Saturday, May 19, 2018

Musings on "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018)

This isn't exactly a review, but more of just me putting my thoughts and feelings about the movie down someplace.  Also, I will probably post stuff that could be considered spoilage.  Movie has been out for like a month now, so I figure if you're going to see it, you've had your shot, and if you haven't seen it and still care about spoilers, you can just not read this post until you're done, right?

I went to see Avengers: Infinity War again today.  Second time.  First time, I came out feeling like I'd been run over by a steamroller.  Just wrung out and hung up to dry.  So emotionally exhausted.  My best friend had the opposite reaction:  she came out feeling like she was ready to conquer the world.  This intrigued us.  It always fascinates us when we have opposite reactions to things, or similar reactions for opposite reasons.  So I'm sure we're going to ponder and discuss this for a long time.

Anyway, I spent lots of time thinking about the movie, listening to her reasons why she loves it, reading other people's thoughts, and generally wrapping my head around the story Marvel Studios unleashed on us here.  I have a deep desire to like the MCU movies, mostly because I've got these characters so tangled up in my heartstrings now.  And, for the most part, I do like the movies.  I don't love all of them, but I love a lot of them, and I enjoy just about all of them in some way.  Enough so that I own every single one of their movies so far.

I'm not sure I like this one, though.  I respect it.  I appreciate it.  But boy, howdy, it is a hard one for me to like.  Why?  Because it's filled with sadness.  I realized this afternoon that I need a healthy dose of happy in my MCU.  Which is why my favorites are The Avengers (2012), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Iron Man (2008), Spider-man: Homecoming (2017), Black Panther (2018), Thor (2011), and Ant-Man (2015).  I can watch those ones (especially The Avengers and Thor: Ragnarok) over and over and over.  And many of the others too.  That's why I own them on DVD -- so I can do just that.  Don't get me wrong -- I'm sure I'll buy this one and rewatch it multiple times.  Possibly not until after the next Avengers movie comes out, though. 

It's entirely possible that the next movie will make me reverse my feelings on this one.  Put together, they might form one glorious whole.  But right now?  Nope.  I'm not sitting here eating brownie mix straight out of the bowl because this movie made me happy, I'm doing that because I need to be consoled after it, and brownie mix is a good source of consolation.

Although I don't like this movie, I can appreciate it.  It's incredibly well-made.  The writing is breathtakingly good.  Tight, focused, single-purposed, and inspiring.  The acting is never less than excellent, and sometimes astonishing.  Robert Downey Jr. and Josh Brolin in particular really wowed me this second time through.  Alan Silvestri's score is so good that I'm thinking I'll buy the soundtrack, which is kind of rare for movies I don't actively like/enjoy. 

So right now, you're thinking to yourself, "But Hamlette... you love Hamlet.  That's sad."  True.  But it's a good sad.  And I'm trying to figure out how to define the difference.  Because I can fiercely love and even enjoy desperately sad stories like Hamlet and Logan (2017) and Rogue One (2016).  And I think the difference between them is that, the sad movies I love are sad because someone dies for a reason.  Hamlet and Logan and Cassian and Jyn and other tragic heroes I love -- they die to accomplish something.  And yeah, Heimdall and Loki do that too in this.  I mourn them, but in a good way. 

But everyone else?  Died because a homicidal monster snapped his fingers.  And that makes me angry.  And being angry about an MCU movie makes me sad.  So it's a TOTAL different kind of sadness.  And not at all the enjoyable kind.  And that's why I don't really like Infinity War very much.

8 comments:

  1. This fascinates me.

    You see, I just realized, I loved this movie--including the ending--ESPECIALLY the ending--for the exact same reason you hated it. (As per usual, we're opposites ;-) ) I mean, it destroyed my insides and ate my heart out and stuff, but still, with all that . . . I loved it.

    It was the randomness of the deaths that hooked me. It hooked my curiosity and wouldn't let me to stop pondering it for days, and that is what I love. And they really were 100% random.
    Just like Thanos said--nobody died heroically, nobody died for a cause, nobody died because "their character arc was complete"--he promised to harvest half the universe at random, and he DID THAT.

    I've never seen a superhero film (or any action film???) take that approach before, and I found it deeply intriguing.

    Because death IS random, sometimes . . . or at least, as far as we humans can tell, it's random. There's often no discernable plan or pattern that we can see. There are no "rules" for death. Like before I saw the movie--I was trying to figure out who SHOULD DIE according to the "rules" of storytelling, and you know what? That's not real life! When a bunch of people go off to war, I can't sit down and make a neat diagram of who's most likely to live and who's most likely to die. It just doesn't work that way.

    So yeah . . . I really love stories which turn my perspective upside-down and force me to ponder "how things work," and this movie definitely accomplished that.

    I really hope they bring them back in the next film . . . but . . . I'm pretty dang sure that if they ARE brought back, it will only be at the price of significant, permanent sacrifices at the hands of the remaining Avengers; and this scares me very much. *bites fingernails*



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    1. Jessica, yeah, I think the writers were very gutsy do make some of the decisions they did (I mean, duuuuuuude, Loki is such a huge fan-favorite), and I'm interested to see how it all wraps up... but I'm also just. not. loving. it.

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    2. Oh, definitely. I kind of had a feeling you wouldn't love it--just like I didn't LOVE "The Avengers," to be honest. I recognized it as a great, great film, but it wasn't 100% My Thing just the same.

      Loki has never been a character I've liked. At all. But . . . when I saw him die in this one . . . MAN. "The sun will shine on us again, brother." There's this one Tumblr post about his death that I literally cannot look at without crying. And I believe that's a tribute to the excellence of this movie, that even with all the action and danger going on, it took the time to get me emotionally invested in characters I didn't even LIKE before.

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    3. I have been very frustrated by and antagonistic toward Loki for many years. Because of how much he hurts Thor. In Thor: Ragnarok, I finally was able to like him, and I'm happy to say that I still like him now.

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  2. I still am not quite sure what I thought of it. It was shocking and did everything I wasn't expecting. I don't think I will ever forgive them for killing off Loki again, even though I'm pretty sure they are going to reverse everything somehow. I have to commend them for actually living up to the title. Age of Ultron was more like a weekend. Civil War was a fight at an airport, but this was an actually war and there were casualties. They have guts, I'll give them that.

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    1. Skye, yeah, I've got my theories on who might return and how, but ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch. It was a hard one to watch even the second time, when I didn't have to deal with suspense anymore, but had anticipation instead.

      They definitely have guts. I was impressed that it more than lived up to all the hype.

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  3. I am 100% convinced that most of the characters are going to somehow come back because most of them are confirmed for the next generation of Marvel.

    I am very excited for the next Avengers movie. :)

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    1. Evangeline, yeah, I think so too.

      Me too! And terrified.

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