This was an odd movie. Not because it wasn’t good, but because it feels like half a film. I’m hesitant to give the film a grade because it mostly feels like setup for the next Avengers 4. But because that movie is a year away, I’ll judge this one for what it is. I really wish this had been a single, long film. I love Marvel so much that I wouldn’t mind seeing this film paired with the next one with an intermission in between. I shouldn't complain though--this movie is a comic book fan's dream come true.
My grade: B+
Mild spoilers! Read at your own risk!
I loved that things finally culminated with this film. After seven years of teasing Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet, the big showdown is finally here! It was exciting that the foreshadowing of the infinity stones in the previous MCU films all had a purpose. The result is good, but it really just feels stalling until the climax of this storyline, which won’t happen until 2019 in the next film. I hate when films are split into two parts. When I heard that this film was no longer going to be called Infinity War: Part One, I was relieved. I was wrong. Just like Harry Potter 7/8 and Mockingjay: 1 & 2, I have to wait. It seems like a cash grab. But who am I kidding? Of course, I’ll see the next film in a year.
What did I like about the film?
I loved the Guardians, of course, though I could tell it wasn't director James Gunn holding the reins this time. It felt like someone else was writing their dialogue, but they still got the appropriate laughs and emotions out of me. Though this wasn’t their movie and they weren’t the focus, I felt they held their own here and I was pleased. This is an Avengers movie, not a Guardians movie. I was just happy they got more screen time than I thought. As always, Chris Pratt is the man. He has the right balance of comedy and serious acting chops. I love that guy. I enjoyed when Pratt, as Star-Lord, connected with Spider-Man about ‘80s movies.
Seeing superheroes work together was cool, like Iron man and Doctor Strange. I was glad that Thanos, after years of showing up mid-credits, finally gets to do something and he actually proves himself as a compelling villain. I really hate that guy and I can’t wait to see him get his comeuppance in the next film.
What didn’t I like?
I was odd that Captain America didn’t seem like much of the focus, given that trailers featured him prominently. He’s changed a lot since Captain America: Civil War, but I don’t quite understand why he’s made this change. It’s been a couple years since I’ve seen Civil War, but I think he’s gone underground as a superhero now? He's grown a beard and no longer uses his shield, but he's on the run from the government now? I suppose I need to just rewatch Civil War because his personal journey was lost on me as was the reason why Black Widow is now a blonde. Also, why is Bucky living in Wakanda now? Last time we saw him, didn’t he volunteer to go back into the ice until a cure for his brainwashing could be found? He seemed like one character too many in this already star-studded film. I will say that I’m impressed the film was coherent with all of these stars and characters crammed in. However, not enough time was given for characters like Cap and his Avengers. It’s understandable, given the packed cast and the plot, but it seems odd to leave Cap without a character arc. I appreciate that the Hulk/Bruce Banner was given an arc. His journey was interesting, but not given enough time to resolve. I suppose that’s another thing I’ll have to wait until next film for.
I think the film's ending is what surprised me most. I don't want to spoil it here, but it was refreshing to see a film that ends with such a bleak and unsettling emotion. The final moment with Thanos was oddly calm, which was effective. I'm curious to see how this all will be resolved in the next film. I'll definitely see this movie a second time in the theater! I can't wait for 2019 when this all wraps up.