In May of 2017, The World Taxidermy and Fish Carving Championships were held outside Peoria, Illinois. Lonely people from all over the globe came to discuss how they can’t get over all their dead pet gerbils and parakeets. It was a “who’s who” of the taxidermy world, with the likes of Carolin Brak-Dolny, Jason Krause, and George Elekes. Never has the world seen such a gathering of heroes in these times of need.
Avengers: Infinity War is yet another presentation of gathered superheroes having to do that thing they do against those other people who are superbad and also do things. The third of the Avengers films and the 19th film in all the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Infinity War is the culmination of everything that came before it that wasn’t a TV show, Edward Norton, or Terrence Howard. This particular film is directed by the Russo Brothers, who previously helmed the second and third Captain America films, and their product is pretty much what any fan of these movies could want. Oh, and I’m one helluva fan.
If you’re reading this, it likely means you already have some semblance of all the characters who make up this cast, and with 60+ characters, I’m just gonna pass over most of them for the sake of my type-triggered arthritis. The one character that needs the most recognition here is our boy in purple, Thanos. Hinted at through several other Marvel interactions, Thanos is supposed to be the big baddie to end all big baddies. I was skeptical of what kinda villain he was going to be, especially considering Marvel’s track record. But damn. I’d say they did a number on sympathizing the grape goof. Josh Brolin brings a pensive demigod persona, with a weight to his every word. His convictions worked when I thought they would’ve flopped. And to speak of emotional depth, this film got my tear ducts all perky twice. TWICE. I don’t even cry when there’s only one Oreo Slim left in the sleeve. The Russos, coupled with solid performances all around, are able to pressure these relationships we’ve spent 10 years observing, to the point where there’s still something personal to feel as the universe is threatened in the background.
The visuals of the film are pretty solid, although this addition to the MCU lacks some of the fight scene finesse of earlier entries, like Civil War and Avengers 2. Still, it’s a good bit of fun to see literally every hero get together to kick each other’s asses. The soundtrack is rather unremarkable, although I can finally recognize the actual Avengers theme. I think that means I get to be my own hero now #empowerment. Infinity War contains all of the trademark wisecracks that Marvel films have become known for. Aside from the Guardians movies, this movie is peak joke quality, for better and for worse. I try to live my life with as much laughter as possible, but there are moments throughout that try to undercut tension or emotion when that feeling is so needed. Sure, I got all misty-eyed more than once, but the jokes dissipated any extremes in feels before they could truly set in.
At 2 hours and 36 minutes, the film’s pacing acts as a trained marathon runner, never stopping to soak in or mull its quiet moments, while also making the movie ever feel overlong or dragging. The risks are grand, and the ending is one of the best in all comic book movies. And it’s important to realize that this is as comic book-y as you can get. Zany combos, big explosions, surprise guests. Don’t go into this film expecting Citizen Kane or Gigli. This is a big, movie butter-soaked experience with half of all SAG members hard at work on screen. It’s a flawed film, but it’s supposed to be. I enjoyed this episode of Marvel Supers, and I can’t wait for the next one.
I give this a soft 4 out of 5 stars. Or 8 out of 10. Or 12 out of 15. I could keep going. No? Oh, fine.
Joe Brueggemeyer hosts and edits The Marquee podcast with Logan, and has an unhealthy obsession with baking.