Avengers: Infinity War is the big all-in CRASH!BASH!SMASH! superhero movie where they all get together in a handful of big fights, in all manner of places, all trying to stop genocidal maniac Thanos from aquiring all six of the Infinity Stones, since if he does, he’ll be able to destroy the entire universe. So, easy task, right? Either way, it’ll take 149 minutes to sort it out, since this is the longest Avengers film to date.
At the start of the film, Mr T already has two of the stones, for some reason (was that in Avengers: Age Of Ultron? I forget. I’m sure someone will inform me), but hold everything first of all, since there’s a ginormous, circular Hoover up in the sky and it’s causing a ruckus.
That’s all I’ll say of the plot because (a) you don’t want spoilers, and (b) there’s no more plot left to talk about, so I’ll just summarise my thoughts.
Before you can say “Oh, no, it’s Spider-boy again”, there’s a lot of CRASH!BASH!SMASH!
First there’s CRASH!BASH!SMASH! in space! You know it’s in space because you can see the space, and the screen caption says “SPACE”.
Then there’s CRASH!BASH!SMASH! in Scotland! Then CRASH!BASH!SMASH! in Knowhere! Then CRASH!BASH!SMASH! in Volmir! Then CRASH!BASH!SMASH! in Wakanda! (Gotta have Wakanda in there, since the hype machine ensured Black Panther took more money than a banker’s bonus during the 2008 financial crisis), so fans need a quick return trp) Then CRASH!BASH!SMASH! in Titan! Then CRASH!BASH!SMASH! in Nvidelmere… or whatever it’s called. I was losing track by this point.
What there’s a fair bit less of is humour. What there is comes mostly from Drax, or repetitive jokes such as Thor constantly referring to Rocket Raccoon as ‘Rabbit’. However, all too often, it was a case of ‘let’s all stand around and give plot exposition, usually with lots of moralising’.
And now some thoughts in random bullet-point mode…
- Everyone always complains that “We’ve got a situation”. What a meaningless phrase!
- For two of my favourite characters in this – Josh Brolin giving gravitas to Thanos, and then there’s Mantis… always Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Mantis. Mantis. Keep saying Mantis, Dom, and she WILL get her own movie!
- There was a time where Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) was having trouble turning into the Hulk for some unknown reason (in the ’80s ZX Spectrum game, the easy answer to that was always ‘BITE LIP’), but I was just surprised that NO-ONE made a cheap joke about him being old and not being able to manage it.
- Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) are like ‘Battle of the Crap Goatees’. Meanwhile, Captain America (Chris Evans) has a beard, like all men too lazy to shave.
- Peter Dinklage also pops up, and, by now, he must’ve eclipse Kevin Bacon as the person who’s connected with the most people in TV and movies, as per the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon theory. Mmm…. bacon. In fact, Kevin Bacon also gets a namecheck in this film, but he’s not there in person.
- Groot (Vin Diesel) is often shown playing an ’80s handheld videogame, which were all the rage back then, so presumably came from Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) stash. The game shown is Defender, which I don’t recall playing back in the day. Looks cool, though.
- The trouble with the Avengers, especially in a film with almost all of them coming together (pretty much except Ant-Man, I think, as Paul Rudd was presumably busy filming that sequel), is that no matter what baddies they face and whatever they do, there’s always one of them who’ll come in to do their party piece and blast them out of existence.
- I still don’t understand how Vision (Paul Bettany) became real.
- Whenever I see a war-ravaged planet, I think of my house when my builder had ripped it apart, ahead of the refurbishment. It looked like hell had come. Looks great now, though, but right then, it was like the centre of the Earth had cracked open and shown your its core.
I didn’t go into this film ‘hyped up’ as such. In fact, I went in with the thought of, “Let’s get this over with” and “At least it’ll look good on a big screen”. Why? Because, I’ve grown tired of superhero movies, as I’ve mentioned a number of times in the past year, since they’re pretty much all the same, such as when Captain America: Civil War was just a rehash of Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
I’d heard Thor: Ragnarok was good, so planned to see that on the big screen, last October. Alas, after finally catching up on Thor and Thor: The Dark World, I found those so dull, I skipped it. I caught up recently and wasn’t wowed by it. I skipped Black Panther as I’d seen enough of him in Civil War and didn’t need an origin film. Plus, all the critics seemed bothered about was the fact the hype machine was focused so much on this being the first film centred around a black character, but nothing about whether it was entertaining in any way.
So, as I come to a hiatus with the Marvel films, only going to the occasional one as and when – and all I can think of that interests me, outside of another big mash-up move like this, is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, since, while they’re baggy and overlong, they’re at least quite a lot of fun.
However, Ant Man and the Wasp can easily do one. Paul Rudd has zero charm.
Now, when’s Justice League Part 2 coming? That first movie WAS hugely enjoyable!
As an aside, I saw this in 2D and NOT in IMAX. Yes, they actually bothered to use IMAX cameras this time, but in 2D, so the 3D will still be a post-production conversion job, rather than actually *filming* in 3D. Bear in mind, there are so many scenes where the camera cuts between the action shots quickly, so the 3D won’t even have time to register in the eye, so it’ll be a right mess.
Plus, there’s a lot of films where the IMAX version opens up to the digital IMAX ratio of 1.90:1 for either part or all of the film. At least Dunkirk had a point to this, with the film opening up as much as 1.44:1 in 70mm IMAX, but when it comes to other modern movies, it’s simply done as future proofing, so if there are TV stations that don’t want to show a film in 2.35:1, they can use this version instead of cropping the picture. And there are a LOT of films that have suffered that way over the years.
Bear in mind, however, that if you do see it in 2.35:1, then the film will have been composed for those shots, so the top and bottom just show extra picture that’s not essential.
Ok, so back to this, and at the end of the film… (cue spoiler header)
For the post-credits scene…. (cue another spoiler bit)
Also available is the The Art and Making of Rampage – Hardback book.
Running time: 149 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: 2.35:1 (ARRIRAW 6.5K, Dolby Vision)
Released: April 26th 2018
Directors: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Producer: Kevin Feige
Screenplay: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (based on the Marvel comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby)
Music: Alan Silvestri
Tony Stark / Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr
Thor: Chris Hemsworth
Thanos: Josh Brolin
Bruce Banner / Hulk: Mark Ruffalo
Steve Rogers / Captain America: Chris Evans
Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow: Scarlett Johansson
James Rhodes / War Machine: Don Cheadle
Doctor Strange: Benedict Cumberbatch
Peter Parker / Spider-Man: Tom Holland
T’Challa / Black Panther: Chadwick Boseman
Gamora: Zoe Saldana
Nebula: Karen Gillan
Loki: Tom Hiddleston
Vision: Paul Bettany
Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch: Elizabeth Olsen
Sam Wilson / Falcon: Anthony Mackie
Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier: Sebastian Stan
Heimdall: Idris Elba
Okoye: Danai Gurira
Eitri: Peter Dinklage
Wong: Benedict Wong
Mantis: Pom Klementieff
Drax: Dave Bautista
Groot: Vin Diesel (voice)
Rocket: Bradley Cooper (voice)
Pepper Potts: Gwyneth Paltrow
The Collector: Benicio Del Toro
Peter Quill / Star-Lord: Chris Pratt
On-Set Rocket: Sean Gunn
Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross: William Hurt
Shuri: Letitia Wright
Cull Obsidian / On-Set Groot: Terry Notary
Ebony Maw: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor
Proxima Midnight: Carrie Coon
Corvus Glaive: Michael Shaw
Bus driver: Stan Lee
M’Baku: Winston Duke
Ayo: Florence Kasumba
Voice of Friday: Kerry Condon
On-Set Proxima Midnight: Monique Ganderton
Young Gamora: Ariana Greenblatt
Gamora’s Mother: Ameenah Kaplan
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.