Infinity War and ‘The Void’

Luke Garcia, Editor in Chief

I have a lot to say about Avengers: Infinity War. I’ve been waiting for this movie since the day it’s been announced.  I had high hopes for it, sure. Did it meet my expectations? I’m honestly not sure.  Oh- also, be warned that this review contains spoilers.
The main cast of the movie consists of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange and Black Panther, among others. Each group intermingles with one another and forms their own teams with their own idea of how to prevent all of the Infinity Stones from falling into the hands of Thanos. Thanos is the main villain who wants to wipe out half of all organisms for the good of the universe.  I think you can already see the main problem with the movie: its bloated cast.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of seeing so many different characters coming together.  There’s just so much to be done for this sort of thing to happen well. We need character introduction, interaction, character development, as well as consistency between previous Marvel movies.  And to be honest, Marvel falls short in basically every category.
I doubt that my distaste for this movie is a nostalgia thing.  I absolutely adore the modern Marvel movies. Case in point: Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.  In those movies, we saw Rocket Raccoon deal with his superiority complex and Drax the Destroyer come to terms with the fact that his hatred for Thanos caused him to make reckless decisions. And where did that growth go in Infinity War?  Throughout the film we see characters grappling with vices that they’ve already mostly dealt with.  To a loyal member of the franchise, this is an egregious error. While it may not affect you if Infinity War is one of your first Marvel movies (which is a problem in and of itself), trust me, this was definitely a glaring misstep.  
To anyone who watched this movie as an introduction to the franchise, the movie would certainly be a confusing mess.  Nearly all characters had no introduction. Some of them had the complete opposite of an intro, blatantly skipping the explanation of details that were necessary to follow the movie’s continuity.  Most of said lack of details even confused experienced fans! I’m not asking for a complete stop to the movie’s pacing, with each character having their own backstories artificially injected into it.  I’m just asking for a little more character interaction. The last movies sort of set up this movie to have all these characters to get to know each other and talk recollection about their previous misadventures.  I don’t know. I just want something.  Some substance.  Anything, really.  Especially with the Guardians and Thor.  Thor’s ship was destroyed, okay. Why? What were they doing?  Where is Valkyrie? What have they been doing since Thor: Ragnarok?  And lord, the Guardians are guilty again.  I loved their writing but it was all so empty.  Xandar was destroyed, you say? Why didn’t the movie have that in it? Why were they sent to help Thor?  Even some of the stuff with the villains doesn’t make sense. How do the villains keep finding the location of the stones?  None of these questions have been answered. None. And I guarantee you that next to none of them will be answered in next year’s movie.  And by then no one would care anyways.

Despite the movie’s shortcomings, it is an entirely enjoyable film.  The effects are really, really good- especially the Wakanda scenes. Even though the fight scenes caused the pacing to go too fast, I couldn’t help but grin through them.  And can we talk about Spider Man’s death? His reaction to everything was just so realistic. Spider Man has always been a relatable character but that feeling of helplessness was on another level.  I can see why people like this movie. It’s not a bad movie at any rate! It just left an empty feeling in my stomach. The issue was that it wasn’t at the same level of quality that other Marvel movies have so easily attained, because of all the loose ends.  One could argue that this is the result of Infinity War being a “Part 1”, but this isn’t a good excuse at all.  Practically all Marvel movies are made to have loose ends.  All Marvel movies are made to have a sequel. The logical conclusion is that Marvel put all of this on itself.  There is no valid reason that this should have been an obligatory course of action sans Marvel adhering to the status quo of this type of movies.
Regardless of how I believe the quality of this movie to be, I’m still somewhat excited for the supposed “conclusion” of this story arc with the next Avengers movie.  As we all know, Marvel just loves to include cliffhangers so as to keep our interest in the franchise undying. Sure, Marvel is a company and all, but I really don’t think companies should be this way.  It’s more important to make a movie that you can be proud of rather than a “cash grab”. Perhaps this is an unrealistic standard for our capitalist society; however, I hope that Marvel could at least resolve plots correctly every once in awhile. After all, not resolving the plots of previous movies was the second highest contributor to this movie’s shortcomings.  Having nearly every movie in the franchise build up to this one made the bar this movie had to reach to be satisfying impossibly high. That is not to say that Marvel isn’t capable of reaching that bar, as any sort of plot with the same quality of character growth as previous Marvel movies would have made my hold this movie in a higher regard, but it certainly made it harder for this movie to seem as excellent as the others in my eyes.
All in all, Infinity War was a great movie, but only an “okay” Marvel movie, if that makes any sense. It’s held back by that the fact that there were the inherent flaws in the simple idea of this movie, being the oversized cast and unrealistic standard that this movie faced because of previous films.  In aspects other than the simple story, this movie is amazing. There were times that I burst out laughing. There were even times that I cried- and I’m not ashamed of that. The visual effects were as good if not better than other Marvel films, that is to say outstanding. I only wish that this movie didn’t leave a void in my soul.  Hopefully next year Avengers 4 will provide proper catharsis.