotech, and so on, where main characters actually died and never came back. That’s real storytelling, at least to me.

    I found it interesting that back in the days when George Martin was writing and producing with the Game of Thrones TV adaptation team, one of the major comments you heard from everyone was that the series was real. People really met bad ends, whether being killed (and not coming back) captured and tortured, or even being brought back in a fate-worse-than-death kind of way like the characters resurrected by the Red Priests who lose part of themselves every time they get brought back. And it wasn’t just the villains who faced real consequences for their mistakes, or who got caught by random bad events. The fact that no character could be assumed to be safe for reasons outside the story and its world (such as being fan favorites, of the suits wanting sell merch) including some of the most beloved characters, and some of the seemingly most powerful characters, being killed off, made it real.

    This was before Martin left the production team though, and those two incompetents Benioff & Weiss drove the series off a cliff (or over the proverbial shark, LOL)

    . . . and don’t get me started on how those two have been hired by Disney for the Star Wars franchise.

  7. What are your thoughts on the Villain’s Thanos idea of killing half a population of each planet and later half the universe to save the ecosystem, and stop the problems of over population?

    He even explains that resources are finite.

     

    Also do you think that it could work?

    My problem is that if you did that at modern day (or sci fi marvel) earth with humans (mean killing off 50% at random) you would triggering problems such as lack of manpower (especially high IQs) on things such as nuclear power sites, farming, planes currently in the skies, ships with either weapons, major resources or humans with no captain, militarily bases with no guards, buildings not being repair, fires not being put out, and power plants not being work on. This would at first reduce the population even more then 50% think the first hour on something like people on a plane with no pilot. In some areas cause major problems such as too high radiation, oil spill in oceans, major chemical and bio weapons or plants going off and in some cases going into the air or into the ground.

  8. Current pop growth rate is about 1.13%. At this rate, you double your population in 61 years. Killing half the pop is a very dumb solution.
    You either raise your carrying capacity, or your civilization just goes through the changes necessary to get a lower (or zero) growth rate and keep it. Halving it through genocide will do nothing but delay the perceived “problem” by some decades.

    Waste-heat-related limits place the theoretical max for Earth’s capacity around a trillion people (though I’d prefer we stay well under that to have more wilderness), while a Dyson swarm of artificial gravity habitats around the sun (swarm, not the less realistic “sphere”, google it) would give you a solar system carrying capacity of about 10^20 people (a hundred quintillion).

    I’d say there’s still a lot of room at the top, provided the growth rate is kept low.

  9. Good movie overall-great action sequences and a compelling villain for a change, cough cough Steppenwolf.   I like when they humanize the antagonist somewhat and not just make him pure evil for evil’s sake.   Villains always work best when they think what they are doing makes sense.  Agree that Ebony Maw was really cool too-he had that calm serial killer psycho vibe almost like Hannibal Lechter.  I skipped Black Panther since it didn’t seem that interesting and more hype over having a predominantly black cast-seems like no reviewer dared say a bad word about it so they wouldn’t’ look racist.

    I also think that the “deaths” lack punch when you know damn well they will all be back.  I’m guessing in the 2nd movie though 1 or more big players will die like Cap America or Tony Stark.  It would be a let down if EVERYONE survives and sings kumbaya after defeating Thanos.  They should at least keep those that dies before he activates his gauntlet dead (Gamora, Loki, Vision, Heimdal)

    Side note I agree that Scarlett Johansen is losing her mojo a bit-she has that weird man hair cut now too which doesn’t help.  She was a hot piece in that 2nd iron man movie with the long red hair.

  10. What are your thoughts on the Villain’s Thanos idea of killing half a population of each planet and later half the universe to save the ecosystem, and stop the problems of over population?

    He even explains that resources are finite.

    It’s a very cool idea for fiction, but in real life it’s complete bullshit. Any civilization that has mastered interstellar space travel (and certainly interstellar teleportation) already has the technology to easily create any and all resources they want by printing them at the molecular level. “Lack of resources” would never be a problem for such a civilization regardless of population size (Star Trek got that one right).

  11. Why the hell do you like captain america?  His movies are my least favorite.  His powers are boring.  His fight scenes aren’t even martial arts, but long, drawn out, lame punch combos.  His face is emotionless.  His lines are written to sound like a 1940s propaganda commercial.  His character is flat and boring with no arc.  I imagine he goes directly to church between battles.  (maybe you’re referring to the comic book story?)

     

    Agreed, Peter Dinklage scene officially ruined the movie for me.  So stupid.

     

    I only enjoyed the last half hour or so when the bad things happened.  My friends were pissed that there wasn’t a happy ending.  I loved that!  That’s why I watch foreign films.  Main character dies.  Children die.  The euoropeans love their greek tragedies, and guess what?  That’s life!

     

    Also, I think Thanos’ idea was great.  You could also just make half the universe’s population born sterile.  That way they can live out their lives without a sad ending, and within one generation, the population has been drastically reduced.  Maybe humanity or life itself is a metaphor for existence.  We’re born and we’re confused for a long time.  Then we kinda figure things out, have some fun, make some mistakes, learn from them, but then we realize our time has passed and the idea of “non-existence” doesn’t sound so bad.

     

     

    Thanos 2020!

  12.  

    4. Biggest problem: As always, death is meaningless.

    This is not dramatic art, this is good quality entertainment.

    They try to cheer viewers up, and match the wishes, conscious and unconscious, of a mainly young public.

    You still can attend performance of Goethe’s Faust and many other plays like it (Ibsen, Pirandello, Beckett, …). I mean, 80% of deep art is obsessed about death.

    I am glad good quality entertainment doesn’t follow in those steps.

  13. His lines are written to sound like a 1940s propaganda commercial.  His character is flat and boring with no arc.

    No, totally wrong. That was him in his first movie, which I didn’t like. In Winter Soldier and Civil War, he had to wake up to the fact that the country he was taught to love was now something very different, which created all kinds of inner conflict, particularly when he had to go against said country. I love that stuff.

    This is not dramatic art, this is good quality entertainment.

    Correction; it’s good quality entertainment for the masses. I agree. But for those of us who want more, I need death to mean something in my entertainment.

  14. His lines are written to sound like a 1940s propaganda commercial.  His character is flat and boring with no arc.

    No, totally wrong. That was him in his first movie, which I didn’t like. In Winter Soldier and Civil War, he had to wake up to the fact that the country he was taught to love was now something very different, which created all kinds of inner conflict, particularly when he had to go against said country. I love that stuff.

    Agree. It actually made the first movie (and Cap in Avengers 1) look better in retrospect, because of character growth. He was also good in Civil War.

  15. Maybe not your genre, but have you watched the movie “All the Money in the World” ?

  16.  I’m guessing in the 2nd movie though 1 or more big players will die like Cap America or Tony Stark

    I don’t think Marvel is ever going to kill one of the big four (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk), at least not permanently.

     

  17. > His lines are written to sound like a 1940s propaganda commercial.

    > That was him in his first movie

    The first film was an origin story film, and it stuck very close to Captain America’s comic book roots.

    Marvel’s Captain America character was created in 1941, just as America was entering WW2. If you look at the stories from that time, they were 1940’s propaganda, and the kids fantasizing about kicking Nazi butt were lapping it up.

    The first film was a re-creation of 1941’s Captain America for film. A nostalgia exercise, if you will,and it was moderately successful financially and critically. But the ending of the film shows that the creative team realized they were going to have to go in new directions to make a success of it.

  18. But the ending of the film shows that the creative team realized they were going to have to go in new directions to make a success of it.

    There was nothing creative about it. They just followed the comics in which Cap does get frozen in  ice and awakes 70 years later and is a founding member of the Avengers.

  19. Too bad Warlock wasn’t in the movie.  Sonny Arvado (“Of Tyrants & Tellers”) would say Thanos represents the shadow elite that wants to cut down and control the population by turning men into women and women into men.

Leave a Reply

To leave a comment, enter your comment below. PLEASE make sure to read the commenting rules before commenting, since failure to follow these rules means your comment may be deleted. Also please do not use the username “Anonymous” or “Anon” or any variation thereof (makes things too confusing).

Off-topic comments are allowed, but Caleb will ignore those.

Caleb responds to comments in person, but he only does so on the two most current blog articles.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search.