Infinity War (No Spoilers!)

So, Infinity War.  That’s a thing.

I know a lot of people haven’t seen it yet, so this will be a) a spoiler free post, and b) a list of recommendations of what films to watch prior to Infinity War.  When I posted on Facebook about seeing it, I had a few friends ask what films to catch up on first, so I’ll include that list at the end!

Things I’m gonna tackle in this review: 1. How do I like Infinity War overall, both as a film and part of the MCU?  2. Tone of the film (and how it compares to DC’s takes).  3. Characterization.  4. Recommended film list.  Let’s gooooo!

1. Overall

When I posted a status mentioning going to see Infinity War, my bud Alyssa commented and wondered how I was going to like it.  I predicted that I was going to think the film was a cluster as a standalone, but a great continuation of the MCU.  I predicted my opinion perfectly!  If you’re not familiar with the MCU, Infinity War will be a colorful, loud, boisterous gaggle of insanity that makes hardly any sense.  It’s not a good “intro to MCU” film.  At all.  There is so much random stuff thrown into it that, when you’re familiar with MCU, you’re like “oh my gosh I can’t believe xyz” but if you weren’t you’d just be So Confused.

Some people love how intertwined the MCU is, others hate it.  I personally love it – there are some films that definitely stand alone more (Black Panther and Ant Man are two that pop in my head as ones that just work alone, vs something like Spider-Man Homecoming or Thor Ragnarok (both of which I love, but are definitely more connected with the MCU as a whole)), but I love how well intertwined all of the MCU films are.  It does make it impossible, though, for me to really rate Infinity War as a standalone film, especially since it’s most definitely not intended to be.  But as a culmination of this phase of MCU films?  It’s fantastic.

 

2. Tone

Tone is something that most people think MCU hits out of the ballpark, and I agree.  I laughed, I cried, I laughed so hard I cried, I gasped, I was genuinely shocked, etc.  Even though I left the film with tears in my eyes, I still felt like I had fun for the past few hours.  That balance is something I think is great – whether it’s a lighter-hearted film or a darker one, it still keeps a good balance and prevents you from leaving the theater feeling completely depressed.

That’s something I think DC is still trying to get its footing on – which is so crazy to me, since the shows I think do a good job of it (especially Flash).  I don’t want to sound like a DC hater at all – I grew up watching X-Men and X-Men Evolution cartoons, but I also grew up watching Batman/Superman Adventures, Batman Beyond, etc.  By far my favorite episode of any comic animated show was Girl’s Night Out, where I got to watch Supergirl and Batgirl team up, as well as Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Livewire.  I don’t want DC to do poorly, both for itself and because I want Marvel to have hefty competition so it constantly improves itself.  But I do find I usually leave DC films just kind of…down.  And while I thought I would with Infinity War – and overall, it’s not a cheery film – I still felt like I had a lot of fun.  It’s something MCU has done well in the past, and continued to do well with Infinity War.

 

3. Characterization

Oh thank goodness it was done well.  I really enjoyed Age of Ultron, but so much of the solo-film characterization got lost in that film (Natasha and Cap going back to last name basis, etc).  This one really made every character feel like they had just come from their solo films.

The villain also had characterization!  To compare it to Justice League (sorry – again, not trying to sound like a DC hater but comparisons to the rival group film are going to happen): Justice League had the big bad (Steppenwolf) and the cannon fodder minions.  I never really got a feel for what the heck Steppenwolf wanted beyond mother…boxes…I don’t know.  Friends who have more comic knowledge of him have explained it to me, but going just from the film I was super lost and never felt like he had a clear personality or strong motivation.  With Thanos – without going into detail! – we have a fleshed out villain.  I get his motivations, I get why he has his motivations, you get his POV without agreeing with it, and he’s a full character vs just a villain.  There’s also antagonists who are more than just cannon fodder, though obviously Thanos is the only fully fleshed out one.

The only downside is not all characters received the same amount of focus in this film, but I think they chose to focus on the ones that had more storylines in this film.  We all know the sequel is coming out next year, so I won’t be shocked if the lesser-focused characters get more screentime in that film.

 

4. Recommended film list

So for this, I’m going to assume you’ve seen all the films up to Civil War – technically that’s a Captain America film, but it’s the last film that had the whole gang together.  If you haven’t seen Civil War, see it first, and the films that came before it.  Going after Civil War, I’d rank it thus:

Must sees before Infinity War: Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther.

Guardians because it helps to know where the GotG characters are before Infinity War and has an after credits sequence that may(??) play into a future group film.  Ragnarok because otherwise you will be very confused at where some of the characters are.  Black Panther because Wakanda needs a bit more introduction, and because it’ll help make more sense where some characters are.

You really should see before Infinity War: Spider-Man Homecoming.

While we’re introduced to Peter in Civil War, Homecoming really fleshes out his character and his relationship to the team more.  You won’t be completely lost without it, but it’s a really good film and helpful to know he is pre-Infinity War.

If you get a chance, you should see: Doctor Strange.

I actually wasn’t a huge Doctor Strange film fan, I’m sorry!  It’s probably one of my least favorite of the MCU films.  If you can, you should still see it before Infinity Wars since without it Doctor Strange will be a new character for you, but I wouldn’t let not seeing it stop you from viewing Infinity War.  His character is new to the group, so anything you really need to know is explained in the film.

 

So there we go!  Great film, loved it, hope to see it again soon, and cannot wait for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, and the next group film coming!  Oh and as a heads up: there is no mid-credit scene, but there is an after credits scene.  As always.

Let me know what you guys thought of the film!  If you want to discuss spoilers, feel free to message me on Instagram, @ohkreestin.

 

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April 17, 2018

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