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Avengers: Infinity War: With 28 characters in ‘key’ roles, the movie ends up being overstuffed and half-baked

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 27 April 2018, 12:39 IST
(Film poster)

It went against everything that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It was the anti-movie. It is a movie that comes out of nowhere, and in this case, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. It simultaneously has a lot going on, while not moving the needle. In short, it is a filler. Avengers has one major problem plaguing blockbusters; quantity over quality. Spectacle over the advancement of the plot.

Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel’s most ambitious crossover till date, will appeal to hardcore fans of the MCU. The other fans will be left feeling they should have gotten a lot more value for their money.

Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War ultimately has too much going on, in a movie that overstays its welcome. Avengers: Infinity War has at least 28 characters in ‘major’ roles. With each of them getting in a couple of lines, the running time for the movie stands at 156 minutes.

Avengers: Infinity War is a Thanos (Josh Brolin) movie. He’s a big bad almighty superhero with one flaw. Thanos sees himself as misunderstood. That leads to one of the major problems of the movie; a lot of melodrama.

The movie is simple. Thanos, the baddest villain the MCU has ever seen, is making good on his promise to collect ever single Infinity Stone - Space, Mind, Time, Power, Reality, and Soul out there. Doing so would allow him to complete his Infinity Gauntlet and control the Universe in unimaginable ways. Thanos wants to restore balance to the Universe by eliminating half of all living beings upon attaining all six Infinity Stones.

With Thanos on a mission, the huge ensemble quickly appears, in groups, and face off, each trying to keep their ego in tack. There’s Tony Stark and Doctor Strange and then there’s Thor and Star Lord.

Co-writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus had a mega task on their hands when producing the script for this movie. The task was simple. They needed to come up with a coherent plot while giving each character their one moment to shine. What McFeely and Markus smartly did was divide the characters into multiple groups. That allowed for scenes to be played out concurrently and give most, if not all, their moment in the sunlight.

On the other hand, though, it meant that these ‘epic’ fight scenes ended up being half-baked. None were given enough time and care to be amongst the best Marvel fights ever. The cross-franchise connections feel stilted. There are witty one-liners, but that’s just about it. There’s nothing more. Some of them – like Iron Man and Spider-Man – just feel stale. You don’t truly get to see the feuds/fallouts from previous MCU movies play out.

Should you watch it?

It's like when you’re flipping channels on the television and can’t find one channel to settle down upon. That’s Avengers: Infinity War in a nutshell. The viewer becomes overwhelmed.

This will, going forward, be considered a comic book epic. It’s got everything in there for the hardcore fans. From the epic cross-franchise connections to the sheer number of action sequences and epic one-liners. Avengers: Infinity War will best viewed with those people who’ve seen ever MCU movie out there and geek out at every easter egg.

For the other fringe viewers out there, Avengers: Infinity War will leave you wanting more. A lot more.

I started out this review by saying that this has gone against everything that is the MCU. That’s because this movie is the first that lacks a feel-good ending that everyone has been accustomed to for a decade.

Ultimately, it’s exhausting. At 156 minutes, Avengers: Infinity War feels like that piece of kaju barfi you’re unable to finish during Diwali celebrations. This movie is not built to create any new fans of the franchise. Instead, it’s there just to leave the audiences hanging, bring in the massive bucks, and save up everything for one last hurrah in 2019, when the Avengers series comes to an end.

Do stay until the very end of the credits – about ten minutes – as there is one scene that perfectly sets the ball rolling for ‘Avengers 4’ in 2019.

First published: 27 April 2018, 12:19 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.