While all of the heroes from across the Marvel cinematic universe united in a joint effort to stop Thanos, so too did all of the problems you can think of unite in a joint effort to bring down “Infinity War.”
It should be noted that I am not the biggest fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the most part, I find the movies to be passable while there are a few I have really liked, such as “Black Panther” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and some I have despised, such as “Iron Man 2” and “The Avengers.” “Infinity War” could have fallen anywhere on the spectrum for me, and unfortunately, it fell at the way-down low side as the second worst movie in the entire franchise.
The opening scene of the movie is the perfect setup for what is wrong with “Avengers: Infinity War.” Thanos (Josh Brolin) is attacking an Asgardian ship with all of the main characters from “Thor: Ragnarok” on it. Thanos has killed everyone aboard, except for the few characters necessary to help keep the plot moving. Heimdall (Idris Elba) is left wounded so that he can be killed off by Thanos on screen after using his powers to send Hulk (Bruce Banner) to Earth in an effort to warn the Avengers. It is supposed to be an emotional death scene, but the laziness of the writing and the showcasing of character stupidity for the purpose of plot progression is all too evident. Why didn’t Thanos just kill Heimdall during the attack on the ship like he did with everyone else on board? It’s simple: the plot would not be able to continue if he had done that.
Character stupidity is at an all time high in “Avengers: Infinity War,” and it is not just restricted to Thanos. There is a lack of communication between characters for no reason other than for the movie to happen, and Star Lord (Chris Pratt) goes so far as to screw everything up in what is easily the worst written scene in the entire movie.
The stupidity of the characters can all be attributed to an awfully written script. So much of the dialogue in the movie is the Marvel quips, but a lot of it comes in the form of characters throwing personal jabs at one another to the point of wondering why these heroes can’t set aside their differences and not be annoying for even five minutes in order to stop a villain who wants to wipe out half of the universe’s population.
Yep, that’s right. Thanos’ goal is to wipe out half of the population of the entire universe. One complaint that people have had with Marvel is how safe their characters all feel. So, Thanos killing off half the population would seem like it was putting their characters in danger, right? Wrong. All of the characters who are killed by Thanos are the characters who had already overstayed their welcome in the franchise or do not feel permanent because, let’s be honest, they are needed for future installments to the Marvel universe. It is ironic that the movie that seemingly takes the most risks is the movie that played things the safest.
Even if these deaths did feel like a risk, it would not really matter. With so many characters to focus on, the movie has almost no time for character arcs (which is fine) and instead must show its characters through their speech and actions. However, so many of these characters act so annoying or stupid that you are just wishing for them to be killed off, and then the characters who are killed at the end by Thanos destroying half the population lacks any emotional weight because after nearly three hours of unbearable characters and dialogue, it is just a relief that the movie is almost over.
The two things that “Infinity War” did well was not making the story feel jumbled and clustered with all of the characters, and they did do a good job with the characters of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson) and Vision (Paul Bettany), but that is it. When it comes to everything else, the movie falls prey to a term film critic Roger Ebert used, which is ‘idiot plot.’
Idiot plot means that the only way for the plot to happen is for the characters to act like idiots, which I already went into a little bit to explain how even the smartest of characters have to act like morons in this movie for the plot to progress, but the entire plot of the movie is an idiot plot as well. Thanos’ plan to wipe out half of the population only makes sense to the point of his backstory. In execution, it is a plan that falls apart and becomes dumber the more you think about it. This might be, though, because the movie tries to paint Thanos and his plan off as having depth to it, but this sort of plan would only make sense and work for a generic super hero villain who just wants to destroy the world because he is evil. So, with a villain with faux-depth and an evil plan that would only work for a generic super villain character, the overall plot of the movie is a dumb villain scheme that has awful juxtaposition to it.
“Infinity War,” to put it simply, is just awful. Nothing more, nothing less. And for a movie this big that had a decade of hype and buildup and planning, that is just sad.