The biggest issue with Avengers: Infinity War is its failure to resolve plot conflict. And the plot is pretty thin: The evil Thanos is on a quest to obtain six “infinity stones” that will allow him to rule the universe. It’s up to the Avengers–dozens of the them–to stop him. And they don’t, as one would expect in the first installment of a two movie series (and hopefully story arc). My full-length review is live over at the Independent Institute’s blog where I go into the nature of the conflict in much more depth. Essentially, Infinity War several hours of showing Avengers of various abilities can’t overcome Thanos and his super human and technology-advantaged thugs. (This also creates some pretty significant plot holes.)
Despite this flat story line, Infinity War is both surprisingly entertaining and fast paced. The action starts early and builds throughout the film. The special effects are stunning. And audiences can keep most of the superheroes straight even if they don’t self-identify as Marvel fans. As I write in my longer review, the screenwriters and directors have done a surprisingly good job of weaving together personalities, travel between galaxies, and story arcs from previous movies to create a very strong film.
“For those not invested in the Marvel universe, the hand wringing over who lives and who dies is a bit overwrought. Infinity War is still a top-notch, well-paced action film. The visual and special effects are state of the art, seamlessly meshing live action, animation, and digital media. The star making and star boosting power of previous Marvel blockbusters has also given the screenwriters some breathing room for skimping on character development. Audience familiarity with the superheroes compensates for the thin plot and the inability to enrich or deepen the characters.”
All and in all, I was surprised to see my rubric generate a 9.5. This high score is undoubtedly a result of the design of the rubric, which emphasizes more than just plot. The acting is top notch, the production values are state of the art, and the story is internally consistent despite the plot holes. Avengers: Infinity War is a fan pleaser, and that one reason it’s busting the doors at the box office.
The scores from critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes can be found by clicking here.
The scores from Metacritic can be found with a click here.