If ever there was a better time in cinema to have a culmination of multiple storylines, characters, and plot, I don’t know when that was. The writers and directors nearly succeed in this astoundingly daunting feat.
Unless you’ve been watching all 18 films before now, late newcomers to the MU will be left scratching their heads at the characters and relationship dynamics. (If you haven’t seen Ant Man, you’ll be OK.) Longtime fans will be cheering for their favorite super/anti-hero(ines) while learning more about Thanos’ (psychotic) reasoning for developing this intergalactic war.
As with modern-day technology, the special effects offer a gripping visual overload of wonder and awe, with real life setting scenery grounding the movie in relatable visuals to help keep moviegoers from feeling too separated from the multi-planet-bouncing scenes. Josh Brolin deserves some kudos for offering a refreshing vocal and physical performance at playing a villain who is difficult to relate to, while still providing a simmering evil underneath his purple skin as a personal, imposing emotional threat. (Despite his performance being painted over with the now mundane process of CGI motion-capture animation.)
Moderately adequate pacing will continuously remind viewers of all 149 minutes that they’re sitting in the theater. At the 2 hour mark, I found myself glancing over at Pilot, and him to me, both of us watching the clock.
Definitely not one of the best films of the decade long series, as with over 20 main characters it’s hard to provide major character development for everyone, but also not the worst in the series. Again, juggling multiple layers of storylines and relationships is a difficult feat, and I think they nearly pull it off. I tip my hat at their attempt. Plot-wise, the movie demands the extended time needed to properly lay out this interwoven tapestry of cosmic comic glory, but you still painstakingly feel every minute of that extended time. Impressive visuals are interrupted by choppy editing, and you walk away with your jaw aching right along with the writers and editors. You feel every struggle of making it all come together — a clear impression that the writers and editors may have bitten off more than they could chew. It sounds counterintuitive, but maybe taking a page from the multi-film spanning Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films, changing the timing of the last chapter by stuffing in an extra 15-30 minutes would’ve helped make transitions seamless rather than exhausting. Those extra minutes might have also helped shine that extra bit of limelight on each of the characters we’ve grown to know and love in this multi-movie series, and make the moviegoers care just a little bit more.
Movie Score: A-