InFincible? Or Beyond Hype

Infinity Wars

 

The event is finally here, and boy does it have big expectations to live up to as the culmination of ten years of movies comes rushing in.  With perhaps one of the biggest expectations to meet, can Avengers: Infinity War meet everything we die-hard fans love, or does the over expectation syndrome come into play.  Robbie K with a spoiler free review coming at you to shed some light on the subject.

 

Movie:

Marvel: Avengers Infinity War

Directors:

Anthony Russo,  Joe Russo

Writers:

Christopher Markus (screenplay by),  Stephen McFeely

Stars:

Robert Downey Jr.,  Chris Hemsworth,  Mark Ruffalo

 

 

LIKES:

 

Character Development: It’s always nice to see character evolve and while the 18 installments before this movie have laid strong foundations, Infinity continues that trend.  Not everyone gets the full red-carpet treatment (with all the characters at hand), but those that do have some deeper trenches we did not expect. You’ll certainly feel things resonate if you’ve been following the story so far and a fantastic means to tie you into the story.

 

Story Twists:  We all have theories about this movie, most centered on who would survive the war for the Infinity Stones.  Despite everything foreshadowed in the trailers, you have no idea what is coming.  Infinity Wars is a universe filled with twists, throwing in suspenseful moments with ease and doing everything to keep you on the edge of your seat.  The trailers were certainly edited to leave out key details, and that mystery was very well appreciated as the revelations began to drop and the story began to click, up until the very end.  Be ready for some answers to lingering questions you may not have realized you have, and some surprises that will have you cheering in delight and excitement.

 

Acting:  A small quality to comment on, and way too many actors to hit up in detail, the acting still lives up to the potential we had set up. All the contenders easily reprise their roles, bringing delight, fun, heroism and heart wrenching moments to life with no hesitation. Mixing the team together, really did feel like an awkward, weird family trying to save the galaxy one minute at a time.  Despite all the characters crammed into this mega hit, the chemistry works fantastically.

 

Comedy:  Marvel’s writing continues to lean towards the comedic stick, trying to garnish the comic plots in a more expansive way to net more audience members in the box office.  Infinity War has plenty of moments mashed into the space epic adventure, a mixture of slapstick, insults, well-timed cursing, and comical references that keep the giggles, guffaws, and laughter coming.  Don’t worry of the darker atmosphere overshadowing the laughs, there will be plenty to try and keep things as bright as possible.

 

Action, somewhat:  The special effects are hands down impressive, especially seeing the stones powers better utilized than just exploding like previous films. All the sound editing and CGI are worthy of the theater spectacle, perhaps the biggest reason to come see in the theater.  Infinity War has some decent brawls that deliver the fist pumping, adrenaline rush you wanted to see as new tricks are unleashed and styles mix together. Especially near the end, there is one particular fight that feels much like an epic video game battle with all the bells and whistles ringing into one.  A little eccentric at times, but hey it is a comic book movie.

 

 

DISLIKES:

Lulls in Action: While there is good storytelling in this movie, an Avengers movie is known more for the fast pace and battles. There are some major lulls in the action, as the three story trails attempt to connect all the pieces in the quest for uncovering the stones.  These gaps are by far entertaining, but at times I felt another battle needed to be integrated, or others extended to keep the pace going. I liked the emotional warfare in this movie, but come on, a little more resistance.

 

The Black Order:  This is only a semi-dislike, but Thanos elite guards were not as “elite” as I had expected.  Gross and creepy looking, definitely. Deadly and threatening in design? Absolutely.  But in regards to their skills, these masters of destruction were kind of… weak and under developed.  It doesn’t mean they don’t get their 15 minutes to shine, but let’s just say these characters really needed more integration in the story for this reviewer to enjoy. 

 

Too Many Characters?: So many people mixed into one movie, brings with it the threat of potentially denying your favorite character the time you want him/her to hold.  It happens in this movie, so take what you can get and run with it as best as you can.  They do a nice job with most of them, but three of the characters got a bit stiff armed that I wasn’t expecting to see.  So, this element could have been tweaked to get a better immersive story in my opinion.

 

The Ending:  I can’t say much about this, but the ending to Infinity War is almost as mixed as the characters in this galactic quest.  There will be many questions generated from it and even more theories as to how the next wave will proceed, which I guess is good to keep interest coming.  However, it kind of felt cheaply delivered and rushed over, in a manner that was sort of a cop out to be honest.  Based on that last sentence, this component is why the ending was not as well-received, not for the questions it generated.

 

The Fight at Wakanda: The biggest selling point of the trailers was that war on the Wakandan plains, where Wakanda soldiers join the elite squad to fight thousands of CGI aliens.  With all the storytelling elements building up to the climax, I had very high hopes this battle was going to be the climactic piece to bring it all together.  I’ll admit, there are some parts that are true creative genius, but much of the battle was glazed over, dull, and missing so much of the battle chemistry I had expected. Quick finishes to semi-suspenseful moments, and much shorter than I anticipated, this battle was certainly the element I was most disappointed with.

 

The VERDICT:

 

            Infinity Wars didn’t quite live up to the hype that the marketing brought with it, but this does not mean it was a bad movie.  A very edgy tale awaits the theaters, with twists and character development waiting to evolve our characters to the next level, with a few flashy battles to liven things up and comedy to ease the tension.  Yet, this project may have been a little too big to tackle, leading to many things being glazed over in trade for others.  Try to lower your expectations and I think you will be okay, just try to accept that there will be answers to come, one just has to wait.

 

My scores are:

 

Action/Adventure/Fantasy: 8.5

Movie Overall:  8.0

 

Happy Holidays for Stoners

Twas the Night

Twas the night before Christmas a line that has rang in our hearts throughout the ages. It’s simplicity opens up a story of light, one that ignited the excitement of our younger selves in eager anticipation of the magic of the holidays. Well this weekend Hollywood has changed the meaning of that line, giving it one that is a less pure and perhaps more spirited. My final review of the weekend is on the latest comedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie.

 

If you haven’t seen the numerous trailers, the plot of this movie is another simplistic telling of three friends who made a pact to uphold a tradition every year. And of course this film focuses on the one night where that pact is threatened by each of the bros special problems. Despite how unoriginal the problems may be, they do set up the comedy stunts that fill this film.. Surprisingly they do an okay job of developing the characters, allowing things to hit the fan just enough to keep pushing our characters towards that convenient moment of self-discovery. The morals are presented in a creative manner similar to a Christmas Carol, a nice twist that fit well with the theme of the movie. Unfortunately all this development is hastily concluded in a nicely wrapped package only Hollywood can create.

 

However, if I truly came for the story of this movie I would truly be an idiot, much like our characters. The comedy is by far the aspect that received the greatest attention to this film. Twas the Night focuses on the big three of comedy: sex, drugs, and booze (which yes is a drug but deserves a category on its own). Being a Seth Rogen movie, one shouldn’t be surprised that drugs drive the actions of our curly headed jester. Weed, among other psychotropic remedies, fuel our characters’ journey through the city and ironically is a medium for their self-discovery. Of course not everyone handles their drugs accordingly, which leads to them acting like boobs who can’t seem to shut up. Throw in alcohol and the stupidity gets amplified into wreckless chases, ridiculous conversation rants that drag on, and stumbling into unrealistic situations that you can find on most TV comedies

 

And yet…there were still some cleverness to the chaos. I myself loved the movie references in the film, each given a modern twist that was fun to watch. My particular favorite part was when the trio played the floor keyboard in the toy store (can you say Big?). The surprise cameos, one of which I should have seen coming, smoothly transitioned into the story and provided a reprieve from the generic jokes they kept spewing. Heck even some of the drug moments shined brightly, particularly an incident involving a manger, which although random and stupid, still held some class. Unfortunately our writers are not always in good taste, and with how easily offended people get; they have crossed the line more than once in this film.

 

As for the acting, it is pretty much on par with what I expected. No surprise, Rogen plays the drug-addicted fool, spouting total nonsense in that same awkward and goofy manner he always portrays. If you loved it once, you’ll love it again, because his delivery hasn’t changed much as well, which somehow continues to be entertaining. Mackie keeps to his normal professional bravado, adding a little craziness and chaos to the mix. His comedy came more from well-delivered dialog and poking fun at the social media popularity. Lovitt is kind of a hybrid of these two, taking the best of each character and delivering perhaps the most dynamic character of the trio. His main gimmick is his lack of emotional control that drives him to doing some petty stupid things. While these actors are funny alone, their greatest strength is the chemistry they have with each other.

 

Let’s wrap this up! Twas the Night fits in well with the other films this studio has made. It is stupid, but it’s fun and gives you everything you can expect from the trailers. The chemistry between the three actors sells the relationship, and their different styles of comedy work well to bring the maximum laughs to the silver screen. Sure it’s the same monotonous jokes being bashed over your head, but there is some cleverness added to the mix that helps tune it up. However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t warn that those easily offended will need to brace themselves for the religious jokes in this movie. And please, DO NOT BRING YOUR YOUNG KIDS TO THIS MOVIE!

 

Is this movie worth a trip to the theater? No, it can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. However, definitely check it out on RedBox I a few short months.

 

My scores for this film are:

 

Comedy: 7.5

Movie Overall: 7