REVIEW: Avengers: Infinity War After 6 Viewings
Just in case you haven't watched Avengers: Infinity Wars, there will be spoilers in this blog entry.
So, consider yourself warned.
Yesterday, I went to see Avengers: Infinity War for the sixth time. People are always surprised when I say I've seen a movie more than once, let alone six times. But, sometimes, I need to because, the first viewing is going in with all my expectations and, for this movie, the shock of the ending. The second viewing, I'm able to release those and just enjoy. The next viewing is trying to hear things I missed in the first few viewings. And, then there's Easter Egg hunting. Believe me, there will be more viewings with a movie of this magnitude.
For example, has everybody seen Tobias Funke as a Blue Man from Arrested Development in one of the Collector's cases on Knowhere? I have. After 4 viewings. Why was he in there? As an homage to the Russo Brothers' time as directors on that show. When you see the movie again, here's what to look for...
Anyway, its interesting how I feel I get more emotional with each viewing of the movie. Interestingly enough, I did not cry the first time I saw the film (and I'm a crier). I think its because I was in such shock. But, watching the film a few times, I can really focus on things like Josh Brolin's acting when Thanos has to make the tough decision to kill Gamora for the Soul Stone while appreciating the score playing at the same time. Also, having known that Tom Holland pretty much improvised his "death" scene was so impressive that I can't help but tear up when I see it. Finally, I really listen to what Vision says to Wanda when he asks her to destroy the Mind Stone in his head. He says, "You can never hurt me. I only feel you." It's a call back to what Wanda says to Vision when he starts feeling pain at the beginning of the film. There's something about this that really touches my heart and makes me cry.
At 2 hours and 40 minutes, I would have thought that it might feel over bloated to me. But, honestly, I love every minute of the film. They could have added another hour to experience more amazing team ups and I would have been happy. As a comic book fan, it is like a dream to see all this on the big screen.
Pro-tip: If you've seen the film before, there is a part where you can take a bathroom break and not miss much. As Thor, Rocket and Groot head toward Nidavellir, you can get up and go to the bathroom right after Thor says he took Groot as an elective on Asgard and you can generally get back to your seat by the time Thor pops his new eye in. LOL
The other thing I've really come to appreciate is Alan Silvestri's wonderful score. This movie really hammers home that the Avengers theme is iconic as it gives even the most casual viewer goosebumps when it plays during Captain America's return and Thor, Rocket, and Groot arriving in Wakanda. But, I also feel like every score piece fits perfectly with the scene that's going on. The piece entitled "Porch," in which Thanos watches "the sun set over a grateful universe," is so beautiful, but melancholy. And, then it launches into the final piece "Infinity War" that, I think, was the perfect piece to play because it allowed people to sit in silence and reflect (or cry or scream in their heads or out loud). I really encourage you to take in the score as you watch the film.
I would also encourage you to watch it again just to catch things you never caught before. And, if you've never watched ALL 18 films that have come before this one, I really do encourage you to do so. For me, it enhances the experience because its like reading a comic book event. All these pieces from the various books coming together with call backs, references and surprises. Most notably, the appearance of Red Skull on Vormir where Thanos and Gamora go to find the Soul Stone. If you haven't watched Captain America: The First Avenger before, it might not be as big a pay off for you. It wasn't until I did my Marvel Studios movie marathon right before seeing Avengers: Infinity War that I noticed Red Skull actually gets shot into outer space touched the Tesseract (Space Stone). I wondered if they'd address it and, sure enough, they did. Wanda's and Vision's relationship might not be as meaningful if you hadn't seen Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. You might not appreciate the technological advances or the importance of Shuri without having seen Black Panther. Everything from the Mirror Dimension from Doctor Strange to the references about Footloose from Guardians of the Galaxy to "We Have A Hulk"... So many pieces are woven together to tell this tale.
And, I think, that's why I love seeing this film over and over again. It is a remarkable achievement when you look at it and very much the crown on 10 years of Marvel Studios movies.