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03 мая 2018, 20:07

MovieBob Reviews – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (SPOILER EDITION!!!)


Stay on target

WARNING: As the title indicates, this second review of Avengers: Infinity War includes SPOILERS. The spoiler-free review can be viewed here.

Didn’t you already review this last week? I did, but we’re doing it again with SPOILERS this time. Not much comes out this week because no one wants to release major movies in the direct aftermath of new Marvel movies.

What exactly is your industry going to cover when they eventually stop making these? “Stopping” seems somewhat presumptuous, given that we’re dealing with Disney productions. I’m sure someone was saying “They’ve got to run out of fairytales to make cartoons out of” back in the 50s, and yet…

Point taken. So I guess we don’t need to rehash the plot of this? Probably not.

Can we talk about all the dead Avengers? Yeah, that’s quite a body count both “universe-wide” and in “people we give a damn about” terms, huh? I imagine a bunch of them are going to come back and a lot of this is going to be undone in general. Basically because the whole Infinity Gauntlet “thing” is all about magical doodads that can undo all of this (plus a bunch of the “dead” people are already working on sequels for their own franchises so…)

Do you think that sucks some of the impact out of it? I get why a lot of people feel that way, but it’s not where my head is at this point. I mean, isn’t this just the rules of fiction, period, Marvel or otherwise? I’m not trying to be dismissive here – if this doesn’t work for you because the omnipresence of the metanarrative lessens the overall dramatic tension, that’s valid. I just wonder, why we’re inclined to apply that standard to fictional works that actualize deus ex machina into a tangible device but less so when it’s equally as present in every other work of fiction that doesn’t have a specific Infinity Gauntlet or Master Wand or Reset Button or whatever to hang it on.

I’m not sure I follow? Think of it like this: When Tom Holland reports for work on Spider-Man 2 (or whatever they end up calling it) in however many weeks despite Peter Parker having died in Infinity War. It’s not some combination of the Reality Stone, Time Stone and whatever other sundry magicks in Avengers 4 that’s going to have made that resurrection possible. It’s the fact that Spider-Man is not a real person, none of this is real and thus anything the writers want to have happened to them at any time can happen regardless of whether there’s a tool to cause it or rule to allow it already built into the lore. And that’s true of every other work of fiction – heck, not even just (pure) fiction: “Hitler didn’t really die that way” didn’t stop Tarantino from ending Inglorious Basterds the way he wanted to.

So why give such a positive review if you’re acknowledging the biggest stuff in it doesn’t matter? “Matter” is a relative term here, I feel. It’s all fiction, and absurdly high-concept (read: kind of silly) fiction, at that. So everything is execution dependent: Spider-Man and Gamora’s deaths (to name just two of many) aren’t affecting because I genuinely think I’ll never see them again, they’re affecting because Tom Holland and Zoe Saldana (and their respective scene-partners Robert Downey Jr. and Josh Brolin) are giving excellent, emotionally resonant performances in those moments that really get to you. Or, at least, got to me.

No, yeah, I get it – that was tough to watch. Related: Were you psyched when The Red Skull showed up?? What do you think?

Thought so. Were you sold on Thanos now that the motivation and backstory are out in full? Yeah, I think Thanos is the main reason it all works – it better be, since he’s basically the main character. Plus, I’ve long been a fan of Marvel’s savagely shameless deployment of the “Make the most obvious criticism of your movie something the bad guy says and/or believes in so people feel like jerks bringing it up” trope.

Wait, how does Thanos do… His whole genocidal philosophy is motivated by “There are too many people in this Universe.”

… …oh wow. I know, right? Anyway, “the villain thinks he’s the hero” is an old angle and Marvel actually goes there a lot, but usually it’s guys like Killmonger (or Magneto) who actually have a righteous point. Thanos is an irredeemable genocidal MANIAC… and not only is he sure that his universe-wide Malthusian overpopulation solution is right. He’s already fully accepted that he’s not just the hero but the kind of suffering, righteous “lonely martyr” hero we’ve all been inculcated to identify with (in part by the last decade or so of post-Dark Knight superhero movies!). And he’s totally made peace with no one ever recognizing, rewarding or even thanking him for it – he doesn’t even want power or leadership. That’s a terrifying idea, and it’s fascinating to not only watch Brolin play him as this totally self-deluded sociopath but also for the movie to very cannily give basically a “hero movie” story of his own in between all the Avengers/Guardians/etc. team-up stuff.

What didn’t work so well? I like the banter but Thor, Rocket and Groot’s story didn’t really feel as resonant as the others, in my opinion. Also, I agree the Russo Brothers are probably the best pure action-directors Marvel has on the payroll right now. I also find myself wishing either they or the producers would insist on featuring more extras, shooting more “coverage” and writing in more asides with tertiary characters to help with the scope and add tension by constantly reminding us that this is about more than just the 18 or 20 people from the posters.

Would that really change things that much? I mean, half the cast turning to dust is creepy and shockingly bold as endings to these go – but imagine how much harder it would’ve hit to cut away and see that same shit happening to, say, Aunt May or Luis or Pepper or Hawkeye’s kids or… even just random people who have NO IDEA what’s happening and are just horrified, just sitting down to dinner or walking dogs or pushing baby carriages – that woulda been terrifying… maybe too much so for this kind of movie, even.

But you stick by the original review and rating, overall? I do. It’s a hell of a good time, very nearly as good as these sorts of movies get.

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Source: https://www.geek.com/movies/moviebob-reviews-avengers-infinity-war-spoiler-edition-1738834/?source