Excellent letter about the ridiculous trademark situation going on with an author bullying others.
THERE ARE SPOILERS FOR INFINITY WAR IN THIS REVIEW.
Content Warning Foul Language.
Last chance… SPOILERS AHEAD. Some for Age of Ultron and other Marvel titles as well.
I’m going to preface this by saying that I don’t follow the comics. I haven’t since uni for a couple of reasons. So I’m approaching this review and my reactions to Infinity War from a MOVIE watcher’s perspective.
Superhero movies are my brain candy. They are one of the few types of movies I make sure my disabled, broke as fuck ass gets out to see in theatre. I save up for these things. It costs me a lot in time, energy, health resources, and money that I really don’t have a lot of to go see these.
I have expectations for them (and yes, I let far too much slide with regards to these movies).
I hurt like a son of a bitch yesterday, and I STILL went to see the movie. Because I really wanted to have the Marvel Movie Experience.
Boy did I not get it.
Backing up a little, I’m not much of a traditionalist for 99.9% of things in life. My husband and I never did a wedding, we don’t have a ‘song’, we’re lackadaisical about couples holidays… and still been happily married for 20+ years. To kinda give you a bit of a handle on my me. I like bending genres, reading/writing genre-busting books…
But one of the very few things I will go to the mat for are story-telling tropes and formulas.
I ripped the hell out of Rogue One because it fucked up the formula.
And that’s one of the ways Marvel Studios fucked up with Infinity War.
See, in the comics universes, there are two main leaders that most people know. DC and Marvel.
Some people like one and dislike the other, some people like both for different reasons.
I love both, for a variety of reasons.
If I want dark and gritty entertainment, with a grimdark sense of reality, I will turn to DC, because historically they have given that to me. I can COUNT on them to give that to me.
Walking into a DC movie, I know that it’s very likely a character that I like might die, it might even be the main character, or the love interest, and because I’m going into it knowing that, I’m good with it.
Walking into a Marvel movie, I know I’m going to be left on a high-point, one illustrating hope and helping me believe for a single moment in time that humanity is worth saving and that hope actually matters.
They didn’t end Infinity War on a high point. They left me no hope, which means I have NO EXCITEMENT FOR THE NEXT FILM. None.
I really don’t give a fuck about anything to do with Marvel now. (Except Deadpool 2 and if that sucks it’ll be the final nail in the coffin of my love for Marvel. Actually, if Loki ends up dead for good, with as much as Tom loves that role? That’d kill it off quicker than fire on a seedling for me too.)
Lolz, people will think I’m being dramatic. While I own the fact that I CAN be dramatic, I stopped watching Walking Dead after they killed off ONE (not both) of my favorite characters. Haven’t caught an episode since and I stuck with that show for YEARS of bad writing. I’d been a fan from first season.
When I’m done, that’s it. I’m done.
And frankly, I have no reason to go watch any other Marvel film having to do with the Avengers or any of them until and unless they fix what they fucked up. So sad for Captain Marvel… even if it’s a prequel, I’m not laying down money to see it. Not after Infinity War.
Marvel Studios has done an amazing job in the past ten years investing me in the characters they mostly freaking killed off in Infinity War.
Leaving me soured at the end of that film was a bad business decision on their part.
You can argue (and it’s been argued with me) that because they made me FEEL SOMETHING (in this case anger, irritation, annoyance, and WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK Marvel?) then the storytelling achieved its goal.
Storytelling isn’t JUST about making people feel something. That’s part of it sure.
It’s not even close to all of it though.
Part of successful storytelling for series and franchise titles like the Marvel movies is MAKING THE VIEWER OR READER WANT TO COME BACK FOR MORE.
Not turning them off from ever wanting to watch anything they made again.
And that’s exactly what Infinity War did to me and many people like me.
I came home after watching IW and tried to watch one of my favorites in the Marvel universe. A comfort watch, so to speak. One I can watch over and over again, regardless. I couldn’t get through it. IW killed Marvel for me.
Because they fucked with the formula.
I knew, going into it, to expect *very bad things* from early reactions of my friends and general chatter about the movie and crowds reactions.
I didn’t expect it to make me hate Marvel Studios. That was a bit of a shock. I didn’t expect it to remove all enjoyment I have in previous titles.
Because they didn’t give me any hope at the end of IW. The bad guy got the happy ending. That’s it. I count on Marvel for hope, and they didn’t deliver.
A single flash onto how the heroes are going to fix this cock-up just before end credits could’ve saved that movie. Because it did have most of what Marvel does so well.
They didn’t do that though. They left me, (and the entire theatre I sat in) cold, dead, and mourning our favorites.
Knowing that, because there are already sequels to other Marvel franchise movies signed and filming, that something would fix it (or that all the other ones will be predated to IW), but no real knowledge ON FILM for us to cling to? No hope?
Not a good move, Marvel. Not a good move at all.
Oh and guess what, other than Deadpool 2, I’m not laying down money on ANYTHING Marvel puts out until and unless they fix the cock-up they made with IW in a way that my heart can take.
They broke my trust. They broke my heart, and those things can’t be fixed easily.
Which is WHY we pay attention to things like tropes and story-telling genres and models of entertainment.
People trust us (I’m as much of an entertainer as anyone, given that I’m making my money from writing and editing) so I KNOW how this is supposed to work.
It’s a shame Marvel didn’t. Or that they thought they were too big to fail (and hell, maybe they are). I only know that *I* a die-hard Marvel fan, am not spending more money on Marvel films barring Deadpool 2 going forward. Not unless they fix what they fucked up.
When I want a hopeful ending to a story, I’ll pick up a romance, because I’m guaranteed an HEA (Happily Ever After) because it’s a ROMANCE. (They aren’t marketed as romances unless they have an HEA.)
When I want my guts ripped out and anxiety about my characters, I’ll pick up a sci-fi or a fantasy by a favorite author.
When I want to wonder who-done-it with no way of knowing if it’ll be happily resolved, I’ll pick up a crime thriller.
When I want a who-done-it with a guaranteed HEA? I’ll pick up a paranormal romance.
In entertainment, consumers expectations HAVE to be taken into account when you’re doing anything with regards to, you know, entertainment.
If you aren’t thinking about that while you’re crafting what you hope will entertain, then you’re going about it the wrong way.
I still don’t know what the actual fuck Marvel Studios and the Russo Bros were thinking by doing that with IW.
I trusted Marvel to give me what they always have, hope. (I mean, I’m still hoping for the fast-twin character to come back from Age of Ultron, because NO ONE DIES AND STAYS DEAD IN MARVEL! That’s one of the things I love about it!)
They left that story open ENOUGH (fast healing, fast-paced scene and we didn’t actually see him dead/stay dead) that it’d be believable within the Marvel universe if he reappeared.
So there was *some* hope for that character.
In IW… they left us with NO hope. None. Except the vague knowledge that they have to fix it somehow, or all other upcoming titles will be predated to IW, which… would be extremely odd and ill thought out.
But given how badly they fucked up with IW I wouldn’t put it past them.
I trusted Marvel to give me what they always have, what I *need* from Marvel.
They failed in that trust.
Within the first five minutes, they killed off my favorite character, Loki. I knew that one was coming because I specifically asked a friend if he died (I needed to be prepared for that one).
So, I’m sitting there watching the movie, and it’s entertaining enough in the way Marvel films usually are for me. Lots of action, pretty people doing unbelievable to the laws of physics things on screen… (I’m a scientist, by all rights I should hate superhero movies JUST for the OMFG whut aspect on the physics… like I said, I give them far too much leeway.) some emotional oomph, lots of CGI, reasonably decent writing.
Writing wise, they tried to cram far too many disparate plots into one 2ish hour movie. They had too many character arcs competing for attention so NONE of the character arcs had the emotional oomph they needed.
If they wanted to do that, from a writing standpoint, and make me feel it, they needed to slow things down a bit and make the movie longer. I have no problem with long movies that have an intermission. Hell, I went to Trilogy Tuesday for LoTR (19+ hours in a movie theatre).
It could have been done, and honestly, should’ve been done.
They did a good job almost making me empathize with the megalomaniacal genocide preaching villain (which, honestly, that was VERY well done because I’m very much not for killing trillions of sentient beings with the snap of a finger).
But Thanos was the only one who got a happy ending in that film.
ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE I CARED ABOUT DIED.
Then roll credits.
That… that is not the hopeful ending I need from Marvel Movies.
Now. Yes. I know that they are likely going to fix it in the sequel, which was originally titled Infinity War 2.
And it IS Marvel. People don’t stay dead in Marvel.
Which is one of the charms Marvel has for me. If I wanted a fucking DC movie, I’d’ve GONE to a DC movie.
There are a number of ways they can fix it (and I swear to gods if they don’t Marvel will be dead to me, don’t piss off your fan base peeps, it’s bad business). I’ve discussed this with friends who read the comics, and I know which one is most likely.
That friend is warning me that there will likely be a sacrifice needed for the ‘fix’. And if it is? (You’ll note, those of you who’ve seen it, that ONLY the original Avengers survived?) It’ll be one or all of the originals who has to die to replace the new ones. They’ll have to sacrifice their lives to pass on the torch to the new Avengers, and that’s how it will be.
Which will also ruin Marvel for me.
See, Marvel is not DC. Marvel heroes can retire, they can fade away, they can be referred to as ‘they had to leave for the good of their families’.
They can’t die, not and stay dead. Not if it’s gonna be Marvel, and not if it’s gonna leave viewers hopeful and wanting to come back for more.
In order to make Infinity War a good movie, other than the basic storytelling issues it had, it needed to have a flash of a way for the heroes to fix it before the end credits.
Something to leave the viewer with the hope that, ‘oh, holy shit the world is fucked but we KNOW our heroes can fix it!’
That’s what brings us back to watch the next Marvel film, and the next, and the next.
Not a sense of poignant gloom and doom and ‘wait, that’s IT? THAT’S WHERE THEY ARE LEAVING US? FOR THE YEAR OR MORE IT’S GONNA TAKE TO PUT OUT THE SEQUEL?’
So… as far as Infinity War goes? I really wish I’d skipped it.
It wasn’t worth my money, it wasn’t worth my angst, and it almost isn’t worth me writing this review.
Maybe if they’d released BOTH IW 1 and IW 2 at the same time, or within weeks of each other, they could’ve gotten away with that shite.
As it stands?
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