So, we saw Avengers: Infinity War—the latest blockbuster in a universe of blockbusters—on opening weekend. As I have said before, superhero movies don’t really move me any more. The plots are too predictable, too simplistic and too shallow to engage my interest. The characters are, well, two-dimensional. I enjoy the interpersonal interactions when the crew is off duty, along with the occasional snarky dialog and the awesome special effects. But those big battles—and this movie is all big battles—leave me cold.
Here are the two things that really jumped out at me in Avengers: Infinity War:
Infinity War and Archaic Fighting
I long ago gave up hope of getting some strategy, sophistication or creativity in the fight scenes. This movie did surprise me, however. There is a fight that actually involves a plan to ensnare the villain, take him by surprise, and steal his power. It’s complicated and interesting, making the best use of powers and abilities. So, kudos for that.
But the Really Big Fight, the one at the end of the movie, almost made me laugh. It’s 2018, folks. We no longer fight battles by sending our troops running down a hill to engage the enemy mano-a-mano. Especially when that enemy isn’t even human.
We have airplanes that can drop bombs or strafe the enemy’s troops. We have really big, high-caliber weapons that shoot a lot of bullets in a few minutes. We have armed drones. We have big honking tanks that can demolish all kinds of enemies. Heck, we even have flamethrowers.
So why do the Avengers act like the Yorks and the Lancasters at Bosworth Field? Worse, the combatants in the Wars of the Roses had horses and broadswords, longbows and arrows. The Avengers have to depend on their superpowers, which don’t always add up to what one Hellfire Missile could do. Horses would have helped in fighting those ugly monsters. Tanks would have been even better.
The only explanation for this anachronism is that the Fan Boy base wants to see the hand-to-hand combat so they can imagine what they would have done if only they had superpowers and fancy suits. If only they actually got in shape and learned to fight. But in 2018 it just doesn’t make sense.
Avengers and Emotional Men
The second thing that really jumped out at me—twice—was men who could not control their emotions. In two places, the Avengers have a good shot at defeating the Big Bad Villain, Thanos, who gains strength with each Infinity Stone he acquires. Both times, an Avenger is so possessed by rage and the desire for revenge that he can’t look at the situation logically and do the one thing that will Save The Day.
Nope. Each time the superhero dude gives in to his emotions while we in the audience are screaming at him not to do it. Anybody want to guess what happens next? Yeah, you know.
This actually makes me smile because men are always accusing women of being so emotional we can’t think straight. They pat themselves on the back for their logical, rational behavior. Unless, of course, the emotion in question is anger because we all know that anger isn’t an emotion for men, it’s a rational response to a stimulus. So men get to go into unthinking berserker rage without losing their dude cred.
Or maybe if you’re a superhero and an Avenger, you get to throw logic out the window and act like a big, dumb six-year-old with a tantrum. Take your pick.
Where Do the Avengers Go from Here?
Having stayed in the theater until the bitter end, I have to ask the question “Where do we go from here?” BTW: Here’s a list of who’s in and who’s out among the 35 Avengers in the movie, in case you lost track. (I did.) I can see three options (semi-spoilers ahead):
- No more Avenger movies. Well, we know that ain’t gonna happen. Not when The Wall Street Journal tells us these films have brought $15 billion into the bank accounts of Marvel Studios and the Disney Company. Avengers: Infinity War has already grossed $1.2 billion worldwide and “Black Panther” alone has racked up $693,235,592. With golden eggs like that, this superhero goose is pretty safe.
- The survivors use the time stone to go back in time and make better decisions. This is plausible Maybe they could also get better firepower and knock some sense into a couple of thick heads while they’re at it.
- The survivors use the soul stone to retrieve lost souls. That’s also feasible—but risky. Who knows where those Avengers have been in the meantime? Sometimes people come back from the afterlife feeling a tad cranky. Just ask Buffy.
Waiting for the Sequel
Whatever. The sequel is due out a year from now in May of 2019. That may seem like a lot of time but it’s really not, given how long it takes to make one of these films. We have no information on it, not even a working title. So the fan boys will have to settle for “Ant Man and the Wasp” and “Captain Marvel,” both of which will be released first.
As for me, I’m looking forward to “Ocean’s Eight” because it’s all about women planning their way through an impossible heist at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. No silly battles and no male vengeance tantrums. Plus, it has the best marketing line in decades: “Every con has its pros.” Yowzah!