THE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR 

ALL WAR, NO SOUL

Text By: Aliz Manandhar

Who’s In It?

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Josh Brolin, Zoe Saldana, Tom Holland, Tom Hiddsleston, Chris Pratt…

The Basics

Thanos (a square-faced, gritty, heavily-CGId Josh Brolin) is out to collect the six Infinity stones (stones of space, reality, power, soul, mind, and time) that will help him irrevocably alter the universe and probably even end it (Lord of the Rings, anyone?). Into his malicious path and heavily-burdened heart storm in the Avengers—each shimmering with rage, and venomous with fury—for Thanos hath done very, very, bad things indeed!

What’s The Deal?

This is a movie that gleefully assumes that the audience have watched the past two Avengers films and have loved them to a point of dissertation! It is possible that a lot of you are actual experts on this Marvel franchise: that’s all fair and all. What infuriates me though, is how there’s absolutely no introduction to any of the characters—they all just barge onto the screen so self-assuredly: all macho and high-hat-like, and get to whooping ass in a matter of seconds. Oh, what I’d give for a bit of a tease and an oomph to sultry Black Widow’s entry!

The Avengers are all flesh and no soul. There’s no fiery emotion behind their actions, and they go about their jobs like clockwork. Only Thanos and his daughter Gamora (the Catwoman-like Zoe Saldana) are given any actual emotional depth and their stories, for a change, deservedly pack a wallop.

When the Guardians of the Galaxy enter the frame, expectations arise and fun seems to lurk around the corner. Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) bring their brand of humor to the mix and do not disappoint at all, and the strife between Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and the anachronistic Thor (Chris Hemsworth: yes, he’s mostly with them) is droll stuff. Oh, and Drax (Dave Bautista) is pretty awesome, too!

Involving too many characters brings its own share of predicaments. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo obviously saw that coming, and yet did nothing about it. Like I said before, there’s no emotion to be found in the film save a vague flicker of empathy for Thanos and Gamora, and even those come fleetingly. Oh, and what’s with the constant Kevin Bacon references? Is Marvel actually out to get Sebastian?

I’m not going to waste my (and your) time discussing the head-scratching ending, as it really ticked me off. The ending is an ignoble advertisement for the next Avengers film, and you’ve really got to get that figured out!

There seems to be no fight left in Ironman, and the Hulk seems to be wasting away. Wakanda looks barren, and Dr. Strange isn’t doing too many strange things here. Only the CGI-heavy effects cry out for attention, and not an iota of consideration is given, because there is no soul to Infinity War.

The good thing about it, though, is that it’s a visual feast, and fanboys are bound to bask in its vainglorious chaos, dull as it may at times be. Check out the showdown between Thanos and Thor and tell us it didn’t leave you reeling! And, the sublime Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch steals every scene she’s in, and we sure wish there were more of those in the film.

All in all, Infinity War is a big, bright mess that entertains while mostly relying on, and indulging in, the hubris of its predecessors.