Thursday, May 3, 2018

Avengers Infinity War

This is going to be a SPOILER FREE discussion/review of the movie. I'm a huge fan of this franchise and will, honestly, be doing quite a bit of gushing in the following paragraphs. Honestly I have pretty much nothing bad to say about this movie and I think it was ample reward for ten years of following this franchise pretty closely. That being said, there's definitely things to talk about in more spoilery detail and a follow up post with that kind of information will be coming in the next week or so.

So, the movie theatre experience. I actually went and saw this one alone, which is a kinda bittersweet feeling when it comes down to it. My relationship with this movie and my relationship with the original Avengers movie are pretty similar: I felt ample hype leading up but wasn't crazy about diving into all the nitty gritty and possibly ruining something for myself, I got that same feeling of "ohmygod it's finally happening I've waited so long", and while watching it I was just as absorbed as I was with the original (more on that in a moment). But, seeing the original was a different experience. Pretty sure it was just my local AMC but I went with my parents and my brother, all of whom are across the ocean. I actually do have plans to see this movie again, with them, hopefully in IMAX (because, yeah, this movie deserves it and I rarely say that), but I must admit I was a little sad to walk to the cinema alone, stand in line alone, and then take a seat alone while strangers filled up the empty ones around me. On one hand I think that was kind of the perfect mood to watch this movie with: in a way it's the end of an era, or at least the beginning of an end of an era, and the trailers make it pretty clear that it's gonna be bleak, even with Marvel's trademark humor. The still I chose from the final trailer (above) kinda sums up a lot of the movie's mood, and kinda sums up some of mine as well. Maybe not as drastic and dramatic and with the same consequences as are happening in this scene, but overall the tone of how it's filmed, the blue lighting, Tom Hiddleston being drama queen Loki in just an incredibly emotional moment, that all fits my internal feelings as the movie began.

The cinema itself is a local one and if you're ever in the east end of London and looking for a good movie theatre I can strongly recommend the Genesis Theatre. Tickets are affordable, especially for students (I think I paid 7.50) and there are plenty of snacks plus a restaurant. I still haven't eaten there but I have friends who say it's pretty good. Plus, sometimes there's live music, and that's a pretty good way to start a movie going experience in my opinion. I didn't actually end up buying any popcorn like I had originally planned and I did the *bad* thing of bringing in candy from the local grocery store. I only feel a little bad because I didn't end up eating that much anyways. The room was pretty crowded though not packed (partly because I saw it at like 5 on a Sunday and partly because it's ginormous in there). I got a fantastic seat and was practically in the center of the crowd. And British crowds tend to be quieter during movies so while there was some laughter, some gasps, some clapping at the end, there wasn't that much ruckus and very few cell phones. The guys behind me kept kicking my seat and the mother kept whispering to her child, but honestly those things didn't bother me: I just remembered I was watching a comic book movie and it's loads of fun and some of that fun comes from just being around other people and letting them enjoy in their own way. No one was outright rude (okay, the guy behind me who kept kicking my seat was getting there) so that's a win. Okay, enough about that: the movie.

Before you see this movie you NEED to see the most recent Thor movie. I mean, yes, you have to have a good idea of the characters and what's going on, what's at stake, but for plot details the movie that's most important leading into this one is definitely Thor Ragnarok. I'd also strongly recommend Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Captain America Civil War to help contextualize a lot of what's going on. But seriously, I can't stress watching Thor enough. First of all, it was a great film. Second of all, you will be completely lost at the start if you haven't seen how that one ends. I mean, they kinda explain it, but the casual viewer may not catch on. My parents called and were like "We have so many questions" and my first response was "Did you see Thor?". They said no, I explained, and they had pretty much every answer they needed.

Going into this film my biggest concern was balancing all the characters. There are over 30, I think, who have played major roles in the past and most of them have helmed huge films on their own. Squeezing everyone into something like this could get messy. I loved Civil War, but it still was really a Cap/Tony movie and while there were other heroes in that one they didn't do much but show up for one really epic fight scene and then kinda fall off. I mean, it worked in that film, but it wouldn't have worked here. The Russo brothers, though, are magicians, or something, because they did so well with including everyone, giving them all really good and interesting storylines, and balancing all these storylines. A lot of this hinges on them understanding that the viewers will have a good idea of who everyone is already and the fact that in a lot of ways Thanos is the protagonist.

Okay, wait, no, my biggest concern going into this was when the Russo brothers said Thanos was going to be the protagonist and had the most screen time. When I heard that my initial reaction was something akin to "Is that gonna work?" and "Why would I want to see a movie about Thanos?". Somehow they did it. They didn't make him a sympathetic character, which I think they were trying to do, but they made him an understandable character and he's definitely one of Marvel's best villains to date. He's also one of the MCU's most interesting characters. I'm pleased to say he wasn't built up for nothing and that he actually is one of my new favorite characters, which is a complete surprise to me.

This is also definitely one of my favorite MCU movies to date. Probably top five, maybe top three. When I saw the first Avengers years ago I don't think I looked away from the screen and I also don't think I for one second thought about something else. I tend to have a drifting mind when I watch movies in the theatre but on the rare occasion that I am 100% engaged with something that means it's an automatic favorite. Even rewatching Avengers (in fact, before this movie came out I managed to rewatch all of phase one) I remain engaged, something that's an even bigger accomplishment. Avengers Age of Ultron definitely was not that kind of film and I didn't have the expectation that this one would be either. But it absolutely was. I walked out and realized that I hadn't had space for anything else in my mind. There was so much going on, so many interesting plots, so many important characters I've come to love, and just an all around brilliant movie that I completely enjoyed.

And it is a nonstop movie. There's action happening in pretty much every scene. Nothing is wasted and every time something happens it makes sense and has impact. There's still a bunch of marvel humor and dare I say this is one of their most quotable films yet. Catching your breath in this movie is hard but it pays off because as the credits role you need this first break to really process everything that happened. There is an end credit scene, you have to wait awhile, but it's worth it.

So, yeah, I've been waiting for this movie since I was eleven. All of my teenage years and most of my adult life. I don't regret one second (okay not a big fan of the Incredible Hulk movie or the Dr. Strange movie but I didn't really hate those I guess) and this is the reward. MCU fans will love this movie. Casual viewers probably will too because it's so much fun, though if you're not roughly caught up you probably won't enjoy the plot as much or really understand some of the moments between characters. Anyway, I can't say strongly enough how good this film is and I recommend you see it sooner than later. Being spoiled for this one won't be as fun as watching it happen on the big screen. And if you can see it on the biggest screen possible.


  1. Can't wait for your spoilery post! I enjoyed this and there is SO much going on I may need to see it again to process everything. I agree about the russo brothers-I don't know how, but somehow they make all this stuff work. It's quite remarkable, really. :) And quotable!!!

    1. I'm so excited to write the spoilery post I have so much to say!! I definitely plan on seeing it again when I get home (hopefully I can catch it in IMAX). So quotable!

  2. Great post! Like Greg, I'm really looking forward to your spoilery one too. This has to be one of my top Marvel movies too. At That beginning and That ending you could hear a pin drop in my local theater! I saw it with my dad who is a big fan of these movies too and he was really impressed as well. We got there about half an hour early and by that time about half of the seats were already filled. By the time the movie started pretty much all were taken except a handful in the very first row. I love that the theater you saw it at does live music that would be a wonderful way to kick off a movie. My movie theater now has this app for an AR game so most of the time before the movie started was either an ad for that or your opportunity to play it. Basically to play the game, you point your phone at the screen during that minute (at a time) round and on the screen there's a still of an illustrated theater lobby and you have to capture things like on pokemon go. I looked around every time the game came on - no one was playing.

    1. I love when a theatre is dead silent during the big parts it makes it so much more dramatic. I'm glad your dad like it, too! Yes the live music is a nice touch I'm going to miss this theatre quite a bit it's been such a treat. OO an AR game? That actually sounds like fun. A shame no one there seems to be playing lol. Though I guess I can't blame them since they did go to watch a movie... haha.


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