We’re currently living in the golden age of comic book movies. I’m not saying that all of the comic book movies that are coming out right now are brilliant, but a decent amount of them are certainly serviceably good. “Serviceably good” is an adequate term to describe “Avengers: Infinity War” and my feelings on the long-awaited crossover event.
While certainly not one of Marvel’s strongest efforts, the movie proves sufficiently fun and hits most of the right beats one expects from a superhero movie. There are thrilling action sequences, quips and famous characters who we’ve never met before finally coming face to face. What more can you really ask for?
Picking up from where the brilliant “Thor: Ragnarok” left off, the film begins in the midst of an attack by the notorious Thanos (Josh Brolin). Thanos is on a quest to retrieve all six of the legendary Infinity Stones. If he were to obtain all six of the stones, he would become the most powerful being in the universe, able to bend time and reality at his will. Unluckily for him, standing between him and holding all of the stones are “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” the Avengers. Due to the film’s action-packed nature, it’s hard to say much more about the plot without giving anything away, so I’ll just leave you with that.
The film is helmed by Joe and Anthony Russo, both seasoned Marvel veterans who have experience stuffing a lot of heroes into one movie, like “Captain America: Civil War,” but even that probably didn’t prepare them for a film that is jam-packed with characters, all vying for valuable screen time. While a few characters are allotted enough screen time to really be able to shine during the movie, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has a predominant character arc in the film while other major characters are limited to just a few lines and maybe one cool fight scene. There are simply too many characters being juggled and the film suffers for it despite its lengthy two and a half-hour runtime.
Another of the film’s major flaws is its relative lack of accessibility to fans who haven’t seen most or all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. There are a plethora of off-hand references to previous Marvel films
and their plots, and personally, although I am decently well-versed with what’s goings on in the Marvel universe, I could definitely understand a new or more casual viewer being overwhelmed and confused by the film’s lack of exposition.
Despite these flaws, I still enjoyed the film a good amount. The Russo brothers’ previous experience working on “Arrested Development” shines through in some of the comedic scenes, scoring a handful of big laughs in the theater. While there isn’t exactly a standout climactic scene similar to the “Captain America: Winter Soldier” elevator scene, the film is chock full of creative and entertaining battles. It’s a fun film, but it just lacks the depth that separates Marvel’s best efforts from the field.
In just 11 days, Infinity War crossed $1 billion in worldwide box office sales. This was a record time and the fastest in film history. It also had the biggest global opening in film history and the biggest domestic opening weekend.
Overall, the film’s scale ended up being its greatest weakness. Marvel’s best films are typically the ones in which there’s more focus on a couple of main characters, where you can really watch their characters and relationships develop. Due to the film’s absurdly large cast, no one character or relationship was given enough time to really be explored.
It’s most definitely a fun popcorn movie. It’s a movie where all of the superheroes meet up and fight together. It’s hard to completely mess that up. Marvel has mastered the formula for fun and serviceable superhero films, but despite its scale and ambition, “Avengers: Infinity War” fails to propel itself above middling Marvel fare.