***SPOILERS*** immediately, so stop reading if you haven’t seen it. This is a re-post of a review I put up on RT yesterday.
This movie is the full realisation of a genre I’ll call Epic Science Fantasy Space Opera and it really put me back to my childhood where I repeatedly found myself disappointed that the heroes always won in the end. It was pretty fresh to be in the end game, expecting the Avengers et. al. to pull some space Rabbit (haha, Thor) out of collective hats and defeat Thanos, and then find that actually … no. This is the first time a blockbuster has got an open-mouthed, emotional reaction from me. That tiny scene with Peter Parker and Tony Stark … oh, man. Peter is the kid who went to war and now realises shit is real and he’s dying. Tony has to be the grizzled old guy who doesn’t deserve to survive instead, and has to live with that. Oh my blockbuster, that’s the poetry of tragedy writ very large. The only spoiler I had before seeing it was people calling it “surprising”, and I guess this downer ending is what they mean.
Thanos is the satisfying bad guy who’s complex and who can safely pass the hero-in-my-own-version test. I actually found myself thinking, well, you know he’s got a point. He’s the ultimate militant environmentalist. The writers do a good job of managing the number of characters, and with balancing humour with gravitas (easy to get wrong, as I felt it was overdone in the last Thor movie). My only tiny quibble was with Scarlet Witch, whose abilities seemed as overly powerful as they were underused. Felt like it needed a technological lens in the way of what she does, otherwise it calls the whole strategy into question. However, I’ll refrain from peering behind that curtain, because it doesn’t spoil the rest unless you think about it too hard.
Now, of course, we know there’s a sequel coming, and there’s room for recovery, otherwise Dr Strange’s trip to observe the futures (observing 1 where they could win) and then saying “it was the only way” after giving Thanos the time stone wouldn’t make much sense. But I honestly didn’t remember that part until after I’d left the theatre. And then you still have to face that, even with time wound back, Gamora is probably still dead. Loki, too. I guess we can wait for the sequel to potentially disappoint by taking all this hideous loss away, but that’s in the future. For now, I’m thoroughly satisfied.
5 exploding infinity stones out of 5