Avengers: Infinity War

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Wick's Review

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Created May 11, 2018 11:56PM PST • Edited May 13, 2018 06:50PM PST

  1. Quality Help-l
  2. Great 4.0

    Nearly two dozen major characters populate Avengers: Infinity War, a massive cast if not an infinite one. Many are major movie stars — Downey, Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Cumberbatch, Pratt, Boseman, Brolin. They can be very proud of Infinity War. It’s formulaic, but so were the great symphonies. There’s no way to tell this many stories – super-powered or not – this well without the structure, at this scale or otherwise.

    Massive starpower is essential but not sufficient. The Russo Brothers’ Infinity War deftly weaves half a dozen strands of the Marvel Cinematic Universe into one reasonably easy to follow blockbuster movie.

    It is a lotta movie, 2½ hours of summer fun. Heck, it takes a full hour before the final star enters, which is when we enter oh-so-cool Wakanda. While there aren’t a lot of laughs coming from the Black Panther’s kingdom, several characters elsewhere in the movie are consistent laugh generators, notably Downey’s Tony Stark & Pratt’s Star-Lord, and now including Hemsworth’s Thor, who is a veritable God of Laughter.

    The Russo Brothers are Marvel masters by now. Their first Avengers movie was The Winter Soldier, a superlative blockbuster, following that up with Civil War, a near perfect example of Humongous Movie.

    Infinity War continues in that marvelous tradition, upholding an absurdly high standard, and leaving us with baited breath for Part II in 2019. The fate of the Marvel Cinematic Universe hangs in the balance.

  3. Great 4.0
    Avengers Assembled

    Robert Downey Jr. reprises his Tony Stark / Iron Man for the umpteenth time, still as vital as ever. Rapier wit at the ready, he’s forever Ironic Man.

    Chris Hemsworth’s Thor has become one of the most endearing characters in the entire cinematic universe, let alone just the MCU. He’s always had a gift for laughter, but the recent Ragnarok took his comic stylings to a new level, that of a complete laugh fest, a standard he largely upholds here. That is, until he goes all laser-eyed and everything, which is so damn bitching.

    The rest of the classical Avengers are plenty up to snuff: Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner / Hulk, Chris Evans’s Captain America, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Don Cheadle’s War Machine, Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier.

    Paul Bettany & Elizabeth Olsen stand out and get an entire subplot as a couple, albeit he’s Vision and she’s the Scarlet Witch.

    Asgardians

    • Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is an almost pleasant supervillain.
    • Idris Elba’s Heimdall is stout till the end.
    Strange Units
    • Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange is strangely welcome, an erudite addition to the Avengers. Makes me want to revisit his origin movie.
    • Benedict Wong plays Wong again.
    Spider-Man

    Tom Holland’s is a treat as a comically naive Peter Parker / Spider-Man.

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    Chris Pratt stands up to Downy and Hemsworth in moviestar superpower as the captain fo the Guardians.

    • Zoe Saldana’s Gamora
    • Pom Klementieff’s Mantis
    • Dave Bautista’s Drax is much funnier than before, mostly because all his LOLs are from him saying funny stuff versus him laughing. He has a very annoying laugh, but turns out to be a very effective joker.
    • Vin Diesel’s Groot is now a video-game playing adolescent with the same limited vocabulary that continues to be inexplicably expressive.
    • Bradley Cooper’s Rocket fulminates per usual.
    • Karen Gillan’s Nebula
    • Sean Gunn is On-Set Rocket.
    Wakandans

    Chadwick Boseman is the most chill megastar ever as T’Challa / Black Panther. Fascinating to see him become a role player after the cultural icon he became in Black Panther.

    Letitia Wright is once again his sister and Q, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Winston Duke as two of his captains, the estimable Florence Kasumba as his general, and Danai Gurira as a stalwart warrior.

    Villains

    Josh Brolin’s Thanos goes right into the supervillain Hall of Fame. He even kinda looks like Brolin after a while, and surely has the man’s man uber masculinity Brolin brings to every role.

    Benicio Del Toro comes as The Collector.

    Random Aliens

    Peter Dinklage is a delight given how brilliantly huge they use him.

    Normies

    • William Hurt fulminates as Secretary of State Ross.
    • Stan Lee’s cameo is entertaining as usual, here driving a bus.
    • Gwyneth Paltrow’s underwhelms per usual as Pepper Potts.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5

    Mostly Scarlett Jo, aka Black Widow

  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Great 4.0

    We can now say that the Russo Brothers are the best Avengers’ directors. Infinity War – their third Avengers movie, with another in the oven – is much easier to follow than Joss Whedon’s Age of Ultron.

    It left us wanting more after the surprise ending, believe it or not. So many characters, many of whom end, or do they?

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music Very Good 3.5
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content Help-l
  14. Risqué 1.9
  15. Sex Innocent 1.5
  16. Violence Brutal 2.6
  17. Rudeness Polite 1.5
  18. Fantasy 4.3

    The cinematic reality liberties are standard superhero fare, with Conservation of Energy the most abused law of nature, as always in a Marvel movie.

    More interesting are the politics of the villain, who is necessarily the most interesting character in a quality action movie, let alone in an Avengers movie. Supervillains are most often Right Wing Trumpian figures. Infinity War is different, employing a Left Wing supervillain. Super Lefty figures the problem with people is that there’s too many of them, hence he’s ok killing off half. Consider it the logical extreme of socialism.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Fantasy 5.0
  21. Physical Fantasy 5.0

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