Arts & Leisure

It’s “Infinite” and not in a good way

“AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR” stars many Marvel heroes.

By Jim Tortolano

It’s no wonder why they call the latest Marvel Studios movie “Avengers: Infinity War.” It seems to go on forever, and at two hours and 40 minutes it’s a film requiring the big tub of popcorn and the 16 oz. soda.

At the box office, it’s producing a somewhat infinite amount of cash. With a budget of around $300 million, it brought in $250 million in just the first weekend, and seems certain to blow past the $1 billion mark at some point.

Critics and customers have liked this movie. Marvel fanboys have harped on the idea that this is more evidence that their team makes great superhero movies and that their chief rival – DC – cannot, with the possible exception of “Wonder Woman.”

So let me offer a minority opinion.

“Infinity” offers a rehash of tried-and-true comic book plots. A great evil comes forth and Earth’s heroes get together and fight the threat. There is much violence and punching, and eventually the bad guy gets beat.

Now – here comes a spoiler alert – in this instance, the bad guy getting beat will stretch out over at least one more movie, but the pattern remains the same.

Compare the story line here to DC’s “Justice League” movie. In that one, a great evil comes forth and Earth’s heroes get together and fight the threat. There is much violence and punching, and eventually the bad guy gets beat. The principle difference is that DC’s heroes do it in two hours while Marvel has to go into overtime.

There are other similarities. In “League,” the bad guy – Steppenwolf – is trying to unite three Mother Boxes so he can kill a bunch of people. In “Infinity,” the bad guy – Thanos – is trying to unite six Infinity Stones so he can kill a bunch of people.

The principal difference between DC and Marvel films seem to be the use of mood and humor.  DC’s biggest stars are Superman and Batman, never known for their rollicking badinage. In Marvel films, the large cast of characters combine close combat with banter.

DC movies seek to strike a serious, grave tone. Marvel seems to wink at the audience, saying “Oh, don’t take this too seriously.”

And I didn’t.  As much as I enjoy Robert Downey, Jr  (Iron Man) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor), this film is just another punchfest, strung out to 160 minutes. And the repetition of this seems, well, infinite.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is rated PG-13 for violence and scary images.

 

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