By Hervé St-Louis
Apr 25, 2019 - 23:14
Studios: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Writer(s): Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Karen Gillan, Brie Larson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Tessa Thompson, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Evangeline Lilly, Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Produced by: Kevin Feige
Running Time: 181 minutes
Release Date: April 26, 2019
Distributors: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
This review will contain spoilers. I will start with the non spoiler material and then warn you before moving into spoiler territory. The visuals were grandiose. There were many creatures, worlds, and characters to be seen that were enhanced with visual effects. But there were so much that it felt immaterial, as if you could not grasp them in your hands. The saving grace was of course the new Hulk who had many emotions even though his integration with the rest of the crew and his environment still made him look like a video game sprite. On his own, he looked good but as soon as he was mixed with other characters and settings, he felt like a digital construction.
Fans have high expectations for this movie. Last year’s Avengers left many surprised with the snap of the finger ending. How would the Avengers get out of this impasse? Well, of course, they did but this movie felt a bit too much like a wrapped-up story rather than something to build upon the next stage of the Marvel cinematic universe. This is what was intended but at the same time, it became one of those movies that had a series of flashback moments of the greatest scenes from past episodes. That’s what we usually are fed when producers and directors don’t know how to stuff the next chapter of the story we are reading. We get the best moments of…
There were some laughs of course, but less than in the past. Much of the film felt like a classic heist movie where something does go wrong, or should I write, many things do go wrong but in the end it does not matter much. Some of the things that do go wrong contribute to the large-scale plot holes that the movie struggle to contain, while at the same time lecturing us on what the rules of the game are. Before I go into spoiler territory there are two things that I need to mention. There are three arcs in this film and I wonder why the movie was so long when I felt that I barely watched something. The next thing that I must mention is that people who dislike Captain Marvel will not have as much of her as expected but the girl power message behind Marvel is well and alive. It felt forced and cheesy.
Let us now spoil this film.
Please stop reading here if you dislike spoilers.
Okay, here we go, spoiler material follows.
The best and most prophetic line in the film was Tony Stark’s (paraphrased) “The past has a tendency to seek revenge.” Yeah it did. The first fight with Thanos was anti-climatic and far too easy. But that was the intent. So why did Thor not dispose of Thanos the same way in the final act? Why not just cut Thanos’s head off? The problem of this film is that it attempted to be too smart and self-conscious about the past, almost as if it was setting old scores. This made the film less than entertaining. All the things that could have gone wrong did not while all the rules of time travel failed to apply in this film because of a new set of rules that were easily discarded in the third act.
The movie establishes that you can change the future but sometimes cannot. It played both sides of this new rule, while trying to claim that all time travels rules from other movies that we know about did not apply here. And then, it added the you must put everything back in place if you seek to change the past. But the problem is that the past was changed in a few crucial moments.
The first was when present-day Captain America fought 2012 Captain America. The second was the imbroglio with Loki escaping the Avengers in the past. This one is weird. I must admit that with 20 films to remember, I’m not sure where in the timeline is Loki’s first capture by the Avengers fit in the grand picture and how he will still murder his mother the same day that he was captured. There are a few plot holes there. Did Thor and Rocket Racoon visit Asgard the same day as the other Avengers went to New York?
The film was the end for Robert Downey Junior and perhaps Chris Evans. As for Scarlett Johansson, she probably will not have much to do in future films but can continue to exist in prequels and past stories. Will audiences want to watch such a movie understanding that in the end the character will die anyway? Let me ask this silly question. If Tony had the full powers of a God, why did not change reality and heal himself? Another annoying question. Where was Lupita Nyong'o? Are there now two Nebulas? Is Gamora back? Is Loki back?
In terms of the comic origin of this film, it has lost all of its comic book soul.
Oh, don't wait for the end-credit scenes. There are none.
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