A while back, I went to see Marvel’s Black Panther with my nephew. He surprised me when, just as the first battle scene was starting, he stood up and announced, “I’m going to the bathroom, the fights are boring.”
Ah, yes, the kid takes after his uncle.
I have to be honest and tell you that I wasn’t excited about seeing the new Marvel movie, Avengers: Infinity War. Knowing that it’s the culmination of the last ten years of super hero movies, I assumed that it was basically going to be wall-to-wall fighting. I like the Marvel movies, but it’s not because of the battles, it’s because of the mythology and world-building. And the jokes. Definitely the jokes.
Luckily, I was wrong! Avengers: Infinity War certainly has its share of fighting, but as a whole, it’s kind of like a season of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones.’ It spends quite a lot of time moving its pieces into place before everything comes together in the expected apocalyptic battle. It gives you time to sit with the characters and to feel all of the tension build toward this end. The fights feel less like a crutch and more as punctuation in the larger story.
I won’t go into what that story is, because if you’re not already at least a little familiar with the Marvel universe, you need to know you’re likely going to struggle with Infinity War. The movie won’t help you out one bit—it plops us down right in the middle of the action and doesn’t bother to introduce characters or give us the backstory. But, to be fair, Marvel has already given us 18 movies of backstory over the last decade. Realistically, you could probably get away with only having seen three or four of those and still find a way to enjoy Infinity War. Just… don’t make this your first Marvel movie.
Infinity War is a little overwhelming—there’s a lot to keep track of, and it moves in directions that are very bold, especially for a movie that’s looking to play to the widest audience possible. But for me, it succeeded in doing exactly what it was likely designed to do: it made me want to watch more Marvel movies. Ant-Man, here I come.