Tuesday, May 08, 2018

THE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR -- my review

If you love the Marvel Comic universe then AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR will be action porn to you. Hundreds of your favorite Marvel superheroes team up in many combinations on many planets and worlds to give you a 2 ½ hour montage of every CGI comic book fight scene you’ve ever seen. Everyone gets thrown around like rag dolls, everyone gets flung twenty yards into a concrete building. At least five times.  Thank God no one gets hurt. 

If you’re locked in to all these characters and the Marvel legend I’m sure it’s great fun to see them all interact. It’s the ultimate All-Star game. I’ve only seen some of the previous movies so there were holes in my knowledge of the saga. Captain America now has a beard and wears black? Did I miss three sequels?

For all the special effects, explosions, epic battle scenes, and CGI animation for me the best part of the movie was the occasional funny quip. There were some great lines, and as opposed to the (competing) DC universe, Marvel doesn’t take itself so seriously. I love that.

And I appreciate that they attempted to build in emotional moments and tried to create reasons for vengeance besides just the standard “We have to stop the powerful supervillain who wants to control the galaxy,” but God it was overkill. And as a result, for me, some of these action and battle sequences were just mind-numbing. No one gets injured really so it’s just transformers pummeling each other. I've now seen it a thousand times in hundreds of movies. 

I can almost hear some of you now. “Levine’s old and just doesn’t like Marvel movies.” Not true. As readers of this blog will attest, I loved THE BLACK PANTHER, think it’s the best movie of the year so far. I really enjoyed the first couple of CAPTAIN AMERICA movies. Same with IRONMAN, ANT MAN, and they now have the best Spider-Man.  I even loved the AGENT CARTER TV series. But this installment felt unnecessarily long and prone to excess.

I know it’s getting terrific reviews, fans seem to love it, and it’s racking up boxoffice gold, but am I the only one who wasn’t completely enamored by this film? I know to say anything disparaging about THE AVENGERS is like spitting on the cross and admitting you’re 150 years old, but again I wonder, is it just me? I dunno. Maybe if they swapped out Mighty Mouse for Vision I would have liked the movie better.

25 comments :

Douglas Trapasso said...

Or Patrick MacNee and Diana Rigg. Those are your real Avengers.

Sue Dunham said...

I haven't read a comic book in many years. Why see a movie about comic books?

Pizzagod said...

Hi Ken
I'm a long time comic book fan, and I feel a bit of let down after Infinity War.

First off, I'm a rigid movie fan-my favorite movies are ones with a beginning, middle, and end-in that order, and where the good guys win. So after Infinity Wars I'm doing a "Huh?" and as I'm leaving I'm already telling my wife what every fanboy has already posited; that giving up the stone to Thanos was part of Dr. Strange's plan, and that has to be the key to turning things around.

That being said...this didn't seem to be an Avengers movie to me-Iron Man had the lead, and to me most of the other guys were cameos. Strong supporting players, but except for Spider Man and Captain America, I don't think they were really done all that well. Loved the Starbuck's line about opening the Wakanda up, but...this was a little too much (to me, anyway).

After the delightful Thor Ragnarok, I would have liked to see more of him in this movie, and he kind of took on the Superman role that happens at DC. You know, we have fought the good fight, tried really hard, things look hopeless and oh look, it's the big gun, you guys are going to get your asses kicked now (I think somebody actually said that, right?). Same old problem that the comics writers have, you have being SO powerful he's almost unbeatable, how do you use him properly? He almost took Thanos out, and if it wasn't for a tactical error he would have.

Sooo....it was decent, but I don't think I'll enjoy it as much as Deadpool or AntMan and the Wasp. I guess my feelings were pretty much summed up by Nick Fury at the end before he vanished, what was it he said?

Matt said...

I am beyond cross-eyed sick and tired of the non-stop parade of SuperHero movies. I can't stand it. Wait, don't tell me. Some extremely large city gets its ass kicked in the end during a 40 minute CGI-sturbation sequence that is:

1). Hard to follow
2). Completely unnecessary
3). Feels like it's fulfilling some SuperHero movie contractural obligation (there WILL be an enormous CGI fight scene finale).

I can't. I cannot see another SuperHero movie. If I did, my skin would peel off and walk out the door in protest.

Daniel said...

"...for me the best part of the movie was the occasional funny quip. There were some great lines, and as opposed to the (competing) DC universe, Marvel doesn’t take itself so seriously. I love that."

I actually feel the exact opposite. I keep getting taken out of the story in most Marvel films because of the humor, which I find to be glib and off-putting and not a natural extension of the story. I personally prefer the more serious approach that the DC films take (well, not "Justice League" which was a cluster-f**k of studio interference). I feel like they're actually trying to push the envelope on genre filmmaking, whereas Marvel films seem templated and repetitive. More of the same.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

James Van Hise said...

I liked the film but I didn't think it needed the cliffhanger ending, which is just there so that a year from now the sequel will show how Doctor Strange and his time jewel ensured that everything Thanos did would be undone (just an obvious guess). But that way the sequel will also gross a billion dollars (although Infinity War may wall do twice that). Some in the media seem to take this a bit too seriously as the LA Times just had an interview with Zoe Saldana about how her character of Gamora was killed off in Infinity War, seemingly ignorant of the fact that Marvel has already announced Guardians of the Galaxy #3 in which Gamora would be the main character instead of Star Lord.

Phoef Sutton said...

You're not the only one. I love the Marvel movies as a rule, but I HATED this one.

Barry in Portland said...

The Black Panther left me pretty much bored, spending most of my time wondering when the current fight would be over, when the guy with the Big Lip would show up again, and how it is possible for Martin Freeman to do such a great American accent.

Here's a site with a ton of old black-and-white movies, free for DOWNLOADING:

http://www.bnwmovies.com/classic-movies

Yes, there is a daunting ton of crap, but also several classics from Hitchcock, Welles, Lang, Griffith, etc. I have a couple of long flights coming up, and have loaded up my tablet with a bunch. Most MP4s are under 400 MB.

Just sayin'...

VP81955 said...

In its sheer overload of star (character) power, the "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" of superhero movies. I'm guessing this also doesn't equal the sum of its parts.

Peter said...

I enjoyed it but agree it was overlong. Too many of these big studio event movies leave me feeling exhausted by the end. Whatever happened to the good old days when a summer movie was 2 hours and the third act showdown was thrilling and tightly edited?

SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn't seen it:

I had to google what the post-credits scene meant in terms of who Nick Fury was contacting before he vanished. The little logo that appeared on his device was of...CAPTAIN MARVEL! Brie Larson appears in her debut as the character in her own movie next March before then appearing in the next Avengers a couple of months later in which she will lay the smack down on Thanos! That's bound to upset the sexists and misogynists out there who can't stand female superheroes.

Luke said...

https://www.cbr.com/frasier-avengers-infinity-war-inspiration/?utm_content=buffer5e260&utm_medium=Social-Distribution&utm_source=CBR-FB-P&utm_campaign=CBR-FB-P

lowtide said...

Thank God no one gets hurt.

?

gottacook said...

The only Marvel comic I ever purchased was Not Brand Echh #7, in 1968. (Although I didn't know it at the time, this was essentially Marvel's version of the original Mad color comic book format - in this case, parody origin stories of Superman and the Fantastic Four.)

Andy Rose said...

Don't worry... it's entirely plausible that Marvel films are legitimately boring AND you're old. :)

blinky said...

The whole thing with grown men playing dress up in muscle suits is kind of gay, don't you think. NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. I prefer seeing my hero's in normal clothing, like Jason Bourne or Bond, James Bond.
Also I think they would be better off not having every villain trying to destroy the universe. For example, the first Guardians of the Galaxy was fun but the second was WAY over the top in plot bullshit. Kurt Russell can make universes with his mind?? Sheeesh!

JP said...

I like the Marvel movies, but i was disappointed in this one. Maybe if they called it "Infinity War, Part I" I wouldn't have been as disappointed. But then they might not have made as much money.

MikeN said...

We know you were old and don't get it when you bashed Furious 7. However, I have been thinking the same thing about Avengers before even seeing the movie. I count about 20 heroes(Civil War's 12+Guardians+Dr Strange+Wakandans), so the movie would have to be about six hours long to begin to do it right(and I'm seeing reports that's what they're doing). At three hours it would just be lots of fights and name checking.

Anonymous said...

Like one of your above commenters, I also came across an online article talking about how Frasier "inspired" Infinity Wars - and since I have no internet resistance, I immediately googled "frasier avengers" and in addition to expected links, I discovered an IMDB one to the episode "Radio Wars" in which they actually reference the Avengers- the 60s TV show that is - which led to me seeing that Patrick Macnee was in the episode "The Show Must Go Off" - which led me to once again realizing that the internet is consuming every moment of my life. Either that or everything is connected in a massive conspiracy. Apophenia.

Alfred Day said...

I'm a lifelong comics fan and a big supporter of these particular movies, and I have to agree. I thought it was kind of mediocre. It seems quite frankly to be half a movie, and we won't know the full tale until next years sequel. As a comics fan, I also had the experience of everyone being shocked, shocked I say at the shock ending (avoiding spoilers here), not sort of acknowledging that the movie contains at it's center a big glove that can literally turn back time and create or destroy life. I wonder if that ability will come into play in the next film?

Twintone said...

Ken! You called it! The actors want money.

http://www.slashfilm.com/arrested-development-season-4-remix-cast-pay/

tavm said...

So the possibility exists that what happened at the near end of the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie will happen in the Avengers sequel after Infinity War?

Sean MacDonald said...

The "nobody gets hurt" comment seems a little off since lots of people died. Even in the first scene with Thanos vs Asgardians, lots of people died. Even a significant recurring character from several movies, not to mention all the nameless people. And the person Thanos kills to get the soul gem is also someone who dies, though maybe not in one of the big fight scenes. And some (all?) of Thanos' significant underlings die. So... yeah, people got hurt. One guy even lost a hand (but it didn't seem to matter). And I don't think you could say that Vision didn't get hurt.

But here's the thing I didn't like about the movie: the whole story doesn't matter. Now, yeah, that's pretty much comic accurate, so that's not the complaint. The point is, well, the heroes fight and fight and fight... and they have one clever plan after another... and they still all lose. So everything that they did in the movie... doesn't matter. Even all the planning done in previous movies ("We can't keep even two of the Infinity Stones together! We have to separate them!") doesn't matter. And that's not even taking into account that Thor's clever plan in Thor: Ragnarok... doesn't matter. The happy ending that he barely managed to achieve... doesn't matter because everyone dies anyway.

And... the fact that everything that the heroes did doesn't matter... that too doesn't matter. Too many "main character deaths" happen at the end when Thanos wins for any of that to be "permanent" in the MCU franchise. "Oh, I guess that we can't have any more Spider-Man or Black Panther movies!" As if. So, that means... reset button. The bane of comic book readers since, well, forever is when you can tell that too many things have been destroyed or killed to actually be the real story. Instead, someone's going to have to come along to press the reset button to fix everything, so none of the deaths mean anything. (And, yeah, that's what happened in the comics, but it's still a bad story.)

And yes, I know there need to be caveats. (1)It's possible Doctor Strange's surrender of the time gem is part of a plan that will lead to ultimate victory in the next movie. That doesn't matter; it didn't happen in *this* movie, so this movie still has a weak story. (2) It's possible some deaths will matter, but obviously most won't. For example, the recurring character killed by Thanos at the beginning of the movie? Might still be dead. The person Thanos killed to get the soul gem? Might still be dead (or stuck in the soul gem). But all the other "deaths" ring very hollow.

Also, I don't like that it ends in a cliffhanger, as I prefer "complete" stories, but whatever.


MikeN said...

Saw the movie. It was well done. You had to have basically seen almost all the movies up to this point to understand what was going on. A good job of showing groups working together with their powers, as well as the personalities. The ending is also powerful. I never would have guessed that the most somber crowd leaving a movie theater I will ever see will be for a Marvel movie.
That said, it is not clear that this is part 1 of 2. It may just be this is part 3 of whatever and the story is complete.

Daniel said...

I finally saw the film last night and I just didn't get it. I was bored to tears by it (and I'm the central demographic for these super-hero movies). I also have no idea who the protagonist was in this story. There was no central character whose story we were following (other than Thanos). Just a bunch of characters showing up and fighting.

Kaleberg said...

We loved it. It was like a Pixar film with lots of honest entertainment value for the money. It never dragged. It made sense in its ditzy way, which is fine with us. There was a good overall story, lots of great characters, character development and narrative drive. There was no one trying to sell us a message. That ruins more movies than it helps.

We saw it in a great venue, in 3D IMAX. An awful lot of movies are fine on the home screen, but Marvel movies make getting out to a theater worthwhile. Even better, the warm up was maybe a dozen ads for video games, coming soon to your gaming console. Let's face it, video game style action sequences have replaced musical numbers, and we can't say we're sorry for that, especially after La La Land.

The Marvel universe really doesn't work for everyone. DC always seems to be New Testament with one big messiah figure at the center of things. Marvel is more Old Testament with all sorts of characters doing stuff. Just try keeping track of all those kings and prophets and heroes. Jesus save us.