I just saw Avengers: Infinity War on yesterday.
And I was deeply disappointed. If anything I see the beginning of the end of Marvel Studios happening right in front of me with this film.
Many comic and MCU fans will say that Avengers: Infinity War was the best film Marvel Studios ever produced. But what I saw was at the Magic Johnson was jumbled disjointed movie that was basically a half-assed version of Part One of a Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Finale.
Avengers: Infinity War is supposed to be an epic movie. And it feels grand in many of its visuals. Many feel like the comic panels of an Avengers Comic or Jim Starlin’s epic Infinity Gauntlet saga like the Hulk crashing through the Sacntum Santorum and Nebula being torn apart. Unfortunately, for all its big visuals and special effects, there’s nothing of substance that gives the film any emotional resonance. And that’s partially due to Jim Stalin and partially due to the by-the-numbers screenplay that feels like a second draft.
Why do I blame Jim Starlin? Well, The Infinity Story has always been a shallow one. So the screenwriters didn’t have much to work with in terms of source material for this adaptation. The whole Thanos Quest/Infinity Gauntlet comics featured heroes being jobbed out so he can look like such a badass. Unfortunately, when that’s presented onscreen it just doesn’t have much depth. From the opening scene we see Thanos killing Asgardians to make it look like he’s a badass, then the writers start TELLING us how Thanos is a superbad instead of SHOWING US. That sucks all the emotional resonance out of the story.
The other thing that sucks the emotional resonance out of the story is the sheer number of characters. Because there are so many heroes onscreen it’s hard for any deaths or injuries to have any emotional impact on the viewer. It’s hard to care about one person in this story because you barely get to know anyone in the few minutes they’re onscreen. If you walked into this movie cold with no knowledge of the MCU or Marvel comics, you’d think it was a very shallow film just like the overrated comics it’s based on.
The screenwriters try to rewrite Thanos to make him a superbad by saying he’s going to kill half the universe to stop people all over the universe from suffering due to a lack of resources, but I still see the same old SIMP I read in the comics over 25 years ago. Only Instead of chasing under Death’s purple robes, he’s chasing a grand delusion like the Supreme Gentleman Eliot Rodger.
Seriously there’s a HUGE flaw in Thanos’ grand plan to get all these Infinity Stones and kill off half the universe. It would NEVER balance the universe. Why? Because all the survivors will do is reproduce and in a few eons we’re back at square one as related to resources. So killing people doesn’t change anything.
To me Thanos isn’t a mad god, but a STUPID one. If Thanos picked up a Bible and Read Psalms 24:1 he’d have saved himself a LOT of grief. And if he read the book of Ecclesiastics he’d realize what an idiot he actually is.
But the film goes on piling up plotholes as Thanos continues on his quest to get the Infinity Stones. Heroes get jobbed out and beat up and killed until everything builds up to the disjointed climax. After numerous overdone special effects sequences ripped from Paul Dini and Bruce Timm’s Justice League and more jobbed out heroes, Thanos gets the last Infinity Stone in Vision’s head. Then we get one of those endings that literally feels like it was ripped straight from a Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Finale.
And a couple of scenes I think were ripped off from me. There’s a couple of scenes in this movie that look like they came STRAIGHT from my John Haynes sequel The Man Who Rules The World. When I look at the Scene with Star Lord shooting at Thanos and him turning his laser shots into bubbles I have to wonder if these screenwriters stole that from the Climax of The Man Who Rules The World where John Haynes and E’steem are taking on God Katious after he destroys 4 Times Square.
And when I look at the scenes of half the universe turning to dust I also have to wonder if Marvel Studios stole that from The Man WhoRules The World. Because when Katious kicks the bucket after his final confrontation with John Haynes that’s pretty close to how I imagined God Katious going out.
Unfortunately the screenwriters just couldn’t execute on concept. Because none of those scenes has any of the depth or emotional resonance that The Man Who Rules The World had as a story. With TMRTW, readers FELT the threat from God Katious. And they had a reason to CARE about the threat due to the fact that I used fewer characters and I had a much tighter story.
With Avengers: Infinity War there’s an effort to make this cosmic threat appear to be epic from a universal perspective, but sadly the story only scratches the surface. While there’s a lot of flash from the special effects, there’s no substance onscreen. In between the silly jokes and the uneven storytelling I saw was a film from a studio that has grown arrogant and complacent in the last decade. A studio that has taken the craft of filmmaking for granted. A studio that’s taken its audience for granted. A studio that has clearly lost its way.
Marvel Studios is headed down the same dark road that took down Joel Schumacher and The Salkinds. And I have a feeling they’re going to make a Batman & Robin, Superman IV or Last Jedi sooner rather than later.
If you like popcorn movies filled with superheroes, carnage, and explosions, then go ahead and waste 2.5 hours of your life on Avengers: Infinity War. But don’t expect much in terms of story, substance or anything that’ll resonate with you for years like the original Star Wars Trilogy or even some of those Star Trek: The Next Generation season finales. Like Part 1 of a Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Finale featuring time travel, this movie just sets up the second part where everything in this movie will all be CTRL+Z in the next movie.
If you want to see this story done right skip this movie and pick up The Man Who Rules The World in paperback.