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We're gonna need a bigger boat.

I know I'm late to this, but I never got the chance to see it in theaters even though I wanted to.

The action and humor are great, which I expect from an MCU story, but what I wasn't expecting was...

There are 23 Replies

The more I've reflected on it since seeing it (I didn't it like it very much when I watched it), the more I really, really don't like it. I'm glad people liked it, but I have a fundamentally opposite view towards I guess? Is it a movie? It's so strange because it doesn't have anything that a movie normally has, like an actual protagonist, or a beginning, or a middle, or an end, or character arcs, or explored character motivations (outside arguably Thanos, although I think outright stating his "motivation" is not the same thing as *exploring* it - his idiotic plan hardly ever gets called into question in the film.)

Just gonna put the rest in spoiler tags to be safe, but here's my own take:

I found it a miserable slog that was tonally extremely confusing. It still cracked a lot of jokes, but the movie is non-stop misery. It's meaningless action that doesn't drive any plot or character arcs forward, save maybe one or two. It is often argued that Thanos is the protagonist, and he is as close as you get in the film, but also not really. There really isn't a protagonist, which makes it feel unfocused. And there's so many characters that it's cluttered. And then the action is divided - a la George Lucas Syndrome - with disconnected theaters that get connected through Thanos just magically warping with his dragon balls. Er. Infinity stones.

The action is top notch, of course. Some of - if not - the best superhero action shot to date. And there are stand-outs (I hated Thanos, but Josh Brolin does a great job, Tom Holland stands out, the Thor/Rocket relationship), but man, 3 hours of just non-stop tonal whiplash and stakes so high they collapse on themselves to become meaningless.

In so many ways, it really captured the essence of the comic book crossover event. I get those are popular, and I guess I understand why people like Infinity War. I was never into crossover events for most of the same reasons I wasn't into Infinity War. Too big. Too meaningless. Too unfocused. Too emotionally contrived. Too thematically weak. Too many characters to have any arcs get properly explored. And cheap cliffhangers that feel unearned.

That's just me, though.

Posted August 26th by Jet Presto

Is it a movie? It's so strange because it doesn't have anything that a movie normally has, like an actual protagonist, or a beginning, or a middle, or an end, or character arcs, or explored character motivations

Strangely, these are big reasons as to *why* I like it so much. The lack of a beginning is a bit offsetting if you didn't just watch ragnorak, but in one sense all the other MCU movies that came before it are the beginning.

At its heart I think the reason there's no protagonist is because the movie is about the futility of superheroes. It's scene after scene of avengers with powerful god-like abilities failing so miserably to stop Thanos, including near the end where they're literally thrown away like ragdolls. It's a complete deconstruction of every MCU film before this. The characters fail to advance the story. It's great. I noticed this with the new star wars movie too (Last Jedi) which I loved for similar reasons.

Posted August 26th by Xhin
Fractal icious

it was fine. didn't like the preachy overpopulation crap.

Posted August 26th by tnu

It was great. Saw it again last night on Amazon. I was worried it would not hold up second time around but I was wrong.

Posted August 26th by .o.h.

Nice to see Jet still getting really mad at Marvel movies.

Posted August 26th by The Bandit

I like that criticism of one movie is "getting really mad at Marvel movies," especially when I've been on board for years at this point, gushing about Guardians 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Ant-Man and Wasp, and Jessica Jones season 2. I haven't had many problems with a Marvel movie in quite some time. But ok.

At its heart I think the reason there's no protagonist is because the movie is about the futility of superheroes

See, I might buy that if I didn't have a working knowledge of superhero stories and didn't know the entire time that they are about to retcon everything in the next film. Like how can it be about the "futility of superheroes" when the entire structure of this film is to set up how impressive it will be when the superheroes win in the next film? (I also don't really think that's what it's about in any real capacity. I can understand that being a take-away, but sort of ignores that we know the good guys are about to win in the next film in order to make that point sort of work.)

It's a complete deconstruction of every MCU film before this.

It's just a complete destruction of every MCU film before this. Not really the same thing as a deconstruction, though. It's not the same thing as The Last Jedi, which was a deconstruction of Star Wars fandom all while fitting in with the general structure and norms of a Star Wars film. Infinity War is still just another Marvel movie. Doesn't really say anything about the genre or the films that came before it. It's just event shock shlock. Which is obviously fine and has an audience, but it's not really making any sort of commentary about the films that came before it.

The characters fail to advance the story.

It's interesting that this - a thing that has long been considered a sign of bad fiction writing - is now being praised. Usually, you want your characters to have agency. Usually, that agency and influence over the story is what makes viewers actively engage in caring. Just having them out of control for 3 hours and getting tossed around like ragdolls, just waiting for the inevitable plot contrivance to save the day three hours into the next film isn't all that interesting to me, at least.

Posted August 26th by Jet Presto

I never watched it but I heard about it and how awful how it ended just because they know that people think like Thanos and that person felt like the movie was trying to justify it.

Edited August 26th by KnokkelMillennium

For the record, I enjoy these types of arguments about film. I know I have strong opinions - especially about this film in particular (I don't appreciate the theme of "abuse equals love" crap). But I'm not actually trying to tell anyone that they shouldn't like it. Just more fun to get into these discussions from polar opposite angles rather than the "Ah, gee, I didn't like it much, but great you did!" Those are kind of boring conversations, in my opinion.

And despite the outdated idea that I get "mad at Marvel movies," I gushed over a whole bunch of them, and have at this point, long been a defender of even the Phase I movies. (I still think Incredible Hulk is criminally under-rated.) I don't find these films, or any film, above criticism. These are commercial products, sure, but the filmmakers and everyone involved are every bit the artists of indie films. They should be held up to the same film criticism lens too, even if we ultimately wind up being more forgiving of genre films (although it depends on the genre, because there are plenty that we become less forgiving about).

Posted August 26th by Jet Presto

Didn't see that post. Tagged it for just being a broken image.

Posted August 26th by Jet Presto

Iron Man 2 was a good movie also.

Posted August 26th by Q

I thought so... I thought it had one of the better villain duos in any Marvel film, and thought it was thematically more interesting than either of the other Iron Man films, to be honest.

Posted August 26th by Jet Presto

I agree with most of what Jet said but I still enjoyed the movie. I kind of have similar complaints about the lack of storyline characters and am hoping they will redeem themselves in the next movie. i also felt a little cheated that this seems like an era ending (for lack of a better word) movie, because they've been building to this since the beginning (building the avengers, followed by introduce Thanos as the master mind in the first avengers) and i am concerned on how continuity will work as they move past this thanos arc which like i had said they've been building on for the past decade. but it was pretty and had super heros doing cool fight movies and lets be honest, i didnt watch taken 1 2 and 3 for the character development, deep themes and thought provoking plot i watched it to see liam neeson beat up bad guys. i just felt a little let down because i felt that a lot of the marvel movies before this one had a little bit more to offer than cool fights and maybe better cliff hanger endings. i thought this movie ended 1/2 through despite being super long.

Posted August 26th by Grecian

Gushing about guardians 2

any one who thought this was a good movie really needs to reevaluate their opinion. It was trash. Down there with Avengers 2, Iron man 2, and Thor 2.

Posted August 26th by S.o.h.

Incidentally I also saw Deadpool 2 recently, and if you want a bad movie to rant about, that's a good one to do it with.

Posted August 26th by Xhin
Fractal icious

I remember liking aspects of it. Particularly the kid. And the end credit scenes.

Posted August 26th by S.o.h

goddamn i love reading jet's thoughts on films.

jet, have you read the infinity gauntlet comic? how did you feel about that?

Posted August 27th by poptart!

(Also, they basically wiped out all the secondary characters. We're going to just see the original Avengers - again - save the day - again. Or they'll do some nonsense "we will trade our lives for their lives after all" thing that would be a complete betrayal of the Marvel cinematic experience if they go that route.)

I was about to reply saying exactly this. They clearly chose to keep the original team so they can have one last hurrah (at least for some of them) before handing over to the others for the next Avengers arc.

Posted August 27th by Moonray

I haven't read Infinity Gauntlet. I'm not really into comic events overall. (Last one I remember liking was World War Hulk, because it was only 5 issues, didn't fuck up the entire line of comics, and wasn't trying to be anything more than just a "Hulk vs. Everybody" story. God, I loved that Ghost Rider cross-over, too.)

I also try to recognize the differences in the mediums. I think part of it, for me at least, is that the film universe sometimes tries to pull the same stuff as the comics to various degrees of success. I thought the Avengers was mostly excellent in that it was a contained cross-over. It didn't have much bearing on the future of the characters, so their solo lines were able to continue. The effort to bring everyone into the same universe from the previous films felt like it paid off. It was mostly contained, outside the Thanos stuff which literally only existed to build to Infinity War. Avengers felt earned, had adequate pay-off, and largely did not completely disrupt everyone else's franchises.

That makes a lot of sense to do for a film franchise, because by nature, they can't build the same expansive universe that monthly comics can. Like, something like Infinity War in comic form might be great because after that finger snap, we would get a year or two worth of comics that show us the new status quo. There would be dozens of comics coming out monthly to show us the aftermath. The shock feels justified because they just changed the next year or two worth of comic stories. (Like, I didn't care for Dark Reign, but I appreciated that we got a year of the "superheroes are not outlaws and villains now control the government" type status quo.) By nature of the industry, we got dozens and dozens and dozens of comics showing us how the event of Secret Invasion affected the universe. And it made it all the more exciting when Siege started (which, now that I think about it, I quite liked. Again, it was short and didn't consume the entire line of Marvel comics for months).

With the films, they do this big universe-changing event, but we're not going to get that because at most, they can give us three films a year. Obviously, this is a very different industry than comics, which allows for every single character to have their own story, and a new chapter put out every month (sometimes, bi-monthly, even). By default, we *can't* see the impact of a status-quo changing event like Infinity War.

So much of what I like about Marvel movies is how they seem to just get the elements of a comic that might work on screen and adapt it for the format. They also have, usually, managed to avoid bogging individual films down too much with "world building." Not always the case (this was an issue in Iron Man 2, for example, or Age of Ultron), but generally, it's felt like they haven't really tried to force elements that don't work. Infinity War feels like it does, to me. It felt like they tried to make something that works for comics and tried to force it to work on screen, and I think the differences in formats fundamentally does not work.

(I'm also genuinely annoyed with the depiction of love in abuse. I know I am probably harping on this point a bit hard, but I can't believe that the text of the film literally says that abuse can be a part of love. That feels so fucking toxic and irresponsible the more I think about it.)

Edited August 27th by Jet Presto

I was about to reply saying exactly this. They clearly chose to keep the original team so they can have one last hurrah (at least for some of them) before handing over to the others for the next Avengers arc.

Seems like that is definitely what they're setting up for. Which makes me supremely fascinated to see what they do long-term. They're going to burn through a lot of characters if they decide to just change the superhero roster every decade or so. Seems like the plan is to use secondary characters to take up the mantles, maybe? But how long is that sustainable?

Posted August 27th by Jet Presto

Incidentally I also saw Deadpool 2 recently, and if you want a bad movie to rant about, that's a good one to do it with.

Ha! I have a number of negative things to say about Deadpool 2, as well.

I loved Black Panther and Ant-Man and Wasp, though. (Not that I don't have any criticisms of them, but more kind of nitpicky than emblematic of what I find sloppy or poor filmmaking.)

Posted August 27th by Jet Presto

@Jet Presto I was genuinely just fucking with you dude, meant no offense.

Posted September 11th by The Bandit
Reply to: Infinity war was great
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