Rating: 4 of 5
When Marvel filmed Avengers: Infinity War, they had no way of knowing how successful Black Panther would be. They probably guessed it would be successful enough. Because all of the Marvel movies have been. But 3rd highest domestic gross and and 5th biggest opening weekend. Beyond the money, it was a cultural phenomena that made so many different people feel their voice heard in new and undeniable ways. It also inspired Disney to share a little bit of the wealth to support youth STEM programs. Which means they will unequivocally make a sequel.
They did know, when filming Infinity War, that Sony owns Spider-man. It’s one of their biggest franchises (though rumor has it if Sony Pictures is sold to another studio the rights to Spider-man revert to Marvel). Spider-man 2 is already slated to open July, 2019.
This, in some ways, diminishes the impact of the final moments of Infinity War. If they had picked different characters. If they had known how successful Black Panther would be and so made different choices. If Tom Holland wasn’t so delightfully adorable and one of the most lovable of the Avengers. I don’t think Marvel was trying to convince us the end is actually the end. But what good is an end you know is going to be undone?
Other than that, the writing is pretty spectacular. It balances a trove of characters fluidly, drawing them into each others stories and allowing each to matter to the story in unique ways. That really is the strength of the film – all these characters, the way they work together, the way the show up. And that they each have an emotional connection to the fight in this film.
Strangely, it doesn’t make it was powerful as one might think. I cried three times at The Avengers. Not just the first time I saw it but time and again because something in the story and the characters moved me to irresistible tears. I didn’t cry once in Infinity War. Even though there were several places I might have. But no matter how dramatic the moment, it didn’t reach deep within me and evoke the same sort of emotion as that first Avengers.
And I haven’t pinpointed what it’s lacking because on the surface, it’s got great characters and dramatic moments and a really solid script. It intertwines all these different character threads seamlessly. But… I don’t feel it. I laugh. Because a lot of it is funny. Maybe it’s that the film spends so much time with the villain, what he’s doing and a lot of time with why. It’s an important part of the narrative. But it means mostly the characters I know and love don’t have anything else to do but fight. It also doesn’t help that Thanos is so powerful that the only thing the Avengers can do is fight and either die or hope Thanos walks away.
I guess Avengers: Infinity War is a film with so many great elements and so many great characters. That at least the first time around didn’t have enough heart.
See how Avengers: Infinity War ranks with the other Marvel movies.