‘Colossal, cataclysmic and preposterous’

Infinity War: The film is directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo. © Marvel/Disney

Can you have too much of a good thing? Yesterday, Avengers: Infinity War opened in cinemas around the world. It is Marvel’s 19th superhero movie, and its all-star cast is the largest yet…

“It’s just mind-blowingly epic,” said Benedict Cumberbatch in March. “Once it starts, it does. Not. Stop.”

He was talking about the new Avengers movie, Infinity War, which was released yesterday.

The film brings together dozens of characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), including 22 superheroes.

In fact, the film is so big that most of the actors were not allowed to read the whole script. Cumberbatch was one of the few who knew the entire plot before it was released. He called it “brilliant, terrifying, at times funny, at times very moving.”

Infinity War is the third Avengers crossover movie, and the 19th movie in the MCU.

The films are as popular as ever. Earlier this year, Black Panther became the fifth Marvel movie to make over $1 billion worldwide, and Infinity War is expected to do the same.

Yet not everyone is convinced. The New York Times wrote that Infinity War “makes very little sense”, because it packs in too many worlds and characters at once.

Last weekend, Avatar director James Cameron said that he was “hoping we’ll start getting Avenger fatigue here pretty soon. ... There are other stories to tell.”

Is the franchise simply too big?

Infinity and beyond

Less is more, say some. With so many big names jostling for attention, films like Infinity War lose the slower, personal touches that make good storytelling. And the MCU is so big that it is pushing out more original film ideas. It is time for something new.

This is just snobbery, counter others. Marvel is not just making “superhero movies”; its films all have a unique style, a twist on another genre. Some are romantic comedies, some meditate on the ethics of heroism. It is unfair to lump them all together as mindless action. Besides, they are great fun. Why not enjoy more?

You Decide

  1. Are there too many superhero movies?

Activities

  1. It is time to design your own superhero for 2018! Think about some of the problems the world faces, and the kind of superhero who might respond to them. Make sure you give them an outfit, special abilities and a name to protect their true identity...

Some People Say...

“Heroes are made by the path they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”

Iron Man

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
The film was released yesterday. It had a budget of around $300 million, making it one of the top five most expensive movies ever made. It is expected to earn all of that money back and more in the box office.
What do we not know?
Almost anything about the plot, unless you’ve seen the film already. Those who attended preview screenings have been implored not to leak any spoilers.

Word Watch

Marvel Cinematic Universe
This is the name given to the world which has been explored in the 19 Marvel movies since Iron Man in 2008. They are based on characters and storylines from Marvel’s superhero comics, published since the 1960s.
Crossover
A tradition that started in comic books, when characters from several different series would appear (or cross over) in each other’s storylines.
$1 billion
The other Marvel movies to do so were The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War.

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