Avengers: Infinity War review - what works as an event comic doesn't translate into film.
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*Contains spoilers* Avengers: Infinity War has been long anticipated, hyped, and dreaded amongst MCU fans. Hailed as the most ambitious crossover in film history, it brings together characters and plot threads from Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Black Panther, Thor Ragnarok, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man Homecoming, and Doctor Strange. All our favourite heroes work together to take down MCU’s big bad, the purple titan Thanos. His quest to collect all six of the Infinity Stones is progressing rapidly, bringing him closer to killing half the universe – what he apparently sees as a merciful solution to an overcrowding and resource shortage problem. Go figure. The first hour is of a high calibre, nimbly drawing out various plot strands so as to bring together the franchises’ casts. Brand new interactions between Tony Stark and Doctor Strange, Peter Quill and Thor, to name a few, truly shone, delivering on what the most optimistic fans had hoped for: it’s all back-to-back quips, action, and special effects of the highest order. For fans of the comics, most likely Infinity War will prove to be a dream come true. The film is essentially an events comic blown up on the big screen; it’s epic and ambitious, and relies almost entirely on the viewer’s knowledge of previous film for context. The problem is, it also relies on the MCU prequels for substance. For all its flash and energy, Infinity War rings a little hollow. Because there are just so many characters on the screen at any one time, connections between them never evolve beyond witty one-liners. A glaring instance of this approach’s shortcomings is with Stark’s and Strange’s interactions. One second the two are butting heads the way any two egos of that size would, and the next, Strange is ready to surrender his life’s mission to save Stark’s life. The result of including dozens of characters is that most of the heroes become only archetypal, diluted versions of themselves, and most of them are granted only a couple spoken lines. Sure, you get to see them all on screen, but are these characters even present? There’s hardly any sign of the people we’ve grown to love beneath their iconic appearances. It feels like most of these characters are around for the simple purpose of being seen – it verges on looking like the whole film could just be a publicity stunt. Showing off all these heroes also requires so much jumping around situations and locations, that Infinity War feels like it’s spinning plates. All the hopping around becomes increasingly frustrating, and makes it difficult to fully appreciate the visuality of the massive spectacles that have been created. The constant travelling between worlds becomes exhausting, and recognition of the settings’ mind-blowing quality becomes soon forgotten.
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