I AM GOING TO TRY REALLY HARD NOT TO SPOIL INFINITY WAR BECAUSE I AM A DECENT HUMAN BEING, BUT HUMANS ARE FLAWED CREATURES SO FAIR WARNING.
Before I go into my thoughts about Infinity War, let me go back a couple of years.
It’s June of 2012. It’s the tail-end my freshman year of high school and I’m wandering around the halls, looking for something to do now that finals are over, but the school year hasn’t technically ended yet. On the second floor, I see my group of friends in the health classroom, so I walk in and one of the gym teachers is showing a movie. I stick around. The movie is blurry because it is a recording of a movie screen (in China, based on the subtitles), but the sound quality is good and you can more or less make out what’s going on at any given time, so as far as bootlegs go, it’s pretty high quality.
And that was the first time I watched The Avengers.
I wouldn’t say it was a life-changing experience. I liked the movie enough to go back and rewatch all the ones I missed and I liked those movies enough to watch most of the new ones as they came out. After all, you can always trust Marvel to put out a good product. However, somewhere along the way, I got attached.
Fast-forward to 2018 and I’ve just watched Avengers: Infinity War with my group of friends at the Rutgers Cinema and already it’s a vastly improved first-viewing experience than the one I had almost six years ago.
(I’m not sponsored by Rutgers Cinema, but I should be. Call me and we’ll work something out! I’ll tell people that you’re movie theater is actually pretty good all day, every day.)
A lot has changed in the franchise since 2012, but at the same time, not much has changed either.
So, let’s this get out of the way:
The visuals were awesome. The acting was great. It was two hours and forty minutes of the best six dollars I’d ever spent.
I’m most impressed with how the movie wasn’t a complete and utter trainwreck. It definitely had the potential to be one. The people making this film had the (un)enviable job of:
- Juggling the 60+ Marvel characters that show up in this movie
- Maintaining their characterization that was developed over multiple movies
- Managing multiple, separate storylines that converge into one whole coherent plot that also fits within the overarching plot of the 18 other movies Marvel Studios has produced
- Living up to the expectations of fans everywhere and they hype built up over the course of those aforementioned 18 movies
- Making a lot of money. Like a stupid amount of money.
- And just making a good movie
In my humble opinion, they succeeded.
My one complaint (which isn’t really a complaint at all, but I’ll get into all of that later) is that the movie never allows you to focus on a single character for too long. You’re never really just allowed to hold onto a single moment and process it. Something insane happened and then they cut to another completely insane thing. It’s miraculous that I was able to keep up with what was going on.
Maybe I’ve just gotten too used to the solo movies, where there’s one main character that we really got to focus on and know. In those movies, you really got a sense of who these characters are and what they were going through. I’m the kind of nerd that likes to see movies focus on the internal conflict as well as the external one and while there were definitely emotional moments, we weren’t really allowed to linger on them before something else demanded our attention. But maybe that’s the point of a cinematic universe.
If you walked into Infinity War blind – you’ve never watched a Marvel movie before, you don’t know who these characters are, you don’t know what they’ve been through, then what you got was a really entertaining movie. Maybe you were a little confused about who all of these people were and what their deal is, but after an hour in, you’ve more or less figured out enough to understand what was going on.
But the thing is, you’ve watched Marvel movies before (I’ve seen all of them except for Ant-Man and the second Thor movie), you know who these characters are and what they’ve been through. You know who they are, how they got here, how they’ve changed and grown. You know enough that you don’t just understand what’s going on in the movie, it means something to you. This movie is the pay off for the world that we’ve invested ourselves in for so many years. That’s why it can break our hearts. It took the shortcut that it created.
Also, the action was pretty cool and the Chrises, as usual, were very handsome. Sebastian Stan was also very handsome.
(My heart hurts. But it’s okay I’m fine. I’m fine.)
I didn’t really think about this until I sat down to write this post and I don’t mean to get my personal life all over this unprofessional movie review, but it says unprofessional in the title so you’re going to have to deal with it. I can’t help but think how much has changed since I first saw The Avengers.
I was a high school freshman in 2012, looking ahead to my future as if it was some sort of abstract concept. I was still in that happily ignorant bubble of “Well, I don’t have to decide anything now.” Now I’m a junior about to become a senior and (if you’ve talked to me at any point in the past two weeks, you’ve heard me say this, but for those of you who haven’t…) the future feels close now. It’s real now, I can see it, and if they’ve come up with a word that means “terrified and exhilarated and relieved and petrified at the same time”, I’m feeling just that.
TLDR; I really enjoyed the movie, I was stressed out during the entirety of it, but I enjoyed it immensely and I literally can’t wait for the next Avengers movie to come out next year. Also, some stuff about me freaking out about the future. You know, the usual.