Movie Review: Infinity War [SPOILERS]

I took Tomas and DC to the movies on Saturday, off to see the latest Avengers movie. And there’s no way for me to review this movie without talking about massive SPOILERS, so if you haven’t seen it yet and plan on it, then don’t read this review. Got it? On the other hand, if you’ve already seen the movie and want to chat about it, you’ve come to the right place.

In the end, I have really mixed feelings about the movie. Not because it was poorly done. The effects were awesome, and I was certainly entertained throughout. But it’s all build up and no release. The ending? Half of everybody dying? All it really did was remind me that there are no endings in these movies. It’s a franchise that just keeps on churning.

For a story to be complete, you need to have an ending of some sort. I don’t review books and movies that I don’t finish, so how in the world can I review Infinity War, an unfinished movie?

Sure, you can argue that the movie ended. The lengthy credits rolled, and we got to see Nick Fury die at the end (a final stab of the knife in case fans weren’t low enough already). But simply rolling credits doesn’t mean its over. You could also argue that it’s a “dark” movie, and that the ending is an ending, but that’s just a bunch of garbage. It’s a complete, 100% cliffhanger of an ending. Except instead of leaving the protagonists on a cliff, it drops them off the cliff and focuses on their dead, bleeding corpses.

I don’t for a moment believe Starlord, Black Panther, Spiderman, et al are actually, really dead. These are comic book movies, and characters come back from the dead all the time. Already there are tons of theories about what will happen. Maybe an alternate timeline. Captain Marvel’s movie takes place in the 90s and comes out soon, and Fury was paging Captain Marvel right at the end there. So perhaps we get some timeline shenanigans ala X-Men to iron things out.

The best example of a “dark ending” I can think of is Empire Strikes Back. But that movie has an actual ending. Luke fights Darth, Darth wins, Luke escapes. It would be very different if Luke fought Darth and the film ended with a shot of Luke falling into the depths of Cloud City.

Roll credits.

The more I think about this, the more it becomes clear that Marvel films aren’t really films at all anymore. They’ve morphed into this strange hybrid of films and television series. I don’t mean Agents of SHIELD or Daredevil. I mean the movies themselves. A cliffhanger like Infinity War leaves us with is much more in line with something we might see out of Game of Thrones or Lost.

Or comic books themselves, for that matter.

Which, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Marvel has simply finally gotten to the point where it can adapt its comics to the screen completely. We have all the characters’ back stories. We can see a veritable cornucopia of heroes and villains on the screen, and we know all about each of them. They can die, be reborn, be recast, and have everything happen to them that happen in the comics.

But just because you can do something on film doesn’t mean you should. I think my biggest objection to the end of the movie was the way it was done. There’s the big finale fight scene. The heroes lose, and snap, everything changes. And I wonder why exactly I just watched 2.5 hours of struggle to have nothing really fixed.

It felt like I got too good of a look at the inner workings of Marvel. How we’ll see these movies come out one after another, and none of them will really matter. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Marvel will decide Black Panther 2 is a bad idea, and leave the character dead. But since the movies exist to make money . . . I seriously doubt that will happen. Too much moola is at stake.

So Marvel pushed the boundaries too far for me. Character deaths stop really having an impact when you start doubting any of them will ever really be permanent. Imagine a Lion King where Mufasa shows up alive and kicking in the sequel. Or what it would feel like if Boromir shows up out of nowhere in Two Towers. Sure, you can get away with a bit of it now and then, but so many characters all at once?

I felt like I wanted my money back. Might as well skip the whole first movie and just watch the inevitable sequel to find out what really happens.

But that’s too harsh, because I really was entertained for those 2.5 hours. The movie was funny, explosive, and engaging. But it also was a big ol’ sucker punch, and it’s hard to say “thanks” when a film does that. Especially when it isn’t earned.

I’ll watch the sequel, of course. But a large part of whether or not I’ll ever want to rewatch Infinity War rests on how that sequel goes. I watch superhero movies to escape. To see the good guys win.

What did you all think of the movie?


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