WARNING: Big, massive, honking spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen the movie, DO NOT READ THIS.
Seriously. Beyond the cool but ultimately pointless Red Skull cameo, Infinity War holds no surprises or dramatic tension at all. It isn’t so much a movie as it is a rote, perfunctory Easter Egg hunt. All these people upset over the outcome? Who out there could not see the end coming? Everyone who has read Infinity Gauntlet should be bored by this, and those who haven’t shouldn’t be surprised when a nearly all-powerful being does what he says he will. That’s not shocking, that’s a tautology. People were so worried about spoilers! SPOILER ALERT: There’s nothing to spoil.
And comic reader or not, who in their right mind thinks these deaths will be permanent?! If they had killed off just the ancillary Avengers, I could almost bite. But Spider-Man, who they just got back from Sony, and still owe a sequel for? BLACK PANTHER, whose movie made so much money I think Wakanda is ACTUALLY the world’s seventh largest economy by now? We’re never going to see Black F-----G Panther again? When everything is lost, there clearly never were any real stakes to begin with.
If there had been, maybe the Avengers would have taken things a little more f-----g seriously! I’m not talking about the jokes — for me, that was the only worthwhile part of the whole thing. I’m talking about everyone’s boneheaded decisions. Well, “decision,” singular. Time again, these idiots put the fate of an individual person over that of the entire goddamn universe. Hey Gamora, when Thanos assembles the Gauntlet … how do you know Nebula won’t be dead, anyway? It’s a coin flip. We don’t want Vision to die, because we “don’t trade lives,” but how many Wakandans were snuffed out while protecting him? And I thought Thanos had the worst plan! Dr. Strange might be the only one with an excuse, if his last line before withering away has any meaning.
I wish *I* could have looked into the future before going to the theater — I’d have realized the critics were right. The pacing of Infinity War is the pits, because there is none. I was all ready to defend it, too, thinking that movie people don’t understand sequential storytelling, and sometimes you need an “issue” full of action to pay off a big climax. But this wasn’t even that. It’s scene after scene that begins, builds and quickly ends, before it’s on to the next one. There’s barely any forward momentum; the acquisition of each Infinity Stone feels like it’s closed off from the rest of the film. Imagine if someone made a movie out of music videos. Maybe there’s a reason MTV doesn’t play them any more.
Overwhelming predictability, unsympathetic heroes whose decisions you can’t respect and almost a total lack of cohesion between scenes turn Avengers: Infinity War from what could have been the comic geek’s Empire Strikes Back to a disappointing drag of an experience that you just want to end, so you can run and piss out that 64 oz. diet Dr. Pepper. If a new beginning for the Marvel Cinematic Universe truly is just around the corner, it can’t come soon enough.