Ernest Hemingway once said,”every bad writer is in love with the epic.” The heads over at Marvel Studios are no exception. Marvel’s attempts to continually aspire to that “epic” scope has resulted in their latest features becoming short of exhausting to sit through, forcing the audience to sit through seemingly endless computer-generated slug-fests between our heroes and a faceless horde of aliens and/or robots. Obviously, Infinity War is no exception.
As expected, Infinity War carries out Marvel’s cardinal sins to the most egregious degree yet. The over reliance on CGI and green-screen environments make me feel not like I’m watching the epic finale of a saga, but instead a cutscene from a PS2 game. The film overindulges in several “grandiose” setpieces which consist of our heroes punching things in the face for an extended period of time. And, lest I forget, we’re given another computer-generated baddie who wants to end civilization to restore peace. Or something like that.
While most of the previous M.C.U films carry these flaws to one extent or the other, they can always rely on the cast to at least be a saving grace. The characters have always anchored the previous installments, making endless series of “world destruction” plots more tolerable. That is, except for Infinity War, where our characters unfortunately take a backseat to the mayhem this time around. Characters I’ve grown to like, perhaps even love are either underwritten or misused, while characters I’ve never been made to care about take center stage in some storylines.
It’s clear that Infinity War is simply depending on previous entries to provide character development, and also the novelty of all these characters meeting for the first time. Frankly, the “crossover” novelty has worn thin by this point, and I’m supposed to find tedious banter between Star Lord and Spiderman cute, well, I don’t. The only truly endearing relationship that’s formed is by Thor and Rocket Racoon, but again, their relationship is tragically overshadowed by the filmmaker’s need to insert as many “trailer” shots as possible.
Well, if we’re talking about characters, the one we have to mention is Thanos. Having been deemed the M.C.U’s “best villain”, I’m obviously supposed to be compelled by Thanos to at least some extent. Well, despite Josh Brolin’s efforts to give this character dimension, Thanos never amounted to anything more than a ridiculously overpowered conglomeration of purple, Brolinesque pixels. He’s a plot device, and an overused one at that. Black Panther indicated that Marvel might be shifting away from this type of villain plot, but that was naive on my part. Giant, hulking monstrosities of pixelation are here to stay.
In short, Infinity War overplayed Marvel’s faults while underplaying their strengths. Not the film is terrible, it’s certainly an accomplishment to realize this grand of a story without resulting in a chaotic mess. It might be ugly, overly-dramatic, and underwhelming, but it’s not a mess. That, however, did not make Infinity War any less of a chore to sit through. 5/10
Written by: Gabe Theis