The Michael and Mihir Review of Skyscraper

The Rock is in theatres and that’s all you need to know.

Skyscraper is about a building on fire and Dwayne Johnson saving his family from inside it while the Hong Kong police is after him. If that isn’t a synopsis for a perfect film, nothing is.

Jokes aside, my friends and I were extremely excited for this film, and given that all we wanted was a mindless action film, we were very happy.

When I try and review a film like this, I always remember what the movie is trying to be. It is never fair to examine a film like this under the same lens that you would examine a film like Taxi Driver or Children of Men, because they are not trying to achieve the same purpose. Children of Men is trying to be something different to what Skyscraper is trying to be, and so saying Skyscraper is not believable or that it lacks arcs, character development or, well, logic, is unfair to the film. Of course, this is how I see films when I watch them and it doesn’t have to be how everyone sees them.

This is a film that is designed to be a fun action film, and that is what it is. You are entertained from start to finish, and The Rock has enough charisma to carry any film.

Skyscraper isn’t a film with a ground-breaking plot or complex characters or intriguing writing. There are instances in which you simply must abandon logic and just roll with it. There are times you can predict the next line with barely any thought. But that just adds to the charm.

Skyscraper is a great time and it doesn’t try to be anything more than that. The Rock is entertaining, the action is engaging and almost everything is dumb. But that’s why it’s cool. Not everything has to be Oscar-worthy.

The Michael Ashton column:

From the director of DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, comes the second chapter in Rawson Marshall Thurber’s trilogy of the underdog story. Except this time…. The Rock is dodging bullets while on a building, and just like The Rock’s career… the building is on fire. We can only hope the third one will take place in space, even though that’s where this movie was literally heading.

This is the type of movie that you are able to create a drinking game out of, whether it’s how many times you can guess the next line correctly, or how many computer screens change from offline to online and vice versa. But in there lies the fun of this movie. You shouldn’t go and see this movie by yourself. Take a pal, and just cheer everytime The Rock does something near-impossible, but believable enough because he has the muscles the size of treetrunks. It’s no coincidence that there are many Biblical and mythological references in this movie, ranging from Chin Han’s (the second Hollywood blockbuster he has been in where he is kidnapped from a Hong Kong building) character labelling the top of the Pearl as Heaven, as well as The Rock have a literal Achilles’ heel, not to mention his God-like presence.

Remember Neve Campbell? Don’t feel bad, I forgot she had a career as well. She’s back, and with the help of her stunt double, she’s able to achieve the impossible task; being the only likeable white person in this movie. I’m serious, not even her kids are white, thanks to Dwayne’s Johnson. Danish villain #65 does a great job of having an evil accent, and the editor does a fantastic job of wasting Noah Taylor. I have to applaud the director for allowing the Asian character’s to speak their own language, knowing that the audience was not limited to 5 year olds who are just learning to spell for the first time. However, I cannot applaud him for perpetuating the cliche of the black guy dying before everybody else.

If you were expecting Bruce Willis to climb out of a vent to say “Yippi ky-ay, mother-trucker” just before The Rock picks up the building to whack a Dinosaur, you will be sorely disappointed in the film’s lack of imagination. However, what you will find are high angle shots that will keep you away from rock climbing, a plot that is so paint by numbers you can almost see it drip (that line makes no sense, but I like the sound of it), and a charismatic lead you want to see survive because you hope that one day you’ll be in the same room as him, hoping that he does smells like cinnamon cookies.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

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Ant-Man and The Wasp: Fun But Frustrating

In a world of three Marvel films a year, there can’t always be a huge, high-stakes monster of a film. This year, Marvel Studios have released arguably their heaviest solo film in Black Panther, and definitively their heaviest film in Avengers: Infinity War, so bringing it down for its final chapter is a wise decision.

Ant-Man and The Wasp is once again directed by Peyton Reed, and has virtually the same cast as the first film, with the exception of Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, Lawrence Fishburne as Bill Foster and Michelle Pfeiffer as Janette van Dyne.

This is a tricky review to write because Ant-Man and The Wasp is a film I want to love, but simply cannot because it’s problems cannot be ignored. I will talk about everything I did like later on, but first I must address the biggest problem with the film, and it is the writing. This film is written in ways that will leave you questioning it, given a little bit of thought.

The characters do not feel like they gain anything from the film. The film feels like an event with people there who are experiencing or are responsible for the event, but the characters themselves don’t seem to receive anything from the event.

Ghost, in particular, is frustrating, because she is utilised in a strange way in the film, but the character itself is interesting. I was hoping she would be used in a better way.

However, there is no denying that Ant-Man and The Wasp is an extremely entertaining movie. There is never a dull moment, and whether it be through the engaging action set pieces or the great humour, the film keeps you within it.

The humour in particular is really good, because it’s derived mostly from characters and not from situation, so all the humour feels more natural.

Everyone delivers a great performance in this film, from Evangeline Lily to Michael Pena, but Paul Rudd is especially a stand-out for reasons I will not get into because they involve spoilers.

Ant-Man and The Wasp is a film with noticeable problems, some of which do greatly bring the film down. However, it is still funny, charming, and entertaining. At a time when Marvel has seriously raised the bar for their films, it doesn’t quite earn the right to be in the same basket, but it certainly is a great time.

Also, definitely stay for the first post-credits scene. The second is optional.

Finally, in a little bit of self-advertising, I’ve started a new blog on Medium, specifically for analyses and passion pieces about film. You can read my first article, about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by clicking here, if you’d like.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Ant-Man and The Wasp: MIHIR

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – A Completely Forgettable Placeholder

The inevitable sequel to Jurassic World is fun. I’ll give it that. It’s a good time at the cinema and you will always be entertained. But that’s really all that I can say for it.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return to lead a film about dinosaurs almost going extinct again, and the consequences of this prospect.

I don’t have much to say about this film, and that should speak for itself. I’ve actually had a whole day between watching the film and beginning to write this review, and in the past day I have disliked this film progressively more.

I’d initially walked out of the theatre not very satisfied, but at least happy to see a film that isn’t terrible. But over time, it’s dawned on me that this just isn’t enough. I’m not saying all films should be perfect, or almost perfect, or even really good. They should at least aim for more than ‘not terrible’.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a film that is very much on the surface. Things happen, and there isn’t much significance to anything happening. The biggest problem the film has is in its characters. Before I get to the main characters, it is worth noting that the villains in the film are complete cartoon characters and the new supporting characters do not feel purposeful enough to even be in the film.

Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt have even more tragic stories, not least because their characters are so disposable I can’t even remember their names. However, the bigger problem is that they feel less like characters than they do tools the story uses to push itself along. Nobody in this film is different at the end than they are at the beginning. Everyone is just a monotone, two-dimensional dialogue-machine, and that’s it.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a film that doesn’t even appear to be trying to be memorable, or stand out in any way whatsoever. It goes the route of the Amazing Spider-Man 2, and feels more like a stepping stone to a succeeding film, rather than an actual film in itself. I can’t do much for this except give it a negative rating:

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: MIHIR

Incredibles 2 Makes You Forget About the 14 Year Wait (featuring reviews of Tag and Upgrade)

This weekend will ultimately be dominated by a Pixar sequel that has been due for a very, very long time, but before I get to that, I would like to talk about two other movies that come out this weekend. One I do not like very much, and the other I fear will under-perform because it releases on the same weekend as Incredibles 2.

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Upgrade is written and directed by Leigh Whannel, and is a revenge story with sci-fi elements.

What I liked about Upgrade is that there are interesting things within its world, and that it is directed in a unique way.

I don’t have much else to say, however. Upgrade is bogged down, at least for me, by almost comically laughable performances and questionable writing. It is a film that is effective in telling the story it wants to tell, but is executed rather poorly. Almost everyone in the cast delivers a performance that isn’t as good as it should be, and when it is a problem with a lot of actors, it could be a directorial problem. The interactions in this film are, with very few exemptions, noticeably awkward, and I was struggling throughout the film to be completely invested in what was happening because its acting stood out.

On the whole, Upgrade has some intriguing elements, but is a film I simply cannot find myself liking.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Upgrade: MIHIR

I think I’ve gotten all the negativity out of my system, because everything else I have to say in this article is nothing but positive.

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Tag. Is. Amazing.

Based on a true story, Tag follows a group of friends who have been playing the same game of tag for thirty years. There is nothing else that needs to be said to sell this movie.

I found myself very excited for Tag and I was not disappointed in any way. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. Tag is funny, creative and has quite a bit of heart to it. Its cast is naturally likeable, from Ed Helms to Jon Hamm to Jeremy Renner to Isla Fisher, and everyone seemed to truly be enjoying themselves making the film.

As I already said, I have nothing bad to say about this film, and even though everyone would want to watch Incredibles 2 this weekend (with good reason), I also strongly recommend Tag.

Tag: MIHIR

Here comes the big one.

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Growing up as someone born very late in the previous millennium, The Incredibles came out when I was four, and as I have grown up, I have had an evolving relationship with the film. As a little kid, it was a cool superhero movie with a lot of fun to offer. As an early adolescent I could see through some of the layers and the different ways in which it mocks the superhero genre itself. Now, The Incredibles is a film about the craziest mid-life crisis ever.

This is an unbelievable feat, because the way I see the movie now is nothing like how I used to see it. Over the last fourteen years there has been no shortage of praise for The Incredibles, but the truth is, there never will be enough. It is a spectacular piece of cinema that deserves to be remembered far into the future.

Fourteen years on, and here we are. It’s no surprise that in a packed theatre, I saw maybe two children. It is a little surreal to look around a room and realise that almost everyone there likely has a similar relationship with a movie as you, and all of you have waited so long for what you are about to see.

It’s worth taking a step back and appreciating that for a second. Incredibles 2 refrains on using nostalgia to get to its fans, but the very nature of it invites nostalgia. At least, it invites a beautiful collective attachment to something.

Incredibles 2 is incredible. It somehow manages to make you forgive it for taking so long to arrive while also making you enraged that it didn’t arrive earlier.

Brad Bird returns to write and direct, and it shows. Stylistically, Incredibles 2 is very similar to its predecessor. This is not a critique. If it ain’t broke…

Maturity is once again at the forefront of this film. I watched The Incredibles again this week and one thing that is noticeable with that film, and this one now too, is that it is paced rather differently to most Pixar films. Both Incredibles movies truly take their time to establish their context and ease the audience into the plot, rather than jumping into it head-first.

Naturally, the animation in Incredibles 2 is beautiful. Every returning voice actor also shines, and it doesn’t at all feel like we’ve left these characters for so long. Every character in the film is written wonderfully.

While it can be argued that Incredibles 2 is better than the original, I will refrain from making that comparison because I do not have a conclusion yet. However, one thing I definitively will say Incredibles 2 beats its predecessor in is humour, because this film is almost unbelievably hilarious. There is no joke that doesn’t land and there are so many great jokes. It is an enthralling experience from start to finish.

Also, the short film attached to Incredibles 2 is both strange and heartwarming.

Incredibles 2 is a film that has to make everyone, at least to a minimum extent, happy. It is a sequel that may have taken too long to arrive, but certainly does not disappoint. It is really saying something when a film can give The Incredibles a run for its money, and it’s really something else to say it may even be better.

Incredibles 2: MIHIR

Ocean’s 8 May Be the Most Frustrating Film of the Year

Going into Ocean’s 8, I didn’t have expectations but I did see potential, and I was rather excited. The trailers for the film were finely assembled and the cast, it goes without saying, is packed with big names.

On that front, this film does have a good cast. I am talking specifically about performances and not necessarily character, but Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and the rest do a good job with what they are given. Hathaway, in particular, is a scene-stealer.

The movie is also occasionally funny. And it looks good.

That is as far as I can go with the compliments for this film.

Ocean’s 8 is a reboot of sorts of the Ocean’s series of films from the early 2000s, and this time around there is an all-female cast.

I really wanted to like this film. I wanted it to be nothing more than a fun, popcorn movie, and somehow it was less than that. Ocean’s 8 is a film that can best be summarised by one word: nothing.

This is a film in which there are never any stakes whatsoever. This isn’t an exaggeration. This is a heist film that doesn’t have a single moment in which it has stakes. It is a film that feels like it has no script at all, and could probably have been made by handing out the next day’s script with the call sheet during production.

I like films that are fun, and that’s why I wanted to watch this film. But when a film simply lacks in a most basic department, it cannot be excused for being fun. Ocean’s 8 is written so lazily that anyone at all can think of a better written version of it with barely any thought. Not only are there no stakes, I could never really decipher the main character’s motivation. It can be argued that it is explicitly stated in the film, but it is paper thin. If that is her motivation, then the film doesn’t do enough to explain that it is.

As I said, I do think this film is fun, and it has good performances. But it is completely pointless. I don’t mean the reboot is pointless; I was actually excited for it. The film itself is entirely pointless. I don’t know if there is a stranger critique of a film than ‘it doesn’t feel like this had a script’, but I also don’t know if there is a harsher critique either.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Ocean’s 8: MIHIR

If You Expect Nothing From It, Solo Will Truly Surprise You

It is a strange feeling when there is a Star Wars movie just around the corner and I feel no excitement for it whatsoever. This is the same person that was going insane a month leading up to The Last Jedi. It was difficult to be excited for a film I saw no reason to want, had severe production problems (most notably losing its directors) and had Rogue One as a measuring stick.

If we are to use Rogue One as a measuring stick (a film for which I actually was excited), there isn’t a shadow of a doubt to me that Solo is the better film. There was a brief phase during Rogue One in which I actually fell asleep, but with Solo I was engaged from start to finish, and really, that’s all I ever needed.

Make no mistake, this isn’t a movie without flaws. Solo’s plot isn’t worth summarising because I’m not sure how, but I will say it is an interesting plot and is appropriate in the context of the film. The flaws are few but major, with the biggest being the film’s predictability and the severe weakness of its ‘villain’. On that note, it is worth mentioning that Paul Bettany does a great job with what little he has.

In fact, the biggest indicator that Solo is superior to Rogue One is the fact that it has great characters. Emilia Clarke’s Kira, Woody Harrelson’s Becket and Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian are all wonderfully cast and thoroughly written. The biggest surprise is Alden Ehrenreich, who plays a great Han Solo. I had a predisposition that I would reject him completely, but I just had to concede defeat. It cannot be easy taking over a role this iconic and so he deserves to be commended for doing such a good job.

Also, Chewbacca is naturally wonderful. When is he not?

When I compare Solo to the original trilogy, the new trilogy (in the making) and even Revenge of the Sith, it probably isn’t of the same quality. A more appropriate term would be ‘memorability’. While I did enjoy everything I was seeing on screen, none of it was particularly memorable.

However, I should stress that this film didn’t need to be any more than that. It’s a sincerely fun time and that’s all I needed from it. It’s a space western (of sorts) and that plays into itself. It is funny, the action is great and I didn’t even notice the two hour twenty-three minute run time fly by.

While there isn’t much of the spectacular technically, I will say that the cinematography in one particular sequence stands out and I loved every frame of it. I will not say which sequence, but I had to mention that.

When it comes down to it, I expected this movie to be another Rogue One, but it really isn’t. It’s a great time and there’s no point asking it for any more than that. Solo, I still think, is unnecessary, but I’m also glad we got it. I’ve got nothing more to say.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Solo: A Star Wars Story: MIHIR

Deadpool 2 Goes Bigger, But Is It Better? (no spoilers)

The year is 2016. It is February. A film that is possibly the biggest passion project ever made comes out. It is more successful than anyone expected.

Fast forward two years and that film has a sequel, and this time, it’s a Summer movie. With a much larger budget.

Deadpool 2 can best be described by imagining the original film, but on steroids. Not only is it a longer film, it also has more than four sets, and it takes both sides of action-comedy up a few notches.

Even the plot is much more complex than the first. I won’t even explain it. I will say that the film does manage to tell its story in a manner that’s easy to follow, so it doesn’t really feel so complex when one is watching the film.

I didn’t place too many expectations on Deadpool 2, but I certainly didn’t expect to walk out of it unsure about how I would review it.

I’ll start with what I liked. Ryan Reynolds cannot go wrong as this character. He is clearly passionate about the role and it resonates in his performance. Josh Brolin also does a good job as Cable, not really bringing anything special to the table but effectively delivering on what he needs to.

Deadpool 2 had me laughing from the very first frame of the film to the very last. The humour in the film is a varying degree of vulgar, and its subjects are even more widely varied, and it works almost all of the time. Much like the original, this is clearly more a comedy than an action film, and that’s exactly what it needs to be.

On that note, however, I’m going to talk about problems I had with the film. I talked to everyone I watched the movie with afterwards and one thing that was clear was that everyone liked it more than I did. This isn’t to say I didn’t like the film – I really did – I just have more issues with it than perhaps most people will.

The humour in the film, as I said, works, but I did find that a lot of the jokes were carried over from the original film. Some work really well, but sometimes it comes off as lazy writing. It’s funny because ‘lazy writing’ is also a joke in the film (this doesn’t count as a spoiler because it was in a trailer), but that doesn’t justify some of the writing in the film for me.

The CGI is also… Questionable. The first film was allowed a pass in this regard because of its budget, but this film simply isn’t.

The final problem I had with the film is my biggest, but it is also something that I think most people won’t agree with me on. The first film found a perfect balance between a light and serious tone, but this film, at least to me, struggles to do the same thing. I cannot explain this in any way without mentioning spoilers, but all I will say is that there are things in this film that don’t quite fit in for me. Perhaps this will be different on another viewing – whenever that is – but as a first time digestion, there was a bit of tonal friction in the film.

Deadpool 2 is a film that is better than the original in a few ways and worse than the original in others. I had initially thought of rating it lower than I am, but the post-credits scene is possibly the greatest thing ever put to film, so it pushes the film up a rating.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Deadpool 2: MIHIR

 

 

A Spoiler-Filled Analysis of Avengers: Infinity War

It’s been a week and I really hope a week is enough because I have a lot to say.

Avengers: Infinity War is a film that is so special to me that I reviewed it twice, and here I am after three viewings with still more to say.

I’d like to start, however, with a couple of things I really should have touched upon in my two spoiler-free reviews. First is the film’s cinematography, which I think is fine, but becomes something awe-inspiring in one particular scene: Vormir.

Over three viewings, I grew to appreciate how beautiful every single frame of this scene is, from the initial glorious wide shot, to the snowfall as Thanos mourns over Gamora, to the end when Thanos actually receives the Soul Stone. It is truly beautiful.

The second thing I really should have mentioned is Alan Silvestri’s breathtaking score. Marvel’s music has really stepped up as of late, from Tyler Bates’ surprisingly moving compositions for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 to Ludwig Goransson’s criminally underrated Black Panther suite, and Silvestri – who I will always associate with his masterpiece for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – returns to give this film some wonderful compositions. His original Avengers theme, obviously, returns, but there are instances when the film’s score elevates it even further. The Vormir scene, for instance, is visually stunning, but the music to that scene is also magnificent.

Moving on, I’d like to talk about something fun. Death.

Marvel Studios have been widely criticised for their lack of big character deaths, especially when it came to Captain America: Civil War. In response to this, Anthony and Joe Russo said they didn’t see a reason for anyone to die, so they didn’t kill anyone.

There is an argument to be made that the lack of death drastically reduces stakes, but I find myself on the other side. The MCU respects death. Nobody dies for the sake of dying, and every death truly matters. Consider every major MCU death before this film (excluding villains). Phil Coulson’s death is what brought The Avengers together, Quicksilver’s death is what fueled Scarlett Witch in Age of Ultron (there was also some legal mumbo jumbo) and Yondu gave his life for Peter after a fully realised arc for both characters. All three deaths were deeply meaningful, and that’s what death should be. Death without reason is a betrayal of character.

That is true of the character deaths in Infinity War as well. Heimdall is among those that Thanos kills at the start, but in his final act, he sends The Hulk to Earth as a warning. Loki, who has been the greatest character in the MCU, goes from being the villain in Thor to dying a hero’s death. Loki’s death is perhaps the perfect conclusion to his incredible arc across multiple films. It truly says something that audiences felt so much pain seeing someone who did so many terrible things die.

(It is also amazing how we can say actors as huge as Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston are in the film for one scene).

The two other big deaths are torturous to watch, and I won’t get into the significance of Gamora’s because I found a great article that does so, which I strongly recommend reading here. However, there is something that resulted from this that I will talk about.

Peter Quill is not the worst person ever. If I’d lost my mother at 12, had my father figure die in my arms, had the very last memory of the person I loved be me attempting to kill her, and the person who actually did kill her was right in front of me, defenseless, I’d probably forget everything else in the world and finally snap because there is finally something that I could blame for all of my pain. I think a lot of Quill’s tragedy is lost in his persona – which ultimately is what he tries to achieve – but it can only be hidden so much. And that impulse to attack is not out of character. Watch Guardians 2 again. He does the exact same thing.

The most inevitable death in this film was Vision’s, but it was done so well that it almost hurt the most.

Transitioning from death, I’d like to talk about loss. It’s a cheerful article.

I have gained something new every time I’ve watched this film, but my favourite scene remains the same. It’s surprising because I haven’t seen too many people talk about it. It’s just a conversation between Rocket and Thor. But it’s perfect.

I mentioned earlier how Quill’s tragedy is buried under his facade, but when it comes to everyone else, I think their immense loss is overshadowed by everything they actually do. I don’t know if anyone else felt this way, but simply hearing Thor list out all the people he lost was possibly the most powerful moment in the entire film for me, because it shows how far every character has come and also illustrates that Thor truly has lost his home. He has absolutely nothing anymore.

I bring up everyone‘s loss because everyone has lost so much over the years. Tony Stark has lost, in a sense, his sanity and Steve Rogers has lost his entire life… Twice. And these are only two examples.

Chris Hemsworth is smiling and crying in this scene, and he does it so well. Thor’s last film – and even this one – elevated him to untouchable levels of power, but you see the real Thor in this scene. Hemsworth manages to translate that Thor could crumble under his own weight if he didn’t have a purpose, and it’s heartbreaking. At least, to me it is.

The last thing I want to talk about is Thanos himself, who I think I’ve praised enough in my two reviews, but I do want to talk about one more thing. Thanos is introduced as a hard, menacing villain, but this significantly changes throughout the film.

Yes, he murders Loki in the first scene, but from then on something incredible happens. I think Thanos stripping himself of his armour through the film isn’t just because he grows more powerful as he retrieves the Stones. I see it as a metaphor for Thanos himself throughout the entire film. His heartless exterior fades away and the real Thanos emerges. Throughout the film, Thanos loses his armour and his facade. He loses all his children and he loses the one person he loves, to himself. Thanos loses as Thanos wins. This is astonishing because this is completely unconventional writing for a villain, and it’s incredible.

I hope I’m done writing about this film. At least until my top ten films of the year article comes around. I could probably write a whole other article with things I haven’t talked about yet, but I think I’ll leave it here. Another writing spree awaits in a year.

Reviewing Avengers: Infinity War After Two Viewings (no spoilers)

As promised in my first review of this movie yesterday, I am reviewing Avengers: Infinity War a second time, because my first impression could have been rather biased.

Between then and now, I’ve received a lot of different opinions, and it’s safe to say that none of the other reviews I read or watched were as positive as mine. Not all of them were negative, but most of them did have some sort of critique.

I found myself in a peculiar situation of understanding the criticism people had, but not agreeing with them. This is especially difficult to explain without spoiling anything, so I won’t go further with it.

There are two particular points that I do want to get into, though, and I’ll do that later on (without spoiling anything).

Before I’d gone to view this film for a second time, I wanted to find a way to try and watch it differently to the first time, and I did. I decided to watch the film as if it was Thanos’ film, and not an Avengers film. While I did say in my review yesterday that this is Thanos’ movie, I meant that he steals the show. However, today I looked at the film specifically through Thanos’ point of view, and the result is interesting. I will talk about this at the very end, but that will be filled with spoilers so I’ll attach a very strong spoiler warning right before I talk about it.

If you are reading this before watching the film, I recommend you come back to the last section after you’ve watched the movie because I think I have an interesting viewpoint, even if it’s not necessarily something with which you would agree.

The first thing I want to talk about is most people’s point about the movie being overcrowded, and that some characters are sort of left in the background. This is not false. It is a very valid argument, but it is not something I agree with because the characters that are central to the film truly shine. While some characters do not have much to do in the film, I think it’s also worth noting that some characters truly elevate the film. I don’t want to name specific characters, so I won’t.

The second thing I want to talk about is something that really is a byproduct of the first point, and it’s that the film can be a little jarring with how much it jumps around between locations and plot points. It does do that, but I think this is something that comes down to how one prefers editing to be. Some films tend to allow sequences to be drawn out completely before cutting to another location or event, and some tend to cut between things rapidly. Infinity War finds a spot somewhere in between, and personally I think it works fine. However, it does come down to personal preference so I can also understand why someone wouldn’t like how the film is edited.

What is a good sign, however, is that this hasn’t been a Last Jedi scenario again, in which I couldn’t understand negative viewpoints about the film no matter how hard I tried. I appreciate that I can understand the problems with this film.

It might just be me that doesn’t want to take it off the high pedestal I’ve placed it on, and since I mentioned The Last Jedi, I suppose it’s better to stubbornly be positive about something than be stubbornly be negative about it.

Finally, here is the result of watching it a second time through Thanos’ eyes.

Everything in italics from now on is a spoiler. Skip past the italics to avoid the spoilers and get to my concluding paragraph. You have been warned.

For those of you familiar with the general study of mythology, or indeed story-telling mechanics, you will know what Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is. For those of you who do not know, it is a twelve-stage outline of how a hero is generally written in a story, and I recommend looking it up quickly because it’s simple to understand and relate to.

While not entirely similar, it can be said that Thanos’ journey through this movie is a hero’s journey. Out of twelve stages, he really only goes through six to eight of those stages (depending on interpretation), but what I see as important is that they are in the correct order, according to Campbell.

You may not agree with me, but I do think it’s interesting that there are at least some parallels here.

There are no spoilers beyond this point.

Ultimately, after two viewings and two articles, I think all I can really say is that I simply cannot view this movie in even the slightest of negative lights, because I just like it too much.

There is no real reason for anyone to agree with me, but it is how it is. I loved it the first time, and I loved it more the second time. Next year can’t come soon enough.

Where Do I Start With Avengers: Infinity War? (no spoilers)

Having only lived for eighteen years, the opportunities for being excited for a film beyond the comprehension of most people have been slim. Sure, I’ve been extremely excited for movies before, from Marvel’s own Captain America: Civil War to as recent as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but nothing can compare to how excited I was for this movie. My experience of anticipating this movie went as far as not being able to believe I was actually about to be subject to it while I was watching the ads before it in the theatre. I can definitively say that this film is, by far, my most anticipated movie ever.

That, therefore, is a warning that I went into it with a strongly preconceived bias. So to review it, I’m going to do something I don’t usually do, and review it twice. Once now, and once tomorrow, after I watch it again. This review will be overwhelmingly positive, and will consist of my raw thoughts about the film. However, if tomorrow I somehow end up hating the film, I will still stick to the rating I give it today, because my rating has really always been based on my first impressions about anything.

Time to get into the real stuff.

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Ten years of Marvel Studios’ meticulous hard work has led to Avengers: Infinity War, the pay-off for everything. Thanos has finally stepped into the spotlight, and is on a quest to collect the six infinity stones, the most powerful objects in the universe.

That’s a good place to start. Don’t let the title fool you. This is a Thanos movie above all else. A lot of people can say a lot of things about this movie, but nobody can deny that Thanos is an exquisite character, and is so much more complex than I could have ever imagined. Josh Brolin manages to make a CGI version of himself compelling, and his acting deserves recognition here.

The performances in Infinity War particularly surprised me, because I didn’t expect any of them to be as magnificent as a lot of them are. I will not reveal any character details, but I will specifically point to Zoe Saldana, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen, Chris Pratt and Benedict Cumberbatch. Everyone else is, of course, great, but the ones I’ve named truly surprised me with how inspired their performances are.

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At this point I’ve realised how difficult it is to talk about this movie without spoiling anything, but I will soldier on.

Avengers: Infinity War is Marvel’s longest film to date, and it is definitely its most crowded. The first two Avengers films and Captain America: Civil War all have a large number of characters, but compared to this, they’re child’s play. They also feel very self-contained.

Infinity War, however, is an epic. It is massive. There is no way around that. It manages to balance a massive number of characters, and even though it’s evident that some are more important to the plot than others, it balances them exceptionally well.

This is a heavy film. Not just for dedicated, long-time fans, but for anyone watching. I didn’t expect the film to be so centred around one particular motif (I will not say what because it’s a nice thing to realise while watching the film), and in doing so, it became a film that is more complex, meaningful and, I suppose, difficult, than I could have possibly imagined. It is also a film that becomes much deeper the more you think about it.

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There is also a point in this film when I had to stop and ask myself if I’m still watching a superhero film, because everything that I was seeing and hearing seemed like it was taken from an Oscar-winning drama, and that is a compliment.

I tend to use the term “that was the best Marvel movie to date” a lot when walking out of a Marvel film (in fact that is the very title of my Spider-Man: Homecoming review), but when I used it on this occasion, it felt different. I had virtually no doubt behind by statement.

The reason I started this review off with a caution is because I’ve already heard criticism of the film from a friend I went to watch it with, and I understand that criticism. However, I don’t necessarily agree with it, and that may just be because I’m stubborn about my opinion. That’s why I want to write a second review tomorrow.

But everything I have written in this review is true, at least from my point of view, and I do think that this is the best film Marvel have made thus far. There is no reason at all that anyone has to agree with me, but that is what I think. I take a moment to think whenever I’m about to write something like ‘best film’, because most of the time my opinion changes. But I can’t just lie and say that at this moment in time, I do not think that.

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Avengers: Infinity War is a film that you need to experience and judge for yourself, because if Star Wars: The Last Jedi has taught me anything, it’s that you never know how strongly people will disagree with you about a movie.

What I will say, however, is that the film managed to exceed the expectations of the person who had the most expectations in the world for it.

Also, something happens in this film that the biggest MCU fans will absolutely adore. I won’t say what it is, but if you’re reading this before watching the film, you’ll know what it is.

On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

Avengers: Infinity War: MIHIR