05.02.2018

HUB Review: Avengers: Infinity War (Relatively Spoiler-Free Review)

HUB Review:  Avengers: Infinity War (Relatively Spoiler-Free Review)

By Michael P Coleman

Grandma Coleman always told me to keep my mouth shut if I couldn’t say something nice. 

However, Grandma Coleman never explicitly spoke about writing something nice, and she’s dead, so I kinda feel like I have carte blanche here.  But in her memory, and as Mother’s Day approaches, I’ll try to make her proud of her favorite grandson. 

The special effects in the new Avengers: Infinity War are top notch.   Rarely have a seen better CGI.

If you’re jonesing for a trip back to Wakanda, Chadwick Boseman, Letitia Wright and the rest of the Black Panther crew are back in this new movie.  They’re woefully wasted in this overstuffed, overblown flick though, with T’challa being shoehorned in with little more than a cameo, and not nearly enough screen time for Wright or Danai Gurira. 

Wait a minute!  Say something nice, say something nice

Zoe Saldana provides Avengers: Infinity War with its most dramatic story arc, as her character’s conflict with her step-father and the movie’s antagonist, Thanos, is resolved.  Saldana is breathtakingly beautiful even bathed in green makeup, and she simply shines in this movie. 

Speaking of breathtakingly beautiful people, Anthony Mackie’s in Avengers: Infinity War.  So are Don Cheadle, Idris Elba, Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson, and Chris Evans, whose Captain America, along with Boseman, provide the movie with a lot of the little bit of heart this movie has. 

Let’s see…something else good about this movie…

Avengers: Infinity War isn’t the worst Avengers movie we’ve seen. 

Did I mention the special effects in Avengers: Infinity War?  They’re good.  They’re really, really good!! 

OK, Grandma.  I’ve done my best.  And you always said that was good enough, so here goes: 

I know Avengers: Infinity War made box office history opening weekend, and it continues to rake in the cash, but if you haven’t seen it and you might not mind someone spoiling a scene or two, take your hard-earned cash and buy the Black Panther download or Blu Ray when that movie comes out later this month.  Avengers: Infinity War simply does not live up to the hype. 

Heck, even the teased deaths in this movie don’t deliver.  I, for one, was hoping one character, whose snarky comments have gotten old for me, would have bitten the dust. 

Speaking of snark, Avengers: Infinity War is more a tonal sequel to Deadpool than to any other Marvel movie, as just about every character vies for the best one-liner.  We’ve come to expect that from Tony Stark / Iron Man , and from Peter Parker / Spider-Man, but when Thor and Doctor Strange are cracking jokes, you’ve lost me. 

The pacing of this movie was insane, as well.  It seems to have been written for the generation of people who have the attention span of a gnat and are unable to watch a two-hour movie without pulling out their smartphones.  I sat in the back row of a large theatre, and at one point, the preponderance of glowing screens in front of me almost made me think I was at a rock concert. 

And the plot holes.  Oh, the plot holes!  It’s amazing to me that on the other side of the galaxy, a subset of Avengers could wind up on a planet with an atmosphere that can support human life.  Or that in the midst of a face-to-face battle with the most powerful being in the universe, Iron Man would take off his helmet.  Gotta get that screen time in for Robert Downey, Jr.!  And once his is off, Spidey has to lose that mask, too! 

And the mash ups.  Oh, the mash ups!  Spider-Man in leg-sprouting space armor?  Bruce Banner in Hulk-like armor?  Black Widow with a Beyoncé-esque blond bob?  The horror!   Speaking of Black Widow, I felt badly for Scarlett Johansson.  She gives another solid, too brief performance in Avengers: Infinity War.  She’s almost aged out of the Black Widow stand-alone movie for which we’ve all been waiting.  What a waste. 

And that ending.  Oh, that ending!  If I ever hear another Marvel fan talk about DC movies being too dark, I’m going to beat him with Bucky Barnes’ fake arm. 

And that obligatory after credits scene.  Huh??

For the sake of my own blood pressure, let me get back to Grandma Coleman’s “glass half full” philosophy:  if you’ve nothing else to do, nothing else to watch or see, no where to go, nothing to read, no one to call on the phone, no games to play, you want to see some good CGI, and you can’t wait for Deadpool 2, go see Avengers: Infinity War

Just keep those expectations low — really low — and you might have a reasonably good time. 

Maybe. 

Avengers: Infinity War is, sadly, playing everywhere. 

 Connect with Sacramento-based freelancer Michael P Coleman at michaelpcoleman.com or follow him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP.