Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Is Marvel's big crossover event worth the ten years of buildup?
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"Avengers: Infinity War" is the culmination of a decade's worth of planning, representing the apotheosis of Marvel's Cinematic Universe. All of Marvel's superhero characters (well, almost all— Ant-Man and Hawkeye are absent, not that anyone misses them) have finally teamed up to duke it out with Thanos, the Big Bad who has been teased since the first "Avengers" in 2012. With all this hype behind the film, it is no surprise that it is currently smashing box office records left and right. But is "Infinity War" worth the ten-year buildup?

Picking up right after the events of "Thor: Ragnarok", we learn that Thanos is out to obtain the Infinity Stones, a series of magic rocks that will power his Infinity Gauntlet. With this weapon, he will be able to destroy half of the universe with the snap of his fingers. The Hulk is spirited away back to Earth to warn the other heroes of the impending danger, while Thor is cast into space, soon to be picked up the Guardians of the Galaxy. The film wisely splits the massive cast of superheroes into smaller groups, thus preventing the film from ever feeling too cluttered. Thor blasts off with Rocket Raccoon and Groot on a side-quest to get Thor a weapon capable of taking down Thanos. Meanwhile, the rest of the Guardians team up with Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange, the latter group now stranded in space after fending off Thanos's henchmen. Back on Earth, the remaining superheroes must help their robot pal The Vision remove and destroy the Infinity Stone conveniently residing in his forehead before Thanos can get to it.

With all these separate storylines going on, it seems like "Infinity War" would be a jumbled mess, but miraculously the story functions like a well-oiled machine. The script deftly balances the huge cast, cutting back and forth between each group of characters with ease. Each group gets their time to shine, although the earthbound heroes receive significantly less screen time than the space-faring groups. Amid all the superhero shenanigans, the movie still finds time give Thanos his own scenes. We learn that Thanos wants to destroy half of the universe because he believes it will solve overpopulation problems and provide balance to the cosmos. His unwavering conviction in this logic is unsettling, and it makes him the most compelling villain in the MCU's ten-year history.

However, despite the script's impressive balancing act, "Infinity War" is held back by the same problems that continually plague Marvel movies. Most egregiously is the lack of stakes in the film, which is more of problem with Marvel as a studio than the film itself. "Infinity War" promises to be the serious Marvel film, the one where things actually matter and have permanence this time. This is completely undermined when it is readily available knowledge that the major players in the film are still under years-long contracts with Marvel. It is hard to feel any emotional impact when characters die in "Infinity War" when Marvel is currently producing future films featuring the supposedly deceased characters.

The other big stumbling block for "Infinity War" is the incessant quipping. Marvel has branded itself on being the lighthearted and comedic superhero franchise, as opposed to DC's gritty, gloomy output. Unfortunately Marvel frequently confuses being lighthearted with nonstop jokes. There are numerous moments throughout the film that attempt to be serious or contemplative, only to be undercut by some witticism or round of banter. At one point, Thor is brought to tears while reflecting on the numerous deaths in his family. This moment is immediately followed up with jokey dialogue from Rocket Raccoon. It is possible for a film to maintain a lighthearted tone overall while still containing serious moments. "Infinity War", despite being marketed as a darker chapter in the MCU, cannot commit to its own moments of darkness, as if maintaining a constant jocular attitude will stave off comparisons to DC's films.

Ultimately, "Avengers: Infinity War" is like Frosted Flakes/Lucky Charms: a crossover that seems like a good idea on paper, but one that ultimately leaves you feeling empty. There are things to like about the film, particularly Josh Brolin's performance as Thanos. The problem is that "Infinity War" cannot break free from the same problems that hold back every other Marvel film.

Rating: 4/10

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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6 Places in New York City Every "Friends" Fan Needs to Visit

Grab a cup of coffee at Central Park.
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As a Friends fanatic myself, I often wonder about the places in New York City featured in the various episodes and whether I could actually visit them. Most of them are fictional or no longer exist, but there are a few places you can go to reminisce about your favorite Friends moments. So, here are 6 places in New York City you definitely need to visit as a Friends fan.

1. The Apartment Building, Obviously

The building used for the exterior shot of the apartments in Friends is real, and is located at 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street in Greenwich Village. It's an obvious must-see.

2. The Pullitzer Fountain

This is the fountain that the friends danced around in for the iconic theme song, and it's located right in Central Park.

3. Bloomingdale's

This is the department where Rachel worked before she moved on to Ralph Lauren, where she met Joshua, and where she started her career in fashion.

4. The Plaza Hotel

This is where Monica and Chandler celebrated their engagement in The One WIth Monica's Thunder, and is actually really gorgeous.

5. The Central Perk Replica

While Central Perk isn't a real coffee shop, a pop-up replica opened up in 2014 on Lafayette Street and it's definitely a must-visit.

6. Chandler's Office

The fictional Chandler works in the real Solow Building, located on West 57th street.

Cover Image Credit: Fame Focus

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10 Pros And Cons Of Having A Broken Family

Some are better, while others are definitely worse.

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Having a broken family can have its pros and cons. But no matter what you go through, you will realize that you will always have both your families.

1. Two houses

Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash

Living in two different houses means you have:

Two different set of rules.

Two different types of responsibilities.

Two different rooms.

Everything suddenly becomes doubled.

2. Holidays

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Some might think having two birthdays, Thanksgivings, and Christmases are fantastic, and in a way, they are. Instead of having one day of food you get two sometimes, even three. After awhile , however, you dread the holidays because you are always on the move going from one family to another. You never have the time to just sit and relax.

Sometimes having a drink or two helps you get through it all.

3. You will miss out on things

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When you live mostly at one house and not the other, you begin miss out on things, and sometimes they are really cool things. Its not because the other family doesn't want you to be there, but sometimes you just cant be apart of everything.

4. Siblings

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Broken families means you have a lot of siblings. Luckily, I only have the three at my dads house. But some have siblings at both homes so they end up having eight siblings total — imagine explaining this to someone who doesn't come from a broken family...it can be interesting. They can be a pain, but you always know that one person will have your back.

5. Double the family

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Unlike having the standard four grandparents, a couple aunts and uncles, when you have a broken family the family members double. The step-parent families adopt you as their own flesh and blood and suddenly you have so many family members, and you have no idea what to do.

6. Double the pain

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When you have double the family, you also have double the heartbreak.

7. The food

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You get to experience so many different types of food and different variations of making the same types of food. It makes it hard when you want a certain type of food but you aren't sure which family members recipe you want to use.

8. Family drama

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There will be times where everyone will get along and all will be great. Other times its like World War 3. Both parents just refuse to speak to each other — but that's part of the roller-coaster of life of broken families.

9. Vacations

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The amount of vacations you get to go on and experience on those is so much fun. Sometimes they are experiences that you might never had experienced if it wasn't for having two families.

10. Double the love

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Pretty self explanatory. Love all around.

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