Dateline v. Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Rated PG-13: For Intense Violence and Minimal Sensitive Themes

Running Time: 149 minutes (2 hours and 29 minutes)

Genre/s: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Superhero, Thriller

Released on April 25, 2018 (PH Release Date; Available for Worldwide Viewing)

Presented by Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Inspired by "The Infinity Gauntlet" by Jim Starlin, and "Infinity" by Jonathan Hickman

"Iron Man" Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby

"Thor" Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby

"Captain America" Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

"Guardians of the Galaxy", the 2008 version, Created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

"Doctor Strange" and "Spider-Man" Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

"Black Panther", "The Hulk", and "The Avengers" Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo


  • Robert Downey Jr. as Anthony "Tony" Stark / Iron Man
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor Odinson
  • Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / The Hulk
  • Chris Evans as Steven "Steve" Rogers
  • Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange
  • Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine
  • Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man
  • Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa / Black Panther
  • Paul Bettany as The Vision
  • Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
  • Anthony Mackie as Samuel "Sam" Wilson / The Falcon
  • Sebastian Stan as James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes / White Wolf
  • Danai Gurira as Okoye
  • Letitia Wright as Shuri
  • Dave Bautista as Drax, the Destroyer
  • Zoe Saldana as Gamora
  • Josh Brolin as Thanos
  • Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord
And after ten years of waiting, it finally comes. War. The heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, except for the ones featured in the shows at Netflix and ABC, have come together against a threat unlike any other.

The initial reviews accuse the defendant of being overly crowded and having a rather short running time. With God's good grace, and the powers that be that are the Infinity Stones, we will get to the bottom of this situation, and tell you if this film is really worth buying a ticket for. Welcome back to Dateline Movies, and film court is now open for the case of Dateline v. Avengers: Infinity War.

I hope you remember ... that there are tons of spoilers coming your way. I mean it. If you have not seen this film yet, you might want to leave, then come back later.

You should also be warned that, given that this is a culmination of a decade worth of storytelling, major spoilers for past M.C.U. films, starting from Captain America: Civil War, all the way to Thor: Ragnarok, and one major callback from Captain America: The First Avenger, are within range. This is your last warning.

What is the movie about?

After years of searching, the Mad Titan Thanos, played by Brolin (Deadpool 2), has finally decided to do things his way. He is hellbent on reclaiming the highly destructive "Infinity Stones" that are scattered all across the universe, and Thanos will not let the mightiest of heroes stand between him and his genocidal ambitions.

With doomsday about to come kicking, Tony Stark, played by Downey Jr. (Due Date), Thor, played by Hemsworth (Star Trek), Bruce Banner, played by Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), Steve Rogers, played by Evans (Playing It Cool), Natasha Romanoff, played by Johansson (Ghost in the Shell), Stephen Strange, played by Cumberbatch (August: Osage County), James Rhodes, played by Cheadle (Boogie Nights), Peter Parker, played by Holland (Pilgrimage), T'Challa, played by Boseman (Marshall), The Vision, played by Bettany (Solo: A Star Wars Story), Wanda Maximoff, played by Olsen (Ingrid Goes West), Sam Wilson, played by Mackie (Detroit), Bucky Barnes, played by Stan (We Have Always Lived in the Castle), Okoye, played by Gurira (Mother of George), and Shuri, played by Wright (Urban Hymn), must join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy, composing of but not limited to, Peter Quill, played by Pratt (Passengers), Drax, played by Bautista (Spectre), Gamora, played by Saldana (Infinitely Polar Bear) must make a last stand against Thanos, before the world, and the universe, is destroyed!

What we think of the movie?

The Defense:
  • Josh Brolin's Thanos exceeds expectations!
Almost all of the M.C.U. films have been building-up to Thanos being revealed as the baddest of the bad, the "quasi-protagonist" of this flick, the devil that we all sort-of know. We are very much glad to report to you that the rumors are true, and Thanos is one seriously emotionally complex, maniacally devious, and ultimately complex whirlwind of death and destruction. You might even say that he is truly the best villain in the entire franchise for a variety of reasons.

I am a tad bit disappointed, at the same time slightly impressed, by his updated origin story here. Disappointed, because generally speaking, he is changed to an evil version of the popular DC Comics character Superman's father, Jor-El, wherein like the aforementioned character, he once tried to warn his kind of an impending doom that will bring their species to extinction, to no avail. Instead of fathering a child and wishing that said child would be a hero, he dedicates his life to the mercy killing of various individuals in a universal scale. Impressed, because I felt that this made Thanos a much more terrifying presence instead of the overly desperate, and overly delusional hopeless romantic pining for the feelings of the physical manifestation of Death itself, although that would also be pretty decent in some way. Either way, Thanos' core personality traits remain intact, and the screenplay does the character justice.

But the real draw to Thanos is his slightly sympathetic nature, which manifests through his obvious regret when he has to kill Gamora, the only individual in the entire universe whom he truly cares about, in order to obtain the Soul Stone, the most mysterious among all of the Infinity Stones, and his cunning intelligence, that shows when the Guardians of the Galaxy are lead in an illusion-based trap through the use of his Reality Stone. I also commend the amount of character development that Thanos gets in this film, which is not an average M.C.U. villain would get.

We should also be thankful for the extremely pitch perfect casting of Josh Brolin, who is certainly having the time of his life by having two major comicbook roles in the big screen, plus one if you would count the forgotten Jonah Hex adaptation, as he managed to make this seeming ripoff of DC's Darkseid more than just a pastiche. By placing emphasis on his unexpected human and relatable qualities, we see Thanos not just a disturbing figure, but an existentialist who raises a few interesting points pertaining to inevitability of chaos, with a side of a little "doomsday prophet" to go along his demented mental state.

  • Its proper mix of humor and surprising bleakness makes this flick ... perfectly balanced!
Are you tired of the M.C.U. films' tendency to try and try and try to be funny? Are you bored at the apparent lack of stakes in every single climactic battle? Worry not, dear friends, for Avengers: Infinity War gives you a very nihilistic, and unbelievably mind-blowing movie where death really does matter for everyone involved (unless the currently untitled sequel comes around, but still), where fighting Thanos is no dance-off or an average fight against a faceless army of random monsters, and where, in the end, everybody loses, and the bad guy wins. In case you really do not know how dark this film is, everyone gasped when we realized the flick just faded to black after half of the universe is erased from existence.

But since this is a "family" movie, and since this is more or less the staple of the entire franchise already, there is still some humor intact, but in contrast to past entries, it feels much more natural and never does it feel extremely out-of-place, although not as much prevalent as it was in Thor: Ragnarok. These mostly come from the quip-loving heroes such as Spider-Man, Star-Lord, and Iron Man, as well as a little bit of the usual awkward humor, which still feels a little oddly placed at times, from the Guardians of the Galaxy. These are mostly involved at the near-first part of the film, with Tony Stark calling-out one of Thanos' henchmen as "Squidward" from the animated series Spongebob Squarepants as probably the best gag in the film, and second place going to Drax, claiming to be invisible after standing still for an hour, awkwardly staring at Star-Lord and Gamora chatting about what to do with Thanos.

This change of tone, and sign of overall maturity, enables the movie to fully develop its characters without delving to unnecessary quips or one-liners, and it only makes us root for heroes, after years of getting acquainted with them, even more.

Arguably, the most emotional scene in the film, for me, that allowed the audience to get glimpses of character development is when Star-Lord lashes-out at Thanos when he learns that Thanos killed Gamora to get the Soul Stone, which cost Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Mantis, Nebula, and Drax the chance to get the Infinity Gauntlet. Not only do we get to see Star-Lord be dead serious, even more serious than he was in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but we see just how much Gamora meant to Star-Lord. Thor's solo arc in this film is itself one huge tearjerker, as he is the last Asgardian in existence, and he struggles the entire movie to cope with his losses.

Also, Strange's haunting last words that state that they only ever had one chance, even after seeing multiple alternate probabilities, shows just how much of a practical realist Strange is, and how much he was willing to just end it reveals how much hope is taken away from our heroes, most of all Strange.  Him letting Star-Lord let loose might also be a sign of him having a plan in the next film, but it still does not change the fact that Strange's parting words can crawl under your skin. Gamora's origin story is also great, by the way, even if it is only shown for only one scene, and it really does help legitimize the kind of threat Thanos is.

      • Nothing is better than having (almost) all of the actors and actresses interact with each other on-screen.
      All of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, teaming-up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, plus a whole long list of new additions ... it really is a dream come true for everyone who has been watching the movies for over a decade.

      To keep it short, considering that there are loads of actors and actresses to list down, I just have to say that my personal breakout performances are those of the following. One of whom is Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, whose on-screen grief-stricken tantrum involving Gamora's death put all audience members at the edge of their seats. Dave Bautista as Drax delivers some funny moments, and so does Bradley Cooper (Burnt) as the voice of Rocket Raccoon.

      Another is Chris Hemsworth, who is on a roll after finally getting to do Thor justice with his third and last solo outing, as well as the character's story arc here. Basically every scene with Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Holland are awesome, especially the climactic battle scenes resulting in numerous deaths, even Spider-Man's, which we see is absolutely soul-crushing thanks to Tom Holland's brilliant performance. Josh Brolin, as we have previously said before. Zoe Saldana also, who is able to show-off much more of her acting prowess by exploring the emotional complexities that lie within the adopted daughter of Thanos, and her unexpected pre-death exchange with Thanos is absolutely devastating. 

      And Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, both of whom, despite having a very rushed romance-themed story arc that spanned for about three films in total, show-off plenty of great chemistry. Olsen's saddened expression at having to kill The Vision, in order to prevent Thanos from getting the Mind Stone, then having to witness The Vision get resurrected, and killed again when Thanos just pulls the Mind Stone from his forehead. Bettany is also not far behind, and heartbreaking pleas for Wanda to kill him, and before that, his requests for reassurance that he is not evil, are made all the more better by Bettany's acting. Special mention also goes to Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston (Crimson Peak), who makes his potentially last hurrah as the God of Mischief really disheartening, even more so for fans of the character.

      I also appreciate the other actors, but for now, I will just settle for the rest of their works as "alright", considering that much of the film is heavily placing emphasis on the above mentioned characters. This leads to the actors and actresses not really getting to have any chance to shine. I do hope to see them get to standout more in the forthcoming follow-up, and since it is going to be a film that will mark the end of an era, they better get to have at least one powerful moment. They still did good, though.

      • The action, the score, and the visuals, are at their best here.
      The biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe film ought to have the best of the best elements, and because they know how much we have been waiting for this, they certainly did not disappoint, although the amount of dialogue-driven scenes dedicated to character development could be off-putting for only the most impatient. The action scenes, especially the climactic twenty-plus minutes battle against Thanos and his forces, is tense and packed to the brim with gorgeous visuals. The shots of seeing all of the heroes fight against a common enemy is simply pulse-pounding.

      I also have got to admire the fight with Doctor Strange, Iron Man, and Spider-Man, against two of Thanos' most powerful henchmen in New York City, because it is fun, and although not as nail-biting as the succeeding sequences, it is strangely optimistic, and it helps prepare the audience for the overall bleak tone that is about to come. Although the scene when Knowhere, the workplace of The Collector, played by Benicio del Toro (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), who holds one of the Infinity Stones, being burned by Thanos is not filled with action, it remains as one of the most disturbing scenes in the film. Del Toro's cameo as an illusion, who claps at Gamora for killing a fake Thanos makes this scene even creepier.

      The designs for the Outriders, Thanos' semi-faceless army of ravenous monsters, are outright terrifying, and they are just as visually striking as the designs of the Black Order. The design for Ebony Maw, played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (The Cured), which includes a semi-reptilian exterior theme that amplifies the character's creepy nature, for Cull Obsidian, played by Terry Notary (Kong: Skull Island), which is basically a default giant gray alien look, but still a menacing one, and for Proxima Midnight, played by Carrie Coon (The Post), which removes the large black horned helmet of the character, and instead placing more focus on her much more humanoid qualities such as her beautifully blue-colored eye line, are just magnificent. The best design among all four members is the design of Corvus Glaive, played by Michael James Shaw (Constantine), whose goblin-like appearance make for a menacing presence, which only looks better with his trademark spear and hood.

      Iron Man's "Bleeding Edge" armor, which functions almost similarly to T'Challa's suit when it comes to wearing it, while also granting users the ability to create various objects, is just a beaut. This also goes for Spider-Man's "Iron-Spider" armor, which was originally teased at Spider-Man: Homecoming.

      Also, the designs of various otherworldly locations such as the locations for the Soul Stone, and the place where Thor's new weapon, "Strombreaker" is built, which is  known as "Nidavellir", are wonderful. Plus, Alan Silvestri's melancholic beats further amplify the film's darker atmosphere, and his music really becomes effective during the ending.


      The Prosecution:
      • The Black Order and some heroes are side-lined, and it may or may not be for the best.
      Among all of the four core members of the Black Order, only Ebony Maw, the guy who can move things with his mind, for those who are not aware who is who, is unique. Ebony Maw is the only one who gets different abilities, while his other siblings only get super strength and special sets of weaponry that are barely featured, and he is also the one to get the most lines, therefore making him the most developed. Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive are not even mentioned by name. As such, it feels slightly underwhelming to see all of them bite the dust during the Wakandan defense, especially Maw, who is not even able to participate in the final battle after being killed by Spider-Man, Iron Man and Doctor Strange by pushing him into the dark void of space.

      This sounds a little bit too demanding of me, but I really do wish that all the characters could have gotten one standout moment, because man, there are a lot of underused major characters, most especially Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch. It is funny considering that even one of the characters, Okoye specifically, raised the question as to why she is just watching the entire battle from the secured areas of the Wakandan fortress. 

      Anthony Mackie's The Falcon, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Sebastian Stan's newly christened White Wolf, Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther, Pom Klementieff's (Oldboy Remake) Mantis, and Don Cheadle's War Machine, even Mark Ruffalo's The Hulk all feel underwhelming here, as the focus is on the many actors and actresses that we mentioned awhile ago. I understand why this is so though, but I wished  that they could have been used much more. Also, the final fight scenes would have been much better than it already is if Wong, played by Benedict Wong (Sunshine), joined, since he only appeared in the New York City scene.

      Although, I could say that The Hulk's story arc, wherein Banner is having a hard time transforming into the Green Goliath, and is now forced to fight in the new Hulkbuster armor, which he knows how to use for some reason, does leave enough room for speculation. A role in the story that could be fleshed-out even more in the next film. I also have to say that one exchange between Rocket and White Wolf, wherein Rocket asked if he could get Bucky's newly upgraded arm, is a neat callback, and Black Widow and Okoye's tag-team battle against Proxima Midnight is indeed fun.

      I also wish that they could use the Red Skull, played by Ross Marquand (The Walking Dead), in a much more prevalent role in the next installment, since his return as the guardian of the Soul Stone, while it makes sense narrative wise, feels lacking. For one thing, he is Captain America's arch-nemesis, and he has been missing for a lot of movies already, so I think it would really be nice to see his hinted powers at full capacity. It is still a nice surprise though. I think that was the only time when I really did gasped in a movie theater.

      I might have also wanted to see the Xandar fight scene that took place off-screen, wherein Thanos obliterated the planet to get the Power Stone, and perhaps even the Masters of the Mystic Arts responding to the crisis in the fourth movie.

        • The movie will really test how much you remember from past M.C.U. titles (and how much you will remember soon).
        My last concern with the movie is that it borders heavily on how much you remember about what happened in other flicks. In-contrast to all of the past flicks, which only feature not-so subtle nods and references, you must have watched all of the Phase 3 films for you to understand how all of the characters managed to find themselves in their respective current predicaments, especially Thor: Ragnarok, which will definitely help you understand how Asgard is now reduced to a small group of homeless aliens, and, as this film shows, how the population is reduced to a sole survivor. Captain America: Civil War is also integral, because this will help you understand why Captain America, The Falcon, and Black Widow are no longer members of The Avengers, why Bucky managed to find himself in Wakanda, and why they only get to appear about halfway through the movie. All the way from Phase 1, Captain America: The First Avenger is definitely something that you should watch for you to appreciate the Red Skull's cameo here, and it gives context on how he ended-up in space. Guardians of the Galaxy should give you insight on how the Power Stone ended-up on the planet Xandar, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 should also be watched for you to know whatever Star-Lord was talking about with regards to his father with Thor.

        However, this does not necessarily present any problem for me, because I have been keeping track of the franchise since its inception, but for others who are not all that familiar, they might get confused along the way.

        The film itself ends in a cliffhanger, and it might make the movie-viewing experience somewhat incomplete, and obviously, the next film is counting on you to remember what transpires here. That is not really much of a problem but a mild annoyance, but surely enough, you will be hooked until the next Avengers movie.

        The Ruling: Not Guilty!

        While it does tend to exceed its grasp, huge twists and real emotional stakes make Avengers: Infinity War the most ambitious Marvel Cinematic Universe film yet, and it will definitely put a smile on your face.

        Dang, I am just blown away with what I have just seen with my friends! Be sure to check-out the movie while it is still in theaters, and considering that you have made it this far, I am going to assume that you have watched the film. As such, please be reminded that Thanos demands your silence. Before you leave, do also check-out this awesome piece of animation from a little studio known as "ArtSpear Entertainment". Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!


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