Salisbury Press

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Movie Review: Avenge of the movie reviewer

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Focus

Spoiler Alert: This movie review is going to avenge “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The hit movie, which broke domestic and international opening weekend movie box-office records, and continues to set records, is a bloated, computer-generated-imagery mess.

The Mavel Cinematic Universe is a very crowded universe in “Avengers: Infinity War,” with just about every character known to superhero fans in the movie, short of Inspector Gadget. Yes, I know he’s not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Lucky him. It wouldn’t have surprised me if Jar Jar Binks showed up.

In “Avengers: Infinity War” approximately half of the lead cast of the superheroes disintegrate to dust. That bodes well for a less crowded universe in “Untitled Avengers Movie,” which is in post-production for a 2019 release Or does it? Talk about fake news. How about fake movies?

“Avengers: Infinity War” is a $350 million-plus budgeted joke. The joke is on the movie-goer, who will undoubtedly come back for more.

Directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (co-directors, “Captain America: Civil War,” 2016; “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” 2014; “You, Me And Dupree,” 2006; TV’s “Community,” 2009-2014) co-direct from a screenplay co-written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (co-screenwriters, “Captain America: Civil War,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”; “Thor: The Dark World,” 2013; “Captain America: The First Avenger,” 2011; “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” 2010; “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” 2008: “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” 2005).

As you can read, the aforestated are a team. Call them Masters of the Retread Universe.

The characters are based on Marvel Comics characters created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Steve Englehart, Steve Gan, Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen, Jim Starlin, Larry Lieber and Don Heck.

With “Avengers: Infinity War,” the Brothers Russo maybe hoped they could get by on the amazing computer special effects. And the effects are amazing, especially in the 3D format in which the movie was seen for this review. If you are going to see “Avengers: Infinity War,” see it in 3D because experiencing the special effects is really what the movie is all about.

The directors probably also hoped they could get by on the amaziing A-List casting, which is amazing.

Just listen to this lineup: Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Paul Bettany (Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Peter Dinklage (Eitri), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Dave Bautista (Drax), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Josh Brolin (Thanos), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Vin Diesel (Groot), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Benicio Del Toro (The Collector), and William Hurt (Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross).

Whew. Quite an amazing cast, right?

Great special effects. Great cast. So, why am I so disappointed with “Avengers: Infinity War,” which may have the biggest box-office in cinema history?

Well, you may have heard this one: What are the three most important words in real estate?

Location, location, location.

Similarly, what are the three most important words in cinema?

Story, story story.

“Avengers: Infinity War” has very little story: To wit, the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy must stop Thanos from collecting the Infinity Stones.

So, basically, the plot of the biggest blockbuster in cinema history is about completing a charm bracelet.

Too bad “Avengers: Infinity War” has little charm. Oh, sure, there are a few quippy-good one-liners. And, seeing Robert Downey, Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch give as good as they get in the same scene is one of the movie’s highlghts.

However, since there are so many superhero characters in “Avengers: Infinity War,” most have scant screen time, even to, in some cases, amounting to not much more than cameos.

Furthermore, the settings of “Avengers: Infinity War” are odd. Most of the movie takes place in other-worldly places, which are introduced with subtitles because the film-makers know they’re in trouble with the movie-goer trying to keep everything straight. Basically, the scenes reminded me of those on Krypton in “Superman” (1978) where Marlon Brando held forth as Jor-El, Superman’s biological father.

Most of the battles take place in the cosmos, with the exception of that in Wakanda, the fictional African nation. These scenes looks like outtakes from “Black Panther.”

“Avengers: Infinity War” is like watching a World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-vew broadcast. Call it “Smackdown of the Superheroes.”

“Avengers: Infinity War” will appeal mostly to Marvel Cinematic Universe fans.

Apparently, that includes the majority of the movie theater-going public.

I happen not to be one of them.

“Avengers: Infinity War:” MPAA rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.) for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references; Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Run time: 2 hrs., 29 mins. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Credit Readers Anonymous: In “Avengers: Infinity War,” Stan Lee has a cameo as a school bus driver for Spider-Man.

Box Office, May 2: “Avengers: Infinity War” set more records, including the biggest second weekend North American box office, with $112.4 million, $450.8 million, two weeks, and hit the $1 billion global box office in a record 11 days.

2. “Overboard,” $14.7 million, opening. 3. “A Quiet Place” dropped one slot, $7.6 million, $159.8 million, five weeks. 4. “I Feel Pretty” dropped one place, $4.9 million, $37.7 million, three weeks. 5. “Rampage” dropped one place, $4.6 million, $84.7 million, four weeks. 6. “Tully,” $3.1 million, opening. 7. “Black Panther” dropped two places, $3.1 million, $693.1 million, 12 weeks. 8. “Truth Or Dare” dropped one place, $1.8 million, $38.2 million, four weeks. 9. “Super Troopers 2” dropped three places, $1.8 million, $25.4 million, three weeks. 10. “Bad Samaritan,” $1.8 million, one week.

38. “Getting Grace,” the Lehigh Valley-based film directed by and starring Daniel Roebuck, flew up 54 places from No. 92, with $8,971, a 268.4 percent increase, the biggest percentage increase of any movies in the Top 45 (it’s showing on only four screens); $193,176, seven weeks. The $2,243 per-screen average is higher than many movies in theatrical release, including “A Quiet Place,” which had a May 2 weekend per-screen average of $2,227.

Unreel, May 11:

“Life of the Party,” PG-13: Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph star in the comedy. A wife goes back to college after separating from her husband.

“Breaking In,” PG-13: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, and Richard Cabral star in the thriller. A woman must rescue her children who are held hostage in a house.

“Dark Crimes,” R: Jim Carrey, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Agata Kulesza star in the drama. Krystian Bala, a Polish writer, was convicted of murder in 2007.

One Popcorn Box out of Five Popcorn Boxes