WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD

Avengers: Infinity Wars is the film to see right now.

Fair warning: If you haven’t been watching the Marvel movies in the last ten years, then don’t expect to have any idea what is going on.

This film assumes you’ve seen all the previous films. It wastes no time on exposition. It starts after the end of another movie and ends to start another film.

Avengers: Infinity Wars is a film meant to fill in space. It has not a real beginning. It has no real ending. Between the beginning and the end of the film, we are greeted with some of the best stories to consider throughout the Marvel film franchise. All are established characters. Their powers are well-known.

We as an audience who has spent the last ten years getting to know these characters are already invested in them. There is no need to place this film as a separate entity. It is merely a piece of a puzzle that is the Marvel movie franchise.

In a film with no exposition (other than the eighteen some previous films), the action is immediate. Sometimes the action seems a bit of a distraction. The fights could have been much shorter. More time could have been spent on the characters development. At least, that is what I started thinking. I watched it thinking every action sequence was a methodical step to a climax that never delivered.

The character Thanos (Josh Brolin) is presented somewhat sympathetically. At one point I wondered if he was the protagonist? Others have questioned if Thanos should’ve received an origin story for himself. Perhaps. But arguably Avengers: Infinity War is his origin story. He has been behind the scenes in many of the films. Here he is the central antagonist, and some might argue the central character.

Some prominent characters are killed off in the film. And yet I didn’t feel moved by it. I’m not sure what it is? But the deaths seemed cheap and were over too quickly. Or the moment was broken by a joke or sight gag. Which surprised me since I had already grown to love many these characters.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) dies at the very beginning. Gomora (Zoe Saldana) dies. Vision dies (though Vision was never easy to like. All-knowing and way too fucking two-dimensional. He was an antagonist in Captain America: Civil War). Not to mention, the cheap spontaneous combustion of so many characters near the end of the film. Left me wondering if Marvel thinks death is only temporary and not permanent?

It’s hard to packs many characters into one film. Making sure all get enough screen time is hard. Some are thrown in the movie like cameos.

I enjoyed this film. I would recommend it to anyone who loves Marvel. Anyone who has seen most, if not all, of the Marvel films. But if you haven’t seen any of them don’t bother. It would be pretty stupid to walk in to see this film without having a least some knowledge of the characters. Again, this is a film with no exposition. There is no time for that.

There is time for action. There is time to give each character a moment to be funny. There is a time a chapter in a series. A section that will close making you want to go to the next chapter. And then the next. And then the next. All the while Disney and Marvel are laughing to the bank as we keep coming back for more. Just one more hit. Only one more film. Just one more CGI sequence. Just one more mediocre moment and flashy moment of drama disguised as something more than what it is: a comic book movie.

Avengers: Infinity War | Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi | PG-132h 29m

NY Times Review

Washington Post Review

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