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Avengers Infinity War Review (2018) | The Big Bad Mad Titan Finally Arrives

What a beautifully crafted flick! Avengers Infinity War is everything that we expected it to be, and so much more. It is intelligent, poetic, impactful, sad and badass, all at the same time. While it doesn’t fall short of thrill on the action front, it also fairly nibbles at melodrama aplenty.

It wouldn’t be wrong to call Avengers Infinity War a Thanos movie. The antagonist feels like a poem. He has been created so as to leave you in utter awe. Apart from the fact that Thanos is immensely powerful, and I mean like he packs in really hulk-defying powers even when he had just one infinity stone with him, he is also quite sentient.

Even in his blatant disregard for any form of life, you realize he is the feeling kind – a deviant who adheres to his code, unlike thousands of humans on our very own planet. You can feel his vibes, his pain, even though how wrong he is (debatable) in what he aspires to do. His methods diabolical and his ways to get things done even so infernal.

You will never be a god!

The whole MCU prepped us up for this huge moment and the good news is, it doesn’t disappoint. All roads lead to him, the eventuality that feels like death, and he acts like it. He walks like he owns the universe, delivers justice as if it were his call or deliverance.

That’s the ultimate badass villain that we wanted, and Josh Brolin does every bit of insightful justice to him. He is just not some mad Titan bent on destroying everything in his wake, but a sentient living monster who feels pang just like others, with a fixed purpose in life.

The Poetry in Avengers Infinity War (Spoilers)

There are plenty of moments in Avengers Infinity War where you will feel explicit poetry taking shape. In conversations of an adopted daughter with her father, of planets where civilizations collapsed as Thanos turns a leaflet of history to show Doctor Strange a glimpse from the past, his vision of why he is trying to do what he does, and “men” talking about the import of a job and what comes after. Everything has been inscribed in 2 hours and 29 minutes of enthralling awesomeness.

The part where directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo choose to mum the destructive aspect of a colossal villain by showing him fragile, as he wakes up in Volmir in a pool of water, after retrieving the soul stone, as if waking up in his very own pool of tears has been brilliantly stowed.

Gamora: Did you do it?
Thanos: Yes.
Gamora: What did it cost?
Thanos: Everything.

Then the part where Thanos had so candidly confessed to the question of ‘what after’ about his plans to see the sunset has been brilliantly pulled off at the end. It is commendably subtle as we see him vanish after that deleterious snap of his finger to a place he had confessed about earlier. It perplexes the audience poking a question at his very existence.

Is he really dying? Or now that he wields the power of a God can he not surmount death?

The Dismal End

Avengers Infinity War is brutal in its killing spree. You realize that it’s abrupt, and even though you want your superheroes to somehow escape their fate, it is simply inescapable. One by one the Avengers get effaced. The characters you have grown so fond of get obliterated in a jiffy.

Death follows him like a shadow.

There also lies poetry in the aftermath as everything one holds dear begins to wane. Starting from Buck who calls out Steve before turning into ash to everyone you thought was important fades. It is like watching a piece of you getting decimated. All you can say is, “No….No….not him or not her!”

What you instantly like about Avengers Infinity War is that it is bold, unafraid to kill its characters. It kind of reminds you of Game of Thrones. Okay the reference somehow reminds me that we have Peter Dinklage playing Eitri, the role of a dwarf, so basically himself. Only the dwarf here is a giant. When you think about it, you realize – is it not a matter of perspective? The dwarf is actually a giant for some, ergo named so. It’s like Russo’s are telling us that no one should be judged by their size but the size of things they do. If that’s not poetry, I don’t know what is.

Thor

While the world is at war, Thor is on his own mission to garner resources to be resourceful so to have another shot at Thanos. He is forever optimistic, despite how funny his character has been arched. It should well be noted that everything, I repeat, everything has been taken away from him. You can’t help but feel sorry for him, even though the Russo brethren choose to mock at his problems. He is this immense fighting machine that believes in doing the right thing, of getting the world rid of evil.

There’s despair written all over him, and yet he takes on challenges without giving them a second thought. Watch out for that neutron star bit where he takes it as if he is invincible. His Godly demeanour is, I think, very underrated and in an attempt to make him sound cool and funny he has been deprived of a lot of grief that would have otherwise made his character a lot darker.

Eitri helps Thor create his new hammer, nay an axe, which is called the Stormbreaker which becomes the very reason for Thor having a chance against Thanos. His entrance is grand and everything that happens thereafter is like an inspiration to everybody fighting.

Besides we should not forget that Thor is the only Avenger who gets to lance Thanos like a boss even though the plan backfires, but it was going to anyway.

You should have gone for the head.

Iron Man

While a lot is going on in the head of Tony Stark when he is fighting the thought of calling Captain America, which he almost does, Earth is struck by members of Black Order. Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) is a badass minion with powers that surpass Doctor Strange’s.

You can’t park here, buddy. Earth is closed today. Take your tractor beam and skedaddle.

With the help of Spidey’s cult knowledge, he is able to defeat Ebony and then plan a properly planned attack on Thanos’s own turf.

While Iron Man depicts standards unseen hitherto in his fights, his presence of mind and techniques almost get the job done. If it were not for Star-Lord’s intervention victory over Thanos was possible. But everything goes to dust and then it becomes impossible to stop him.

But you cannot still appreciate Iron Man enough for his fighting efforts till last moment. He was no match for Thanos and yet he fought him as if he had a chance. The fact that he goes down trying only puts respect in the Mad Titan for him, and makes you revere him even more.

Stark, you have my respect. I hope the people of Earth remember you.

That fight sequence he sneaks in even after being exploded by a moon is one of the best that Avengers Infinity War movie retains.

Captain America

Cap is that beacon of hope that literally strikes every spark alive. As witnessed in Age of Ultron, him fighting Ultron as if he was imperishable, Captain America is nothing less than a fantastical marvel. So he proves yet again when he shows up at desperate times when we felt the end of Vision was near. He, alongside Natasha and Falcon, swoop in, in just the nick of time, making Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive taste defeat.

Not only does he personify the very definition of badass, but he makes you realize how badly you had missed him all these years. Him fighting alongside Black Panther against a bazillion terrifying giant rabid dogs with fury unparalleled makes you respect him even more. It is no surprise why everyone looks up to him for almost everything.

In a final showdown with Thanos, as he stops his gauntlet onslaught with both hands making Thanos go “What the fuck?” you can only imagine the strength he retains.

It is sad that the call was never made. That Stark and Cap never got to face each other, and in those desperate moments when you feel that either of them could have died, you realize that they could have died unfulfilled without having a chance to speak to each other again. That feeling is so sad that the moment Iron Man is lanced, you begin to go through some real emotional trauma.

Wanda and Vision

It’s hard not to talk about how hard Wanda tries to save Vision. Their chemistry is brilliantly pulled off with both Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen weighing in on their characters superbly. As audience, we already know what is going to happen with Vision holding the mind gem in his head, his death seemed inevitable. But a ray of hope was struck alive with Shuri taking over to assist Vision by separating the mind stone despite how hard she tries, but everything just goes kaput.

Vision had spoken with Wanda about taking that call of destroying the gem when time came. It would have destroyed him too as his very life depended on it. Even though Vision asks her to make that choice, to which she finally gives in, doing something that every cell in her body was against, she succeeds in destroying the mind gem. It was a call that literally crushed her, and you could literally sense the pain that she had to go through to do something so huge.

It is just sad that Vision had to die twice for Thanos to retrieve the gem. He is thrown like trash when Thanos is able to lay his hands on the mind stone. It just goes on to show his evil recklessness for something we had only begun to admire.

Quill and Gamora

Whilst the crossover was a success, with Rocket and Groot speeding off with Thor on his quest to retrieve his hammer and Peter, Gamora, Mantis and Drax going after Thanos, humour was flung aplenty.

Alright, Guardians, don’t forget this might be dangerous, so let’s put on our mean faces.

Gamora had asked Quill what Vision had asked of Wanda. On being instigated he takes a shot too but fails because Thanos doesn’t let him. Thanos doesn’t kill Peter Quill instantly because he likes Peter and the very fact that Gamora was in love with Peter.

So basically that makes two of the infinity stones retrieval a process of ‘kill-me-before-Thanos-gets-it-out-of-me’ situation. Two of the other infinity stones retrieval was basically ‘torture-ones-you-love’ process and then get it from them. That fared well for Thanos, even the one that milks the Doctor Strange’s and Iron Man’s bropocalypse.

Quill and Gamora too had something special between them which was ruined when Thanos took Gamora back to Titan. With Gamora sacrificed, and the news broken to Quill was one of the turning points of Team Avengers/Team Guardians vs Thanos.

Understanding what Peter Quill feels when he discovers the truth about Gamora would be an understatement. You can relate so much to him, but it takes away the only chance they had of removing the gauntlet from Thanos’ hand.

With Strange hanging on to the Time Stone all this time without using it, you couldn’t help but wonder if the exact scene of them trying to take off the gauntlet could have been reiterated with its help. Strange could have taken Quill away for a while when the news of Gamora’s death was told. Then again maybe we have that saved for the next part.

Bruce’s Failed Resolve

Hulk’s no-show is utterly disappointing, but you know that he is going to show up in the next one. So that’s one epic thing to look up to. But given how easily Thanos beat the crap out of him, it seems highly unlikely that going with that same strategic plan of ‘Hulk smash everything’ is going to work again.

Bruce’s constant struggle to reason with his inner self is dispiriting even though how funny Marvel decided to make it. Natasha sees Banner after a long time, and it’s good to see that the spark is still kept alive. Maybe we will explore that story in the long run. It would be fun to watch how things sieve then. I have always wanted to see their budding love go into a direction.

Things That Bother You

There are some moments in Avengers Infinity War where you can feel the CGI falling apart. In one of the obvious moments where Gamora is talking to Thanos, you can see how difficult it must have been to fill in VFX through her continuously flowing mane. There’s a clear line on her left face that feels blurred since the work there remained shabby.

I know what it’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you are right, yet to fail all the same. Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.

There are deaths galore as expected, but unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like it’s devouring your heart. Somewhere deep down you come to accept the inevitability, and even though how bluntly it takes a dig at all your favourite superheroes, you fail to feel the real anguish. Maybe that’s one of those parts that wasn’t milked enough. You don’t cry but you wonder something’s up, that something can be put back together still. Is it the time stone?

Also, there are some editing issues where you can feel the deliberate jumping of frames. A lot of time has been spent on Thanos’ resolve, some of which could have been used to fill some of the apparent visible issues.

Then there are those rabid dogs like creatures, more like wolves whose faces you don’t even properly get to see for a second. Agreed that they were really fast and mad but you want to see what you are up against, right? They felt like a swarm of madness that never ever stood still for a second. I don’t know if that was the point or not. But everything sped up so fast that I am pretty sure I need to watch all their action by pausing it on Avengers Infinity War Blu-ray to relive it once again.

You can order Avengers: Infinity War from here:

The Final Verdict of Avengers Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War is brilliantly pulled off. It is catered to be savored one meal at a time, and the pace is just right. In the end credit scene, we get to see that a call has been made to none other than Captain Marvel, a movie destined to drop on 8th March next year. So now we know that she is one of the answers to defeating a villain that has all the infinity stones, that has made him a celestial God now. I wonder what she was up to while all this was happening? Guess we will find out in her own flick.

Plenty of superheroes perish here in Avengers Infinity War. The worst deaths being that of Loki, Vision, Heimdall and Gamora that hurt the most. Others have a fair chance of survival, I suppose, given that we have still the time stone in our hand. It could be that or if since Avengers is the end of the road as they call it, then maybe we lost everyone for good.

What are your thoughts on that? Let’s discuss that in the comments section below.

Doctor Strange Review (2016) | Benedict Cumberbatch Uplifts the Uplifted

Doctor Strange is as badass as Marvel gets. You take the inbred flamboyance of Benedict Cumberbatch into consideration and remove those palisades of expression that bind him, you take his innate knack for humour and let it flow with his perfect timing, you let him really get under the skin of a character that you so profusely adore, and lo! You have got yourself a winning movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch: The Winner (Spoilers Ahead)

Haven’t we always secretly wished Benedict Cumberbatch to portray a superhero at some point? With a diverse portfolio like that of his, that keeps getting better every day, playing a superhero for him was always on the cards. Yes, he gives you more reasons to love him every day. This time by joining forces with the Marvel golden goose that has never really missed. It doesn’t miss this time either.

benedict cumberbatch as doctor strange in doctor strange movie

When you take a good look at the movie, Benedict Cumberbatch is it. He is there in the entire movie. In every frame, in every act you can feel his strong presence. That being said, Doctor Strange is all about it too. Such a great sorcerer he is that you can’t want him enough. And so he delivers! His solo movie that runs all by his magic fuel.

Humour in the movie is just the right amount as Marvel prefers. Melodrama is superbly complemented by Benedict’s knack for it. You can’t help but feel sorry for him when you see him completely decimated by that car accident in the beginning. The seemingly torture that follows is havocking for him, and he makes you feel all of that. It is a relief when you find his life head towards a different purpose.

Characters in Doctor Strange Movie

Rachel McAdams does a great Christine Palmer, firing up that fun element whenever Strange’s strangeness is around. Scott Adkinson as Lucian gets another ephemeral yet a fairly good part with Marvel; he doesn’t go unnoticed. It is Tilda Swinton however as The Ancient One that steals the show forming the primal carver of the story. The part where she wishes to go, when time stops has been gorgeously manifested. The screenplay there reaches levels of awe.

still of mads mikkelsen as kaecilius in doctor strange

Mads Mikkelsen invests himself well, doing a powerful Kaecilius but unfortunately gets a very limited part to prove his perversion. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo looks very promising and has a bright future ahead with Marvel.

Astounding Bits

Even in those rare vexing fight scenes, Scott manages to hold everything together. The depiction of the Sanctums, and the confusion of topsy-turvy worlds have been helmed with a superlative touch. One of the finest things that happen to Strange is the Cloak of Levitation. Instantly takes you back in time to remind you of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet. Extraordinary stuff!

Steve Ditko’s original comic series has been paid plenty of tribute on numerous occasions. That scene where they fight in an Astral plane as Palmer operates on him, is so intelligently thought of that you cannot applaud the creator enough.

There is beauty in Scott’s depiction as Strange bends time to his will experimenting with the fate of an apple. The final climactic scene to force Dormammu to bow down to Doctor Strange’s bargain was one of the most brilliant ways to vanquish someone. It goes on to show how insane Doctor Strange’s powers really are. You can’t help but wonder how strong is Doctor Strange really?

You can pre-order Doctor Strange movie from here:

Direction of Doctor Strange

I have always admired Scott Derrickson’s direction. Even in a movie as powerless as Deliver Us from Evil we found him steady as a rock, working hard. He never lets his sobriety wane, and that shows in his diligent work. Thus Doctor Strange has been helmed too. Right from the point of giving us a badass perspective into the life of the extraordinary yet egotistic surgeon Stephen Strange to the point of him coming to terms with subsequent dimensions in our reality, scenes have been brilliantly directed.

Downsides

It is what follows immediately after however makes you wish there was a better visual exploration about the things we don’t know, rather than immediately getting up to speed with Strange quickly packing in powers, and heading towards unveiling the secrets of the Eye of Agomotto. It seemed as if that was the only thing left to do at Kamar-Taj. Forced!

still of tilda swinton the ancient one showing doctor strange astral plane

With that awe-inspiring push into the extant multi-dimensions, Doctor Strange’s vision is something that will give you goosebumps. It makes you think of all the possibilities that stay hidden from naked eyes. Till that point of time you are gnawing at a lot of plausibility. But then it bereaves you when things kind of speed up. You don’t see the Ancient One taking Strange for a ride after he begins learning stuff, which in fact, sadly pulls off the plug from reality.

You come back wondering – it’s a comic after all. Stephen’s transformation into the superhero we think he is, gets affected owing to that, and it heads into your vantage of Marvel’s illusion almost immediately.

Doctor Strange Movie Editing

Editing, I am afraid, hasn’t been done properly either. As the movie quickly gallops towards an astral perspective, you see a lot of scenes getting chopped off mid-way, in order to move on. Viewers aren’t allowed to have a proper focus when it’s the learning hour for him.

To the point where the learning of Dr. Strange begins, the flick works seamlessly with ample plausibility. And then in order to move the story forward you see frequent time lapses making it chug at the speed of bullet.

Also, the fact that there is no calm sieving explanation of how and why laws of physics are bent in their worlds or how it all functions. I wish Ancient One had taken him for a ride explaining their ways of living, even though it would have been a spiritual sojourn, it would still have made things a tad more believable.

The Final Verdict

At the end of the day, Doctor Strange remains a character in Marvel’s colossal database. And that too one of the finest ones! MCU has been blessed with Benedict’s presence now. I guess it is time to show him crossing ways with the other Sherlock. Can’t wait for that!

With Benedict joining the elite house of the Avengers, things are endearingly heading towards the ultimate act of badassery.  And Thanos wink intended.

Yes there are end credit scenes. Two of them. So you can wait if you like fitting pieces in the puzzle.

Here’s another cool article I wrote a case study on Hulk’s cardinal sedative. Check it out.

You can also check out the trailer of Doctor Strange movie here: