Avengers Infinity War

Yes, this blog is alive! Also, obviously spoilers!

Avengers Infinity War is something. A phenomenon of some kind. Not because of the movie itself, but because of what came before it. This movie is the culmination of 10 years and 18 movies worth of continuity. It’s unprecedented. And that’s only the first incredible thing about this movie (more on that later).

Because of all that history, it has a lot to bear. It bears the weight of expectation. This movie has to be amazing. It has to be worth all of that setup, all of that backstory, all of that continuity. Every character has to matter, every character has to play their part.

I did not have high hopes in the months leading up to the movie. I felt like it needed to do so much and that it would fall flat in the face of that expectation.

But it did not.

The movie delivers. Everyone delivers. Everyone is relevant. Even Groot who I thought was mostly useless put in some effort towards the end. And I swear the banter writers were at the top of their game. Every scene felt well-written, and the plot moved forward at a great pace, never stopping too much to rest, always on to the next thing.

I loved the Thor/Rocket/Groot sidequest where they went to forge a new hammer. At first I thought that it was a stupid irrelevant side-quest because Ragnarok established he didn’t really need a hammer. But I loved everything about it, including Thor having to survive the heat of the star himself to the surprise Peter Dinklage.

Speaking of surprises, the Red Skull!!! Sadly, it was not Hugo Weaving. But still, that came out of nowhere!

I enjoyed Widow and Okoye and Wanda getting a short tag-team battle vs Proxima Midnight at Wakanda.

I enjoyed the whole sequence at Titan, tricky Strange portals and all, even though we knew they were going to fail.

I only have one minor annoyance: The power level of Thanos’ Black Order is horridly inconsistent. When Corvus and Proxima ambush Wanda and Vision in Scotland, they’re driven off by three people without powers. Yet Tony, Strange and Wong have trouble with the guys back in New York. Later on, it takes Cap and Vision to take out Corvus and Widow+Okoye+Scarlet Witch+a giant rolling mechanical death ball to take out Proxima.

Things we didn’t get yet that I’m hoping for in the next movie:

  • “Avengers Assemble!”
  • Cap and Tony finally reconciling
  • I’m sad that there’s no Coulson here, though we do get to see him in Captain Marvel. That being said, the Avengers finding out he’s still alive in Avengers 4 would be most satisfying. (Assuming he survives this season’s Agents of Shield of course)

Now, about the ending. I must confess, I never read the original Infinity Gauntlet/War/Crusade series back in the 90s (I probably will now, thanks to Marvel Unlimited). But I did know that in those storylines, Thanos managed to win. He managed to kill off half the universe. Going into this movie, I was like surely they’re not going to do that right? I mean, they said Infinity War was meant to stand on its own, that it Avengers 3 and 4 were no longer two parts of one big movie.

But that was a lie. Or at least a matter of semantics. I was checking my watch in the last 30 minutes of the movie, telling myself internally “they’re running out of time!” I was still hoping for a victory. I was hoping they wouldn’t do it. But they did. The absolute madmen, they did let Thanos win.

The theater was vibrant during the movie. Cheering when Captain America first walked out of the shadows. Cheering when Thor took the battlefield. Laughing at all the jokes. But everyone was dead silent as Thanos sat there in his obviously-Filipino-hut and the credits started to roll. I believe this was the desired effect.

This is the second incredible thing the movie has done. In this day and age, a cliffhanger. A well-protected, unspoiled cliffhanger. Amazing.

All the post-snap deaths were executed well, from Rocket calling out to Groot, to Peter (Parker)’s “I’m not feeling well Mr Stark”.

But the bad thing about all of these is that, it sets us up for something bigger. It has to. Most of the deaths either have to mean something, or they are going to be reverted. (I believe in the comics they were reverted). And they have to do it without cheapening the well-executed losses.

This movie defied my expectations. But at the same time, it created even bigger expectations and leaves us looking forward to Avengers 4. Will they be able to execute the sequel well? We waited 10 years for this climax, and it’s not yet done. We have one more year to wait.

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