The day has finally come. All the years of production, all the storylines, all the waiting through the credits to get hints at the next film have all come down to this. Some of you have been waiting anxiously for years. Some of you are diehards and found marathons across America to watch every film leading up to this (I actually met a group of friends from Chicago that flew in specifically for the Marvel marathon at Regal Atlantic Station). Either way, it’s here and we have a lot to discuss.
To be fair (because it’s a pretty awesome film) I’m going to get the bad things out of the way first. So the obvious like most, I never liked this film version of Thanos. Ever. I have seen better cosplays of Thanos than how they made him for this movie. They get an F- for that (and his emotions were whack). There’s a flaw in that protective field around Wakanda (you’ll know it when you see it) and the relationship between Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) gets really sappy as the film progresses. Lastly, they proved me right when I said in the past, “They should’ve released this film before Black Panther,” because in my opinion, it’s not as good as Black Panther.
Now that that’s over, I can sum up this film in one word: fun. It’s what you’d expect from a traditional film in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) but with more fun like Guardians of the Galaxy. As a matter of fact, let’s just say every time you see them you’re going to laugh (they make that big of an impact in the film).
The antagonist of the film is Thanos (Josh Brolin), a villain who’s traveling the galaxy in search of Infinity Stones. With these stones in his possession, there would be no limit to his power. He could control the universe or simply destroy it. When the film begins, he’s in the process of acquiring his second stone (the film starts where Thor: Ragnarok ended). The other two are on earth and the third is still a mystery.
As I noted before, there have been marathons, early screenings, and red carpets all over the country. We were one of those few cities to have all three. Last night at The Fox Theatre, Marvel Studios hosted a red carpet screening for cast and crew that worked on the Infinity War project. Governor Nathan Deal honored a string of nonprofits for their work here in the state of Georgia, including Camp Southern Ground, AWARE Wildlife Center, and The Ron Clark Academy. We also caught a quick glimpse of Atlanta favorite Chris Tucker who smiled for pictures before entering with his family.
I had my colleague TBZ along for the ride (he does the gaming/convention reviews) and he took a few minutes to speak with Mitch Bell, VP of Marvel Studios. To the question, “How does it feel after 10 years of MCU?” he responded with, “It’s a pretty small group but it’s always like, ‘What’s next what’s next what’s next?’ So sometimes it’s hard to step back and say, ‘Hey… this is pretty amazing right?’ So like this, you finally sit back and say, ‘Not bad… Not bad.’ It’s amazing how… It’s very organic. (Takes a moment to think) We took an idea, then it’s like ‘How do we do ___ with the idea?’ So when you execute the idea it’s a big wow.” TBZ was not afraid to ask the big questions that all fans and purists alike wanted to know: A) Does the movie follow the actual Infinity War comic book? and B) Are we going to see an Avengers vs. X-men movie? Let the suspense build…
A) “You’ll see some things you’ll recognize yes (laughs for a second)… Because of the nature of the beast and how we’ve developed the movies over the past 10 years and the path of them all… The idea is there but the characters are a little bit different, the action is different, the motivation is still the same (it’s interchangeable) but no it’s not verbatim.”
B) “Well ya know… (smiles) I know myself, as a fan? God, I hope so. God, I hope so! (We all share a laugh). It all depends on the deal getting through and everything else, and … Ya know, call me next summer and we’ll talk about it.”
So now you see why I had to throw in our little red carpet moment from last night.
It’s hard to talk about this film without spoiling it so I’ll just continue with what I liked about it. The relationship between Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) was unique in its own way. Two very similar personality types that have to learn how to coexist. The best part of the film is when they go to Wakanda (which makes sense since it’s the best MCU film yet). The fight scenes that take place will give you goosebumps, they’re that serious. One very unique scene focuses on the women in a battle where we see Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and Okoye (Danai Gurira) team up.
There’s much to celebrate in Infinity War, but most importantly, we all get to see our favorite superheroes together, onscreen, fighting to protect the universe. There are a few twists with one hero who was omitted from the action and another who is struggling to use his powers. Again, hard to get into details without spoiling (and I don’t want to do that) but little things like that make nice subplots to lean on in future films.
I give Avengers: Infinity War an 8.5 out of 10. It’s not perfect, Black Panther was damn near perfect. Infinity War is fun and full of action. Some of the dialogue was “meh” but there was lots of comedy and a lot to take in. So I’m giving permission to everyone right now who reads this. Anyone within five feet of you in either direction at the movie theater who talks during the movie, you tell them to “Shut up!” immediately. When I say there’s a lot to take in, there’s a lot to take in. They crammed a lot of information in 149 minutes and you’ll miss it if people around you are being rude. Aside from that, get comfortable as you wait through 20 minutes worth of credits to catch a glimpse of what’s coming this summer.
-Jon J. and TBZ