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

 

Advertisements

War is Exciting, Action Packed, Hell

Civil War

 

This weekend Marvel Studio’s gravy train continues to ride strong as Captain America Civil War is dropped off into a sea of theaters. I find it ironic that the thirteenth installment is the one selected for our team to tear into each other, either that or extremely well planned. Regardless, of the timing, the film had big shoes to fill in terms of the comic universe. And once more I’m here to share my thoughts and hopefully help guide your movie experience. So let’s get started.

 

The Good:

  • High Velocity Action
  • Surprisingly Good Character Development
  • Most characters were highly involved

 

Civil war finally took a step back into the action territory and boy was it well needed. The battle between Captain America and Iron Man certainly doesn’t skimp on excitement packing the 2.5 hours with a number of diverse action scenes. An exciting opening operation gets the momentum going, but quickly evolves into chases, cataclysmic explosions and an exciting duke out between our heroes. All of the sequences are brilliant displays of cinematic magic that fully immerse you into the fight and painted a suspenseful picture.

Even better was that most of the characters were well-integrated into the movie. Old favorites like Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Widow get plenty of time on the big screen, newcomers like Black Panther, Spiderman and Bucky also have plenty of moments for all to enjoy. Each of the characters has their own story tied into the grand plot, with plenty of relationship and origins that further ensnares you into the tale. Unfortunately the Vision kind of got short handed in some of the bigger battles, but at his philosophical searches keep him relevant to the movie. Regardless, this reviewer has to admit that they did a good job with this film.

 

The Bad:

  • One disappointing plot point
  • Shaky Camera Angles and some hokey moments
  • The run time.

 

Despite the excellent character developments and plot points, there was one major plot point I was disappointed in. Near the 90 minute mark Civil War introduces a plot point that promises suspense and an epic conclusion. Unfortunately I misread the direction and felt cheated of a finale I was hoping to see. Yet the deviation from the expected provided a nice twist and the ending was much more character focused, which deserves two thumbs up. In addition, this ending offers the potential for some more edge in the remaining Marvel movies.

Yet one point that was really hard to swallow was the shaky/cheesy special effects at time. If you’ve read my reviews, you know I’m not a fan of chaotic camera work that shakes, rattles, and rolls to bring you into the moment. At the beginning, much of Civil War’s battles felt like they were on a rumble strip and robbing some of the stunts of their full glory. Perhaps these moves were to mask the stunts people, but that trick got old after a while. In addition, Disney’s big budget studios cut some corners on their animation and planning department. Now I know it is a movie about guys in colorful underwear wielding fictional powers and technology, but some stunts went a little overboard and looked a bit cheesy at points that aren’t Marvel’s normal quality.

As for the long run time, it comes mainly from me thinking most movies don’t need to be longer than two hours. Civil War does things right by keeping the plot moving and using the action to keep things exciting to liven things up. However, near the end of the movie the film dragged a bit could have been left for another time. Fortunately the extra half hour brings some emotional kick that makes up for the extra time. Yeah I’m probably committing blasphemy by saying that, but there were some edits to be made that could have shortened it a bit.

 

 

The Verdict:

       Civil War continues the Marvel magic and provides the action sustenance you have been craving for. The team did well balancing all their characters, integrating all the tales into a story that stands out strong in the superhero universe. Civil Wars ability to act as an origin, while setting the stage for future events only further strengthens this film. However, there were still some slight issues, mainly in the run time, special effects, and a few misbalances that take some points off the score. Oh well, things to improve on for next time right? I recommend that everyone give this one a try in the theater and enjoy the bang the theater brings.

 

My scores are:

Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi: 9.0

Movie Overall: 8.0