We can barely begin to process Avengers: Infinity War, but here’s our spoiler-free review
Last night I was lucky enough to attend the premiere for Marvel’s latest film Avengers: Infinity War. I have so many emotions! Let me be very clear here. I will not spoil anything! Not a single thing. Well, I will tell you that there is a post-credits scene and you absolutely have to stay for it. Other than that, I can’t tell you what you’re going to see. This is an odd review to write, talking about what I saw without talking about what I saw, but I’m diving in.
From the opening scene, before the credits roll, you are going to have your emotions tossed all over the place. I was not expecting this film to be so dark, though I have to praise Marvel for going there. For someone who not only loves the Marvel comics world, but has been on this journey for a decade, it’s a powerful thing. Yes, you are going to see humor. Every single word out of Tom Holland’s mouth made me laugh. The character who make you chuckle will do so non-stop, particularly when worlds that haven’t yet collided do so. The Guardians mixing with the Avengers (now no longer the Avengers as you may recall) just blew me away. There is one particular team-up that involves Rocket Raccoon and it’s so brilliant, and frankly heartwarming, that I want a buddy movie RIGHT NOW PLEASE! In fact, I wasn’t expecting the pretty much perfect balance of this many characters. That’s been my number one fear for Avengers: Infinity War. How do you handle this many characters and allow them to each get their moment? Oh, they each got their moment. In fact, looking at the poster, I can point to a perfect moment for each of them. It didn’t feel like one of those children’s plays where each of them gets a line and the rest wait around. Everyone had a real moment. There is even a group of women fighting together later in the film that had me–and the entire audience–cheering like maniacs.
I’ll be honest here. I’ve never liked Thanos as a villain. He looks like a giant piece of carved grape Bubble Yum to me, though he’s gotten better over the years. I’m still trying to decide what I think about him, but Josh Brolin gives a pretty masterful performance here. I normally love his work, but I wasn’t expecting to feel what I did. I’ll be very interested to hear what you all think of him once you’ve seen the film. I can’t say more than that, but the chewing gum made me feel things.
So, I said this is dark. It’s not that I expected the film to be sunshine and ponies, but there were people at the afterparty grabbing drinks to deal with what they just saw. I said it in my initial tweet about the film, but what they did here was (and you’ll forgive the phrase, but my better half said it and it just stuck with me) a very ballsy move. The end of this film is going to have people debating for a long time. In fact, it’s almost hard to judge Avengers: Infinity War until I’ve seen the second half. I had that same feeling at the end that I did as a little kid when I saw Empire Strikes Back and had to wait to see what happened to Han Solo who’d been frozen in carbonite. You mean, I have to wait a year to see what happens? You’re going to want to give yourself and your friends at least an hour after the film to discuss things. You won’t be able to sleep otherwise.
So, what was the reaction at the party after the premiere? It was largely positive. There were theories about everything being bandied about, but I was mostly hearing that people loved it–or they couldn’t even make a judgement until they’d seen it a second time. (I assure you that I’ll be doing that.) I would absolutely, positively recommend that you see this as soon as humanly possible and stay away from spoilers. There are SO MANY SPOILERS! You don’t want to know anything going in! Now I understand why the Russo brothers gave the actors fake or redacted scripts. (They all saw it for the first time last night as well.) Do not ask anyone who’s seen it about who is in the film. Do not ask who lives and dies. Do not ask about a single thing. By the way, not everything that you saw in the trailer is in the film.
The film is a long one, but to be honest, I could have sat there for another two hours. I had no idea how much time had passed, and from the large number of people I spoke to last night, no one else did either. (Maybe don’t get the large soda, because even a short bathroom trip will make you miss so much.) You might consider seeing this more than once because between the laughter and the screams of “YES” and “NOOOOO,” I actually missed a number of lines.
Legion, I recommend this film highly! I do have a few things that I want to discuss and pull apart once I can speak freely. I’m sure we’ll do that on the podcast. Some of you may disagree about the risks that Marvel took here. I’d love to hear about it if you do, but please, for the love of Groot, mark your comments with a spoiler notice and don’t write anything that is going to mess the film up for everyone else.
Now, I have to go process my feelings for a while, perhaps over a glass of wine. It’s all just too much!