By Dave B.
A caveat before I begin: I can only review Avengers: Infinity War (currently in theaters) from the perspective of someone who has seen all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies that have preceded it. I suspect that the movie will be enjoyable for those with no experience with the franchise, but I can’t say that they will have much emotional investment in the plot and/or characters. As a fan of the MCU, I can say that Infinity War is incredible.
The action in the movie is nearly literally non-stop. From the first shot to the last, fights are nearly continuous. At over two-and-a-half hours, this is a pretty impressive feat. I was not bored at any moment. The choreography of the fights is decent, but the special effects are mind-blowing. I was forced to see the movie in 3D. That’s never my first choice, but when it is done well, it can enhance the moviegoing experience and it was done extremely well, in this case.
Most surprisingly to me, my favorite thing about the movie was the villain, Thanos. I was expecting a fairly hollow character, but I feel that Thanos was well-crafted. His motivations are explained (insane, but explained) and not implausible. At least not to me. Except for Killmonger (in Black Panther), I feel that Thanos is the Marvel antagonist that I can most empathize with. It’s easy to see how he can be followed out of fear, love, or a combination of both. It’s an important factor in adding some complexity and narrative flow to the movie, because perhaps the only real flaw in Infinity War is the huge cast of characters.
I feel that Infinity War does as good of a job as can be expected at juggling a huge cast of primary and secondary characters. However, there are limits to what any movie can accomplish in that regard. That’s the sole reason for my initial caveat. Infinity War simply doesn’t have the time for much character development and relies on viewers’ preexisting knowledge to drive the emotional components of the film. Viewers who do not possess that preexisting knowledge are likely to enjoy the action and visuals of the movie, but I think it may be difficult for them to really care about any of the characters.
I can’t see anything stopping Avengers: Infinity War from becoming the highest grossing movie of all time. It’s pretty much everything that a summer blockbuster is supposed to be: a high-stakes action-fest, with humor and heart. I enjoyed the experience of watching it immensely, and I hope that you do too! 9/10