AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

"Superhero Movies Don’t Get Bigger Than This"

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Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR brings together the most powerful heroes across the universe to battle environmentalist dictator who believes overpopulation is destroying the universe and so wants to wipe out half of the universe. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is an exciting, humorous spectacle and has a strong moral, redemptive worldview with some heartfelt moments, but it sometimes gets lost in its own scale and includes some negative elements, including occultism, human sacrifice, intense violence, and some foul language.

Review:

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR reunites earths mightiest heroes from the previous 18 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to fight their greatest foe yet, Thanos, an intergalactic member of a superhuman race from the planet Titan, and the last of his race. The movie opens with Thanos on Thor’s spaceship which holds the last of the Asgardians. Thanos and his goons who worship him have killed almost everyone on the ship and have easily beat Thor and Hulk so Thanos could obtain the tesseract, which contains one of the five infinity stones he wants. Before Hulk is killed, Heimdall transports Hulk back to earth through the Bifrost Bridge, but Thor is left for dead in space.

Thanos tells his powerful soldiers to track down the other infinity stones, one of which is held by Doctor Strange, and another which is on Vision’s head and works as his power source that gives him life. Hulk/Bruce Banner lands back in New York City and warns Strange and Tony Stark that Thanos is coming, but only moments later, Thanos’s men show up in New York and start battling Doctor Strange and Tony. Peter Parker/Spider-man shows up just in time for the fight.

Meanwhile in space, Thor is rescued by the Guardians of the Galaxy (Peter Quill, Rocket Racoon, Groot, Drax, Gamorah, and Mantis), and Thor informs them that Thanos is collecting all the infinity stones. Gamora explains that if Thanos, her step-father, gets all the infinity stones, he could alter all of reality in a snap of a finger. Its revealed that Thanos believes the universe needs balance, and because of “over population”, half of the universe should be killed to restore nature. If he gets the stones, he’ll be unstoppable.

Meanwhile, the infinity stone on Vision is in danger, so Steve Rogers/Captain America, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, and Black Widow take Vision to Wakanda for safety, where King T’Challa/Black Panther will help battle any army that comes to get the stone.

As Thanos gets closer to obtaining all the stones, he becomes more powerful, and much harder to stop. Will the Avengers be able to stop Thanos before half of the universe is obliterated?

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is impressive in that it ties together dozens of superheroes spanning eighteen movies released over the past decade into a cohesive plot. Within the first five-minutes, the villain is established, the stakes are determined, and the jeopardy is high. The excitement that follows is nearly non-stop. Where the movie succeeds the most is the despicable, and very intimidating villain Thanos, who is actually the driving force of the movie. Josh Brolin brings a great gravitas to Thanos, whose enormous figure and deep voice demands attention. Smartly, the movie is full of humor, even in some of the most intense battle sequences, adding much-needed levity.

INFINITY WAR isn’t without flaws. A couple scenes were noticeably shot on green-screen and have what can simply be described as fuzzy CGI. Additionally, without giving out spoilers, the ending of the movie is a downer, and the nature of the twist at the end may force the plot of the next AVENGERS movie to undercut some of the plot choices made in INFINITY WAR. Not uncommon in comic book movies, many of the high stakes situations are solved by Deus Ex Machina (artificial magical plot devices, such as multiverses).

INFINITY WAR has mixed worldviews that mostly skew on the positive, biblical side. Negatively, there are occult and New Age elements, mostly surrounding Doctor Strange who levitates through meditation, but it’s not near as heavy as the standalone DOCTOR STRANGE movie. Thanos also acts as a god to his subjects and considers his genocide to be “mercy” to save the environment, but this is strongly rebuked. One of his soldiers tells people to “meet their creator” before killing them. On the flip side, Thanos’ motivations are actually one of an environmentalist dictator who believes overpopulation is destroying the universe but places no real value in life. Also, there are very strong Christian elements of self-sacrifice, protecting every life, fighting genocidal tyrants, and some pro-marriage elements as well. There’s also a reference Star-Lord makes to Jesus being a master, but it’s not said in the most respectful of tones, so it could be taken different ways.

On the content spectrum, INFINITY WAR isn’t the most violent or profane of the Marvel outings, but it’s also not the cleanest. There are very intense fight scenes with shocking deaths, though there’s very little gore. A smattering of foul language warrants caution for younger viewers, especially a few misplaced s-words.

It took 10 years for Marvel to get to this storyline, and to give credit due where credit is deserved, the studio delivers a massive movie. The movie is so big however, it may be too big for its own good. Also, some of the characters, especially Star-Lord and Thor, have similar action sequences, which makes it hard to tell “who is who.” To the filmmakers’ credit, there is a very funny scene between Star-Lord and Thor, where Star-Lord starts talking like Thor and comments about how similar they look. Also, there are moments where several characters reach emotional depths not seen before, but because so many characters demand attention, some powerful moments are easily overlooked, particularly between Stark and Pepper Pots, and Star-Lord and Gamora. As far as storytelling goes, that’s a missed opportunity.

On the flip side, Marvel has sold the movie as a thrill ride with endless hero mashups fans have been dying see, so most will find AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR immensely entertaining, even with a sad cliffhanger ending.

Content:

(BBB, CC, ACAC, PP, FR, O, PaPa, Ab, LL, VV, S, N, M)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong moral worldview overall with strong Christian, biblical, redemptive, patriotic elements, with numerous scenes of self-sacrifice, fighting a tyrannical environmentalist dictator, promotes friendship, love and contains positive nods toward marriage and starting a family, there’s a strong pro-human message with a villain who is a genocidal environmentalist, characters are told to “meet their creator” before being murdered, but this is mitigated by false religious references to “the universe” being a judge, some occult elements surrounding several characters including Doctor Strange who levitates through meditation and allegedly breaks the “astral plane,” hints at pagan pseudo-scientific fantasy ideas about multiverses that may be explored more in future movies, and the villain is worshiped as a god, the beginning of the universe is described in a way that aligns with “big bang” theory, and some Anti-Christian statements are made surrounding his characters, as well as one reference to Jesus that could be interpreted in different ways;

Foul Language:
15 obscenities (including a few “s” words), nine profanities (mostly OMG), an obscene gesture, villain is called a bad name, and discussion of urinating;

Violence:
Strong action violence with humans, aliens and superhumans fighting in hand to hand combat, with swords, spears and guns, several people are stabbed, a couple people are impaled, many dead people are seen, character’s neck is broken, frightening monsters attack a city, a bad guy’s arm is cut off, a character is tortured with needles that impale him, battle sequences results in many deaths, people are turned to dust, someone is thrown off a cliff as human sacrifice to obtain more power, a villain is stabbed with an ax, and some blood is shown, but there’s little gore;

Sex:
Light sexual content includes co-habitation between two unmarried couples and man makes a comment about a “booty call,” another man worries about “his junk”, plus some romantic kissing;

Nudity:
Upper male nudity, plus one female heroes costume reveals some cleavage;

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drug use;

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Kidnapping and vengeance from a couple heroes.

In Brief:

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR reunites earths mightiest heroes from the previous 18 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to fight their greatest foe yet, Thanos, ginormous and powerful Titan who wants five ancient infinity stones which have the ability to make him the most powerful being in the universe. With these stones Thanos, an environmentalist dictator who believes overpopulation is destroying the universe, can accomplish his plan to eliminate half of the population of the universe so he can enjoy nature. Will all the Avengers and their friends band together to stop Thanos?

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR impressively ties together dozens of heroes from a lot of different movies in an immensely entertaining movie, with heart, humor and action, but the vast scale of the movie keeps it from becoming truly one of the great superhero movies. The movie has some strong Christian messages, including self-sacrifice, but it’s also mixed with some light occult elements and a few anti-Christian statements. There’s also intense fighting, and some foul language that warrants caution. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR isn’t without its flaws, but many fans will enjoy the movie.