“Dread it, run from it, destiny arrives all the same. And now, it’s here. Or should I say, I am.”
Very few film franchises can do what Marvel has done. They’ve taken an idea that had a million ways to fail, but to the surprise of everyone, has continued to succeed with hit after hit – culminating in Avengers: Infinity War.
Sure, there were several hiccups in the form of The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Thor: The Dark World, but Marvel always recalibrated and knocked it out of the park with their other films. Audience members have been on a journey with these characters for ten years, ever since Nick Fury showed up talking about The Avengers Initiative. Wow. A whole decade.
The audience knew that something amazing was going to happen when the big baddie popped that sinister smile as he his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet. Well, The Mad Titan has arrived and the superheroes of the MCU have drawn the line in the sand to save the universe from destruction. As viewers sit in the darkened theater, holding their popcorn closely and sipping on their carbonated beverages, we must wonder: Was it worth it all?
The pacing of the film is where the movie falters. There is a lot going on… a lot. The movie goes at breakneck speed because of the hugely packed casting. Mostly everyone who has played a significant role in the MCU makes an appearance and in some cases, are just background characters. This part one—and sadly it must be mentioned because some people seem to forget that is a two-part movie—has a lot going on. There were several scenes that could’ve used some additional time to play out for me to process what had just happened.
There are many emotional beats in the film that hit me in the “feels” leading up to the impactful ending that left me shattered. I found myself sitting in my car for thirty minutes after the movie had ended processing what I had just seen.
One of the things that really shines for this film are the character interactions. It’s astonishing to see all the heroes cohabitate the same space and have great banter between each other. The teams are paired up accordingly and allows for well-rounded character development and some great entertainment between each action set piece.
The action and direction are stunning with the few battles there were—small and grand—that made me really feel the high stakes of the movie. There were several times where the heroes barely survived by the skin of their teeth but there were casualties nonetheless. The two final epic battles took up about 30-40 of the last minutes of the film and I could feel my heart racing at every minute. Punches are thrown, explosions are of epic proportions, and super powers are showcased in all their wonderful glory.
Something that had me floored was the portrayal of Thanos. Marvel has had a history of forgettable villains, like what’s his name in Thor: The Dark World, whosits whatsits from Iron Man 2, and other names that escape me. The exceptions to this are Loki, Loki, and uuuummm Loki. Thanos on the other hand, was marvel-ous. Russo Brothers had said during interviews that this was Thanos’s story – and they weren’t kidding. I understood his purpose and could symptomize with his cause in many ways. That doesn’t make me a nihilistic but logically speaking, the universe could use a population reduction.
One of the most surprisingly heartbreaking parts of Thanos’s journey is what he had to do to reach his goal. This plot point only twisted the knife further into my already damaged heart. Thanos emphasized the word “dread” and he wasn’t kidding.
The Russos have done it. They gave me what I’ve been waiting for ten years for, and at the same time, bended my emotions to their will while having me beg for more. The movie was a great watch but that did not stop it from having a few problems along the way. There is still a journey ahead of us when the next Avengers movie is released and hopefully will show the heroes saving the day. In the meantime, I’ll go back to crying in the corner hoping that Ant-Man and the Wasp will put a smile back on my face.