Saturday, September 19, 2020

Avengers: Infinity War (Part 1)

I still don't get the fandom.

Infinity War was not bad by any stretch, there were several elements I greatly enjoyed, there was some stuff that made me quite aggrivated, but all in all it came down to being a good movie. Not a great movie or a perfect movie, nor a bad movie or cinematic trash. It's okay. And for those few who are still reading this, let's get going. I liked the story, it's a bit flawed and I would have done this differently, not much but just tweaks that would give the film more weight. So Thanos has finally entered the chat and is hunting down the Infinity Stones. Pause. I am not actually a fan of him literally grabbing these impossibly rare and extrememly powerful gems one right after the other in the span of a single day, I actually would have liked it if we slowly saw him get a stone every so few movies, to build that anticipation and intrigue as to what the final goal is and what the gauntlet does. Since there's 6 stones, I would have preferred if he got the last two in this movie, therefore creating more drama that, oh shit he's nearly got them all we gotta act fast or we're completely screwed. Resume. That's basically the plot, we're going gem hunting while the scattered forces of the Marvel heroes are desperately trying to form a defensive plan to take this guy out. That's fine, I think the movie severely lacks dramtic tension at times and if I'm being ruthlessly honest....kinda shoots itself in the foot. A lot. Case in point, Thanos snaps Loki's neck. Unfortunately I felt no resounding effect because I've seen the crafty bastard elude death more times than I can remember so why should this time be any more final? Steve and the renegade members of the Avengers get back into the story, but they kinda just pop out of nowhere to save Vision and Scarlett Witch when they never explain how they found them to begin with. They didn't track them, they couldn't track them, they pop up in a totally random place, I know it's just for that Cap reveal but sloppy writing is sloppy shitty writing. Which is odd because most of the weaving of all these different characters into a singular movie is quite honestly handled well, even if the pacing gets sidestepped because there's too damn many, but it's there to set up future stuff in the plot so whatever. Thanos has an entourage which immediately threw me right the f*** off because if there was ever a villain that did not need a sidekick, let alone 4 of them it would be Thanos. He even has this brown nosing little ponce who is also his hype man, I mean what in the actual shit is this? So much for that "I'll do it myself" if you send your Team Rocket lackeys to do the work for you, my God they were beyond pointless. Oh and Red Skull is here too and he has How?? Why??? I don't know. But he's there. I was slightly shocked at the runtime, I assumed this was going to be the 3 hour finale but it came up 30 minutes short which I felt to be odd because this is the kind of movie that needs that amount of length, you could really set up this heavily foreboding atmosphere as each hero tries in their own way to prepare for the oncoming battle, to get more backstory to Thanos, to really sink in the seriousness of it all. But it just feels like the same old Marvel movies, there's nothing more to this movie than the others beside the ending. Now on one hand, I commend that. It lulls the audience into a false sense of security where the heroes will come out on top but then drops the anvil right on their heads in a very unexpected manner. Which is kinda what they did, but it doesn't have that serious, dramatic, finality punch to it that it so desperately needs. This should have been almost devoid of humor like if a person tried to make a joke it would either fall flat or be given the cold shoulder by other members of the group, with a lot more quiet intimate moments with our heroes where they face the possibility of dying and have to come to terms with it, and the tension and fear when Thanos is on screen should have been priority number one because we don't know anything about him. Sure comic fans know this guy backwards and forwards, and even knows the original reason why Thanos wanted the Infinity Gauntlet (spoiler alert he was a thirsty f***boi), but most audience members have no clue who he is. We've seen the briefest of appearances but essentially know precisely dick, and while the film does a very good job cementing his character, we kinda needed more or maybe I just wanted more. The film constantly kinda keeps breaking itself almost on a subconscious level, like with Doctor Strange. He has the time stone, he can manipulate time to an insane degree, and this is kinda where the movie falls apart, because even when Thanos has four out of six Infinity Stones, Strange could still reverse time maybe to oh I don't know, save Tony from getting stabbed, or to rewind time to stop Star Lord from literally f***ing over the entire universe (we'll get to him I promise), or to just pull the Dormammu trick again. Christ he even says the Time Stone is the best chance they have against Thanos! And he hands the thing over after Tony gets stabbed and begs to spare his life. Um....Doc, he doesn't have a hostage. He shanked Stark, he's dying, there is no bargain chip, hit the rewind button, do some trippy cosmic magic tricks, save him. Do you see the issue with the Time Stone? The heroes are kind of dumbasses in this movie, Strange was bad but Quill....this stupid motherf***ing shitlord. Okay, so the group has got Thanos, they are doing everything in their power to restrain him and get the gauntlet, and they are actually even surprisingly succeeding. Hurrah! Until Star Lord hears about Gamora and instead of waiting 10 seconds for them to get the gauntlet off and then pump him so full of goddamn holes it would give people trypophobia, he starts wailing on the guy which shock of all shocks, rapes the plan with a splintered broomstick and leads to devastating losses for the entire universe. Good job. Yes I'm blaming him. You know that whole 1 in 14,000,605 odds against them winning? Well if Peter pissed off for a minute, that 1 would have been the win. I'm just really not liking the Guardians at this point, Quill is a stupid asshole, Gamora is mostly bland and I could care less for her character even with her daddy issues, Rocket's schtick is dead to me, Groot is just there, pretty much Drax and Mantis are the only ones I really like. Even poor Josh Brolin who is doing damn amazing work in this role can't fully salvage the movie, which is a shame because he is singlehandedly the best part of the entire movie. You see the machinations in his mind, you see and feel that this terrible thing he is trying to do feels justified and even logical in his eyes, his performance is the best performance in Marvel not just on an acting standpoint but a character standpoint. People have made videos on this guy for years now and for good reason, he's a fascinating character study to undertake. Josh Brolin is great, harboring on perfect. I personally actually like how he defeats the Hulk, you'd think I would hate it because my boy just got his ass handed to him, but it shows Thanos cannot be subdued by a brawl and that he knows how to fight, meaning you have to find another way to beat him. But I just feel he's too good for this movie. Again, Infinity War is not a bad movie but it has flaws that hurt the film quite a bit. My main problem was the tone, I think my false sense of security for the audience idea was the intended effect that the director's were going for but it just doesn't feel that high stakes and it should! We are talking about the fate of countless worlds and people, a truly horrible person wielding unlimited powah, and it's the same old shit. If you're not going to treat this subject material seriously and make it as good as possible with hard, dark, possibly even deep moments then just stop. You don't get to skate around this on your same old tropes, do something with it! Make it like an epic tragedy, a proper war film where people die, where it's a constant struggle for these gemstones, treat it as if you are making one of the greatest and most powerful films ever made where Ingmar Bergmann or Akira Kurosawa would applaud it. But screw that, we gotta make it for the kids you little bastards, go buy our shit! Why make it an actual good film that will be talked about for decades for pushing the envelope of comic book movies? I assume you wanted to tell this story from almost the beginning, why else would you make 18 damn movies beforehand? So you feel the impact, so you give a shit, so you are invested in the story. Well congratulations you did that, now where's the movie worthy of that payoff? It's just another standard Marvel movie with a very strong ending. And let's talk about the snap heard 'round the world. It's impact didn't fully do it for me because well, I've waited two years to watch this movie. When the scene has practically become an iconic meme it loses that gravitas, I knew it was going to happen, when it was going to happen, who got dusted, and how the film ended. Do I still appreciate it? Very. The lack of music, the almost washed out colors, the unceremonious deaths of characters we've watched for years, it's an experly crafted scene....but that atmosphere and tone should have permeated the entire film. Oh my God, I have to split the review cause I'm still not done. So um, get ready for more of this!

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