Of course I rushed to the theater when Avengers: Infinity War was released. I saw it twice, just because it was such a huge spectacle that I had a tough time absorbing it all. I liked it much better the second time around.Now that the film has been released on digital home video and I've had some distance between my last viewing... I like it even more.
Everything I said in my first review still holds true. But I wanted to revisit it now and figure out just why this film keeps growing on me...
But, before we go there... an aside about those extras you get. They are pretty lame. At least what I'm finding in the "iTunes Extras" you get on the digital release...
1) The directors/writers commentary doesn't really add a huge amount of insight to the film. Not that it's bad... just that so much of what's discussed is obvious. This is fairly understandable though. If they went into much depth, they'd spoil the second part that's coming in the fourth Avengers film.
2) That being said... there is a "Director's Roundtable" with eight past Marvel Studios directors (Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, Peyton Reed, James Gunn, Ryan Coogler, The Russo Brothers, and Taika Waititi via FaceTime... sadly, no Kenneth Branagh, Shane Black, Alan Taylor,Scott Derrickson, Jon Watts, or Joe Johnston) which is fantastic. Listening to these people talk about their films made me want to go back and watch every last one of them all over again. If only it could have gone on longer.
3) The featurettes are okay but, again, don't add a heck of a lot to the film. Strange Alchemy touches on my favorite thing about the film, which would be the mixing up of the characters. The Mad Titan talks about Thanos from comics to film. Beyond the Battle: Titan and Beyond the Battle: Wakanda reveals the FX and stunts that went into the ultimate super-hero battles ever seen on film.
4) The deleted scenes are all worth watching. In the case of the extended scene between Thanos and Gamora... well worth watching.
5) LOLOLOL! As I was watching Infinity War tonight and Thanos starts speaking, Jenny immediately goes running for the television. And she was transfixed! "Jenny... are you in love with Thanos?!??" She turns and looks at me like "DUH!" — I think that Rick from Rick and Morty will be jealous. He's the only other character that Jenny reacts to this way...
And now? Do not proceed unless you've already seen the movie.
Spoilers await in an extended entry...
Alrighty then. Here's my thoughts as I'm watching...
All the space scenes are so unbelievably beautiful. This opening shot is stunning. Ship design is epic here.
I like how they used the opening moments to define Thanos' followers/children as a total cult.
And speaking of Thanos... holy shit are the special effects used to create him fantastic! And, holy shit again, did Josh Brolin do an amazing job of bringing him to life. His voice and motion-capture are what make the entire movie work since this is essentially Thanos' story.
The one time we get to see the hulk. I like that Thanos is able to take him out even without using the Infinity Stone he has. It sets him up to be a super, super-villain from the get-go.
Why didn't Heimdall use the Bifrost to send Hulk and Thor to Earth? Why just Hulk?
Very sad to be losing Heimdall. Something tells me that he's permanently dead, because Idris has said he wants out. A pity, because the tragic loss of so many Asgardians in Ragnarok makes losing him so much harder to take.
Loki finally being a selfless hero was a nice end to his arc. Something tells me he's permanently dead as well, because he's kind of run his course in the MCU. I love that he got such great banter with Thanos at the end rather than just being wiped out.
"No resurrections this time" was a kind of a weird LOL moment because it was such a sad scene.
And so it begins... the mingling of all the different franchises into a single narrative. Having it start off with Bruce Banner falling through the Sanctum Sanctorum is about as perfect a beginning as you could hope for. And, while I'm thinking of it... THANK YOU FOR INCLUDING WONG IN INFINITY WAR! And for making him such a capable fighter instead of a man-servant for Doctor Strange! The reimagining of Wong was a highlight of Doctor Strange for me.
So cool that, once again, Tony Stark's story is being pushed forward from film to film. When last seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he was proposing to Pepper Potts. Now the wedding is being discussed. THIS IS WHAT DC WAS MISSING IN JUSTICE LEAGUE! It was just a pile of shit scraped together from tiny bits of two films instead of an epic culmination of everything that had come before. They should have waited... and got somebody who know what the fuck they were doing to make it... so we could have gotten a Justice League movie that lived up to the comics like Infinity War totally does.
This movie takes place a couple years after Doctor Strange, so it makes sense that he's evolved in his abilities and power by now. He totally is The Sorcerer Supreme at this point. But the fact that Tony Stark doesn't know who he is seems kind of odd. Did Doctor Strange just shut himself away and do nothing to be recognized for in all that time? Nothing?!?
Let me interlude here for the hundredth time and say... I hate the asymmetrical look of Doctor Strange's cape! So sloppy. Especially since he mainly wears it in a way that is trying to be symmetrical.
That being said... how much do I love that they gave Doctor Strange's sentient "Cloak of Levitation" an actual role in this movie! And he/she/it is funny!
Wong gets to explain the Infinity Stones to everybody. Bravo, Wong.
I always wondered how it was that Tony happened to have that clunky flip-phone life-line to Cap on him. Apparently him carrying it around was explained in a scene that got cut. Details like this drive me insane.
The Amazing Spider-Man gets his spider-sense! Cool!
The way that Marvel Studios handles Spider-Man's webslinging dynamics are so fantastic compared to the Sony films. He really looks and feels just like what you'd expect him to from the comics!
More cult-speak from The Children of Thanos! And, of course, Tony's response is note-perfect. I love how all the characters follow the way they were when appearing in previous films. That's no small thing. And probably has a lot to do with talented people like Robert Downey Jr. having a very good handle on their roles.
And here we go... the first of many epic super-hero battles in the film! THIS IS WHAT COMIC BOOK FANS HAVE BEEN DYING TO SEE! And why all the X-Men films fail so utterly. The battles are just so bad. With the possible exception of First Class, Singer fucked it up every damn time.
How do I like Tony's nano-tech suit? I hate it. Loathe it. Now instead of being something that Tony has to work with to be a hero... the suit just morphs into whatever Tony can think up, making the fucking suit the hero. Lame. I understand that technology has to progress from movie to movie to keep things escalating, but this (and the Iron Spider costume) went too far and took away from the heroic characters they need to be in a movie like this.
Ebony Maw is an amazing super-villain. He is effortlessly powerful and a worthy adversary. Whereas every other "Child of Thanos" is just... strong?... I guess? They really should have put more effort into giving everybody distinct abilities like this. Because Maw is just so cool. I hate to keep dredging up Justice League so I can beat on it... but where was this kind of epic shit in that film?
Gawd I love how all the different heroes are all mixing it up here! Uhhh... he's from space... he's here to steal a necklace from a wizard. I just can't. I can't! Too perfect. All of this!
Bricks to flying spikes. Have I mentioned how cool Ebony Maw is? And then? The dimensional portals between Strange and Wong to return them back to Maw is genius use of their powers. So many great moments of super-heroes being epic with their powers throughout this film!
"Wong, you're invited to my wedding!" — So perfect.
And here is an example of why the nano-tech suit for Iron Man is so fucking lame. Tony can morph his two legs into a Go-Go-Gadget Rocket out of thin air? Stupid. There was no reason for this. He could go to space with the suit in the first Iron Man film! It's how he defeated Iron Monger! No reason at all for the morph rocket. Just have him fly after it in his regular armor, thank you.
If Iron Spider was just a metal suit for Spider-Man, that would have been enough. But this is just... wrong. Spider-Man needs his leotard suit to actually be Spider-Man. Because, seriously, where does he go from here? Is this the suit he'll be wearing in Spider-Man: Far From Home?
Lord did they completely and totally nail Guardians of the Galaxy here. James Gunn was obviously consulted here. I am Groot! And, once again, those space scenes... so stunning.
"It's like a pirate had a baby with an angel!" — Thor, meet The Guardians of the Galaxy! After the direction that Taika Waititi took Thor in Ragnarok, this is absolutely perfect pairing in every way. And holy crap... all the feels for poor Thor, who has literally lost everything at this point... his entire family... his home... his friends... his people...
And here it is... the entire lynchpin of the film. Amazing that a fringe character from a fringe film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Gamora is the key to absolutely everything. And, again, mad props to Zoe Saldana for brilliantly using her incredible talent to become the heart of the entire story. That she did most of that while acting across from CGI Thanos is remarkable on so many levels.
And can I just interject how much I love Mantis being a part of the group here? She could have easily been shoved to the background but, like Wong, she has a remarkable part to contribute in the middle of everything.
Off-screen destruction of Xandar. Probably one of the smartest moves they could have made. There's too much in this film as it is. And ZOMG, here's the Kevin Bacon humor... flawlessly integrated into the dialogue. Unlike the shitty quips that got shoe-horned into Justice League (sorry).
Teaming Thor, Rocket, and Groot together is next-level brilliant. And big love to Bradley Cooper for once again making Rocket such a vital, fun character to have a round.
As I said in my initial review, I love that they took the Vision & Scarlet Witch romance from the comic books and made it such an essential touchstone for the Infinity War story.
Poor Vision. He does not have a happy story here. His entire arc is pain, suffering, and loss this entire film. I hope they bring him back and give him some kind of happiness (my guess is that Shuri managed to duplicate Vision's personality and will create a new body for him?).
More fantastic super-hero fighting here. It's mainly just fisticuff action, but it's really good fisticuff action. And it's sweet that they've got Scarlet Witch being so proficient with her powers. She is easily one of the most powerful characters in Marvel canon. She deserves that for the movies, and I'm glad they didn't water her down.
Love that Black Widow gets to be the one who incapacitates Corvus Glaive. Perfect how her epic fighting skills are her power. Just give her the right weapon, and she can take on anybody.
This backstory for Gamora adds an entirely new dimension to her character. When re-watching the Guardians of the Galaxy films, it will be hard not to be thinking of this moment here.
It's pretty sweet that Benicio Del Toro was agreeable to returning as The Collector. Just one more piece of the puzzle that makes the investment of seeing all previous Marvel Studios movies so rewarding.
Zoe Saldana bringing emotional impact to having slain a big purple alien she can't even see while performing the scene. That's talent.
A nod to The Accords with Thunderbolt Ross and Rhodey. I'm guessing that this whole plot-point-leftover from Captain America: Civil War will be forgotten after this? As will be (I'm guessing) the romance plotline between Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff?
Wakanda forever! I still feel like this was tacked-on to the movie. As I said before, it was a brave choice, because Black Panther could have totally bombed at the box office.
Bucky is in the movie solely as a loss for Cap at the end of the film. I sure wish they could have found something more essential to the plot than this.
I have to say... the way that they dispatch Ebony Maw with the Aliens plot device is genius. Too bad they had to go and fuck it up with a Wilhelm Scream. So fucking stupid. When are movie people going to GIVE IT THE FUCK UP ALREADY! Everybody knows them. Everybody gets taken out of the film every time. Just stop. Stop it.
Not a good day to be Nebula.
And yet another reminder of how essential it was for Marvel Studios to make Guardians of the Galaxy so this movie could exist. Nobody gave that movie much of a chance... including me... which is why its success is so much sweeter.
Poor Thor. His story arc has been hit-or-miss from the start... until Ragnarok, where he was incredible. But I think this movie is where he was destined to shine. He's become a hero through-and-through and sacrificed everything to get there.
Hilarious how Rocket's predilection for collecting artificial body parts in past movies gets so flawlessly integrated here. And Thor gets a new eye because of it!
Peter Dinklage has long been a favorite. When I found out they cast him as a dwarf in Infinity War I was disappointed that they'd take such an obvious route for him. But then? Dwarves in the MCU are giants! Brilliant!
And it's all coming together now! But first? Avengers vs. Guadians... FIGHT! The whole "super-heroes fight when they first meet" trope is alive and well! But the dialogue is what makes this one so great. "WHY IS GAMORA?"
"Don't forget... I'm half human. So that 50% of me that's stupid? That's 100% you." — "Your math is blowing my mind." This kind of banter is what DC couldn't hope to capture... even with Joss Whedon doing a rewrite on Justice League.
And here's where the seed to Thanos' undoing in the sequel are planted. Doctor Strange saw the one possible outcome where the heroes win... and so he knows what he's doing when he hands the stone over.
Once again I'm a little bummed that Hugo Weaving didn't reprise his role as Red Skull. It would have been a couple days work... so why not? Why not close out the character you started? Even so, Ross Marquand did an admirable job of capturing the character. Not at all distracting, and I probably wouldn't have noticed if I didn't already know.
Josh Brolin's brilliance bringing an emotional punch to a giant purple alien again... while Zoe Saldana continues to mesmerize as Gamora while acting against something she can't even see.
Is Gamora trapped inside the Soul Stone? I hope she is... the third Guardians movie wouldn't be the same without her. Then again? It's not going to be the same without James Gunn. If he has to go, I sure hope that Taika Waititi is up for the job. He certainly has the chops and sensibility for it after Thor: Ragnarok.
I love Shuri so much. Please please please please let her take over for Black Panther in the next Avengers until T'Challa comes back!
The whole battle at Wakanda was fun... but something we've seen before. What sucks is that Captain America doesn't actually get the shield that T'Challa asked four. He gets... arm gauntlets? Lame.
And so... we learn that Corvus Glaive died (off screen) from injuries sustained from fighting Black Widow... and Cull Obsidian was rescued and given an artificial arm. Kind of splotchy there, but okay then!
Oh Thor. If anybody is the Big Hero for this film, it's you.
Finally, Groot gets to have his purpose in the story! And it's such a good one! So long as Stormbreaker is a part of Thor from here on out, Groot is a part of him too!
So far as super-hero fights go, the battle on Titan was a pretty good one. Now THIS is a Marvel team-up! Especially when it comes to Doctor Strange, who is used to perfect effect over and over and over. Still don't understand why it was necessary to have Star-Lord be an emotional toddler who is responsible for everybody losing everything, they could have had the heroes lose without that, but here we are. And, again with the Mighty Morphin Power Armor for Iron Man. Just... no.
Okay... who came up with the idea of teaming up Winter Soldier with Rocket?!? Beyond perfect.
"I am Steve Rogers." Good Lord will I miss Chris Evans as Captain America.
And I guess Corvus Glaive is alive after all? This is some confusing shit.
Okay... who came up with the idea of teaming up Scarlet Witch and Okoye against Proxima Midnight? Beyond perfect.
At least Vision finally gets to stab somebody instead of always getting stabbed!
Doctor Strange being so incredible as Master of the Mystic Arts in his fight with Thanos. I dearly wish they could have drawn out their fight a bit longer.
The interactive special effects between Thanos and his environment in the Final Battle are so amazing they actually take me out of the film. Him touching Scarlet Witch's hair and it sticking to his hand as he pulls it away... it's just remarkable how far visual effects have come.
And now half the universe gets dusted. For a while.
Okay... blink-and-you'll-miss-it Scarecrow Thanos is straight out of the comic books!
Getting Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders for the credits scene is good. Connecting to the next Marvel Studios film, Captain Marvel, is great. And how cool is it that they put some serious money into creating this little scene?
Yeah. Probably going to watch this a few more times before the finale comes out May 3rd.
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Epic recap is epic. Agree with everything you wrote, particularly Dr Strange. Loved when he met Peter Parker and the whole “oh we’re using our made up names, I’m Spider-Man” exchange. I didn’t even catch that it wasn’t Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull!