Avengers: Infinity War: 6 Days and Counting
I don't know about where YOU live, but where I live it'll be 6 more days (next week Wednesday) until I can finally see the third Avengers movie. I doubt I'll make the first showing (gotta work), but I'm determined to see the earliest showing possible.
To recap, what are the films in the MCU so far? They are:
1. Iron Man
2. The Incredible Hulk
3. Iron Man 2
5. Captain America: The First Avenger
6. The Avengers
7. Iron Man 3
8. Thor: The Dark World
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
10. Guardians of the Galaxy
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
13. Captain America: Civil War
14. Doctor Strange
15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
16. Spider-Man: Homecoming
17. Thor: Ragnarok
18. Black Panther
...and I compiled that list from memory, with only one mistake. Excluding Black Panther, which I don't believe is available on DVD yet, I've seen all of the above movies at least two times. Some of them, like the first Iron Man and The Avengers, I've seen at least FIVE times.
I still think the first Iron Man is the gold standard of the MCU, not only because it was first, but also because it's an excellently put together movie. The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: the Winter Soldier, and Spider-Man: Homecoming are other personal favorites. My least favorite MCU movies are probably Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which I've never felt much connection to. I've vented on the subject of Thor: Ragnarok elsewhere, so I'll leave it alone for now.
Going into Avengers: Infinity War, what am I expecting? Well for one thing, I expect that Thanos is going to be a disappointing villain. If you've read Starlin's Infinity War comics, you'll know that he's basically just a(nother) big purple bad guy with an ill-defined goal. I'm sure the Russos did their level-headed best to give him more depth, but with a two-hour runtime and a movie crammed full of characters I doubt there's much they could do. If they prove me wrong, I'll be happy.
The criticism that the MCU has a "villain problem" is, I think, justified. Of all the MCU films so far, the only villains I've really enjoyed were Abomination, Loki, the Winter Soldier, and the Vulture. The Red Skull was completely two-dimensional, but it worked for the type of propagandistic movie he was in. Ultron was, in my opinion, the biggest wasted opportunity. I'm really hoping they do something more with Thanos, but giving him adequate time to develop would seem to imply a "scaling down" of this movie.
There's also the idea that one or more of the MCU's main characters will die during Infinity War. Iron Man? Captain America? Hawkeye? Drax? If I could pick a character to kill off it would be Black Widow, because I find her extremely irritating. I'm betting that it's Iron Man, Captain America, or both. We already know that Captain America will be in Avengers 4, but he might just be appearing in flashbacks.
If nothing else, the special effects should be great. Marvel Studios has spent a ton of money on this movie, and the previews seem to indicate new levels of citywide carnage. I'm hoping they don't set too much of the movie on Earth and/or in Wakanda. This movie should be bigger than that, with characters moving across galaxies.
In a real world context, there's the issue of representation. Marvel is of course feeling the unparalleled success of Black Panther, and the characters and places from that movie might carry a weight in Infinity War that they ought not to have. I'm guessing they'll go light on Thor, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and Hulk, and heavy on Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, and Black Panther. Don't get me wrong, Black Panther has always been a favorite of mine, but I don't think he should be front and center against Thanos. What's he going to do? Scratch Thanos to death?
Hopefully Infinity War will feel like the end of a chapter in the MCU, and not just a lead-in to Avengers 4. If Marvel's smart, they'll know we've been waiting since 2008 for this to happen, and that anything less than a grand finale's going to disappoint a great many people. Killing off Hawkeye or Vision isn't going to be enough. This one has to hurt.
Whatever they do, I'm hoping it's a well crafted story without too many plot holes. Of course when dealing with purple giants and Asgardian gods there are bound to be plot holes, but I hope they aren't glaringly large. If they get the characters right - and I have every reason to believe they will - and if the actions of these characters make sense, I'll be happy.
Oh, and having Deadpool show up at the end would be nice. Not that I'm holding my breath.
Some Other Movies From 2000
Some Other Movies From 1998
Some Other Movies From 1996
Some Other Movies From 1994