I was walking out from Infinity War after 2 hours and 29 minutes without saying a word. Not because I had lost my voice a day before, but because there were people heading to watch the Infinity War, and I was not about to ruin the movie for them. Once in a safe distance, I let it all out! Oh and there was a lot to let out!
So the first question I want to answer is the rating. Yes, it’s a four cup rating, and no, it wasn’t easy to decide upon. I gave it a 4,5 to be exact, but to give it a solid five seemed like cheating. You see, The Winter Soldier is still my favourite film in the Marvel Universe. I don’t think anything can come close to its neatly tied up storyline and sharp action sequences. Infinity War might come close, if Civil War wasn’t as close to Winter Soldier’s perfection. So why a four cup rating? Well, it’s actually a simple answer. Ultimately, there is such a thing as too many superheroes.
Infinity War is packed. And even though the storyline separates our heroes quite well into manageable bites, eventually, there are too many characters to focus on. Does Infinity War manage with the overall balance of the film? Yes, it actually does a wonderful job of keeping the storyline solid and fluid throughout. The problem is that by managing the vast number of characters and the screen time between them, the emotional impact is misplaced. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m cold and my heart only beats for one or two superheroes at the time. But while Infinity War should have been like an emotional marathon until the last scene, it rather felt like an action packed sprint towards the end game.
That being my general opinion towards Infinity War, I decided to go in deep and discuss all the characters and their arcs. In order to make this monster review a bit easier to manage, I’ve broken the review up to manageable bites.
From this moment on, we’re going into the hardcore spoilers!
I recommend stopping now, if you don’t want to spoil your fun at the cinema. Because Infinity War is fun, even if it’s a little hard to digest. And going in blind, and gasping in surprise together with the audience, is all worth it in the end.
As I mentioned, Infinity War breaks our characters apart into smaller groups, and this one was my favourite story arc of the entire movie. It seems like I’m cheating on Captain America, but hear me out. This arc was simple, but its end result was very rewarding which is what made it stand out. The way we got there though, oh so bittersweet.
The first 10 minutes of the film focuses on Thanos torturing Thor in front of Loki, who has the Tessaract. Loki is horrified to see his step-brother in pain and eventually gives up the Tessaract, delivering Thanos his second Infinity Stone, Space. Hulk shows up briefly, does nothing helpful and is sent away by Heimdall, who then ends up dead. Then Loki decides to be the hero and tries to kill Thanos himself, but ends up dead too.
While some gasped in the theather, I was completely okay with it. And while it should have shaken me up to witness a major character die in the first 10 minutes of the film, it only seemed a fitting end to the God of Mischief. I did feel very sorry for Thor though. Let me remind you that by this point all Thor’s people are dead, and Thor has lost his father, his hammer, his home and his brother in a span of just days. The God of Thunder is not having a good week.
+ ROCKET / GROOT
After Thanos blows up the vessel Thor is on, he ends up floating in space, only to be captured by the Guardians. Queue tons of jokes, some on the expense of Quill (which I enjoyed a lot), and the team spilt in two. Thor, Rocket and Groot head for Nidavellir, in order to build Thor a new hammer aka axe. Once they get there, they discover that Peter Dinklage, as a huge dwarf, is the only surviver and the star has gone out. They manage to find a way to build him an axe, but that means manually jump starting a star. Thor does most of the work here, and looks super hot doing it – it was easily one of my favourite moments in the film. Simple heroic act, but with a very powerful outcome.
WANDA / VISION
Let’s jump quickly to our shortly lived couple. The only reason I want to address this couple is because Vision is another character death in Infinity War. This was obvious because Vision had the Mind Stone, and his death seemed very likely from the start. Anyway, this story arc was all over the place because while the relationship was apparently established, the entire plot circled around the fact that Wanda should destroy Vision’s Stone with her powers. But not before they tried this possible fancy way of saving him in Wakanda, which didn’t work. Which was simply a distraction, and made the plot even messier.
Also, for some reason, I could not get behind their chemistry. It seemed off and it didn’t pack a bunch. I don’t know why this entire movie seemed emotionally off to me, so it might be my fault. But since I was 99% prepared for Vision to die, I wasn’t invested in the mission to save him.
GAMORA / THANOS
Jumping to another duo, this one much complicated but also filled with a lot of misplaced emotional impact for me. Gamora, our Guardian, who kicks ass and was raised by Thanos is on a mission. Her mission is to stop Thanos, but that ends pretty sadly for her. First she gives up her dagger, that holds a Infinity Stones. Then, she tells Thanos that the Soul Stone is at Vormir to save Nebula being tortured. Admirable, yet stupid, since she trades her life for hers.
We are again talking about a major character death, and I can feel the haters coming at me in a minute. But honestly, so what? Gamora died, okay, let’s move on. Now, this is not a reflection on Zoe Saldana’s work. She did wonderfully, and I love her in every skin colour there is. It’s just that her death happened, and the movie just jumped to another storyline like that…
I cried when Yondu died in Vol 2., because they took their time with it. It was slow and painful. Then they had a funeral, and everyone showed up – tears on top of tears! With Gamora, she gets to have this big speech, all while we already know her faith. The scene felt rushed, and I think most of us saw it coming the moment Thanos captured her. Also, who else felt like throwing Red Skull into that scene sort of ruined the shock? Like, we hadn’t even grasped at the idea of Red Skull being alive! and on that planet for so long, yet we were hit with another shock. It was a race to catch up with all the information, and apparently my emotions never caught on.
Lastly, I do admire the complexity Gamora’s and Thanos’ relationship and what they meant for each other. There is a scene where Gamora stabs him, thinks him dead and breaks down crying. Thanos himself sacrifices Gamora as the only thing he loves for the Soul Stone, while also tearing up. It’s weird, but it’s also interesting and layered, which I appreciate.
IRON MAN / SPIDER-MAN / DR. STRANGE
This little team was probably my second favourite arc of the film. This arc starts first with Iron Man and Spider-Man ending up on an alien ship, which has taken Strange. Strange, as we know, carries the Time Stone, which he so wonderfully used in his own movie against the villain. Anyway, this group as a threesome was hilarious and felt very natural.
The dynamic with Iron Man and Dr. Strange is also very authentic. Both are very egoistic, very good at what they do, and have come to their powers through learning. Since they are very alike, they also clash, and it’s very well delivered both by Downey Jr. and Cumberbatch. Tom Holland is himself in this, and it shows and it’s everything I like about him. He is just, a little fanboy and I just want to give him a hug, okay!?
+ QUILL / MANTIS / DRAX
After saving Strange they are locked into a course to Titan – one of the moons of Saturn. When they get there, they are met there by Quill, Mantis and Drax. This meet up is hilarious, and another comic relief for the audience. Timeline wise, this happens right before we witness Gamora’s death.
After her death, Thanos arrives to Titan and our first big fight begins! By now Thanos has four Infinity Stones, he is already very powerful. Yet, we have three very savvy superheroes – Iron Man, Dr. Strange, and Spider-Man. They do all the hard work, most of the actual work really, and manage to tie Thanos down. Strange drops Mantis on top of him, and she manages to hold his mind. This is where Peter Quill fucks up.
FUCK YOU, QUILL
This is where he finds out about Gamora’s death and bunches Thanos, just seconds before Spider-Man manages to grab his gauntlet off his hand. This infuriated me. Quill seemed to do nothing in this fight, and yet he decided to give this big speech and question him, rather than weaken him by removing his source of power first. What. An. Idiot. If you would pin point a moment where things went from manageable to shit, it’s the moment Peter Quill decided to make the cliché speech before the actual capture.
After this Thanos drags a moon to hit Titan, and defeats everyone, including Iron Man – who he stabs in the gut. Now, I heard quiet whispers of “no’s” in the audience, and I was not surprised. Iron Man is well loved by many, but I just can’t stand him. I would have gladly seen his death on screen in Infinity War. Think of the outrage? Think of the shock!? It would have been a moment for the history books. Yet, Strange saves his life by giving up his Time Stone and Thanos becomes mightier than before and sets his course towards the last Infinity Stone, aka Vision.
CAPTAIN AMERICA / BLACK WIDOW / FALCON / RHODEY / “HULK”
CAPTAIN AMERICA LIVES! Thank. You. All. Mighty. Universe.
But even though we had to worry throughout the entire movie, the story arc for Cap in Infinity War is excruciatingly boring. He is my favourite, he will be my favourite, his trilogy is my favourite – but his involvement in Infinity War was almost unnoticeable until the final battle. Captain America enters the movie when Wanda and Vision are in trouble. He enters, and all is well. The entire audience gasped, I loved it! He looked so good, so brooding, so wonderful. Me and the entire audience were just waiting for that moment, and it was the best character entrance of the film. And his beard, guys, I saw it in IMAX! The thing was literally in my face! Loved it. But his story arc? Cap deserved more!
But, back to business, which means that Cap and his group end up being Wanda and Vision’s rescue mission team. They meet up with Rhodney, and everyone goes to Wakanda, to try and save Vision. This is simply a way to take the plot to Wakanda, and have the final battle there. It’s logistically the perfect place to fight aliens, and it’s where the shit hits the fan.
But before I get to the final battle, and it’s aftermath, let’s pause for a minute. Steve Rogers was rumored to find his end in Infinity War. Evans himself hinted that his time was coming up. Before seeing the movie I hold on to the fact that Avengers 4 was coming out next year, and Evans was linked to it. Yet, I still had my fears. Luckily they were not met, and three other major characters died. Who I didn’t care about. I feel like I was robbed from the emotional impact that infinity War could have had. Do I think Captain America deserved to live? YES! But am I worried his death was simply pushed to Avengers 4? I’m afraid to say, I’m very worried about that scenario. So now I have to continue worrying for his life, and this sucks.
OH LOOK, IT’S “HULK”
Recently, in our film quiz group, we discussed who is the strongest Avenger. Everyone said it was Hulk – comic books say so, and it’s literally a fact. But I was stupid enough to questioned this by stating that doesn’t Hulk’s existence as a symbiosis with Bruce Banner make him weaker? Everyone pretty much argued that no, Hulk is THE STRONGEST! Well, where the fuck was Hulk? The strongest Avenger, the all mighty, and he didn’t even show up to fight because he had an existential crisis. Though this crisis provided many hilarious moments, it was also quite disappointing.
We’re almost at the end. The final battle takes place in Wakanda, and it’s massive. Alien-dogs charge the barrier and since they are still pointlessly trying to save Vision, they decide to let them in. With that comes the actual battle, man vs alien. Somewhere in the middle of chaos, Thor arrives with thunder! And it was glorious, second best character entrance! Plus, by giving Thor an axe, and to have him wield thunder like that – it’s energising! And is it me, or has Thor gotten a lot hotter since the third movie? For me, it’s the new haircut, it makes him so much better.
Anyway, there seem to be minor casualties in the battle, but the final act begins with Thanos’ arrival. Everyone tries to go after him, useless Bruce Banner, Black Panther, Black Widow, Bucky and Cap! Thanos, with is five stones, stops them easily. But before he gets to Vision, who Wanda is killing (as Vision asked IN THE VERY BEGINNING), Cap manages to have that mighty moment pictured in the featured image. Hotness! Note that in all the trailers and images, the CGI had not yet added the two Stones to the gauntlet but had added Hulk to the fight! Sneaky little bastards.
Long story short, Wanda manages to kill Vision and destroy the Stone, but Thanos has the Time Stone. Rewind, and Vision’s back, only to die again when Thanos rips his Stone out. This scene had no impact on me, like I said in the beginning, I knew it was coming. To leave it as the last death was almost anti-climatic to me. But I guess it was not about the real deaths, but what was to follow. Because – what-the-fuck!
THE ULTIMATE CLIFFHANGER
Seconds after Thanos places the last Infinity Stone onto his gauntlet, Thor wields his newly forged axe into Thanos’ chest and he soon realises his mistake. As Thanos said, “You should have aimed for the head”, or as I cursed under my breath, “chop the fcking hand off” – Thor has not beaten Thanos. And in a second, before anyone in the audience even thought about the possibility, with all six Infinity Stones in his gauntlet, Thanos snaps his fingers.
I think the silence in the audience spoke for itself. For a second, we thought it was the end. But of course the end was what was to follow. Thanos walks in some sort of an after life place, and Gamora stands there as a child. “Did you do it?” she asks, and Thanos replies “Yes.” – and we get to see the aftermath of the power Thanos was after for so long.
I call it the dust-scene. One by one, a selected number of our beloved heroes turn to dust. Bucky, Black Panther, Wanda, Groot, Falcon, Quill, Dr. Strange, Mantis and last but not least, Spider-Man. Peter’s plea to Iron Man, when he was turning to dust, was the most emotional I got during the movie. But this is where Infinity War delivers one of the best cliffhangers. What does it mean? Knowing that Black Panther has a second movie, we know that the dust-deaths are not real death and the characters will return. But does that mean the ones who did not turn to dust are to die later on? Will Captain America and Iron Man fight together again in the very end, only to die together? Will Bruce Banner die, and Hulk takes over forever? There are so many questions and yet, answers will have to wait until May, 2019.
I know I have said a lot, a whole 3000+ words lot, but hear me out again. I want to quickly go over a few other points. Infinity War is structured well, for a movie that has so much going on. It’s action packed, and it has a lot happening at different locations at the same time. Part of it actually makes me a little underwhelmed. With Winter Soldier, you had one very linear plot, where during action you could see and feel every punch. The movie was tight and close knitted. Infinity War does have those tight moments, the battle on Titan is really cool. But it does loose a bit of its focus when the editing gets faster, the scene has more characters, and everything just becomes hectic.
The humour element is what I loved. Everyone gets a chance to shine, may it be through humour or by just looking sexy as fck. The visuals are great, and it’s clear they spent a lot of time and money on CGI. So much that they decided to save a bit by not using HULK! Yes, I’m still a little disappointed by that. The laughs were quick, as were the emotional scenes. The entire movie, if II’m being honest, was a little too fast paced and if you blinked, you might have missed something.
But what about Thanos? Was he a good villain. Actually yes. His motive was to save the universe by lowering its population, because Titan became extinct due to over population. Is it wrong? Yes. But he also suffers from God complex, which eventually becomes Thanos’ complex, so his not thinking straight. But he does have layers. His soft spot for Gamore, and his choice to turn guns into bubbles – what was that about? It’s like his still a child, and thinks of the Universe as his playing ground. He works as a villain, and I think allowing him to fulfil his threat, was warranted and made him one of the best villains in Marvel movies.
In conclusion, (congrats for making it THIS FAR!) Infinity War was a massive undertaking, that could have gone very wrong. It went pretty well in the end, and managed to juggle all its characters. It lost its emotional impact (at least to me) by rushing through important plot moments. Also, why was Red Skull even there and what will become of him? Most importantly though, if Infinity War played out the single outcome that Strange mentioned, does that mean it was all meant to happen? Thanos was supposed to snap his fingers, because in doing so, he set in motion the only possible timeline where he looses!? How ironic really, that what he wanted, will be his end. But also, 14 million timelines, and Thanos looses in 1? Those are some real shitty odds there, Marvel.
So is Infinity War still just a pitstop after massive set up before THE END? Kinda. We have been dragged into a massive universe that has taken 10 years, and yet, the end seems so far off. The ultimate question is whether Infinity War feels like an amazing pay off after 10 years worth of 18 movies? Honestly, it sort of does and sort of doesn’t. The fact that it ended on a cliffhanger, and set up Avengers 4, undermines itself a little. The true deaths of Loki, Gamora and Vision don’t seem so grandiose as, for instance, Captain America’s or Iron Man’s deaths would have been. So, pitstop it is and you still have to keep watching Marvel movies.
I’m going to see Infinity War again, and there might be more posts about it here on my blog. There is also going to be an Across the Universe Podcast episode about it in May. So stay tuned for more Infinity War content!2