AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
US, 2018, 149 minutes, Colour.
Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Sebastien Stan, Idris Elba, Danai Kurira, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Clementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio del Toro, Chris Pratt, Sean Gunn, William Hurt, Terry Notary, Stand Lee.
Directed by Joe Russo, Anthony Russo.
A Superfluity of Superheroes!
A distraction during the early part of this almost over-epic adventure. It is from what is now called the Marvel Universe, the universe familiar to the millions of fans all around the world who will not take any notice of a film review because they want to watch this Avengers chapter just because it is there and they like it. And, in its first week it set a box office record everywhere. (Just as Black Panther was setting records, this one has gone beyond but, of course, T’ Challa is one of the Avengers.)
With all the superheroes coming and going, and sometimes long delays before we saw some of them again, the opening phrase of this review led to some mind wandering verbal distractions:
As Stupefaction of Stunts,
a Glut of Galaxies/Guardians,
an Effulgence of Effects,
a Multiplicity of Moods,
and, indeed, a Plethora of Plots.
They are all there.
One of the questions this film raises is what might be called the Hierarchy of Heroes/Heroines. And whom do we like best and whether they appear sufficiently in the film, and whom do we like least. This review puts in a vote for Thor, Chris Hemsworth always dignified, getting an eye-replacement, flying around the galaxies in a spacecraft driven by a talking raccoon whom he calls Rabbit. And he has a substantial role in the confrontation with the arch-evil villain, Thanos (Josh Brolin). A vote to for Robert Downey Jr as Tony stark, always nonchalant, always with a way with sardonic words.
Poor old Mark Ruffalo excessively straining himself as Bruce Banner to try to get Hulk to emerge and go into action. Poor old Vision, Paul Bettany, seems to be on his last legs. While Scarlett Johansson does have some action, Elizabeth Olsen outdoes her in devotion to Vision and her firepower is. The Guardians of the Galaxy gang seems more enjoyable in this one than in their own films! And who is least on the list? This time Dr Strange.
And then, we arrive at the final encounter with the whole heroic population going into battle.
As has been noted, this avengers adventure is critic-proof.
1. The popularity of the Marvel Universe? The box office success of this film? The transition from the comics to films to films about each of the superheroes, the Avengers films and the ensemble?
2. The visuals of the Marvel Universe, but each of the superheroes, the planets in the galaxy, space, the world of the Guardians? The contrast with New York City? The musical score?
3. The lineup of the superheroes, the screenplay introducing each of the characters, their interactions, their past stories, audience familiarity? The Thanos plot? Interconnecting all the superheroes?
4. Audiences and their favourites, Thor and the opening, the confrontation with Loki and his death? The transition to Dr Strange and the encounter with Tony Stark? Peter Parker as the apprentice to Tony Stark? The Black Widow? Capt America and his associate, Falcon? The Guardians of the universe, Quill, the raccoon, the tree? Thor in space? The importance of Vision and the hidden Infinity Stone?
5. Thanos, from the world of the Guardians, his confrontation with Gamora, his daughter? The clashes, her not revealing the location of the stone, her sister being tortured, her willingness to sacrifice herself?
6. The infinity stones and their power, colour, symbolism?
7. Thanos and his wanting the stones, power, the efforts of all the superheroes to confront Thanos and prevent his getting the stones?
8. Thor, getting his new eye, in the spacecraft, the encounter with Eitri, calling the raccoon Rabbit, the tree and its tendrils? Travelling through space?
9. Tony Stark, the clashes with Dr Strange? Tony Stark in his Iron Man suit? Peter Parker and his webs? The introduction of Bruce Banner, his stress with the Hulk not emerging from his inner self? His fighting battles on his own?
10. Thor, his battles, the confrontation with Thanos, his success?
11. Audience response to all the superheroes and their disintegrating?
12. The epilogue, Nick Fury, his disintegrating?
13. And the finale with the promise that Thanos would return?