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Review: 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Edited by Sonious, GreenReaper as of Wed 9 May 2018 - 13:25
Your rating: None Average: 3 (17 votes)

Avengers: Infinity WarTo begin, a little bit of justification as to why I'm reviewing this. In addition to being the 19th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Avengers three ... point five ... ish, this movie is also essentially Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2.5. And seeing as how that team just won its second motion picture Ursa Major by a pretty good margin over historically fierce competition, well, this is a team furries apparently care about, even if it's really just Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) bringing the furry.

Next, a little bit of warning. This movie ends on what could be a cliffhanger which may totally be retconned out of existence by the end of next year's Untitled Avengers Film, or maybe not, in which case there is a lot, a lot, of stuff to spoil. Now, people have a tendency to act, well, spoiled about spoilers, which basically didn't exist before Alfred Hitchcock invented the idea to promote Psycho, despite the fact that the trailer consists of Hitchcock giving the game away, since it doesn't matter.

However, there's no need to be rude, so I'm not going into the ending, other than I think I will reveal Rocket's fate, so you know whether or not, as a furry, you should just give up on this Marvel Cinematic Universe or not.

But I'll do that after the break, so if you don't want to know, well, don't click "read more".

Infinity War is directed by the brothers Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed the last two MCU Captain America movies, The Winter Soldier and Civil War – which was essentially Avengers 2.5.

The Russo brothers took over from Joss Whedon, who directed the first two Avengers movies and has gone over to the other side, basically co-directing DC's Justice League last year – which should have been more of a lateral move in theory, but in practice, is not. There's a more solid baseline of competency in the Marvel movies than the DC movies (or any other non-Marvel studios outfit, such as Fox's X-Men series), even when they're basically forgettable (Ant-Man or Doctor Strange) or even imminently frustrating (the Russo's own Captain America: Civil War).

And comparatively, Avengers: Infinity War falls somewhere between The Winter Soldier (which I really liked) and Civil War (which, not to beat a dead horse or anything, I really hated). It's one of the darker movies in the MCU, seeing as how the plot is basically a mega-maniacal god-like alien who decides that half the people in the universe need to die, and he has the wherewithal to go through with that plan, and is working pretty steadily on the means to that end throughout the movie. Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin), after spending a lot of time lurking in the shadows of other villains' schemes for the last decade, finally decides to get off his butt and collect the Infinity Stones himself, which basically lets him do whatever he wants if collected together. He maybe should have done this years earlier, though, because he takes like a day to get most of them. The movie doesn't even bother to show us how he got the purple one, which basically renders the major conflict of the best MCU movie essentially meaningless. Should have just given it to Yondu after all.

The movie begins like five minutes after the credits roll on Thor: Ragnarok, with Thanos arriving on the Asgardian refugee ship and basically killing everyone that isn't Thor (Chris Hemsworth) or the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), therefore rendering another one of the better MCU's central conflicts moot. All I'm saying is Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World were right there, and they chose to render obsolete the good ones?

Anyway, the Hulk is sent back to Earth, and is so traumatized by his short fight with Thanos he morphs back into Bruce Banner and refuses to hulk out for the rest of movie (which sounds kind of lame when you type it out like that, but is one of the stronger decisions in the movie character-wise because it allows Banner to be pretty awesome in his own right). Thor, meanwhile, is sent into space, but because he's Asgardian, he's okay, even when the Guardians of the Galaxy run over him with their spaceship. These two are able to tell everyone what's going on, and basically the rest of the movie is attempts to keep Thanos from collecting various stones, with a big final battle building in Wakanda.

If large swaths of the last two paragraphs sounded like complete and utter gibberish, well, you can probably set this one out. You've probably been sitting out the last 18 movies, so this is not what is known in comic book lingo as "a good jumping on spot". The movie does highlight characters that haven't gotten their own spotlight movie, or at least not one for a while, so, for example, War Machine (Don Cheadle) has a small scene that serves as refresher course reminding us who this guy is and why we should care about him (which is kind of depressing, because War Machine is actually the second hero ever introduced in the MCU, way back in the original Iron Man), while Captain America (Chris Evans) literally just appears in a scene out of nowhere with absolutely no explanation, then or later on, as to who he is, what he does or even where he came from. The movie doesn't have to explain anything; he's Captain freakin' America. Even if you got lost in the Infinity Stones wiki links, you know who he is. But it's still amusing to note the movie just doesn't even worry about trying to explain him, and it works.

Rocket in 'Avengers: Infinity Wars' Rather than listing it's many, many characters, it's easier to note who's not here. Ant-Man and the Wasp are getting their own movie later this year (and that's going to be weird in the timeline), and Hawkeye is just kind of mentioned off-handedly at one point. Family stuff. Poor guy. Despite the fact that he had the single best moment in the last Avengers movie, he was at the top of the deadpool, and people noticed he wasn't even on the poster. Turns out he's not on the poster because he's not in the movie. Well, that's one way to beat the deadpool odds.

Well, that's enough about the humans, let's talk about Rocket! After accidentally running over Thor, he teams up with the guy, who is looking for a replacement for his hammer. Thor knows a place where weapons of immense power are forged, and Rocket's sold. While the rest of the Guardians head back to Knowwhere, he goes with Thor (who, in an echo of the last Guardians movie's running joke where a character repeatedly mistook Rocket for a fox, repeatedly mistakes Rocket for a rabbit; significant downgrade, in my opinion), and actually gets a scene where he begins to try and act on some of the things he learned in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He eventually ends up on Earth in the big battle, where he ...

Well, now we're in that promised spoiler territory. Don't worry, though, at the end of the movie Rocket is ... fine. He's fine. He'll be fine.

It's fine.


Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

The scenes between Thor and Rocket were beautiful -- well-written and, for geeks like me, well-rendered. They're getting better every time Rocket shows up.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (7 votes)

(Just a warning: There's spoilers in this comment. Another warning if you cared about that one: Don't read comments on reviews of movies you haven't seen yet, silly thing.)

I was pretty disappointed in this film. Made worse because I think it didn't have to be disappointing, if only it had been about three films instead of just one, focusing on a different "group" or two in each one and stretching out Thanos getting the Stones. It wasn't terrible or anything, but once I realized the movie was about three-fourths over, I also realized I hadn't had very much fun, and felt like I was waiting for the real stuff to begin.

The beginning of the movie made Ragnarok's victory into something extremely generously characterized as "temporary", though to be fair bringing a bunch of extragalactic refugees to Earth isn't a good idea anyway, considering we don't even have a grasp on handling our own. I'm not sure the best way to paint yourself out of that corner is to kill fucking everything, but hey, that's why I've never directed a movie that made anyone a billion dollars.

T'Challa was also kind of a weak note of the film too. Here Bucky, have this sweet arm, and don't worry guys, I'll totally let Wakanda become a free-for-all even though I haven't even met most of you, and I don't care how many Wakandans die helping you! I know that he wants to be a bigger part of the international community now, and if eight people in a Walmart parking lot bitchfight is the MCU's idea of a "war", then the cast of Infinity War must be really high stakes to them, but...c'mon. At least give him some relatable motives or development. Or let him live to be in the next movie, damn it. It's Wakanda Forever, not Wakanda for two movies.

But there were lots of enjoyable parts. Thor kept most of his improved personality traits from Ragnarok, and I've enjoyed Gamora/Nebula's struggles with their terrible father every time it's been shown so far. My favorite subplot followed the group with Doctor Strange, Iron Man, and Spider-Man, and before you call it predictable, it was actually because of Doctor Strange, whose solo film I disliked. Spider-Man's death was heart-wrenching. One of the strongest characterization moments in the film, there at the end.

Oh, and I can't tell from this review what you even liked about the movie.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

Following the spoiler train.

I'm totally hoping all the deaths stick, including wiping out every Guardian who isn't Rocket (and I guess Amy Pond) and the only cinematic Spider-Man I've ever liked, and I almost think they might. The movie went out of its way to show Thanos destroyed the Gauntlet and the stones, so they can't be used to retcon themselves. The only confirmed movies upcoming are GotG 3 and Spider-Man 2, but with the latter, this may be a way to work the Miles Morales' Spider-Man into the MCU and Rocket has been the sole 616 Guardian who has never left the team and was the leader when Star-Lord wasn't and even put together an ad-hoc Guardians team from scratch in one storyline (and there are plenty of 616 Guardians, Yondu-timeline Guardians and other cosmic characters that could be added, some even furry; Lylla the otter and Cosmo the dog are both canon in the MCU). Doctor Strange's directors have talked about a sequel, but it was never confirmed, and, once again, there are plenty of magical fish in the sea (I'd pick Son of Satan, but would understand if Disney went with someone else) and Shuri is both really freaking popular in the movies and a former Black Panther herself in the comics

Because of spoilers, couldn't really go into that, but I liked that it actually left the MCU in a very interesting place (which, admittedly, has a high likelihood of being retconned). So if this review seemed especially cage-y, I mean, it was, with both the spoiler thing and the "okay, you better justify this review on a furry site, crossie" angle. I mean, I've been thinking about this lately, what with just accusing the entire furry fandom of complacency from old age on a nearby thread, but it's been over half a decade since I started reviewing movies on this site, and on one hand I can say there were not reviews of any furry movies before me, but on the other hand it's pretty fair to say I'm just covering multi-million/billion dollar franchises that hardly need the press while still missing a lot of little stuff that actually could use a little attention. What I'm saying is I started off fixing a problem, but now I might just be a different problem, one that I'm just a bit too, well, complacent to really fix myself.

But anyway, Rocket is the last Guardian standing, you guys! GotG 3 may actually be Rocket Raccoon: Vol. 1!

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

I don't think many, if any of the deaths from this film will be permanent. It'd be silly to kill off their golden goose for good when there's a multitude of ways to bring it back. If any of them will be permanent, my guess is that the deaths that occurred prior to Thanos's victory, with the likely exception of Vision will be so. Which still means one less Guardian.

Tom Holland's already confirmed to be in the post-Avengers 4 Homecoming sequel, but I guess he could technically be a ghost, or a flashback or something. Their MJ is going to be in it too, and they went to the work to set up her reveal. MJ's interactions with Miles in the comics, so it seems like a waste, but I guess they're doing something completely different with MJ now, huh? Then again, Marvel's working with Sony on the MCU's Spider-Man stuff, right? And Sony's got a Spider-Man movie starring Miles coming out this year, so adding Miles into the MCU this late in the game...and getting the torch passed down from a 16-year-old, immature Peter who's only been Spider-Man for like three years...doesn't seem likely. I don't think they're done with Peter yet, and if he's gonna come back...well, him being the only one is also unlikely, I think.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

No way in the world that they let Spider Man, T'Challa, and Guardians be permanently dead. Too much money at stake with their sequels. At the end of the day, the cold hard cash is the only thing that matters for the studio.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

So, anyway, Ryan Coogler, director of Black Panther, is off at the Cannes film festival talking about an "all female Black Panther movie", and make of that what you will.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

So apparently Shuri got snapped off-screen, so there goes my "Shuri is the new Black Panther" theory, as revealed by some new character posters from Marvel (survivors were in color, dead or "snapped" characters in black and white).

Anyway, here's Rocket.


Edit: Oh, I might link to the damn posters; Alive and dead...ish?.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

So, I don't really care about this movie at all; I think the only Marvel movie I've seen is Guardians of the Galaxy. I also think you're really stretching the relevance here but I did have a question that you might be able to give a decent answer to.

So I was in a Discord chat and someone was all going crazy about the risk of spoilers ruining the movie and such. I said, if the movie can be ruined by spoilers then its probably not a very good movie anyway. In the ensuing discussion I pointed out that if it is ruined then the movie is entirely reliant on big surprises to hold a viewer's attention and not skipping good storytelling. Furthermore, there are many classic stories that are good regardless of whether you know what happens or not. In fact, the audiences for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings largely knew exactly what was going to happen but it didn't ruin the movies because good characterisation, acting and storytelling is good regardless of whether you are surprised or not.

I was wondering what your thoughts related to the above are.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

I guess my thoughts on spoilers are, on one hand, people are annoying shits about it (I mean, Equestria Daily commenters annoyed the shit out of me when they kept complaining the site spoiled the episodes by listing the episode title, I mean Jesus fucking Christ, really?), but on the other hand I avoided them myself for this movie, so ... meh? I guess as a reviewer you have to keep that in the back of your mind when writing a review, but kind of like anything else involved with writing a review, I mean, you can't please everyone.

Also, if the Guardians movies are furry, this one is too (unless you're saying they're not, too, which could be fair); maybe really more "furry adjacent" than "furry". Like I said, not a good "jumping on point" at all, and you can just read a synopsis if it ends up actually mattering for Guardians 3 (even setting aside the "everybody dies!" ending, Gamora at least died earlier and possibly more permanently in the movie, so she might stay dead even if the other Guardians don't); some of the other movies might be worth tracking down, including Iron Man, the first Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier and Thor: Ragnarok, for instance, but are definitely not furry and are just fun movies.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I was less interested in people's reactions to spoilers compared to whether you think a good movie can really be ruined by a spoiler or whether a good movie can be properly enjoyed even if you know what's going to happen. In the same Discord conversation, the person who was against spoilers also said she'd seen the movie twice. So I was like, "Well the second time you already knew everything that was going to happen and that didn't ruin watching it the second time so..."

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Perhaps they didn't want others to be potentially put off from seeing it. Sure, they were willing to see it a second time, but that doesn't mean they or others would've gone the first time if they knew what was going to happen.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

That also seems a bit weird. I mean, it's one thing to want to keep the surprise but to worry others might be put off? If they heard something and were put off then surely that's better than them wasting their time on it? It's possible that they might hear something and go "That sounds really cool! I want to see that."

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Being surprised and/or having your expectations subverted through the course of a film is enjoyable for most people.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I totally get that. I'm just saying, if not being surprised ruins a movie then it didn't have anything other than surprise going for it. And if the only thing going for it is surprise, then can you really say its good?

Ruining the surprise should not be the same thing as ruining the movie.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

I'm assuming whomever you're talking to means "ruining [the experience of watching] the movie". Especially in theaters where it's a lot less easy to see something for free.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

I guess my clarified and informed response is watching a movie knowing something changes the experience of watching the movie (which is kind of the unsatisfying, wishy-washy "both sides" argument on spoilers, but still true).

But personally, the whole argument is actually kind of boring, and worrying about movies as an "experience" degrades the conversation of movies as "art". Knowing Assistant Mayor Belwether is secretly the villain the entire time of Zootopia does change the "experience" of Zootopia, but it doesn't change the "meaning."

Of course, on the other hand, in a movie like Avengers: Infinity War, changing the "experience" has bigger consequences, because it's hard to argue that, say, Mantis's turning into dust has any really deep "meaning".

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

Now, some historical context:

"From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife"

From the opening prologue of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

The concept of a "spoiler" is basically a modern concept, and seeing as how it was basically a marketing gimmick in it's earliest inception, I think you can make a pretty Marxist critique that it's a fairly bourgeois concern.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Hey, I live in a town! I guess the spoiler in Romeo and Juliet isn't that they take their lives, but how they do so ("misadventure" could be almost anything), and what exactly leads them to that point.

But most have had plenty of chances to see the Flash version of that (now on YouTube, for those without Flash or preferring an easy pause/skip option), so if the details are spoilt it's their own fault for slacking.

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