Please, see this film soon. I'm not going to review it, that's pointless. It's an event film and if you've ever loved anything in the MCU, you'll want to see this before it's spoiled for you.
There will only be one spoiler in what I'm going to say, which anyone who understands how this movie was made will already know. From a basic filmmaking point of view, it's the most obvious thing in the world, but it's still a spoiler.
So, last chance. Turn back.
Here's that secret: this film ends on a massive cliffhanger. One that anyone who ever read THE INFINITY GAUNTLET will see coming, a mile away. The fact that had originally planned the call this film "AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART 1" should be enough of a clue that this was going to happen.
I always see big premieres in the same East Atlanta theater. It's a really good collection of all walks of life, and I've had some really great experiences with audiences in this theater, particularly with Marvel properties. Tonight, when the directing credits of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR popped up (indicating the film was over), the audience groaned very loudly in unison. They groaned not out of disappointment for the film... but because they didn't want the story to end where it did. Because they knew they had a year to wait now for the conclusion. They had just sat for over two and a half hours... and they didn't feel ready to call it a night.
As I walked out in the parking lot, people were talking, and some were shushing each other about keeping the details a secret. (Well done, you lot.) A sweet-faced woman a few years younger than me cried out, "Ugh, I hated that!"
All around her, everyone laughed. I good-naturedly challenged it, asking her "How could you hate THAT?" And she opened her mouth but froze, and her husband and son laughed because she couldn't answer me without breaking the secret for people around us. So, she said, "That CLIFFHANGER!", her voice venomous on the word cliffhanger.
We joked a little as we continued on to our cars, and it became clear to me that she didn't hate the movie because of the cliffhanger, but she hated a year of waiting-- which she would definitely do, and be first in line for the sequel. (And then she shocked me by relaying a lot of really detailed information about the Phoenix Force that was more Geek than me.) I just wanted to buy this woman a slice of pie and discuss what a Thanos/Phoenix fight would be like, but I didn't feel like it was appropriate; I was disconnecting from the conversation as we began approaching our vehicles.
As I reached my car, she surprised me by breaking off from her husband and son to talk to me. She leaned over the passenger side of my car, asking me in a hushed tone how anything could ever be fixed, now. I could see in her eyes that she needed an answer; she was genuinely worried.
I asked her if she was sure she wanted to know, and then I told her my best guess, using the clues that were sitting very prominently in the film, how they would undo everything that this film had just done in a way that was satisfying to an audience. I could see her becoming visibly relieved as we chatted like two kids at Halloween, talking about the best house for candy in the neighborhood. She thanked me and rejoined her family, who were at the edge of our conversation, but somehow knew we were in a bubble of our own.
In this moment, as I soothed my new friend's fear of some cruel plot twists, I felt like the old man sitting in the convertible, listening to the radio, that Phil Sheldon passes during the Galactus attack in the Kurt Busiek/Alex Ross series MARVELS. He says something like, "Find Captain America. I seen the man FIGHT one time. Cap'll fix it." (Sorry if that's off, this is from my memory.) And he's written off as kind of senile, but because this old man once saw Captain America achieve something mighty, he KNEW in his heart that Cap could fix it. He had faith that comes from the blind love of an idea. I suddenly understood why Busiek put that moment in MARVELS; why Ross took the time to paint it so beautifully.
And I realized as I got in my car and drove away that I had shared this moment because this wife and mother still loved comic books, and came out to see these representations of the stories we both grew up on. And boy, it was with her. And that makes me happy to be alive at this time.
I could talk to you about the action, the pacing, the humor, the surprises, the cool stuff... I don't want anything to ruin this experience for you. Just go see this film. Again, if you've loved any of what Marvel's offered in the last decade of the MCU, see it soon, before someone ruins something for you.
-- Precious Roy