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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.

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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.

Black Panther Movie Review (2018) | Wakanda Forever!

Marvel ups their level! Black Panther is what Marvel had been scared to do hitherto. That is lower the humour throttle and become really serious with the filmmaking. Bringing Ryan Coogler into the vanguard who had directed the brilliant film Creed in 2015, I think they made a pretty good call.

Black Panther is everything we wanted from a superhero movie, maybe a little bit more action but the exceptional story compensates for it. It has an appreciable plot that gradually unfurls into bigger intricacies.

What happens now determines what happens to the rest of the world.

The African Touch

Wakanda the fictitious city of Marvel is built on a culture that’s centered somewhere in Africa. Ryan made sure that the Wakandans were heavily influenced by the mannerism and style thus successfully painting a next to real picture about a place that doesn’t exist. It’s like moulding a comic impeccably into a reality.

Wakanda

Wakanda puts something contrasting about the image the world holds about a place like Africa. It is like a poor child’s dream who wishes to roll the dice and change his fate. It is the ultimate contrast where the less fortunate are extremely blessed. All they are trying to do is hide what they have from a ravenous world.

I have seen gods fly. I have seen men build weapons that I couldn’t even imagine. I have seen aliens drop from the sky. But I have never seen anything like this.

Whilst Wakandans have a hard time grasping the concept of sharing, it is understandable why someone would keep something so powerful as Vibranium for themselves. The Black Panther movie still, however, tries to change that by showing this transformation of ideologies by delving into “why the good in the world should be apportioned”.

For a threat that is imminent in the form of Thanos, it only provides an icing of perfection to what is about to go down. It was an ingenious build up and you cannot write it off as mere luck.

Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger (Minor Spoilers)

Black Panther movie becomes more thoughtful and cognitive as it proceeds. There is something insanely sympathetic about its antagonist Erik Killmonger portrayed by Michael B. Jordan that would leave you feeling sorry for him when the movie actually fades.

Wronged by T’Challa’s father sat a poor child in Erik who only had his father’s stories for conversations. Bereaved of a childhood with no one to care for, becoming a villain was inevitable. You don’t know that but you see that gradually happen when he shows up at the door of Wakanda asking for his birthright.

 I’ve waited my whole life for this. The world’s going to start over. Imma burn it all!

Was he capable? Yes! He defeats the king in a fair fight, announcing his arrival as the new king of Wakanda. The only problem being his motives were ulterior. He wished the world to get a taste of what Wakanda was trying to hide. If you rule that out, you realize Killmonger was too good a villain. The one who had capabilities to drive his claws into superheroes and bring them down.

The most crushing moment is the tete-a-tete with his father N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) where he transforms into a kid trying to reason with his life. There is so much hatred in him for the Wakandans that it is futile for N’Jobu to make him understand that the path he had set out on only houses destruction. That child had carved a purpose for himself that avenged not only his father but a deprived life. Michael B. Jordan, by the way, is outstanding as Erik Killmonger.

Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, cause they knew death was better than bondage.

T’Challa

Whilst there are reasons enough to go gaga over the villains, nothing compares to what T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) was dealing with. He held immense veneration for a father who did something terrible to Erik as a child. He is fighting his father’s image, literally boiling his insides up trying to make sense of why T’Chaka (John Kani) left the poor child behind. That has clearly crushed him mentally making him more susceptible to enemy attacks.

You are a good man, with a good heart. And it’s hard for a good man to be a king.

T’Challa’s revival has been beautifully timed when the world is about to go down in cinders. As he is about to metamorphose into the Black Panther, he once again encounters his father’s soul. This time with tons of questions in his head.

A man who has not prepared his children for his own death has failed as a father.

T’Challa resuscitates with a clear conscience focusing on what he has to do wiping off his slate of anxiety.

Black Panther fight still T'challa vs Eric Killmonger

I did not yield! And as you can see, I am not dead! The challenge continues!

The end result this time boils down to simple awareness and he becomes successful in stopping Killmonger from spreading his perversion. He does the right thing eventually opening gates of Wakanda’s knowledge for the rest of the world.

The illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.

Other Characters

M’Baku (Winston Duke) comes strong as a helper from a mountain tribe Jabari, even though the entire tribe is not on good terms with T’Challa’s people.

If you say one more word, I’ll feed you to my children! I am kidding. We are vegetarians.

Andy SerkisKlaue is another one of those brilliantly executed villains. He lands in a rabid colloquy in place filling up the screen time with extraordinary delivery. You know whenever his bit comes, there’s something interesting about to go down. His fate, even though magnificently fills in the plot, appears like a cheap shot.

I made it rain!

Bottom-line – Serkis deserved more screen time, the villain was yet to showcase his skills for crying out loud. With Black Panther his fate was sealed with Marvel, and that I think was a huge bummer.

Another one of those roles that matter the most is that of Shuri (Letitia Wright), sister of T’Challa. Her scientific creations are next to none. The brother-sister relation between them puts a smile on your face. You instantly know she is very important, proven thus by that Winter Soldier (Bucky) cameo in the end.

Another broken white boy to fix.

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Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), T’Challa’s ex, brings home that emotional angle to the story providing him the mental support he lacks.

You cannot let your father’s actions define your life. You get to decide what kind of king you want to be.

Her wisdom supersedes people which is her true strength. Lupita fills Nakia up with realism.

Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) is that eye who brings home that third-party perspective to an ongoing resplendence. It is like a marveling eye that reflects ‘us’, the spectators, in those frames.

Okoye cannot be forgotten either. She makes her presence felt by being one of the finest warriors of Wakanda. Her loyalty to her king and her allegiance to what is right, comes under the cross-hair when she finally decides to take a call.

You are so full of hatred, you will never be a true king!

The Final Verdict

Black Panther’s true strength lies in its ability of story-telling. Ryan Coogler wasn’t afraid to experiment even though it stretched the story a tad too much, like by showing the ancestral meeting (the process right after consuming the heart-shaped flower) thrice in the flick. It was crucial to the plot and he made sure that he took his time with it. It is beautifully done and literally fills the movie with emotional substance.

Its action is a tad less when you pick up all the prequels and line it up against Black Panther. It is a little bit slow paced as Ryan Coogler prefers it. But I don’t think it has affected the movie at all by the way it has been wrapped.

There are barriers it breaks, lives it affects with its storytelling as it packs in hope building that staircase to the upcoming spectacle Avengers: Infinity Wars.

Captain America: Civil War Review (2016)

High on breathtaking action and bro-feels!

Captain America: Civil War subtly disembarks crucial Marvel characters into the MCU grounds without overlooking the originals. There is a morsel for everybody, as they get a shot at each other with some rad action to ice the intriguing melodramatic plot. Nobody gets left out with their screen time, which was a Herculean thing to achieve. Marvel simply aced it.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR MORALITY AND SUPPORT

Bro-feels are hopping around throughout the movie as you see Cap and Iron Man digress from their paths to go against each other, in a gradually developing storyline. You can’t help but feel sorry for both of them as they try to rip each other apart. Like other characters in the movie you end up taking sides yourselves. Iron Man is understandable but Captain America can’t be written off either. Both are on such pedestals of morality that Civil War between them becomes inevitable.

BREATHTAKING ACTION

Action is sheer bonkers! So many cool stunning bits that you have to see the movie again to keep your cross-hairs locked. The biggest action driver is no doubt the Winter Soldier again, as Bucky Barnes ravages through every one who tries to either stop or catch him. Watch out for that highway action scene! He single handedly decimates every superhero who comes in his way. Black Panther gets introduced brilliantly to the tale. So does Spidey! Looking forward to watching their solo movies now.

HUMOUR GALORE

Civil War is high on humour just like any Marvel movie is, with Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Anthony Mackie and Paul Rudd doing us the honors of throwing us off into non-stop guffaws. Brilliantly penned screenplay as usual with great music to cover things up. Editing is exceptional as well.

Captain America: Civil War’s drama lets you dig deeper into the heads of the superheroes, and make them fairly relatable. You can’t help but relate your plight to these characters who get hammered under egotism, friendship, choices and conscience. Despite everything the movie packs in, you have to establish hands down that Iron Man stays the coolest, and Captain America undoubtedly the finest!

MINI-MOVIES PER SE

The weird thing about Captain America: Civil War is that you divide the movie into sub-sections and you still get awesome mini-movies that hit extraordinary feat per se. Wrap those little plots and there’s the big one that reveals like an eye-opener eventually in the climax.

One downside could be that there is no true villain in the movie. Rather a pointer that directs them into mangling each other to gnaw at the team from inside.

THE FINAL ADVICE

Not going into the spoilers much I would recommend you go get on this awesome bandwagon called Captain America: Civil War at once, and enjoy the thrilling action-packed bromancing ride. Watch it over and over if you wish to relive its classy mind-numbing action.