Avengers Infinity War definitely lives up to its hype and the overall reputation of the film series. It’s grandiose, a wild ride full of surprises and a grand achievement in super hero movie making. If you can spare two and a half hours out of your evening the coming weeks, I urge you to go and see it.
This review contains spoilers.
It’s when Thor Odinson refers to Rocket Raccoon as “rabbit” that I realise why Chris Hemsworth’ character is so likeable. Thor doesn’t call his new friend rabbit because he wants to belittle him or because he doesn’t take interest in his allies; Thor with his booming voice and natural sense of bravado is just by default looking at the grander scheme of things. The God of Thunder doesn’t concern himself with details like the exact species of his compatriots or the specific name of Groot (Thor calls him “Tree”) because bravery, loyalty and defeating evil are just so much more important.
It’s a recurring thought when watching Avengers Infinity War. With so many heroes on screen (I didn’t count but I’m assuming it’s a record), you start to see what unites them. Their clashing personalities don’t stand in the way of uniting behind their goal of defeating Thanos. It’s not because they have a strong leadership or such strong sense of discipline. They argue, disagree and mess up among each other, but it always shows every character fiercely committed to their goal: stop Thanos, because Thanons is bad.
The Greater Good
I haste to say that this concept is a great tool for storytelling. It’s not, practically speaking, a guarantee for success and the end of the movie shows that. Putting aside one’s differences in service of a greater good and defeating evil sounds heroic, but often dilutes everyone’s core principles and in the aftermath leaves minorities unrepresented and the most powerful to fight over the spoils.
For the sake of a compelling superhero story though, this doesn’t matter. Marvel is upholding its reputation of witty dialogue, giving the freedom to the actors to be playful with their characters and perfectly balancing epicness and serious moments with banter and silliness. Because their goal is united, their internal conflicts are about personalities, bonds and relationships and that’s what makes every character relatable in one way or the other.
The Supreme Leader MCU
As is tradition with Marvel by the now, there’s an important after credits scene. And Infinity War might have the best one yet. But it also shows a galling side of the biggest movie franchise in history. When I saw it in the cinema I had several people behind my cry out in joy and excitement, I myself was confused for a second because I didn’t recognize the teased image. A stranger in the seat next to me explained it: “It’s the Captain Marvel logo.”
And while that’s all fun and exciting, it also showed how much of a behemoth the MCU is turning into. I’m not a militant Marvel fan, but I saw a lot of the movies and know quite a bit of lore, compared to the average person. If I didn’t instantly recognize the hint for a movie that’s going to be released in March 2019, then how does the more casual moviegoer feel about this? Infinity War itself is already a first part of a two part story, asking its audience to wait another year to see the conclusion. The post-credits scene heavily implies that the Captain Marvel flick is going to have some impact on the overall arch. It might be demanding a bit too much engagement and instead just drive people away.
Revisit and Reminiscence
With a year to wait I personally think it’s a great time to revisit some of the older movies from the last decade. Above all, Infinity War does a good job of convincing us of everyone’s mortality and whatever the next movie is going to bring, it’s obvious that nobody is safe and anything can happen. Dust of your DVDs or search your digital library, it’s a good as any to revisit the previous adventures of your heroes.