Avengers: Infinity War [3D/Atmos]

Well, that was...over. Avengers: Infinity War was a fun film but it was not necessarily the best film in the MCU. However, kudos to the Russo brothers for carrying it off and delivering a superhero / Marvel film that serviced the fans and was also a good summer/popcorn tentpole blockbuster. With such a large cast, they did actually manage to give the fan/crowd favourites the most screen time but yet not neglect the others.

Sure, they were a couple of scenes where logic fails (which was to be expected) and some moments that dragged on longer than necessary (inevitable with a 149 minutes runtime), however, one important aspect that A:IW had was an emotional weight that held the narrative together. The story had consequences. There was a cost and heroes do die, although the Russo brothers - and Kevin Feige - could have been more cruel and brutal, and also creatively braver. Maybe in the sequel.

Speaking of which, for once - and possibly due to the pending sequel - the MCU has developed a complex villain who is more than just a simple, one-directional evil-doer. Thanos commanded the screen and attention, and Josh Brolin nailed the emotional depth and sane-madness. This film could have been considered as Thanos' story more than The Avengers'.

On the other hand, one of the biggest downside to this VFX extravaganza was - sort of ironically - the lack of grandeur and spectacle. No one scene or action sequence stood out tremendously (this ain't no LOTR and Battle of Helm's Deep). And although there were a few hero moments - the introduction of fan favourites especially - the film failed to embrace its comic legacy: the full page (or even double-paged!) spread, often cutting off WOW moments a second earlier than it should. Such a shame.

In additional, a general sense of sameness - and oldness - pervaded the film which just made the film rather unexciting on a visceral basis. Also, with all MCU films after Joss Whedon's Avengers, the banter never lived up to that standard. Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnorak came close, and surprisingly Chris Hemsworth's Thor carried it through here, but Mark Ruffalo's Hulk was a disappointment.

Narratively speaking, the Russo brothers are efficient storytellers, but they are not really the best. The juggling of multiple scenes within the same time frame could have been done better with less interruptions in flow and continuity. Again, see Lord of the Rings. Maybe there will be an extended cut? The audience are carried on along a ride, but it felt more like a cruise in the delta rather than a boat ride down the rapids or across an open ocean.

That being said, A:IW sure was a fanboy pleaser! The crowd I watched with whooped and cheered enthusiastically. The film really does set up for a sequel which will truly be even more highly anticipated!

As for technically, unfortunately Alan Silvestri's score remained uninspiring and Trent Opaloch's cinematography was just serviceable. If only Marvel could invest more into these aspects of film-making. Imagine what a Roger Deakins' MCU film would look like, or how an Alexandre Desplat-scored MCU film would double down on the emotional heft.

3D was fun but not really necessary.

Refreshingly, there was only one post-credits scene, but it sure is a doozy! Bring on 2019!


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