Marvel takes a turn with Infinity War

“Infinity War” shot into theaters on April 27, making over 250 million dollars in its first weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

The movie immediately follows the events of “Thor: Ragnarok”. The spaceship taking the inhabitants of Thor’s home planet of Asgard is overtaken by Thanos, an evil purple alien with a desire for death. Thanos is scouring the universe for the all powerful Infinity Stones, which have appeared throughout the years in various Marvel films. Thanos kills almost everyone on the ship and manages to steal the Space Stone from Loki, but he is unable to stop Bruce Banner from escaping. Meanwhile, Thor is exploded into space, soon picked up by the Guardians of the Galaxy. On Earth, Doctor Strange, Tony Stark and Banner meet to prepare for Thanos’ imminent appearance on Earth.  In Europe, Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff meet Vision and Wanda Maximoff, who are defending Vision’s Mind Stone from the servants of Thanos. They then go to Wakanda, and reunite with King T’Challa and Bucky Barnes. The team is all set up, and soon the Marvel heroes are fighting Thanos.

The movie starts off immediately jumping into the action, spends little to no time in establishing Thanos’ purpose or threat, and instead relies on the audience’s prior knowledge of the film series.  This is understandable considering the number of heroes and stories the film accommodates, however. The film managed to fit dozens of heroes into the film. Unfortunately, this meant that no one story could be focused on as deeply.

While other Marvel movies typically take place over the course of several days, Infinity War seemed to only span a few hours, or a day at most, albeit jumping across the galaxy multiple times to different planets.  Overall, although the immediate start of the movie was a bit jarring, and the tension never let up, the film successfully integrated all the characters in organic ways and the events formed a cohesive storyline.

The music of the movie was stellar, and as always, the music for the Guardians of the Galaxy heroes took the cake with the 1976 song, “The Rubberband Man,” by the Spinners. The union of Guardians’ Starlord and Spiderman gave us hilarious pop culture fanboying, a welcome relief from the stress of the movie.

The primary issue I had with the movie was in Thanos’ goal. Thanos wanted to destroy half of the universe’s population in order to relieve tensions over resources, but this goal seems a little bit flimsy. Though Thanos gives an explanation, he seems to have very absolute ideas that wouldn’t necessarily hold up in the long run. After all the time Marvel spent in building up Thanos, I wish they had spent a little longer on giving him justification for his goal.

The acting was very convincing, however the script had a few holes in character motivations that should have been fixed. Despite a few lapses, however, the characters had fairly organic interactions with each other, and their personalities were preserved from past movies.

Infinity War was a very strong addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its tragic plot line and failure to alleviate tension throughout the film combined to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. And the promise of a new character in the sequel ensures that the theater will be just as packed for the second half of Infinity War.

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