The Titan Arrives
It has taken ten years and almost twenty films to get to his big moment, but Thanos finally arrived on the silver screen in Avengers: Infinity War in April. As of this writing it has easily cleared the one billion mark and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon. There isn’t much competition in its way, excepting the R-rated Deadpool 2 which I’m sure will pull in a considerable audience and the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story which, despite a lot of negative press, has managed to outdo Black Panther in pre-sale tickets.
As it is with all of the Marvel films, the Mickey Mouse hype machine pumped up audiences for the film and they didn’t disappoint Disney one bit, making Infinity War the the second highest grossing film of 2018 and the fifteenth highest grossing film of all time in just one week. That means that the film will probably easily pass another Marvel flick, Black Panther, as the highest grossing film of the year and probably become the highest grossing film of all time.
No Spoilers…..For Now
Full Disclosure: While I’ve read many Marvel comics over the years, the bulk of my knowledge of Thanos comes from the MCU.
As I already stated above, Marvel and Disney took ten years to bring this story to fruition. Despite this slow churning build, the plot of the film is pretty basic: Thanos is coming to purify and “save” the universe by wiping out half of its population and establishing a new universal order where he calls the shots. In order to do this, he has to collect all of the Infinity Stones. The film opens with him already in possession of the Power Stone and attempting to collect the Space Stone from Thor, Loki, and the refugees of Asgard.
From there the story bounces across the universe from one scenario after another where small groups of our heroes gather to fight Thanos or members of his Black Order as they attempt to collect the rest of the stones. It’s full of fast and loud action that’s shot heavily at close range. While certain heroes stand out from the pile of Avengers, the bulk of them are simply there to fight. As I said, the plot is very basic and we’ve had many years to see most of these characters develop, so there’s really no use to develop them anymore.
The film sits back and lets the audience soak in a full out battle that is often littered with incomprehensible action. Sooner or later things calm down and there’s a quick head count, only to have our heroes get tossed into yet another round of fighting.
When it’s all said and done, lives are lost, questions are raised, and a big cliffhanger is set up. Who lives? Who dies? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.
I enjoyed the film well enough. It tossed away the silliness that was Thor: Ragnarok and stacked up the intensity. There were moments that were obviously meant to shock, but all of them felt forced. It was as if the Russo Brothers (who directed) and Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (the writers) were trying to push home a point that the audience already knew: Thanos is a bad dude who is extremely ruthless and powerful. They could have skipped over a lot of this and played out other parts of the story, but they definitely know their core audience because there are a billion memes on the web about every single “shocking” death at the hands of Thanos. But let’s be honest. We all knew what was going to happen in this film, we just didn’t know who it was going to happen to in the film.
There’s plenty to love about this film. For starters, Thor actually started to act like Thor in this film. He’s cocky and brash, but now he has lost Asgard and most of his friends and the few that he has remaining are being threatened by Thanos. Thor becomes something of an avenging angel in the movie and I love it. Dr. Strange also gets to shine a bit more than the rest of the Avengers in this film as he attempts to figure out what Thanos’ next move will be. Gamora, Hulk, and even Nebula also get a bit more of development in this film. Iron Man, of course, gets a bunch of lines, but he’s starting to wear thin with me. He’s the only Avenger in the film that I actually wanted to see get whacked by Thanos.
Captain America, Black Panther, Falcon, War Machine, Black Widow, and the rest of the Avengers are just there for the fight. Scarlet Witch and Vision have a few standout moments but they too become punching bags for Thanos.
The music was fantastic. Alan Silvestri did an excellent job of weaving hero themes from the other films into the score for Infinity War.
The special effects were good, but there was no denying that the bulk of the action was CGI and Thanos definitely wasn’t fooling anybody. I really wish that they would have used more practical effects on Thanos. I can understand their use in the fight sequences, but they needed to step up with Thanos.
Overall, Avengers: Infinity War is a very good film with no real surprises. You know what you’re getting into, so I don’t understand what’s so shocking about some of the things that happen in the film.
Thanks for reading. For a few spoiler-rific thoughts about the movie, keep scrolling beyond the photo of Cap below.
Now for the spoiler portion of my review. Here are some pros and cons about the film. Let me know what you think in the comments section.
Chris Hemsworth kept this film interesting. He took Thor to an entirely different level. His quest for revenge against Thanos for the death of the people of Asgard, Heimdall, and Loki (maybe, maybe not, dude is sly) is exactly what this film needed.
Con: All of the heavy handed deaths
Thanos kills. That’s what he does. He chokes out Loki early in the film in an apparent attempt to set the tone that no one is safe. We already knew that. Why drag out Loki’s death other than to draw a few tears from an audience that has been spoon fed the story for a decade now? Gamora’s death was also prolonged. We knew that was coming as well.
Pro: Thanos’ torture techniques
I felt Nebula’s pain as she was being slowly ripped apart. When Thanos burned Thor’s face, it made me tense. Heck, Ebony Maw (a member of Thanos’ Black Order) pulled off some of the best torture sequences in the film!
Con: The CGI
The CGI had a few moments of greatness, especially once Thanos arrived in Wakanda. In a few brief flashes of sunlight, Thanos looked almost real. The rest of the time, it was obvious that a computer was doing most of the work. Those dog creatures were horrible.
Pro: The Background Avengers
Spider-Man, Mantis, Drax, Captain America, Black Panther, and Nebula all had solid performances in the film, but with 8.7 billion Avengers on the screen, we didn’t get much time to appreciate their work.
Con: Inconsistent Powers
The Black Order was manhandling two of the most powerful Avengers, Scarlet Witch and Vision, until Captain America and a bunch of normal humans with souped up tech arrive to fight them and they end up fleeing the scene. Really? Spider-Man and Iron Man outsmart Ebony Maw who, up until the point in the film where they fling him into space, has successfully sensed every single move the group made beforehand???? Okoye and Black Widow, two humans, hold their own against Proxima Midnight until Scarlet Witch breaks free of her emotional grief long enough to fling her into one of those round grinding things????
Pro and Con: Thanos
He’s just one more in a long line of predictable and dull villains from Marvel. With that being said, though, he’s the first real threat that the Avengers have ever faced. He’s an excellent foil for either Thor or Hulk, and I hope that both of them get another shot at him in the next film.
Well, there you have it. What did you think about the movie. Let me know in the comments, but if you’re going to reference a spoiler, please make a note prior to posting your comment so that other readers that haven’t seen the film yet won’t have their day ruined!