Movie Review: "Infinity War" Is Big, Exciting, Intense And Funny . . . But Still Not Very Satisfying

Starring Robert Downey, Jr. Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman,
Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Letitia Wright, Danai Guira, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt and Josh Brolin
Screenplay by Christophe Markus and Stephen McFeely
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo

Reviewed by Patrick & Paul Gibbs

 Out of Four

10 years ago at this time, we were all talking about Indiana Jones and The Dark Knight. The latter blew everyone away, and the former received mixed reaction (retcon will tell you it was all negative, but a quick look at Rotten Tomatoes disproves that fallacy.). But. But no one expected Iron Man to be the most important film of the summer, much less the beginning of a major reworking of blockbuster film making as a medium. The concept of the marvel cinematic universe changed everything, and the rest of Hollywood is still trying to catch up.

Avengers: Infinity War
is being sold as something of a crescendo, if not a culmination, of that set up, as if everything has been leading to this point, and it is . . . kind of.

Even if we weren't being asked to avoid spoilers, we wouldn't do them, but this is a really hard movie to review without walking the edge, so that's our word of warning. You're not gonna get another one.

The film  hits the ground running and never lets up to catch its breath, or to let you do so, and it's grand, exciting, very intense, and of course, often quite funny. What it is not, however,  is truly satisfying. There's a bit of a feeling of being strung along, like you had walking out of The Matrix Reloaded. The bang for your buck level is enormous, but . . .

Images Courtesy Marvel Studios

What we can say is that it's great to see all of the characters we love sharing the screen, and the various story lines and characters connect pretty seamlessly, in the sense that bringing Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers together feels surprisingly natural, and there's a lot great interplay among the cast, with Robert Downey, Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch's duelling Sherlocks routine being a real highlight.  The action, and the sheer scale, are breathtaking, and the feeling that the fate of the universe hangs in the balance is achieved nicely. Thanos, as portrayed by Josh Brolin finally becomes a complicated and very imposing character, and it's a triumph of mocap acting, and the complex relationship between Thanos and his adopted daughters, Gamorra and Nebula, is the most gripping part of the film. Tom Holland's Spider-Man is a joy, and Chris Hemsworth is terrific, building on the progression of his character in Thor: Ragnarok but going in a very different direction.

We all knew in the abstract that with this many characters, not all of them could get equal screen time, but the extent to which some of the big ones get shafted is quite frustrating, and almost no one has any kind of arc.

If the studio had stuck with the original title of Infinity War: Part 1, we'd be raving about it, and as it is, our three stars may grow to three and a half in time. But if you're expecting a fully rounded movie going experience, this is not the Marvel movie you're looking for.

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