Avengers: Infinity War
In my last Marvel film review of Black Panther, I expressed how over-saturated I was by the Marvel movies formula: a bit of plot set up then bish-bash-bosh things start hitting each other. We do get more of the same here, but I felt that there was actually a sense of threat.
For once we got a good amount of the villain's back story so that almost was an origin story. This provided so much more gravitas to the situation to the Avengers and Earth are in then we ever got from Ultron in Age of Utron's (an "age" in that movie being redefined as a few days) portrayal.
We get both a physical and emotional weight to the film's big bad- Thanos. Though an entirely CGI character, when he walked or hit something (or someone) you sure felt it. In previous Marvel movies I've sometimes found this to be lacking. I believe this would have been a motion capture performance from Josh Brolin, and if so he put in a stellar performance. If it wasn't motion capture, then bravo to the CGI team as we felt everything that Thanos did through his expressions. It is a testament to the directors (the Russo brothers- best known for other top rated Marvel movies Captain America's Winter Soldier and Civil War, and also for the TV series Arrested Development and Community) that we simply just didn't get the generic dead eyed power hungry villain that we get all too often (especially in DC movies). I thought the CGI work on Thanos' was excellent. You could see every muscle and hair which made him seem very, very real and to be afraid of.
The heroes that we have seen team up before were split and mixed with each other to create fresh dynamics. Again to give credit to the directors, the overall balance of the sheer multitude of characters was done really well. For the heroes that got a lesser role, I think it was justified as either we haven't yet seen enough of them in the MCU to warrant a lot of screen time or we haven't had a lot of meaningful back story to their character to give enough emotional weight. This emotional weight being important as the film has relatively little time for plot explanation and understandably relies a lot on its actions set pieces, so if this weight was lacking, viewers may switch off or become numb to the whole thing.
Of course we got the standard Marvel movies quick quips throughout- but i found that most of them hit home- and especially for the laughing seagull viewer that was sat behind me. Mr Seagull always particularly loved a Game of Thrones star's small role- which to be fair was fantastically done.
I think the comic fan boys almost would have have gotten what they wanted from this film- especially the climax. But may have a similar little big problem with the film. This being that I don't understand the rationale for Thanos' plan. Its hard to explain without spoilers, but ultimately he has justified to himself into doing some horrific actions for the greater overall good, but unless I've misunderstood how the infinity stones work, with his power, he could do a simple good action for a greater overall good.
Other than my little big problem, I think its a good film and holds together very well for such an epic coming together of so many characters. Though over 2 and a half hours, it speeds over an hardly stops for breathe. Well worth seeing, even if you've felt you've been bashed in the head too many times by the Marvel juggernaut.