Movie Beat: “Avengers: Infinity War” a fantastic, heart-wrenching half a movie


By Jenniffer Wardell

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references

Screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, based on characters/story by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Steve Englehart, Steve Gan, Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen, Jim Starlin, Larry Lieber and Don Heck

Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, and a ton of other people

Grade: Three stars

 

Welcome to “Every Marvel Character You’ve Ever Met: The Movie.”

Designed to be the biggest epic to ever hit the Marvel Cinematic Universe (at least until Part 2 comes out next year), “Avengers: Infinity War” suffers from clearly only being the first half of a much larger story. The movie is jam packed with action, a surprising amount of humor, and a ton of great character moments, but it’s entire structure sabotages itself because it’s a lead-up to something else. No matter how well written it is, the movie is designed to thwart itself.

I can’t tell you much about the plot because spoilers, but there’s not actually a ton of plot to be had. As the trailers suggest, Thanos plows his way through the Marvel universe and makes everyone else very sad. There’s at least a brief guest appearance by nearly every character, but none of them are having a good time.

Thankfully, many of them are surprisingly funny. Markus and McFeely squeeze as much humor as they can into the script, which is good because otherwise the audience would probably be slitting their wrists long before we got to the end credits.

There are also so many wonderful character moments, little gems of interaction that are better than any Avengers movie that’s come before. The movie makes the most of both old friendships and team-ups we haven’t gotten to see before.

But then there’s the ending. It’s huge, shocking, and the fact that it will absolutely have to be undone in part 2 cheapens everything that came before. Because, if they’re going to have to erase the ending, what’s to say they’ll stop there? It’s entirely possible that not a single thing that happens in this movie will end up staying canon, and as a result it’s hard to take any of it too seriously.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t watch it, especially if you’re a fan of sweeping, well-written drama. But for all it’s sound and fury, it’s hard to convince yourself that anything in “Infinity War” really matters in the long run.

 

(Photo © Marvel/Disney)

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