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This movie is an event.

Since the release of 2008's Iron Man, Marvel Comics has been producing the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a series of 18 interrelated movies, as well as several television shows, all focusing on different aspects of the Marvel Universe. Much like Marvel Comics, these movies have had a variety of scales and tones, some focusing on the cosmic, some on contemporary life, some extremely serious, while others have been more comedic. The center of this universe has been The Avengers, starring Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Hemsworth as Thor. The previous two Avengers movies were big budget spectaculars that managed to sell a lot of tickets, as well as being accepted by any critic who wasn't trying to score snob points.

So this brings us to the most ambitious project yet: a 300-400 million dollar spectacular that would feature over a dozen big super heroes (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk, The Black Widow, The Vision, The Scarlet Witch, The Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man included) as well as dozens of other supporting cast members and villains. This movie has "infinity" in its title, after all. It is big in scope. Its story is taken from the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War, two early 1990s Marvel Comics events where Thanos attempted to harness the Infinity Gems to become omnipotent. If that sounds like an overblown comic book plot, you aren't wrong, but both the original material and this movie manage to get some drama and some grandeur out of what seems to be the simplest of "villain wants to take over" plots. Josh Brolin stars as Thanos, the demigod who wants to become a real god for not-totally-evil reasons, and as many people have mentioned, this movie focuses on his character as much as that of the titular heroes.

While watching this movie, a thought occurred to me: this is exactly the movie I imagined. Back when I was in elementary school reading comics, when I hardly saw any movies and the movies I did see could have never handled any special effects more complicated than a rubber suit, I still managed the pacing and quirkiness of Marvel comics in cinematic terms. And this movie delivers perfectly: Stan Lee's soap opera and Jack Kirby's cosmic vision trade off in a crescendoing story that fits perfectly even when it takes unexpected turns and seems to divert its energy. When I say that this is exactly what I dreamed of when I was ten, I hope that doesn't sound like sarcastic praise. This movie exactly fits the energy and spirit of Marvel that has captivated me for thirty years.

There is a complaint with this movie, and a fair one. There is too much going on here. Characters who have had their own dramatic character arcs are confined to a few one-liners or a few action scenes. Less than three months ago, Black Panther set records for being one of the most popular films ever with an (almost) all black cast, as well as for expanding the scope of comic book movies. Here, while we see the Black Panther, he is a static figure with no focus on him as a character. Even the characters who we do see a lot of, like Iron Man and Thor, are quickly glossed over for the exigencies of the plot. But that is part and parcel of the Marvel Universe (and of real life): sometimes we are the star of the show, and sometimes we are just an onlooker to great events. There have to be trade-offs between plot and characterization in any work, and for an epic scale movie, I think they handled it well.

I saw this movie yesterday. Perhaps movies like this won't age well, perhaps I am just emoting like an enthused fanboy and the plot holes and shortcuts of this movie will not stand up to repeated viewing. But for now, I just want to enjoy what I found to be an utterly engaging mix of cosmic drama and witty humor.

My lawyers have advised me to say SPOILERS ALTARS although I don't know what it means (legal jargon).

Today I had a date with a lady with glasses. She brought over a bottle of cheap vodka and a DVD of this movie. I am generally not fond of superhero movies as it is depressing to always see the bad guys win in the end despite very good efforts from the good guys. The way they manipulate the storyline so the bad guys end up winning against impossible odds sickens the hell out of me (if I can be honest here). So I would not have agreed to watch this film with this woman unless she agreed that we would have sex after it was over and that she would agree to do other sexual things during the movie. She agreed but she was also drinking vodka straight out of the bottle and would not offer me any. A leaky sore on her lip troubled me anyway so I didn't have much interest in taking a swig (what the internet kids call a drink) from the vodka bottle she brought. I got myself an American pilsner beer out of my icebox and returned to the couch while she put the DVD in.

I had no idea what was going on for the first half of the movie so I had her put her head on my lap and keep her mouth full because she kept trying to explain things to me and that leaky sore thing was not something I cared to look at while she flapped her gums at me. It was very distracting while trying to watch the movie (both the talking and the pus). She stayed busy "down there" as they call it in the high schools of America (home of American made steel) while I tried to maintain interest in this very confusing movie.

It began to perk my interest at the point where it appears the bad guys are actually going to lose this time. This big, strong, dominating good man is taking steps to balance the universe and the bad guys are flying around in strange outfits from some circus (probably to maintain what is called low profile or keeping your profile low). Things are looking good for the good guy and his good plan and I dared not get my hopes up once again. I watched too many Bond movies where that asshole escapes his just punishment to even care about it any longer. She was getting near finishing me off "down there" when the strong manly man's plan succeeds! The good guys win!

I recommend this movie for people who have longed for a superhero movie with a happy ending. There are tragically very few of them.

Three out of four stars because of the stuff in the first half I didn't understand and wasn't explained to me in detail.

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