The most anticipated Marvel adventure is a triumph of a tale, interweaving the storyline of Thanos expertly in a well-crafted and unique affair never before attempted in a film which, despite its storytelling flaws, is better than the sum of its parts.
The nineteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was released on April 27th and openly celebrates its ten-year history as a multi-billion dollar Hollywood powerhouse. It is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who last directed two Captain America films before this, the 2014 political thriller Winter Soldier and the 2016 superhero showdown Civil War.
Despite my reservations about the storyline and execution of Civil War’s pivotal character moments, the action was one of the highlights of both efforts from the Russo brothers and thus I was excited for the next Avengers film, as it meant to tackle the intense Infinity Gauntlet storyline, and I’m glad to say the action did not disappoint me. In fact, the fight scenes were perhaps the best part of the entire film, as whole battle scenes combined a decade’s worth of characterization and development with the added nuance of character interaction and I couldn’t help but cheer as Spider-Man’s powers were used to compliment that of Iron Man’s or Doctor Strange’s, or other such examples throughout the film. It made the universe more vibrant and it made the action seem more impactful, unlike some other superhero efforts, where stories take a massive halt to apply the action.
Other than the action, however, the technical filmmaking lacks in most all other departments. Scenes of dialogue contribute to most of the film’s runtime and its poor, dull direction makes pivotal scenes of character interaction boring, when it should be exciting. The scenes are arranged in a simple shot-reverse shot order without the elegance or flair that a director such as Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn would perform, thus making characters such as the Guardians lack almost all vibrancy. The execution feels as gray as a parking lot when it should be as colorful as the cosmos.
Humor is another thing that brings the storytelling down. The Russos experience with comedy is not to be overlooked, as they were involved with the hilarious Arrested Development tv series, however it is possible that the 2 and a half hour runtime gave them the comfort of longer and, in turn, more boring comic relief. In a movie of what should be endless tension, the comedy feels extremely forced, a problem I find with most Marvel movies.
To the relative positives, I thank the music, the plot, and the performances as a reason for much of the great emotion that came out of this picture. Though I didn’t feel the rush of emotion that has impacted most loyal Marvel fans who came to see the movie, the characterization, aside from that of Bruce Banner and the Hulk, and the rush of the plot structure grants a balance to the story that seems impossible for a roster of over 30 characters, but somehow the great Disney product manages to pull through.
Overall, despite the dull dialogue scenes and the less than stellar humor, I found it hard to be disappointed by a film that kept providing me chills, even after the climax. It is a film like no other in a franchise plagued with formulaic origin stories. It is one of the first times I wanted to see a Marvel movie again, almost immediately, and the film is deserving of the praise that is given to its action thrills. A true superhero film that really makes me doubt the superhero genre is going anywhere.