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My wife and I managed to catch Avengers: Infinity War with the kids and my in-laws on opening day last week, and I have been dying to get to a computer so I can talk about this baby!
Does the title of the movie ring a bell? I mean, it only set a record for the biggest opening weekend in the world EVER. Unless you live under a large, moist rock in the most barren corner of the universe, you are aware that there is a movie playing in theaters right now called Avengers: Infinity War, so you have to excuse me for assuming that most of you have already seen, or at least plan to see, the newest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’m not going to try to deliberately provide massive spoilers in this post, but damn it, I gotta be able to talk about specific parts of the movie or else I won’t make a lick of sense at all.
Let’s start with my one dislike of the movie, then, just to buck the trend of starting with all the positives first!
Right now, I am not a fan of the ending of the film – and not for the reason you may think, for those of you who have already seen the movie.
As much as I enjoy watching Chris Evans’ take on Captain America, I was ready to watch his character pass away way back in Captain America: Civil War. When that didn’t happen, I was convinced he would die in Infinity War, along with a few other characters. Honestly, I felt that some characters HAD to die if the Marvel Cinematic Universe wanted to retain any of its credibility; Thanos is just too powerful, and his end game is nothing short of mass murder.
So watching some of our beloved characters die does not bother me at all – but watching characters die, knowing damn well that there is no chance in hell that they will STAY dead, does.
I won’t list the characters who “died” in Infinity War, and there is a chance that SOME of the characters that met their untimely end in the film could be dead, permanently. But there are too many characters who either already have sequels planned, are so massively popular there is no way they will be set aside forever, or are portrayed by actors who have still have X number of Marvel films left on their contracts.
Some context: back when Christopher Nolan was wrapping up his Dark Knight trilogy, I was honestly hoping that Nolan would have the guts to kill off Bruce Wayne at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. It would have been a bold move, and given how the movie unfolded, it would have been the RIGHT move, story-wise. Sadly, Nolan wanted to have his cake and eat it, too, so we are treated to an ending in which Wayne successfully retires from crime-fighting but does so in a way that still gives us a “happily ever after” moment.
Fast forward to Avengers: Infinity War, the latest superhero movie that is begging for a few characters to be killed off for good. While the movie clearly does not give us a happy ending, it actually gives us something worse: an ending that means nothing. See, killing off a few main characters permanently would have been a bold move with dramatic implications, but killing off half of the characters in a way that will almost surely be undone next summer is just a cheap stunt. Granted, I could be proven wrong by Avengers 4, but I doubt it.
Now, onto what I liked about the film!
Literally Everything Else
The ending might have been a bit of a stunt, but everything else that went into the movie was legitimately awesome.
First of all, credit must be given to the writers and directors for juggling a cast of characters that included almost every hero introduced in the MCU so far, without reducing characters to mere cameos. Every single character had a kick-ass moment and a meaningful role to play as the story unfolded. Sure, we could quibble that such-and-such didn’t get as much screen time as we would have liked, blah blah blah – but suck it up, buttercup. All the best characters have their own movies. Go watch those and get off of Twitter, cry baby.
I was also impressed by how the character of Thanos was developed. In many ways, Infinity War served as an origin story for the villain who has been lurking in the background ever since he appeared at the end of the original Avengers. Thanos could have easily just been portrayed as another megalomaniacal baddie hellbent on conquering/destroying the universe, but instead we got a villain who grieved his losses, showed mercy from time to time, and truly believed he was making the universe a healthier, happy place. Kudos to everyone involved for creating a villain whom the audience often sympathized with even while he was trying to defeat the heroes.
And despite it being the sort of movie that carries, and delivers on, a sense of impending doom, Avengers: Infinity War was still a blast to see. (Seeing it for the first time in a packed theater is a must!) There was plenty of humor, as you would expect from a Marvel movie, and the action scenes were predictably top-notch and exhilarating. Even though I had a sinking suspicion that this move was not going to end with our heroes saving the day, I sure as hell enjoyed the ride!
Don’t let my criticism of the ending fool you; it was really the only ending possible, given the nature of the movie industry today. Overall, the film was a total blast and worth every penny we spent – except for the fact that the goddamn Regal Cinemas in Ithaca lost its central air during the presentation, making it the most uncomfortable movie-viewing experience we have ever had. Halfway through the movie I heard my wife tell our daughter, “You have to keep your pants on!” which are definitely not the words I ever want to hear my wife tell my daughter. Our middle child almost threw up at the end because it got so hot in there, which almost forced me to miss the end-credit scene – almost!
Share your thoughts on the film with me below, or on social media, and get out and see Avengers: Infinity War while you can!