Synopsis: The Avengers fight to save the universe from Thanos who is seeking the six infinity stones that will allow him to control the universe.
Avengers: Infinity War feels like gorging on doughnuts while running; it’s a lot going on. I’m sure that the film will make stupendous money worldwide, but Marvel’s latest outing is sensory and character overload that left me cold. On the other hand, I recognize that there are plenty of doughnutting runners aka Marvel Comics Universe fans to fill movie theater seats.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo package a box office bonanza with an army’s worth of superheroes, plenty of non-gory violence and smatterings of comic asides.
The plot is not hard to follow. Thanos, a colossal bad guy, wants to control the universe. To do so he needs to collect six “infinity stones.” The stones look like plastic. They put me in mind of the fancy jewels in the awesome children’s board game, “Pretty Princess.” They are that dazzling! And then that got me thinking of the horcruxes that Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione set out to find in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Their story was full of suspense, poignancy and cool swording of the spooky objects. In Infinity War, Thanos travels the universe collecting the garish wads of plastic and clicking them onto his bespoke metal glove. After which, he produces a twisted, gloating smile — much like a champion of Pretty Princess. The effect is especially gross because Thanos looks like a non-green Hulk with a ginormous chin savaged by long furrows, perhaps the result of a garden accident wherein he stepped on a giant rake.
Unfortunately, the filmmakers bypass this surely important part of Thanos’ backstory because they are busy fleshing out his philosophy: the universe is unbalanced… solution? kill half of the human and humanish creatures. Balance restored.
Someone should talk to Thanos about the many holes in his horrific plan. Why not just make half of the population infertile? Otherwise, in no time at all the survivors will start procreating again like mad and the universe will be back to square one population-wise. Or… make everyone a hybrid, running on photosynthesis. But, no, Thanos is an immovable nihilist.
Anyway, Thanos is the raison d’etre for Infinity War. The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy come together to keep the infinity stones hidden and to fight Thanos. Mostly, they fight. Sometimes there is a bit of joking or even a dramatic moment, like when lovebirds Scarlet Witch and Vision reluctantly leave their hideaway in Scotland to join the fray. Scotland? I guess Tahiti was too obvious for them.
Infinity War is bursting with superheroes; best to concentrate on your personal favorites. I watched for Dr. Strange and his delightful cape! Benedict Cumberbatch, as the former, feverishly makes sparkly circles with his hands in a vain attempt to create a portal onto a West End stage. As Captain America, Chris Evans sports wondrous woodsman facial hair and a sad look that says: I thought I filled my contractual obligations in the last movie.
One final word about those damned infinity stones– it doesn’t matter in the least but the stones represent: power, space, reality, soul, time and mind. Maybe they should’ve been dubbed: green screen, explosions, fights, quips, villain manifesto, half the actors in Hollywood. Voila! Superhero blockbuster!
Whether you like the movie or not, here is something that everyone can enjoy.. a game of Pretty Princess and a plate of doughnuts.
Cut to the Chase: A winner for MCU fans. Anti-cinema junkfood to others.
Comedy Gold: Dave Bautista as Drax, with his refreshingly droll take on the universe.