Film, Reviews, Screen

Avengers: Infinity War film review: a celebration of mediocrity on a scale the cinema has never seen before

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Has any film series in history pursued the ‘more of everything’ and ‘bigger is better’ ethos as vigorously as the Avengers franchise? The latest installment, Avengers: Infinity War, heralds the arrival of 19 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in 10 years. Their running times are epic blow-outs, the latest ballooning into an elephantine 160 minutes. Working from a script (by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) that is less written than stage managed and more like a shopping list than drama, its co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo squeeze in 76 comic book characters, mistaking quality for quantity.

None are well-written. Most evoke memories of previous films in which their adventures were treated with a little, (sometimes a lot) more care. From its introductory moments, the new instalment is onerous and heavy-handed. We catch up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his goth brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) as they confront the almighty, maniacally pious baddie Thanos (Josh Brolin). He espouses the familiar, villainous philosophy that genocide and/or the end of the world is ethically justified, and physically resembles what Mickey Rourke would look like if he consumed the toxin in Rampage that inflates wild animals to the size of small buildings.

The directors’ devotion to asinine spectacle is exhausting: a constant, loveless exchange of boilerplate effects, packaged as the world’s longest show reel.

The metal glove on the villain’s left hand contains colourful stones that give him incredible powers – as well as fabulous jewellery – glistening like rocks from Candy Crush. Thanos is the closest thing Infinity War has to a protagonist, given there are so many costumed crusaders gunning for the spotlight. This male-centric line-up includes Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Star-Lord (Chris Pratt, Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Rocket (the voice of Bradley Cooper).

The backstories are virtually non-existent and the characterisations thin; this is like a soap opera where you’re supposed to remember previous episodes. The superheroes are rolled out, usually more than one at a time, to trigger their respective special effects – i.e. web-slinging from Spider-Man, orange balls of light from Dr. Strange, and lasers and gadgets from Iron-Man. The combat sequences have the sole purpose of creating more combat sequences; there is no sense of progress. The directors’ devotion to asinine spectacle is exhausting; a constant, loveless exchange of boilerplate effects, packaged as the world’s longest show reel, with hat-tipping and franchise cross-pollination at an all-time high.

In his book Blockbuster, critic Tom Shone memorably argued that it is cliché for a cinephile to pick the work of, say, Martin Scorsese as their favourite films. Far braver, he said, to recognise the greatness of box office mega-hits. Shone had a point but time has not been kind to his thesis. The top three blockbusters of 1973, for example, mentioned in the book’s first chapter, were bona fide classics The Exorcist, The Sting and American Graffiti. The top three blockbusters of 1975 were Jaws, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Although the book contemplated films as late as the early noughties, there is no question the things we associate with that titular ‘b’ word have profoundly changed. We belong to a different era of blockbuster in which lethargic and unoriginal marquee titles are synonymous with multinational asset management. In this context, Infinity War feels like both a low and a high point. It is a celebration of mediocrity on a scale the cinema has never seen before.

The occasional whooping and cheering at Infinity War’s Australian premiere said less about the film than the sect-like manner with which audiences have been cultivated.

Instead of interesting camera movement and arrangements of space, audiences get squiggly bolts of light and flair-less combat scenes. One punch counts the same as five, or ten, or 50 – just more empty bangs in a cacophony of smoke and thunder. Instead of a single well-drawn character, there are 76 sketch outlines. Instead of one coherent storyline, we have a narrative experience that doubles as 100 commercials for other movies, and one great big advertisement for itself (i.e. the next instalment). Beneath everything is the suggestion that more means better, and the people who suppose otherwise are hoity-toity killjoys.

The occasional whooping and cheering at Infinity War’s Australian premiere from a crowd that applauded events such as the introduction of a shiny new weapon and the return of a character from a prolonged absence, said less about the film than the sect-like manner with which audiences have been cultivated. The studios have convinced them, among other things, to fling aside the very concept of an ending, let alone a satisfying one – and always to accept the film on terms dictated by the producers.

Avengers: Infinity War isn’t a movie: it’s advertising and brand management on an unprecedented scale.

Black Panther had scope and mythology. Thor: Ragnarok had stadium style spectacle. Iron Man had attitude. Ant-Man was fun. None of these films were great, nor were they completely devoid of merit. Infinity War tries to cram in everything and comes up with nothing: no flavour, no style, no joy. The writers apply highlighter pen to one-liners machine-tooled to lighten the mood, feeding into an unshakable feeling that we are experiencing artistic license by way of an algorithm.

Viewers will say to each other ‘please don’t spoil the twists!’, believing the studio will play fair when it comes to story revelations. They won’t. We were warned of this four decades ago, in Superman, when Christopher Reeve span the earth backwards to reverse time. It’s still the most pathetic superhero movie ending of them all, though the fact that it was an ending seems almost commendable after watching the Russo brothers’ incorrigible, ‘stay tuned’ cash grab.

Avengers: Infinity War isn’t a movie: it’s advertising and brand management on an unprecedented scale. In a couple of decades time, audiences will struggle to remember the title, let alone any distinguishing features. A good story? Interesting characters? Cinematic style? ‘Ha!’, the producers chuckle, examining the ledgers. Just give us your money, be grateful for what you get, and keep coming back for more.


78 responses to “Avengers: Infinity War film review: a celebration of mediocrity on a scale the cinema has never seen before

  1. It’s often difficult to listen reviewers/critics who don’t have any idea of what the public wants to see. They write trashy reviews based on their own idea of what a good movie is. Yet the audiences just keep growing and growing, the financial returns are huge and people come away feeling good about what they have just watched. All of these points demonstrate that these critics do not know what they are talking about.
    If movies were based on what these pompous clowns thought, we would be forever watching The Shape of Water type movies which truely are crap

  2. One for the diehard fans. I was underwhelmed. BTW after “none” use the singular. Petty I know, but if you’re gonna take the moral and literary high ground it’s a better look to get the basics in order.

  3. Although it’s obvious what this author so hard is trying to achieve, silly reviews like these are expected with a spectacle like this. Yes it’s over the top marketing, it’s what the audience wanted all along. Audiences want heroes from different universes to interact with eachother. Fans wanted this since the first avengers and now that we’re getting to a 10-year built up climax (with each character it’s own well-told storyline), this author dares to think audiences will struggle remembering titles and some other lauhable ‘look at my so called objective’ arguments.

    I see what you’re trying to accomplish and I don’t disagree completely. But the way you wrote this review is trying to tell us the obvious and ball cringing. You’re crying over something you knew was coming 10 years ago, which makes this review hit nothing but air.

    They better not let you write the next review when X-Men and Fantastic Four come in to play since you’re clearly not up for it. Good try though.

  4. No understanding of comics at all. If looked at in that light (and it should be) the movie is fantastic. These are not movies to be critiqued in the same way as others. The Marvel story arc alone is a cinematic achievement worthy of high praise.

  5. “Avengers: Infinity War isn’t a movie: it’s advertising and brand management on an unprecedented scale. In a couple of decades time, audiences will struggle to remember the title, let alone any distinguishing features.”

    Keep dreaming, buddy. People won’t forget this.

  6. What a poor review of a blockbuster movie. Think the review is just looking for some traction by being so negative . Don’t listen to this reviewer he has no clue

  7. Your comments make me feel like you have a thing against superhero movies in general.. Immature comments at best with little substance

  8. Congratulations on somehow managing to write the worst movie review in the history of movie reviews. Are you trolling the internet? Honestly you must be. This review and your thoughts are so out of whack it’s kind of bewlidering. Hopefully people ignore this tripe and just go enjoy the movie. I sure as heck did, for reasons you don’t seem able to grasp.

  9. Interesting review, especially the comparison with 70s blockbusters. This film’s ending was not a crowd-pleaser, though. As we left, passing a line of excited, expectant fans that stretched out the door into the car park, they looked in shock at the stunned, sometimes crying people exiting. Every screen was showing Infinity War. Every one was sold out today. I can remember critics predicting cinemas would close since 1977, but this is the biggest cinematic experience since the first Star Wars that I have seen. Maybe that was mediocrity too in some ways. Except, it was not! This IS a soap opera, or space opera perhaps, and is part 19 of a ten year story. That’s the context.

  10. Luke Buckmaster…
    This review is spot on. Right on the money, pardon the pun but all credit to you.
    Infinity Wars is a forgettable title, a movie symbolising an advertisement at its core that taints the loyalty of those invested in Marvel.
    Well done Luke, it’s refreshing to know there are film writers like you, who are unafraid to boldly state the truth of this films direction.
    Keep up the great work and for the record –
    My verdict would also be 1/5 stars. Thanks

  11. Well, yes Luke, you are meant to remember the backstory of the characters from the previous movies – that is why they had 19 movies in 10 years. A bit of a one note critic by the sounds of it. Granted its not for everyone, but why even review it if you are so closed to its premise?

  12. Reading this review gives me the impression that you didn’t want to like it and therefore didn’t, and not on its merits or lack thereof, but because its popular. That’s just sad.

  13. Whoa dude. You’re in the minority here.

    ‘Backstories’ non-existent? Is your memory that bad you can’t remember a decade and 18 films worth of backstories?? Why do you need a backstory? Haven’t you been watching?
    ‘Like you’re supposed to remember previous
    episodes’?? Lol. If you need the third Avengers film to help you remember the previous episodes of solo movies, you’re in trouble. Do you work for DC? Well-written… and totally inaccurate review.

  14. Yeah I’m sorry I don’t really agree with 99% of what you’ve stated. You kinda are being too cruel on the marvel cinematic universe by giving it one star. It was a great film filled with depth and emotion, but noooo its all negative isn’t it for you. Watch it as a fan and not as a negative viewer

  15. This is the worst review I have ever read. This is like when people said that the original star wars was never going to be remembered

  16. the author has gone nuts to write such a review…. maybe DC has paid him a fortune to write such review of one of d best MCU movies so far.

  17. I do wonder how critics like you get assigned to franchise films like Avengers (Transformers, Star Wars, etc). I believe you’re a fine critic who doesn’t understand the source material. Well-written article despite your limited experience with Marvel.

  18. Unfortunately due to my poor health i am unable to work and therefore spend alot of my time at the movies. I will go approximately 4-5 times a week and I pay for it unlike some.
    Last night i decided to go and watch the current Avengers movie and i must be honest that i was
    Suprised with your poor review.
    I normally do not go too these type of movies, however i definitely would not rate the movie for one
    I think you really got this wrong again

  19. This author has clearly no understanding about what these movies are about. They are not trying to win Oscars nor please unpleasant critics like him, they are for the true fans, the ones who enjoy seeing the big moments that they have dreamed of seeing on the big screen for many years. This was a celebration of everything marvel has done, that will be shown across TWO movies that incorporates the joy that they have bought to millions of people.

  20. Wow, you must be fun at parties. I feel like I read an identical review about justice league when it came out. Nobody is claiming to be making art here. I saw this movie today and had a blast. Big blockbusters keep cinema alive.

  21. Oh lord that was a read. Hey look, I am in no way a marvel fan-boy, I mean I haven’t even watched the majority of phase I or II in the MCU but I am dumbfounded at this review? To cram this many characters into one movie is definitely a challenge, and the way Marvel thought about each aspect of this movie actually amazed me. It flowed super well and just because you aren’t into superhero movies does not mean you should base your opinion on that fact alone? Try to be a little bit unbiased? By the look of all your reviews, you always rate drama movies pretty high and the rest a one star rating… so maybe you should just stick to what you are a fan of. Ha I really dont understand critics… you can’t have a personal dislike for steak and then go to a steakhouse and say how disgusting you find it. That is dumb.

  22. This man has a clear distaste for super hero films and most american blockbusters in general. Examples; Deadpool, Wonder Woman, Captain America:Civil War and now Infinity war. If you liked any super hero movie in the past go ahead and discard this review.

  23. Mate, you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. Marvel’s been doing all these movies and developing all these characters just to bring them all together here. It’s not a separate movie from the rest, or else quality over quantity would come into play here. But it can’t because it’s a continued story. You’re looking back at all these characters from their past movies and what they’ve been through, and that’s the entire point. You’re not looking at the bigger picture here. You’re just trying to find every little thing to nitpick at this movie, like comparing the Infinity Stones to the candies from Candy Crush, just to have a reason to call the movie bad. I’m a movie fanatic, I just love movies for what they are. I understand that you’re kind of judging this movie from the eye of someone not familiar with the Marvel franchise, but that’s not who Marvel aimed this movie at. This movie is for the fans. And that’s what you gotta judge it on. But I still respect your view on the movie, just try not to look at it with such a critical eye, okay? Unless you’re one of those critics that do that to every movie. Try nitpicking one of your favourite movies. It’s easy to do if you have a closed mind for it, which I fall victim to while watching some movies as well.

  24. What a shame you just can’t enjoy a movie for the escapism it is. Breaking down an obvious popcorn movie and trying to give it heart. I loved it and will see it again and most of all I see it for what it is, just a movie

  25. You do realise Superman didnt actually spin the Earth backwards? It was only a way of showing that he was traveling so fast the he broke the speed of light and time was moving backwards

    They have been building Avengers universe for years you know the characters and back stories you didnt need any more development. If you knew the Comics this sort of movie was great and this sort of “ending” is par for the course. Straight action, mixing between characters is straight for the colorful cells of a comic. Change, rebirth and WTF endings are what happen in this movie’s source material, comic books.

    I liked it and all others Ive spoken to love it. It may not everyone’s cup of tea but Marvel fans seem to rate this movie high and many, many people will remember this movie for years to come.

  26. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that “Rocky Horror Picture Show” was not remotely one of 1975’s blockbusters.

    Other than that, this review is pretty much spot on.

    (Been reading comics for 49 years, so I obviously don’t know what I’m talking about)

  27. Not sure how 18 movies over 10 years amounts to little or no back story?
    Not sure why running times are an issue on their own?
    Not sure why you are making such comments considering this a two part war/epic movie? (of which you have only seen the first part)
    Literally seems to me like these sorts of movies are not your cup of tea and you are incapable of remaining unbiased when sharing your reciew with others.
    You would make the absolute worst judge.

  28. Meh, it was unimpressive and the story was out of character for the characters. Almost every character was out of character.

    Dr. Strange gave up the time stone to save Stark, knowing it would give Thanos power over time. This is absurd for someone like Strange to even contemplate considering how avowed he was to protecting it.

    Then you have Stark, the bloke just bumbled his way through this film. Dunno, maybe Downy Junior has just had enough of being iron man.

    Black Panther hardly had any reasonable reason to be in the film other than to provide an epic battle scene akin to Narnia or Middle Earth.

    Captain America just looked old and ragged. And the rest just didn’t shine at all in their character roles.

    I’d give it 2/5 simply for the excellent special effects.

    1. Dr. Strange did not give up the stone to save Stark. Previously he used the time stone to see million of possibilities and in only one they win. That’s why he gives the stone to Thanos.

  29. Wow. Talk about mediocrity. Seriously after reading “Most evoke memories of previous films in which their adventures were treated with a little, (sometimes a lot) more care” I just couldn’t continue reading this mediocre review.

    Of course it depends on it’s previous movies to build up. It’s a saga, not a stand alone movie. Doesn’t star wars episode 5 depend on episode 4? You’d think someone who gets paid to review movies would understand that by now

  30. Look it was a trade off frankly – the sheer number of Marvel Stars involved here, drawn together in order to face THE greatest existential threat to date, automatically meant that very few characters were as well served as they were in their respective lead up films/individual franchises. It also dictated that the the storytelling pillars that you personally find essential as a multi genre critic, were not ever gonna be present. So sidestepping all the ad hominem language you’ve managed to provoke in response to your review one would have to say that you’ve brought inappropriate tools to the consideration of your verdict. Your job is to assess how well a film achieves what it sets out to do, not how You felt about it and by this principal criterion, you have not done your job adequately. You needed more knowledge of the genre before you stepped into the minefield (ie comic book experience, understanding of the Director’s major objectives etc, respect for the high percentage of thinking fans as opposed to the hypnotised hordes that you stereotype them as) ) before you glibly appraise it as a commercial, cynical failure…tsk tsk – your credibility as a reviewer becomes questionable when you set out to be an arch diddums… no offense

    1. If the goals the movie set itself meant that it became bloated and repetitive and dull, then maybe it should have had different goals. Sure, sometimes episodes of a great TV series have to be less entertaining to serve the purposes of the narrative as a whole. But a movie should be able to stand on its own merits. Your attempt to apologise for the movie, and paint Luke as being uppity, doesn’t wash.

      1. You forgot to preempt your put down attempt dismissal of my objective comments re a Critic’s task, with the words: “in my opinion.” For the movie was not bloated and repetitive and dull to hundreds of thousands of others – you have merely committed the same myopic mistake as the critic in question….it ain’t about you Mrs S . You have ‘interpreted the ‘goals’ of the movie through subjective interest or boredom – neither of which are relevant then compounded the problem by unintentionally lacing your conclusion with your subjective judgement…tsk tsk….don’t ever become a reviewer ….no offense. I didn’t particularly’like’ the film but that is irrelevant – it achieved what it set out to do and was a consummate thrill ride for the masses thus the positive word of mouth. You my like the fact that you are ‘different’ and did not enjoy it, but so what? Big whoop….you didn’t make the film and others who did, made the film they wanted to make and it contained for So many more people than you, I and Luke, a cathartic satisfaction that You didn’t get. C’est la vie.

  31. It is interesting how the review often reveals more about the reviewer than the film. It always so tempting for the intellectually insecure to attack populist entertainment with platitudes to make them feel elitist.

  32. Tom Shone’s Blockbuster was a celebration of the weird, evolving monster that the genre is. It seems like a strange thing (almost disingenuous) to use as a tentpole to prop up an argument that Infinity War celebrated mediocrity when that is so clearly not what the movie delivered. It was a such a fun, well balanced and spectacular time. Absolutely dumbfounded how you walked out of so miserable.

    1. I used to read the marvel comics back when they were 50c. They were good they had a story, they had to be something different. These movies suck, you’ve been played man. Watch the marvel cartoon movies on iTunes they let you be the judge whether it’s good or not. Anyway why can’t someone not like your precious corporate movies? Sounds like deep down you know there crap

  33. Lol, look at all the sect members you have offended with this review – gold! I really enjoyed Ragnarok and the Black Panther but this was always going to be a steaming heap of shit. An ad masquerading as a movie indeed.

  34. Great Film…..crappy, obnoxious review. Reading previous reviews, he is not a Marvel man and this bias shows when he rates movies such as Independence Day 2 and rebooted Ghostbusters ahead of any Marvel film. It’s no Godfather but a Marvel film never sets out to be anything other than what they are. Good fun and 4/5 for me.

  35. This review is Luke’s OPINION, people. It doesn’t have to agree with yours. It’s not “wrong” because you don’t agree with it. Get over yourselves. Does trolling the reviewer make you feel better? Does it make you feel more superior because you “get” comic book movies more than he does? All the abuse you’re heaping on him for having a contrary viewpoint to yours is really quite pathetic.

    1. But we’re allowed to criticize this review just as much as he is allowed to criticize the movie. I get that this guy is just saying what he think on the movie, but as an unbiased movie fanatic, the guy’s getting it all wrong. He’s watching the movie through the eyes of someone who’e never seen a Marvel movie. But this movie is for the fans, who’ve watched the movies and been along for the ride. It’s not pathetic to point out the flaws in someone’s opinion, that way that person who had the opinion can maybe be a little more open minded. Not hating on the guy, and I respect him for just putting his review out there.

  36. Wow – it was so weird to read these responses to Luke’s review. How many of these people would be regular Daily Review readers? How did they even come across this review? I quite like the Marvel movies but this one was bloated, crammed with “stuff” and not very good compared to the others. But most of the responders seemed to have some religious affiliation to Marvel (with the parallel anti DC position) and Luke seems to have committed the sin of heresy. Strange, doctor.

  37. Infinity War is as great a movie as Star Wars; the latter managing to accomplish its legendary status with a shoestring budget and without the aid of one quarter of the Screen Actors Guild.

    1. You may be showing your age here – the budget for the original Star Wars (what they call Episode Four these days) may seem shoestring these days, but it was considered to be anything but when it was first released.

  38. Crikey.

    Look, I’m sorry to get all ad-hominem Luke but you started it with your attack on the sect-like audience.

    Whilst there may well be a case to say that there’s a slightly cynical aspect to the way one film feeds onto another and keeps the audience wanting more, this only works if the product is any good. You are basically accusing the audience of being stupid enough to swallow anything that Marvel puts out.

    There’s a student level self-righteous pomposity in your writing (told you ad-hominem) and the lack of maturity shows in your twitter feed, a disagreement from another user and you are digging into their profile ! You are also validating yourself by posting tweets from DC fanatics agreeing with you. These imbeciles, who go hand in hand with their Marvel fanatics brethren just can’t seem to understand that most of we CBM fans like both. If you’d done the kind of profile digging you did on someone agreeing with you as you did with dissenters you might have thought twice about getting validation from poisonous idiots. But maybe you did and this is all about the controversy.

    At the end of the day folk can say they didn’t like this film’s all subjective, but you’ve just adopted some moral high ground from which to attack the makers and their audience and not really reviewed the film at all.

  39. Here is the dilemma of arts criticism: how does one construct a convincing argument when the readership has wildly diverse experience and knowledge of the subject?
    From a perspective informed by the history of film the Marvel movies constitute a grave disservice to the art of film. They are pure corporate product, engineered to reach the broadest demographic in the most instantly gratifiable way. They are nakedly constructed to reinforce repeat viewings, their meagre entertainment value consumed as a weightless rush of sensory effects where nothing is at stake.
    Many people see this as the function of cinema, but others who have seen movies that have changed their understanding of life, shaken them to the core and remained unforgettable know the real power of film. At this juncture in our history, though, we have a massive corporate machine – of which the film industry is only a small but significant part – working overtime to cultivate the mass acceptance of pleasure and convenience as life goals.
    Does anyone remember Aldous Huxley? We don’t have to worry so much about Orwell’s Big Brother – if the plutocracy succeeds we’ll all be anaesthetised, permanently hooked up to our pleasure machines.
    Ok, sorry, got a bit carried away there.
    What I’m saying is: if you want to blow your wad on a non-refundable, etiolated experience and you know f*ck all about the experience of film as art, stick with Marvel. Again. And again. And again. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    1. You see that is just attacking the audience as per Luke’s review.

      I’m afraid that cinema wouldn’t exist without the kind of money populist films generate. There also should be an element of “fun” to the cinema going experience as a balance to perhaps more serious films. If somebody said to me “You can have 1 Pans Labyrinth for every 10 daft films produced” I’d bite their hand off. And I’d enjoy the fun films for what they are.

      Just as a hint to Luke about how you do a review without resorting to pseudo intellectual snobbery here’s Mr Kermode , who didn’t think much of Infinity War but actually gives valid reasons rather than impugning the makers and the audience.

      Finally let’s not exaggerate the impact of these films on the state of cinema. I read somewhere that in 1950 Hollywood put out 158 Westerns in a year !..didn’t wreck cinema and the Comic Book Movie is nowhere near that kind of scale.

      1. You’re also making what appears to be a common assumption that “art” cannot coexist with “fun”. What an impoverished perspective.

  40. Disappointingly crap review, sorry… you obviously have no idea of the background stories involved, and yet which no one really would find necessary to appreciate the scope of the film. I thought it might be a dog’s breakfast, but it was pretty danged satisfying.

  41. All that everyone has said may be truthful opinions but I just watched a whole theater get up at the end and for the most part walk out in disgust and dismay at the ending in vocal way… If that was the effect sought by the writers and producers then they were quite successful. I have a feeling they may have alienated a substantial portion of their fan base. After all, most fans have their favorite superheros and many were wiped out with the snap of a finger. Will they come back for the sequel? I don’t know, but I do know that many will not pay the premiums at the theater if they feel disappointment awaits them. They will wait until it exits the theater and watch it on a movie network or yet worse pirate it.

    1. Time to meet an implacable foe: reality. Your prediction about how viewers would respond is ludicrously wrong. “Endame” sales are historically large. The complaint about a two-parter is absurd given the cliffhanger format of comic books since … forever. Admittedly, the Wakanda battle seemed a bit muddled, but that is a quibble compared to the largely successful juggling of heroes, a common comic book feature (read any X-Men/Avengers crossover series).

  42. Considering the audience, I only disagree that the lack of backstory for the characters was a major weakness. This movie is built for fans. But I have to agree with virtually everything else. It’s pitifully funny when characters are made to act like they should be worried about consequences when the story lines always allow reversals. And a movie ending like this one and all the story telling elements give away 100% what will happen in the unnecessary sequel. This was just one big CGI spectacle for fans and merchandising. It is an insult to the art of film making. It is a huge commercial installment. I guess that is OK and perfectly fine for what it is. But I do understand from where the critic is coming. This was a poor film on artistic terms the same way one might call the WWF an absurd denigration of professional sporting events, even though the WWF has its huge fan base and it works for them.

  43. I’d give it 2.5 stars out of 5. Far too long with too many super heroes playing bit parts that didn’t amount to much. Most of the fights that take place are repetitive and ultimately pointless. The Bad Alien Guys invade Wakanda with ground troops so we get a chaotic battle with spears and beasties. Meanwhile Thanos already had the power to bend reality to his will. He could have walked in and taken the crystal, and ultimately does afterwards anyway. It’s just a flabby excuse to throw the new Black Panther franchise into the mix.

    And what’s with the cliche of The Bad Guys letting the Good Guys live? They keep throwing relatively weak heroes aside, instead of just crushing their skulls. It’s like watching WWE with the Hulk instead of Hulk Hogan. Nothing that happens matters, because it’s obvious that Thanos is going to acquire all or most of the crystals, and no one has the capability to stop him. Until the next installment anyway…

    (Oh, duh, just when it looks like Thanos CAN be disempowered, Star Lord has a tantrum and, oh, the universe is cactus again.)

  44. So many comments along these lines: “You clearly don’t like / understand Marvel / super hero movies. Therefore your review is invalid. You are just trying to look clever / be snobbish. It’s just escapism / popcorn fodder, don’t take it so seriously.”

    Please get the waaah-mbulance. I am a big Marvel / super hero fan. So is my GF. We both loved Iron Man / Winter Soldier / Black Panther / etc. But we were both mightily disappointed and bored by this “epic” instalment. It’s the Avengers – but to Infinity! Wow!

    Actually, maybe they just tried to cram too much in, and ended up with a mess. Get over it. And don’t shoot the messenger for calling it out.

    1. Your review cites the problems you had with the film..which is perfectly valid and which I agree with in part.

      Luke’s route was to impugn the film-makers and the audience…that’s not a review , that’s snobbish elitism.

  45. Whoa, Luke – talk about bringing a knife to a gun-fight. I’m not sure what you were expecting, but maybe watch a trailer next time.

    Just as not all art has to be entertaining, nor does all entertainment have to be ‘art’. As a paying audience member (unlike most reviewers, who see more films for free than a teenager with bit torrent and a VPN) I went into the film hoping to see my favourite Marvel characters interact in new ways, fight each other, patch things up and then fight the villain (the purple bloke). I wanted to be entertained, and I was really worried that the directors wouldn’t be able to fit all of the characters into one film. However they pulled this off and I’m pleased to say I had a great time – I really enjoyed it. All this talk about no character development… well, just like in the comics, that has been occurring over all of the previous installments – after 19 films, Avengers didn’t need to be a protagonist-driven bio-pic – it was enough for me that Thanos’ own character got a bit of development. That was a pretty novel way of going about it, considering the genre. As for the ending, well – in TV we call that a ‘cliffhanger’, and it is a great addition to the film experience. More films should try it, and I’m surprised Luke is so opposed to it.

    I can’t speak for the rest of the people who contributed to the $600 million global opening box-office take, but I had a great time. I’d do it again if I could, but you know, there are so many other films to watch.

  46. The response from the fanboys are shocking. Truth hurts so much it seems. I guess people are happy with whatever they are fed with nowadays. I hope you no-brainer read this and stop getting comfortable with mediocrity.

    1. The movie has no character development.
    2. Scene changes are too frequent, like every minute with no connection between each other.
    3. Power levels are inconsistent.
    4. The decisions of the characters are not rational.
    5. It’s not even a complete a movie.

    It’s shocking how after Black Panther, which was a decent movie, Marvel manages to release money-grasping trash like this.

    1. So how did you feel at the end of “The Empire Strikes Back”? Must have left you deflated as well….

    2. You obviously don’t understand(or know) what the term, “Comic Book Event” means, from this 10-year cinema buildup(which is EXACTLY WHAT this movie is), pity. Oh, and the “character development” you crave has been happening for a DECADE my friend which btw, most people already know these characters and why they go to recent successive Marvel movies without needing “hand’s held” so again, for(an altogether now), COMIC BOOK EVENT-type story/movie that is meant to have a “pick up where you left off” mentality – you really need to keep up… You know, on second thought: DON’T. Only patrons/fans of the source material & its history/understanding of this knowledge would be held up for mockery… You, on the other hand, are forgiven for your ignorance.

    1. Because (i) millions of people will buy tickets to see it and (ii) this is a review web site? Seriously, do think for a nanosecond before posting, there’s a good chap.

  47. I note a fan of the ‘fantasy’ world, where stuff magically, and illogially happens – but love science fiction, so I knew I was not in for something I would love… so, I ebjoyed the last Thor and Black Pather, and was hoping for the best as there was purpose and complexity… but I just found this obvious, and how the character’s couldn’t keep secrets or would choose the love of ONE person over saving millision truley frustracting… the ‘I’ll talk alot, an not kill you yet’ trop just gets old and older…
    Worse movie I’ve seen since Pacific Rim… no reason for it’s existance… only really 1/2 a movie.. all show, no substance.

  48. On the other hand :

    I went into this with a couple of concerns:

    1) Regardless of the Directors comments it was obviously a Part 1.
    2) A certain amount of “been there, done that” fatigue.
    3) Would it be too comedic

    Well the part 1 turned out to be true but , overall this was a self-contained enough film to overcome that. This film in itself I regard as a “What if ?” Story. What if the bad guy wins. The ending was particularly haunting. Yes I know that there’s probably a reset via time travel or whatever. We might know that but the characters don’t and it’s their journey which I felt was packed with emotion. How anyone could not be moved by Thors heart to heart with Rocket is beyond me. Or Gamora and Visions demise.

    There was still, with the various battles an overall lack of newness but again the freshness was in the heroes not really coming out on top. And we had the joh of new interactions. I had a few niggles that plot contrivances dictated how strong a character was at any one time rather than what had been established. Whilst I know he got a new weapon it has to be said that, if Thor was in the right time at the right place, it would all have been over bar the shouting. Also Starks armour is verging on magic now.

    I thought the glib jokes balanced well in the movie and didn’t detract from the more dramatic moments as they did in Ragnarok.

    In the end it was a great adventure, with a great villain and left audiences challenged with its bleak finale.

    I was mightily impressed that they got such a big ensemble to work and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

  49. All the opinions are completely valid but here’s mine
    As a viewer I thought the movie was enjoyable and fun and the character development didn’t bother me as like in books you don’t need to re develop the characters each time you write a sequel in the series as they have already been explained.

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