Comics on Film: Why a 'Review' is Difficult to Write for 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Comics on Film: Why a 'Review' is Difficult to Write for 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Apr 27, 2018

WARNING: There is ONE SPOILER for Avengers: Infinity War to be found in this article, which in the estimation of the writer is very light in severity. Still, some fans who've yet to see the film may consider knowing it to have an impact on their watching experience.

If you're a diehard fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, chances are you've absorbed a significant quantity of content related to today's big theatrical release of Avengers: Infinity War. Perhaps you read this column's rankings of Phase One, Two, and Three (so far) of the previous films. Maybe you took a look at John Gholson's well-written impressions here at Maybe you've watched YouTube videos, read articles at other websites, walked into a comic book store, or even just hit up your friend who's a big Marvel fan to try and gauge their expectations for the latest offering in the MCU.

As a fan of the source material, my own personal level of engagement with Marvel Studios films is very high, and chances are that like many of you who read this column on a regular basis, my own friends message me, email me, or call me asking for my perspective. Well, to be sure, Avengers: Infinity War very much packs a punch when it comes to representing many of the best Marvel Comics it's based on, with the extra-large cast making it very memorable. The movie is also packed to the gills with moments that will, no doubt, be memorable for years to come, perhaps even defining several of the heroes — and villains — to be found within the movie.

And yet, even knowing everything about the movie having just returned from it, and waiting with impatient anticipation for the better part of four years for it, writing a "review" still seems to be a bit of a herculean task. Why? Well, look away if you don't want to know anything about the movie.

Final warning.


Still here?

Okay: writing a review for this movie is a little difficult for one, primary reason: it's not a complete story.

Avengers: Infinity War ends on a cliffhanger that is so dangling and in need of connective tissue, that "reviewing" it as if it's a full story may end up doing a disservice either to this film on its own, or the one that follows it. So, in one respect, it's not exactly the same kind of multi-year culmination of the other films in the series when compared to something like the original Avengers film, for instance, because it doesn't really have a beginning, middle, and end.

However, as an "episode" in the ongoing saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Infinity War is the biggest, most bombastic and emotional film in the series that also comes with a fair amount of bravery in the way the filmmakers have decided to tell its story. It creates a total sense of disorientation after watching it, particularly for longtime series fans, and coming out of it, it's very difficult to predict exactly how things will be set up in next year's fourth Avengers film.

Still, much of what was laid down in Infinity War will depend on how this story sticks its landing on May 3rd, 2019. And in that fact is where it becomes easiest to actually quantify Infinity War. As John Gholson said in his review, it very much plays like a season finale, cliffhanger and all. The stakes are high but seemingly exhausted, our characters are going to attempt to figure out where they go from this moment, yet a crack is most assuredly left open to tell audiences that though this consequential movie is over, this story is far from it.

How is Avengers: Infinity War? If you're invested in who these heroes are and the journeys that they've gone on thus far, it's memorable, funny, heart-wrenching, action-packed, and very consequential. Don't go into it expecting a fully contained story, though. While we have a lot of other pieces of the MCU to look forward to before the next Avengers film — especially after today — this is still a movie very much worthy of seeing on the biggest possible canvas you can see it on.

Once again, Marvel and the Russo Brothers demonstrate their acumen for blockbuster filmmaking, and it'll most definitely be a long and perhaps even painful wait to see exactly how everything laid down here is ultimately resolved.

But hey, what did you think? Be sure to leave your comment below (with spoiler tags, please) and we'll see you next week with an all-new Comics on Film!

Chris Clow is a comics expert/former retailer, and pop culture critic/commentator. He hosts two podcasts: Discovery Debrief: A Star Trek Podcast and Comics on Consoles. Find his column "Comics on Film" weekly at, and follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.

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