MARVEL At The Mayhem
“Colossal, cataclysmic, delirious, preposterous – and always surreally entertaining in the now well-established Marvel movie tradition… And yet somehow in its pure uproariousness, it works. It’s just a supremely watchable film, utterly confident in its self-created malleable mythology…” – The Guardian.
You can say that again, Cap.
Avengers: Infinity War is an extraordinary piece of work.
A group of superheroes must band together to thwart a maniacal extraterrestrial threat- but fortunately this is NOT Justice League! Only the Russo brothers could manage so many elements and craft them into a cohesive and highly entertaining package.
As mentioned here so many times already, Thanos seeks the six Infinity Stones – the ultimate power in the universe. At whatever cost, this Titan must be stopped.
He’s positively Stark Raving Hazelnuts…
As soon as a suitably sinister score begins to play, you instantly realise you’re in for one helluva good ride!
Movie of the Decade? Quite possibly.
A monumental cinematic achievement? Oh, most certainly!
“Infinity War manages a succession of double-page spread awe that sells the cosmic saga… Kudos also for the witty/chilling envoi: “Thanos will return” – Sight And Sound.
And that’s just the Running Time.
Those 149 minutes feel more like 90. From the faint distress call relayed over the MARVEL STUD10S logo, to the very evident signs of distress among some departing cinema-goers, Infinity War crackles along, as fast as a giant green behemoth hurtling towards Earth.
There is such a great roster of characters on show here:
Yet again, Robert Downey Jr. shows here that Tony Stark everybody’s fave action-hero/playboy/philanthropist quip-dispenser works so much better in these Avengers movies than he ever did in his solo trilogy.
The romance between the Vision and Wanda is handled very well; Natasha and Bruce’s reunion is relegated to an exchange of awkward glances and just as well! (Black Widow always only had eyes for Hawkeye).
Eager to see how the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy fitted – or fretted – alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: no worries! The mix turns out to be supremely entertaining, especially Star-Lord’s desperate attempts to out-macho the God of Thunder.
There is genuine friction on an antler-locking scale between Stark and Strange -both ridiculously rich and self-centred enhanced playboys. It’s as if that off-screen bickering between Robbie and Bennybatch as to which one played the best Sherlock spilled over in front of the cameras…
“Thanos packs a heck of a punch… he pretty much punches everyone. It’s the emotion behind those punches that will surprise you” – Washington Post.
What about the Man of the Match himself: Thanos – one of the most formidable villains in the Marvel canon?
It is with great joy – and relief – to see one of my personal favourite comic book characters make such a triumphant transition to the big screen. A powerful and yet demented tyrant whose twisted logic cannot distinguish harmony from genocide, is portrayed here through a phenomenal mo-cap performance by Josh Brolin.
Brutal, intractable and ferocious, as you would expect, what sets this particular antagonist above the usual one-dimensional, monologuing nerks is an unlikely serene and sensitive side. This is perfectly exemplified by all the dramatic scenes he shares with adopted “daughter” Gamora.
Finally! After two Guardians movies we get to see the character of the last Zen Whoberis develop. The emotional intensity of the moment Thanos finds Gamora as an infant just transcends the simple confines of the traditional “blockbuster.” Didn’t know they made ’em like that any more, but glad that the Russos could so happily oblige…
A superhero movie on such a gargantuan scale must have outstanding moments and thankfully, those fantastic fist-pumping, whoop-worthy moments are in abundance here: SPACE and the first sight of the Milano with mixtape blarin’; the Cap stepping out of the Scottish shadows; and the biggest cheer at my viewing: Thor, Rocket and Groot materialising amidst the Wakandan battlefield with the stirring Avengers theme ringing out at top volume.
You also get Iron Man, Spider-Man and Magic Man riding through the cosmos in a giant flying donut. WAHEY!!
You couldn’t make this stuff up – but it’s great to know that Christopher Markus and Stephen Freely can – and have done – again to such top-notch extent – arguably the best screenwriters in any genre. Their scripts are beyond compare. The way they can move from heavy drama to light relief, and back again, is a masterclass in deft writing. Who but they could include dialogue implying the Avengers “breaking up like the Beatles,” during a movie concentrating on the Stones – a force as old as the universe itself? 😉
Assuredly, there are plenty of great quotable lines to sustain this site for another few weeks. “Dude, you’re embarrassing me in front of the wizards!” should be recognised as one of the best in the franchise.
But the Greatest Hits this War has to offer come in that unforeseen and yet so-cool-as-fudge Marvel Team-Up we never knew could happen. Come on! Let’s start an online petition and get a Thor and Rocket Rabbit cosmic buddy movie in the works! If the Studio doesn’t comply, then, as the Mad Titan himself once said:
“Fine, I’ll do it myself…” 😉
“It inherits plenty of the problems endemic to crossovers: the privileging of quantity over quality, of spectacle over story, and of the shock value of major changes to the status quo over just about everything else” – TIME Magazine.
Watched Avengers: Infinity War for a second time yesterday evening, admittedly to eke out any glaring errors or anything amiss…
Honestly, the amazing action set-pieces, affecting romantic interludes, carefully crafted comedy, breathtaking drama and Josh Brolin, of course, completely cancelled out my critical faculties and swept me headlong (always go for the head) just as giddily and intoxicating as it did last Friday.
The direction is so taut, tense and terrific that there is never a dull moment. But there’s never been a better opportunity to make this next statement: There’s no oxygen inside that donut.
How does Peter continue to patter faster than lightspeed just as endearingly as always, without air?! And it’s a good job the atmosphere on Titan is still sufficient enough for Spidey to carry on his dizzying friendly neighbourhood loopin’ an’ a-swingin’. What the hey – just immerse yourself in the pure comic book escapism…
As expected, the Children of Thanos aka The Black Order did succumb to that dread affliction of our era: the “Phasma Curse”: they look/sound awesome, but get little/nothing to do in the actual movie. Despite constantly gleering, wielding a rad-bladed staff, and looking like he’s just traipsed over from World of Warcraft, Corvus Glaive – even the name is too astounding for its own good! – becomes far too underused. Still, the awesome conceptual design has, nevertheless, intrigued ol’ Bronze Age Boy here to check out the current comic books (These servants of Thanos have only been around for a few years so it should not take long to track Corvus et al down)
The same applies to Mrs. Glaive: Proxima Midnight. Actually, with a tighter adroitness towards choreography and camerawork, her duel between Black Widow (okay, Natasha is blonde now! She’s blonde now!) and Okoye in Wakanda ought to be one of the Most Awsweome Fights In The Movie Ever. Opportunity missed…
What looked to be the least interesting chatacter turned out to exact the most impact: Ebony Maw, a nasty, maleficent matter-manipulator whose street fight with Strange and Wong has become an instant classic.
Personally, greater emphasis on character interaction – more brooding, less brawling – would not have gone amiss. The climactic Battle of Wakanda – the MCU’s most grandiose spectacle yet – could so easily have been avoided. Let those rampant alien beasties mince themselves on the Wakandan forcefield? No, gotta give those thousands of digital artists something to do, so His Majesty orders Plot-hole 17 to open up…
Despite these relatively minor niggles, when it comes to Star Ratings, Brad is notoriously stingy when it come to dishing out his precious 5-star icon, but, in this case…
Considering the gasps and laughs these non-stop thrills evoked from me; its power to make me care – and cry – for a psychotic, yet placid, purple pariah; the sheer exhilaration it instilled for hours after my first viewing – a sensation not felt since Rogue One, it would be my genuine pleasure to bestow upon this treasure the highest rating possible!
What the blazes! Who knows when – or how! – another monumental sci-fi epic as big, bold, bonkers and brilliant as this will invade our popcorn parlours again…?
And as for those viewers “exhausted”, or exasperated by this movie:
What’s the matter with you kids? You’ve never seen a masterpiece before? 😉
Avengers: Infinity War is precisely the sort of entertaining – and jaw-dropping – spectacle we have come to know/expect -and love – about the MCU; against all the odds of scale and ambition, it not only met our expectations – well, mine anyway – but exceeded them. This epic, most definitely, is one to enjoy time and time again. And again!
“Dread it. Run from it.”
HA! Not a frickin’ chance, Grimace!!
“Perfectly balanced, as all things should be…”