Where oh where to begin. How do you start a review of the film that is the acumination of a ten-year (what I would describe) experiment? Before I say another word, I would like to tell you what I was looking out for sitting in that cinema seat. More than anything I wanted to see an assembly of learning and evolving. I was looking out for how much the MCU had developed since its early days and how far the relationship between audience and character had grown as it is this that a contributing factor into your enjoyment of a film like Infinity War. My findings are conclusive, and Infinity War hits the refresh button on several levels and the hardcore fans of the MCU are going to get their satisfaction, but because I don’t have the same relationship with the MCU like most people do, I also noticed a few moments where the film had not moved on.
A big change that I was thoroughly impressed by was the stature of the villain. Thanos is a marvelous villain because he has that one quality that can be found in most great antagonists, the belief of what he is doing is morally right. In MCU films the villains are one dimensional, they’re evil for the sake of being evil, in doing this you make what should feel like a gigantic threat to the world or universe boring. Thanos feels like a threat as the film shows off his size, immense power and influence over others. I enjoyed his tyrannical yet almost dictatorship mindset as he is a character who is not afraid to take things to the extreme to achieve his own idea of balance and order.
Just like Thanos is obsessed with balance, Infinity War has the task of balancing its storylines. With a plethora of recognizable characters, each one needs screen time that equivalent to the importance of their role in the narrative. Thankfully, the Russo’s know how to spread storylines and maintain their importance. I didn’t feel like any subplots were left in the dirt and the partnerships of characters were done well providing a great battle of egos which led to great dialogue exchange.
MCU films have always favored the fun, colorful nature of comic books which has taken me off guard in the past but have grown to accept this, another thing that took me off guard was how Infinity War could keep that light-hearted tone but also take its own story seriously. When the film wanted to be funny it was funny and when it wanted to be seriously dramatic it was very, very dramatic. Marvel had swerved away from attracting new audiences to its film and instead focus on its core fanbase. The story Infinity War presents shows the first signs of the MCU swinging back to attracting those who have grown tired of the superhero genre.
The most obvious point to make is the fantastic ensemble cast and their performances. I expected that I would have to pick a stand out performer and still now I wish I could tell you, but there is no defining performance. At a push I would say Josh Brolin as Thanos was great, but the truth is each performance was just as good as the rest, when you have actors like Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans who have played these characters for so long, you just accept what they do with the character because you hope they know what they’re doing.
Changes are welcomed by all; however, some things remain the same. The Russo brothers tend to use the shaky-cam style of cinematography during their action sequences, we’ve seen it is Civil War and we see it here. There’s no problem with the use of shaky-cam cinematography if there is a solidified purpose that adds something to the action, one could argue it makes the fights feel more epic than they are, but I never fully immersed myself in the supposed epicness because my eyes were constantly switching focus.
Although storylines were spread out the action is not. Infinity War was more action and less character than I was expecting. I realize that character relationships have already been established in previous MCU films so maybe there is no need to build and develop. To me, however, character building is not just something that can be put aside for another time, it must be constantly happening with every scene and dialogue spoken otherwise no one would devote themselves to these characters as much as they have done.
The typical stereotype of MCU films being a glorified advert for the next film remains and it does irritate me slightly, however this is one of the many criticisms I have of MCU films where I saw them do things differently and contain it within the film itself, building towards Thanos’ quest to obtain all the infinity stones rather than waiting after the film has ended.
I suppose the penultimate question is, was the ten years’ worth the wait? Yes, except for when it wasn’t. Infinity War is easily the more impressive of the MCU films because it feels like a film that speaks to everyone rather than pandering to its own core audience. A lot of pieces have been improved on like a worthy antagonist, but you also see things that have remained the same from day one that should have altered. It’s a 50/50 split of improvement and stagnation. I know a lot of people who have grown tired of or just dislike superhero films, but for the improvements Infinity War makes it would be more than enough just to check out.
Final Result: 8/10 – Very Good
Have you seen Avengers: Infinity War? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below
Next Time: The Strangers: Prey at Night