Marvel’s Avengers — The Problem with Infinity

Once upon a time, all Marvel movies were running riot at the box offices across the world. Young adolescent guys went about telling their gals in most screenings; which character showed up in which sequel and why they absolutely must wait till the end of the credits as straight face onlookers started looking at their phones again. “Because that guy will show up in the next movie!”, the guy would say with a toothy grin. And the girls would either nod stupidly or get disgusted internally.

So anyways the film starts off with the death of Loki and Heimdall and the Hulk gets knocked out by a tall, purple and bald alien with a grimace. But Heimdall manages to send the Hulk away in rainbow colours after which one bad guy says, “That was a mistake.” You know what was a mistake? They didn’t build up to the movie title with the Avengers theme by a line from fake Voldemort, “No one has ever wielded more than one infinity stone! Who could possibly stop him now?” *Cue theme.

Tony Stank and Pepper Potts will eventually have a boy called Morgan at the end of Avengers 4. We now know that. But then everything leading up to the guardians is absolute GOLD. Bautista as Drax is absolutely on fire! If it’s true that James Gunn rewrote all lines for the Guardians then he deserves two Oscars. We do see more of the emotional beats from Gamora and Thanos than anyone else. Thor is on a wonderful adventure, to a made up name for the planet Niðavellir, ideal for cross-cutting between that and the story of Vision and Scarlet Witch who are helped out by Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Black Widow, War Machine, Winter Soldier, Falcon, Black Panther among more people too ridiculous even for this absurdly long sentence! If you think about it for 6 whole seconds then surely you’d think up moon-sized praise for the Russo Brothers and, the screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

So what’s my problem in life you ask? I’d give you my number and we could talk about that for weeks but for now, I’d rather discuss the strange feeling of incompleteness and dissatisfaction that I felt after the end of Infinity War. Let’s call them SIX INFINITY ISSUES.

  1. We know that characters like Spiderman and Black Panther are sure to return from the dead. Given that fact; did you really feel anything, really? When he died in Tony Stark’s arms? Unless the audience is sure that there will be consequences they are not going to feel the desired emotional impact. It plays in a serious tone but would have been hilarious if it was intended as a joke. Absurdity brings laughter and if the filmmakers were going for deep emotional impact in a world where we know Tom Holland is shooting Spiderman: Far From Home soon then that’s absurd.
  2. Thanos achieved what he wanted. They (The Filmmakers) called it the hero’s journey for Thanos. But is he the hero?
  3. A plot point that was set up in this film; Doctor Strange knowing about the 1 in 14,000,605 chance of their victory, was not resolved within the confines of this film. Are we watching a TV series? Yes, it’s mutating into that but no! A good film must resolve what it sets up.
  4. They gave Thanos something to chase at all times but was there any sense of urgency? What was the source of it exactly? When thinking about screenwriting we are often advised to build a countdown (sometimes this features literally as a ticking clock in many movies), especially in the heist film genre. If this was that then what would happen if Thanos didn’t collect the stones immediately?
  5. The Snap as they call it now in the MCU has been shown to have consequences across Ant-Man and the Wasp as well as the upcoming Captain Marvel I’m sure but again it’s something could’ve worked in a fashion where it made Infinity War a bit more whole by perhaps resolving the conflict between Captain America and Iron Man by having them fight together for a common cause which was setup up nicely during Civil War. But despite that Thanos could have escaped after the snap but the team would’ve been reunited at last. Ask yourself what was resolved during this film exactly? I say not much. It was all set up for the next one. That’s infinitely disappointing.
  6. The after-credits scene for Captain Marvel was intended to invoke some form of hope but it seemed to invoke nothing more than curiosity mingled with confusion. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Now, these are issues with infinity not faults in the film. I enjoy the film very much and will do so for years to come, I am sure. It’s an excellent fantasy adventure of the highest quality and talent behind it. My thoughts here are more like What Ifs. Now imagine a little swap. At the end of this film, we go to the planet Thanos is at at the end and we find out that he’s alive and that his gauntlet is complete with all stones in it before we fade to black. And the after-credits scene in Captain Marvel, after the audience appreciates the range of her powers, becomes the one we saw in Infinity War.

Spiderman Homecoming — A Retrospective

The battle of New York in Marvel’s first Avengers films has had an impact on all earth bound MCU movies, since it did happen, in 2012. Also every studio feels the pressure of making a cinematic universe now. So to be able to contain a “story” within one movie nowadays is becoming a rare thing. The recent wonder woman movie handled it best by book ending the film by a voice over and virtual communication with Bruce Wayne.

The first thing that hits you about Spiderman Homecoming is the youthful gushing energy of the character that’s so reminiscent of the comics. The world is based in smartphones and YouTube which grounds the film to a level which is a fresh change from cosmic or Greek God adventures. We know we’ll go back to that (In November) but this story is about a high school kid and who doesn’t like that? Now I want this to be a change of format cause I’m split on this film.

Spoilers ahead:

The Good

The best scene of the film is with Tom Holland, Laura Harrier (Liz, the girl who plays the crush) and ‘The Birdman’ himself Micheal Keaton in a car. The simple nature of shots of the great actor as his understanding of the detail (That apparently random kid, Peter Parker is Spiderman) changes is phenomenal storytelling. The highest possible quality for me. Also the pacing, is smooth throughout the film. My IMAX screening was without an interval yet I didn’t look at my watch once which is always a good sign. Most times 3D is annoying still but looking down the Washington Monument Sequence gave me a physical reaction of trying to find my ground while looking down how far the ground is and the next shot was Spiderman doing just that. I love the fact that this film is about growing up with real life problems of being a kid and dealing with an aunt and her life and dealing with friends and girls in high school. The fact that all his friends think he is a douche bag but he’s only doing the right thing by leaving them at a party when a explosion happens nearby. That’s a tough choice for anyone who knows his potential. This is what makes Spiderman unique from other heroes and these are the gods we do worship in modern times so.

Other things that I thought were cool

Genetic diversity

The Suit and the fact that Jennifer Connelly (married to Paul Bettany aka Vision aka Jarvis) gives the OS Voice.

Robert Downey Jr. being a bad-ass and Gwyneth Paltrow “peppered” in.

The Bad

The fact that this isn’t a self contained story and all threads will move on to the other films sucks. I don’t like it. I wanna complain about it. This feels like a TV episode where things happen but almost nothing is resolved. I don’t know if this is unfortunate or if this is the “new way” some films will be. The third act showdown in the night sky, on the plane is generic to say the least with no real stakes explained or expressed. This Spiderman film does not still have that moment or the emotional heart we’ve come to expect in Spiderman films. Looking back at Spiderman 2 where it played out in a operatic fashion with a ticking clock and something scientific at stake (like clean free nuclear energy at the cost of an egotistical and equally brilliant scientist, Doc Ock played brilliantly by Alfred Molina). I do feel this film does not not have ‘that’ moment.

P.S. Chris Evans as Captain America is the boss.