Congrats Marvel, Avengers: Infinity War crushed the box office to set an all-time record with $258.2 million domestically and for a combined global total of $640.9 million. You can do the math for the international numbers. Point is, this movie made a LOT of money for the opening weekend, and the totals will continue to soar, but maybe they shouldn’t.
Aside from filling asses in seats around the world, the people are leaving the theaters in confusion and disappointment and even a hospital visit. Movies of such epic proportions shouldn’t leave you feeling uncertain, but instead hopeful and excited. Here is my take on it.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS FILM:
Ok, so majority of Infinity War lived up to the hype. For 2 hours it was great. The last 29, not so much. It’s hard to royally screw up a good movie, but Kevin Feige and company managed to do that. So before I go into the bad, lets take a look at what they did do right.
THE GOOD STUFF:
They sure brought out all the big guns for this film, short of Hawkeye and Ant-Man who got lost somewhere in a parallel universe or something. It was a true dream team of superheroes all coming face-to-face with each other, working side-by-side and going against each other at times.
I legitimately gasped when the two Chris’ (Hemsworth and Pratt) shared the same scene for the first time together. When Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) awkwardly meet for the first time. Dr. Stranger and Tony Stark meet? Yes, please! Or when Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) come together and join forces.
These are the kind of interactions superhero geeks dream of, and we get it all in this film. Just these meetings between titans is satisfying enough to make you giddy. It made me feel like a five-year-old getting a choice of free toys at Toys R’ Us (RIP). It was that fun and exciting.
We knew we would get to see all sort of superhero combinations sharing the screen for the first time together, but how would they actually execute it? Marvel did a terrific job with that. The teams were split in a unique way. Some hung out in space together (Spidey, Strange, Iron Man, part of the Guardians crew), while others stayed on earth (Captain America, Banner, Black Panther, Black Widow).
We got our fix of new encounters, but were also left with some that didn’t happen. That’s a good thing. It leaves opportunity for more first time meetings in the next film.
Aside from all the fantasy teams coming together, the action delivered. This really felt like a war. The battles occupied 70% of the film. You wouldn’t get more than five minutes of battle relief. Everyone kicks ass and gets their asses kicked at some point. The movie feels and looks like a legitimate superhero war. Mission accomplished.
A GOOD VILLAIN?
Imagine that. An Avengers movie with a good villain. Gone are days of Ultron, enter Thanos. The most imposing villain in all of the Marvel Universe. Thanos is unstoppable. He’s menacing, imposing and indestructible. You constantly wonder how the hell can anyone defeat this guy? That’s the kind of villain you need to bring some genuine belief in the force that even a team of the ultimate good guys can’t handle.
DON’T BELIEVE IN A SHANK TO A GUT:
If this movie accomplished on object of disbelief it’s the fact that nobody dies from a sword or extra sharp object pierced through the gut, heart or insert any other major organ. It happens a handful of times in this film. Apparently Vision has more lives than a cat, as he’s stabbed over and over again and keeps surviving. Last I checked, he was supposed to be mortal?
Then there is Tony Stark, he gets a real gut punch with the sharpest of shanks that would and had killed Superman (more on that shortly), but not Stark. In a scene that will make you gasp with shock…for about 30 seconds, Stark appears to be on the verge of death. I mean he even has blood gushing out of his mouth after that fierce stab from Thanos.
It’s that vaunted moment you think THEY KILLED IRON MAN! They didn’t. Stark manages to “weld” himself back and and the blood spilled suddenly disappears and he’s back at work. You’re supposed to forget he almost bled out completely. Any mere mortal superhero would be getting funeral preparations, but not Stark.
The point is that by the end of the movie you get desensitized to any major apparent death threat, it’s just a threat after all. Everyone survives, no matter how sharp or deathly the object is. Don’t do it if you’re not willing to go all the way with it, because it just makes things extra hard to believe and trust. To kill or not to kill. Just pick a lane Marvel.
Here is my biggest problem with Infinity War, the last 15 minutes of the ending. It’s the deaths that they couldn’t commit to earlier. So what do they do? They go on a superhero killing spree. Everyone just starts evaporating—the mystical powder heroes or the Splenda Avengers.
It’s one of the weakest ways to rid of characters. No explanation or purpose. Just poof and they disappear one by one. When you see the likes of War Machine, Vision (finally), Scarlett Witch, Bucky and Falcon begin to disappear I’m thinking ok, so the extra weight is being let go. Then when the likes of Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Quill and Spider-Man turn into pixie dust you know this is a problem.
You can’t kill off characters that are crucial to this next phase of Marvel films. Any fan of Marvel knows there are follow-up films for Spidey and Black Panther already announced. You know they are coming back in the next film. Why pretend to kill them off only to bring them back immediately in the next film?
It was insulting to any sensible Marvel fan and even a casual follower. You made us sit through 2 hours and 29 minutes for nothing? Where is the payoff in all this? You are taking away characters trying to make the audience believe they are gone, only to reintroduce them in the next film. Batman vs Superman got killed by many for all that it was and killing-off Superman, at least they killed him in that movie when he had a shank go through him, unlike Stark.
Why should I care about what happens next? You cheated me a genuine surprise. To add further insult, there was no explanation or reasoning behind the random heroes turning into pixie dust. It was a convenient and swift way of getting them off-screen. A similar thing happened earlier in the film to Drax when he was sliced like bread by Thanos, only to be magically put back together minutes later. No one dies in the Marvel Universe, so why the hell try fooling us that they do? They couldn’t pull the trigger on it in Civil War, so why would they do it here.
I walked out of it with my friends, confused and pissed. Nothing was justified. The ending was abrupt and left with a clear continuation. The problem was that it wasn’t a cliffhanger sort of continuation, but it felt like halftime of a blowout game. Do I even have an incentive to watch the second half in a YEAR from now? Nope, not after I leave the theater confused and pissed.
You shouldn’t have to be a comic book scholar to understand these film. The Marvel cinematic universe has already been long established and they should be faithful to their characters and stories. A buzz has been created, but not a good kind. They got the asses in the seats, but now they have to do a lot of work to get them back there in a year. Be bold for once, Marvel. If you decide to kill-off a character, do it. Don’t play the audience for stupid. Thanks for blindsiding most people who saw it.
I feel cheated by the crumbling pixie dust.
You can follow me on Twitter@TheJimAlexander