Infinity War: The Good The Bad and The Teenage Groot

Ten years later and it finally happened. The Marvel series has reached maximum capacity. By now most of you have seen Marvel’s mega blockbuster Avengers Infinity War. As of last Sunday, it official had the highest grossing weekend domestically making around 250 Million topping Star Wars The Force Awakens. In other words, Disney beat Disney. Having seen the movie two times (I can’t sit through again) and waiting at least a week for people to see it I now want to dive in to what I feel is the most over the top, and often perfect installment of the Marvel (never ending) franchise. The only way to break it down is to separate the good from the bad and leave that pesky ending for a section of its own. So yes, here is your spoiler warning, but honestly if you are reading this before you have seen the movie shame on you and it brings me to have to say this …everyone dies. Okay let’s dive in to Avengers Infinity War.

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The Bad

The Film shouldn’t exist

Okay this may sound harsh but hear me out. I didn’t hate the movie in fact I had a blast, but it doesn’t change my mind on the fact that because this film exists it limits the importance of a lot of other things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I can’t rank Infinity War in my list of Marvel movies because I don’t think it really matters. That is the curse of this film, while the story may matter to future films the essence of its existence really doesn’t. We all knew it would eventually lead to this, seeing every superhero under the moon trying to squeeze into a frame and frankly this buildup gives the films leading up to it little importance. Rewatching the first three phases will now be attached to the idea of “well just wait until Infinity War.” You can argue and say the previous films, “built the foundation for Infinity War”, but it truly did not especially when you understand that the Russo brothers were going to do whatever the heck they wanted no matter what. Scott Derrickson the director of Doctor Strange has gone on the record saying that the Russo brothers did what they wanted with Strange and he had no say which was his personal choice. To me that is a huge disappoint to hear, because I love what Derrickson did with Strange and it just shows that whether or not the original directors had success with their characters the Russos chose their own path. And yes, I know trolls this is their movie they should be able to do whatever they want, the argument is not that, but rather let’s not call it a shared universe and ignore the fact that the film making process at Marvel Studios is far from collaboration. It makes me worried for future Marvel films because now they have to be based on the final moments of Infinity War which frankly no longer makes it about film making, but rather how do we get you to Avengers 7.

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Guardians Vol 2.5

The Guardians are wearing me down. They have become the go to comedy group with little to no substance. Gamora played a huge role in this movie, but as far as character arc goes she was only there to make sure Thanos developed. Instead any time the Guardians were on screen it did not match the tone of the movie well and I found myself watching a forced sequel to Vol 2. I don’t need a laugh a second in fact the Guardians sell me on the idea that they are a family of outcasts who somehow managed to fit together not that they are a comedy troupe. Peter and Gamora’s relationship of will they wont they is answered quickly answered with a kiss which then turns into a hey look how funny Drax is moment, instead of a tender moment of character growth. To me the Guardians were there to have Gamora die, a death in my opinion that won’t last, and to show audiences that they can fit Starlord and Iron Man on one screen.

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Wakanda Forever?

Hey remember that Marvel movie that crossed a billion dollars within its first couple weeks and restored faith into the franchise? Well apparently the Russo Brothers don’t? Black Panther was the best thing to happen to the Marvel Universe in a long time and the success of Black Panther had such an impact on audiences that the marketing for Infinity War seemed to change after its release and made us believe it was a key element to the story. Instead all we got was the beautiful world of Wakanda being destroyed and every significant character including its title role get about five minutes of screen time. Yes, it was awesome to see T’challa run into battle along side Captain America, and yes Okoye got to kick some major butt, and YES the Jabari tribe chant needs to be performed before every NFL game this season, but lets be honest for a billion dollar franchise they deserved a lot more screen time. Okay so maybe the movie had already wrapped before the phenomenon of Black Panther happened but you’re telling me reshoots couldn’t happen? I mean this Disney we are talking about the studio that reshot every new Star Wars movie just to add some extra creature CGI. All I am saying is Wakanda deserved better and even though we will get a Black Panther 2 I will never forgive the fact that Pepper Potts got more screen time than Shuri.

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Captain America’s Cameo

It might as well have been a cameo. His screen time along with the rest of his on the run Avengers was so limited that I couldn’t believe the Russo brothers were the same people who once made Winter Soldier and Civil War. Why so little of Captain America? Well the less fun answer is that Chris Evans was committed to rehearsals for his Broadway debut of Lobby Hero. The more Marvel answer is that he will have bigger things heading his way in Avengers 4. But was his character even important? The trailers sold us on Steve having this epic fight against Thanos, remember the hold hands on the Gauntlet image, but instead all we got was that shot right before Thanos knocks his face into the ground. When we first see Steve it is after he has been on the run for some time with Natasha and Sam Wilson. It would have been fun to watch a broken Captain America have to find the courage again to fight for the universe. But no instead let’s have a few shots of Steve brooding with his new beard. I have never been the biggest fan of the cinematic Captain America, but to shove him along without any sense of growth was just plain boring. So I guess here is to Avengers 4 and giving Steve Rogers something to do with that beard of his.

The Good

Oh yay finally we reached the things I did like and don’t worry there is a lot!

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Thor God of Character Arc

Thor has come a long way since his first outing back in 2011. His first two movies are not always everyone’s favorite. I for one have always found him enjoyable and suspected there were better ways to handle this character who is often too big for the Avengers and their constant bickering. Thor Ragnorak used Chris Hemsworth’s comedic chops well, but also showed that his relationship with his brother Loki has been the best Shakespearean tragedy comic book movies could offer. Infinity War started off great with one of the more emotional deaths of the entire franchise. Yes, we all knew Loki would bite the dust, but we did not realize how much of a journey it would send Thor on. The image of Loki lying there dead next to Thor all tied up stayed in my head through most of the film especially when Thor goes on his journey to create a new weapon. Thor’s decision to go with Rocket and Groot instead of the entire Guardians was an amazing choice. Rocket is the Thor of the Guardians, hot headed and often arrogant but someone who takes every hit personally. The two of them need each other. They are both misunderstood beings that often feel too big to contain. Thor’s moment of discussing how pain and anger is the best way to seek revenge was a real emotional moment and reminded me that Thor really isn’t human at the core, but instead a powerful God who does not know how to react when human qualities sneak up. The movie also showed everyone once and for all that he is one of the most powerful members of this universe. His entrance into the Wakanda was one of two moments where I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Thor’s storyline will most likely reach full circle by the time Avengers 4 comes around, but I can say for certain he has been the most fun to watch after each installment.

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The Goatee Brothers

Tony Stark and Doctor Stephen Strange, we were all waiting to see these two goatees next to each other. From the moment we met Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange we will immediately brought back to the days of the first Iron Man. Much of what made Doctor Strange so great was the idea that we felt like we were visiting an old friend, but by the end of the movie we quickly saw that he was much more levelheaded than Tony Stark. Getting to watch these two early in the film had me sold that this would be an absolute blast. I was always excited for Infinity War not because I would get to see every Avenger and Guardian in the same scene, but because I would get to see characters that would not click have to meet and deal with one another. These two characters had two different opinions on the Infinity Stones and we knew that their beliefs would play a huge role in the final moments. What I didn’t expect was how much their new relationship would play into their attempt at defeating Thanos. Iron Man has been lacking over the past several movies in fact after Iron Man 3 I thought his arc was done, but the story was able to remind me of that important moment back in Age of Ultron to Tony’s nightmare of watching all his friends dead. His emotions and Strange’s pragmatic thinking were the perfect balance and also the best thing to focus on while Thanos ran around completing his mission. We all know how it ends, but it is clear that Strange and Tony eventually saw eye to eye even if they didn’t realize it, and to me that is what I call perfect character development.

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My Main Man Thanos

Thanos is the main character of this movie. That isn’t some cinephile deep thought, it is just the truth. He has the most amount of screen time and in terms of plot he is the only character to complete his goal. Hell the ending shot is him getting to watch the sunset, that’s a trope usually saved for Tom Cruise or Jennifer Lawrence. Thanos “winning” isn’t exactly a Darth Vader Empire Strikes Back moment, because in Empire we still follow Luke and the gang and Vader gets no moments of emotions. No the only way this could be Empire is if we spent two hours watching Vader try to reach Luke and occasionally cut to Leia and Han. But I digress. Thanos will probably be listed as the best MCU villain because of the infamous “snap” but let’s be real the snap was invented to sell tickets to future installments. Instead let’s focus on Thanos the character we get in this film. The guy is hurting his mission is genocide and that’s messed up, but he sees everything as needing to be balanced. If anything he is the first blockbuster bad guy with major OCD. While Gamora might be used as a way to move the plot along Thanos’s love for her is one of the more believable emotions in the film. The flashback to Gamora’s planet is a moment of pure love for Thanos he purposely leaves something unbalanced just for her; his heart aww. When he destroys Vision he tells Wanda you have no idea what loss is, and frankly that is true. While the Avengers lose throughout the film Thanos only loses one thing, but it will stay with him forever hence that awesome shot of him in that limbo stage seeing young Gamora who asks him if he completed his goal. Look the dude is a homicidal maniac, but even those monsters have hearts, right?

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SNAP*

Okay fine here we go let’s get into it. The ending of all endings…the snap. But wait, hear me out because it most be said. Before the snap there was a movie and it was called Avengers Infinity War the second the snap happened the movie quickly changed to Avengers Infinity War Part 1. And that ladies and gentlemen is how you ruin a movie. I loved this movie so much that I wanted to say it was one of the best blockbusters in recent years. There were some issues throughout but all in all it felt like a whole film and it felt contained. I was all ready for Thanos to win and even take out some major people along the way, but instead I got reminded why this franchise will never die. I was once again reminded why actors and actresses’ contracts dictate everything beautiful in cinema and suddenly I was sadder than a Teenage Groot who had just lost his videogame. The Snap or the Snappening as I hope it will be come to known as is the perfect way to sell tickets and the perfect way to make us ignore some truly great storytelling. Let’s look at some of this list of “dust bunnies”, Black Panther, Spiderman, Starlord, Bucky, the list is bigger, but the ideas behind it are small. Yes, we all know Spiderman and Black Panther will be getting sequels, but even if they did not have sequels in store there was no way that these two characters would be gone for good. Black Panther with it’s billion dollars and Spiderman a fan favorite. There are no stakes here and it makes that emotional moment between Peter and Tony all the more awkward. We can go on and on about the characters who will have sequels and how their disappearance means nothing. But what needs to be addressed more is then why make these characters go away for the fourth Avengers and that is because of the unfun reason of contracts ending. Hemsworth, Evans, and Downey Jr. there time is up, and so that leaves only one way to go out. To find the soul stone and sacrifice themselves to bring back the other half of the world. The ones who disappeared are all new characters they will be the ones to get Marvel Studios all the way to 2025. We no longer need Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and the original Avengers so what a better way to send them off than having them hand over the torch (contract) to the newbies. The Russo Brothers promised us permanent deaths and they delivered in the sense of Loki, Heimdall, and probably Vision, but it was a cheap sellout to have us watch characters, most of whom are too insignificant to care about, turn to ash and us knowing they aren’t gone. I saw somebody write the other day that the success of Infinity War proves Avengers fatigue is non existent. To me all the snap “proves” is that even Marvel Studios knew people were getting a little bored of the same thing so here is a dramatic twist to make sure you come back. The worst part is…I will be back for sure.

So there you have it Avengers Infinity War Part 1 and even if they don’t call the next one part 2 we all know what they are getting at. So for better or worse here’s to a hundred more years or Marvel, after all this is Kevin Feige’s world, a world he controls…with the snap of his fingers.

Some final quick thoughts

-Vision and Wanda deserved more time, I was actually highly invested in their love story

-Peter Dinklage as a giant Dwarf made my day

-We all know Doctor Strange’s one outcome where the Avengers win involved him giving up the Time Stone

-The Rubberband Man is a great song and excellent Guardians intro

-Tennage Groot I guess

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What did you think about Avengers Infinity War? As always be sure to comment your thoughts below, follow me on Twitter and always check back for more blogs posted regularly!

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