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06/25/2018 23:41:37 •••

Better Than the Other Two (cf the Definition of Faint Praise)

My Elderly Uncle: So what`s this Marvel movie about?

Me: A big purple man wants to kill half the universe with a magic glove.

My Elderly Uncle: I see. So why is it two and a half hours long?

Me: I guess there is a lot of nuance, political commentary and subtle drama to work through?

Alas, I`ve not been able to convince my elderly uncle to watch Avengers: Infinity War, which dumps a decade`s worth of Marvel superheroes into a mixer and shakes them together. The result is less of a long island ice tea and more of a teenager`s shit-mix.

Like a shit mix, it has lots of individual ingredients you know you like. If you have a favourite hero, they are guaranteed to make an appearance, if only for four minutes of shared screen time. If you like creative visuals, you`ll find lots of them here, my favourites being the sight of a Dyson Sphere locked around a dead star, and a particularly imaginative torture scene that looks like something out of a Damien Hurst exhibit. I also like that the show manages to avoid resorting to constant punch ups, which must be hard when that is 90% of what superheroes do with their time.

Unfortunately a shit mix also includes a lot of bad things that gets thrown in for the sake of it. In this case, all the dumb, boring and badly conceived superheroes who take up screen real estate (I've yet to meet someone who actually cares for Scarlet Witch). Then there are a couple of plot points that get hand waved only to be recycled later on, particularly the pertinent observation "why don't we just smash the bloody stones that give the bad guy superpowers?" Next, for all the incredible special effects brought in for the movie, there are countless occasions were I was distracted by the hilariously unconvincing stuff (especially in the case of Mark Ruffalo, his comically tiny head sticking out of a Hulk Buster suit). Also worthy of mention is Peter Dinklage`s cameo, which is funny up until you realise what we are actually being asked to laugh at. Then it feels something better suited to a 90s Mike Myers movie. Finally, the movie demands the audience to have meticulously watched every other Marvel film ever, otherwise they are going to be bemused by the parade of weirdos who appear onscreen.

People praise the movie's ending, which I won`t spoil here. It is admittedly a bold and novel direction for an Avengers movie to go in, but I wish it didn`t take two and a half hours of slightly messy, slightly uninvolved story to get there. I got free tickets for this, which I`d say is the right price. I`d be reluctant to advise people to put down actual money for it.

06/25/2018 00:00:00

Did you watch the same film as me? Destroying the stones for example was not so easy as you make it sound.

And you did not need to watch all movies. I do not think Ant-Man for example would be vital for understanding this movie.

You did not like the movie, no problem. But try to stay with the facts and not some made up stuff.

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