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Avengers: Infinity War - Spoiler-free review

Nathan Strum




I mean seriously... dang!

I just got back from seeing Avengers: Infinity War, and I'll get to the review in a moment. But first - a rant.

I try to avoid spoilers. And I hate websites that spoil movies.

I wasn't planning to see Infinity War until later in the week, but felt I had to see it tonight if I had any chance of avoiding spoilers.

Why? Well, because of idiots at websites and YouTube channels like IGN, Nerdist and Because Science.

Yeah, that's right - I'm calling the lot of you out.

Like you care.


Because even if you think you're not spoiling movies, you are. Whenever you post an article or a video with a title like, "How does (so and so) do (so and so)?" or "Did (such and such) really just (such and such)?", even if you think you're being vague or speculative, the fact that you're still putting plot points into the titles of your articles or videos makes them spoilers. Anyone subscribing to your channels or perusing your website can not miss them.

And yes, I get the fact that you're all desperate for readers and viewers so you'll post whatever click-bait you think you can get away with, but might I suggest that you title your articles and videos something more along the lines of: "(Movie title) Speculation: Potential Spoilers" so those of us who don't want anything spoiled in a movie don't feel like we have to shut the internet off completely until we can actually get out to see the film?


End of rant. Or as Stan would say, 'nuff said.

Now then, onto the movie.

I'm going to keep this pretty short. Mainly because it's late. Also, I don't want to potentially risk giving anything away either.

The question at hand is - does Infinity War live up to the hype? This has been cooking now for 10 years, so this movie has a lot to live up to.

Age of Ultron didn't. Civil War didn't quite either. It seemed the more characters that got added to a movie, the more muddled a movie became.

Infinity War, on the other hand, nailed it.

It's kind of strange to see nearly every Marvel movie character in one film - but it really worked. It almost felt like watching several of the other movies all edited together. But only the good parts. Except they were parts you hadn't seen before.

To be sure, there's a lot of ground to cover in this movie, and a lot of characters. And nearly everyone gets a moment to shine here or there. But it doesn't feel forced. Characters who aren't that critical to the story are present, but aren't shoehorned into the plot in order to give them their five minutes. Some are more in the background and that's how it should be. Keep the focus where it belongs.

I'll give an example: Star Trek. The original series.

In the original series, it was about Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Checkov were supporting characters. And some episodes they got more to do, because there was time in that format.

But when the movies rolled around, it often felt like they trotted out all of these supporting characters and gave them more to do, just because they now had fans. But in a two-hour movie, you don't always have the time to give everyone something to do. In ensemble films, finding this balance of who's important and who's not is critical.

In Infinity War, the Russo brothers managed this expertly. It was great to see everyone again from the other films. And because we've seen them in their other films, even if some characters got less screen time here, it didn't feel like we were being short-changed. Unlike, say, Justice League.

Infinity War starts with its foot on the gas and never lets up. If anything, it stomps on the gas harder, kicks in the supercharger, and then hits the nitrous.

There is a ton of great superhero action in this movie. Frankly, I felt kind of exhausted by the end of it. But in a good way. This is how a blockbuster-epic-action-special-effects-superhero-movie-event should be. Gimme my popcorn money's worth!

This is a dense movie. There is a lot of story, a lot of locations, a lot of characters, and a lot of things happening. It's pretty impressive that it all fits into 2 1/2 hours, and does so pretty organically. A lot of pieces get put together, and it's fun to see a lot of long-standing plot points finally coming to fruition.

The characters are true to who they've been in previous movies. At the heart of the film you have heroes who we've gotten to know and care about over the last decade. If you liked them in other movies, you'll like them here. They don't do anything goofy like take a character who was super heroic and fearless in a solo movie, and turn them into a hopeless, lovestruck shut-in who hides away from society for 100 years because their boyfriend who she knew for two weeks blew up in a plane.

Just sayin'.

Infinity War delivers massively in the super hero action department. There are a ton of fan-pleasing moments throughout the film where you get to see some really cool stuff. And there's enough humor to lighten the tension once in a while, and remind you that Marvel doesn't take itself too seriously. We wouldn't want to get all morbid and gloomy, right?

Now, being a comic book movie, I should point out that not everything always makes sense. You may just wonder, "Well, why doesn't so-and-so just do this?" And some things are a little convenient, for the sake of moving things where they need to go. But it's a comic book movie. Not a documentary. If you over-think it, you're missing the point. And besides, you can always explain away comic book plot holes with comic book "logic".

There's one other important thing that needs to be touched on here - because it's the shortcoming of a number of Marvel movies: the villain. Where Marvel movies consistently shine is with their heroes. They're human, flawed, complex and relatable. This is what separated Marvel from everyone else. This is why Stan Lee is as significant to comic books as Walt Disney was to animation. But Marvel movies don't always bring their villains up to that level. They're usually still fun to watch because of the heroes, but the films are at their best when the villains are as equally interesting as the heroes. Up until now, Thanos has just been sitting on a chair, floating around, and not really doing anything. So the question was - would he make a worthwhile villain? Not just a powerful one - but an interesting one?

Fortunately, the answer is pretty-much yes. Thanos is - by far - the most formidable opponent the Avengers have ever faced. He's a powerful opponent in every sense of the word. And as far as being interesting - he's that, too. Mostly. I think he still falls a little short in terms of really understanding why he's so motivated by what he's doing, but he's certainly motivated to do it. And like some of the best movie villains, he doesn't see what he's doing as being wrong. However, what he's doing is so wrong, it's hard to relate to him. But he's really cool to watch in a fight, and in a movie like this, that counts for a lot.

For me, Avengers: Infinity War lives up to the hype. Of course, I just got out of the theater less than two hours ago, so I'm still on somewhat of an adrenaline rush from it. But you know what? This is a big, loud, action-packed, summer blockbuster, popcorn munching, superhero movie. Maybe my opinion of it will temper over time, but right now I had a lot of fun watching it. I cared about the characters. I had fun watching them. I totally bought the fan-service moments. I laughed, shouted, pumped my fist, gripped the arms of my chair (without even realizing it), and absolutely pounded down the popcorn.

The movie is packed with surprises. Even with the spoilers I complained about earlier, there was so much else I never saw coming, that I'm still processing it. I rarely go to a movie twice, but for this one, I think it'd be well-worth it. Because it'd be fun.

Go see it. Go see it before it gets spoiled for you. It's a lot of fun. It was totally satisfying. That's what a superhero movie should be.

I can't wait to see what they pull out of the bag for the sequel.

Avengers: Infinity War gets an adrenaline-assisted 10/10

(Okay... the review wasn't all that short. But it was relatively short.)

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Yeah, Thanos is spot on and more of a character than he has been in the comics from time to time. I think his POV is summed up pretty well when he tells Gamora that her planet was a paradise after his work there. He's the ultimate utilitarian and if you could see the universe from a meta perspective he would be the good guy in this movie. But we are finite, and we lack perspective so he's the villain. That being said, they also keep him from being dispassionate about what he is doing. While I doubted his love for Gamora, I think it is real on some level.


I too was worried with the many new locations and the 2.5 hour run time, but the pace never slackened. I was surprised it was over.


As for spoilers, if you've read the original Infinity Gauntlet mini-series, this whole thing is spoiled already. The fun is watching it play out on the big screen. I can't wait for part 2 to see how this version of the story goes.


For me IW was the epitome of comics as movies and was the tonic to miserable debacles like Justice League.

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The three bits of advice I have for anyone thinking about seeing this movie:

1. Go see it now before someone can't help themselves and spoils any of the significant plot points / twists.

2. Make sure you're up to date on the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is not an origins story. There's no flashbacks to previous films. This is the sequel to multiple MCU series and it assumes you know who each of these heroes are.

3. (As suggested by Howard Tayler) If you're planning on taking younger children, you might want to see it yourself first. There are reasons why audiences are not exuberantly cheering on their way out of the theater.

And if you're sitting at the end of the row, feel free to hit the restroom rather than wait for the post credits scene.
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I haven't read comic books since early '91, so I missed the whole Infinity Gauntlet series. I had completely burned out on collecting comics at that point and ended up selling off my entire collection for what amounted to peanuts. In hindsight, probably a mistake since I had some really valuable stuff in there, and some stuff that I genuinely still liked. But that's all done and dusted now. If I really wanted to re-read those, I'd get a digital subscription or buy some of the omnibus collections.


I still occasionally follow comic news, so I know of some of the larger story arcs that have been happening in recent years. But I had no idea how they were going to end this movie, or even when. It was nice to be surprised. Not just with the ending, but with so many of the other things they did in the movie.


There was one thing I was only slightly disappointed in...

even though I thought the Red Skull cameo was incredibly cool, I was disappointed that Hugo Weaving didn't return for it. This explains why, but it still would've been awesome for him to come back just for that moment. It makes you wonder though... since he no longer has to guard the Soul Stone, does that mean he's now free? :ponder:


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I didn't even realize it wasn't him, and I don't know if it was essential that it was. All good though.

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I didn't even realize it wasn't him, and I don't know if it was essential that it was. All good though.


I wasn't completely sure... but it didn't quite look or sound like him. I didn't know for certain until after the movie. Again, more of a fanboy disappointment than anything that affected the film. ;)

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There have been few replacements in the MCU (The Hulk played by three actors, War Machine played by two actors). Was saddened in a way when they changed War Machine's actor, sorta. :D

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The first Hulk movie isn’t considered part of the MCU though. But yes, there have been a few other replacements already. The blonde one of the Warriors Three was replaced. Like anyone noticed. :roll:

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And if you're sitting at the end of the row, feel free to hit the restroom rather than wait for the post credits scene.



I was hoping for something like Vision opening his eye. He was probably the worst debuffed character regarding the previous films. Next to Starlord who managed to fail beating Thanos twice...


Actually I still found the post credits scene cool, paving the way for Binary (some apparently insist calling her Captain Marvel...) ;)


Coolest was of course Doctor Strange. I bet he will be responsible for the turnabout in the sequel. He certainly didn't give away his stone without having a plan.

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If the Disney/Fox deal goes through - that could lead to the storyline of Rogue stealing Ms./Captain Marvel's powers. That would be pretty cool. Not holding my breath though.


I didn't think it was that big of an issue with Vision being debuffed, since Thanos' crew had weaponry specifically designed to deal with his powers.

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I dunno. He's basically Ultron powered by an infinity stone. He should've been a tough fight, maybe like Iron Man a few minutes earlier. But in the end he didn't do anything but "being" wounded...


Same could be said about Scarlet Witch, but at least she got one good scene, leading to a nice 4th wall break. (When even one of the Wakandans asked why she didn't do anything usefull before ;) )

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