Avengers: Infinity War

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has come together to fight the mad titan, Thanos, and his quest to posses all of the Infinity Stones so that he can kill half of all life in the universe.   Wait, does that also include animal life or just the intelligent?   What if you have a really smart ape?   What if you have a really dumb human?   When he said “all life” did he mean puppies and kittens too?    Cattle? Crops? I thought you were supposed to be saving resources, jerkwad!

Yes, children, it’s Avengers: Infinity War… the movie that some say is an exclamation point at the end of the sentence that is the MCU, but truthfully, this is more of a semicolon and, if grammar turns your crank, you know I mean that in a good way.

So, yeah, I understand that it’s trendy for amateur internet critics like myself to try and prove they they are better than movies like this by pointing out all of the tiniest flaws and over-exaggerating them in an attempt to appear superior and intelligent.   I, however, being neither superior nor intelligent and lacking any desideratum for such gaudy labels, I’m simply going to sit here and marvel (pun intended) at the true scope of the raw achievement that Infinity War represents…. the culmination of ten years of a shared cinematic universe that has not only been meticulously planned and executed but that has also been a helluva fun ride and with only a few minor bumps on the way.   Seeing the cogs of the MCU align and seeing Rocket team up with Thor while Spider-Man crosses paths with Doctor Strange and Suri criticize the tech behind Vision is really quite remarkable and many of my fellow critics, in a race to appear intelligent and superior, are ignoring that in favor of cynicism because it gets you attention and clicks.

Given that few people pay attention to me and I get even fewer clicks, this means nothing to me.

I mean, come on… if a shared universe was easy, DC would have started one with Green Lantern and we’d probably already have our Creature from the Black Lagoon movie from the Dark Universe.

This is quality.   This is good.   I enjoyed every exhausting moment of it.

Infinity War is like watching someone juggle 62 flaming Ginsu knives while balanced on the forehead of an angry pachyderm.  Almost every single character of this obscenely large cast is given an important role in one way or another and it’s remarkable that it’s successful.   I remember when I was watching, at one point I thought, “Well, I guess Groot is the only character who’s not going to do anything!”   Then he did something cool and I was all, like, Hell yeah, movie!

The action is all great, the settings are great, everything is tightly directed…. you kinda get the feeling every now and then like characters are, well, out of character… the most notable being Star-Lord who just don’t act like himself… he’s way more douchy than usual, but that’s a minor quibble.

I think what I was most impressed with was Thanos.   For the last ten years, Thanos had mostly been a dude in a throne who hasn’t done much except order other people to handle his rocks, but in Infinity War, we get to really know the guy and I have to say, he’s played a lot more sympathetically than I would have thought.  I mean, sure, he wants to kill half of all life in the universe, but he has this soft-spoken pseudo-kindness about him, the reluctant conviction of a true believer.   Thanos’ dialogue rarely consists of cliched instances of “I will destroy you!” or “Bow before me!”   Thanos honestly believes that he is the hero of his own story and, in many ways, that makes him all the more relatable and all the more dangerous.    You never really hate him for what he’s doing, he’s just a big dumb misguided purple guy trying to do what he thinks is right and, lemme tell you, it costs him and you can see it on his brilliantly CGI’ed face.

Okay, if I do have one major gripe about the movie it’s the ending.   It’s a cliffhanger and it feels unresolved and leaves you a little unsatisfied especially since most of the “deaths” appear completely reversible.   But, then again, I guess that being unresolved is the best advertisement for Avengers: Mystery Fourth Movie Title I’ve ever heard… I’m definitely going to be there when it opens, that’s for sure.

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