(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Avengers: Infinity War)
Doug (vo): Let's finish up Disneycember with arguably the biggest Marvel movie to date: Avengers: Infinity War. This film has been so built up, it's crazy. And surprisingly enough, it isn't just from the advertising. Since the first Avengers movie where Thanos was revealed, they've been hyping up his appearance in practically every other flick. "Thanos is coming, Thanos is coming, he's gonna be here soon." It got to a point where it was actually comical, to a point where it was almost annoying. (A fan-made cartoon image of Thanos driving a car while stuck in a traffic jam is shown) People started to say there's no way they're gonna live up to the hype they're building up. "We're sick of hearing "Thanos is coming, Thanos is coming". Just do something with him already! You know what? Thanos doesn't even look that great. He just looks like a big, purple blob monster who's gonna do, I don't know, smile." So even though there was a lot of excitement around this movie, there was a lot of speculation, too. But amazingly, the part of the movie everybody thought would be the weakest link is the strongest part.
(Several clips of the film's villain, Thanos, are shown)
Doug (vo): Josh Brolin as Thanos not only looks amazing with this incredible motion capture, but he has to be, hands down, the best Marvel villain out of any of these movies. After just being teased with snippets of him in the other films, this is entirely his movie. It's his story. Why is he doing this? How is he doing this? What's going through his mind? What does he care about? What's he going to do next? He's actually so interesting, the Avengers are almost distracting, and those are incredibly charming characters.
Doug (vo): The plot...I'll attempt to sum up, there is a ton going on...is that Thanos has taken over Thor and Loki's ship, destroyed everybody on it...which kind of sucks. Thor: Ragnarok was kind of for no reason?...and even ends up beating the shit out of the Hulk. The Hulk! Goddamn! Hulk lands on Earth, though, and lets them know that Thanos is coming. Thanos sends out his minions to look for the rest of the Infinity Stones. You see, if he gets all the Infinity Stones and puts them on his Infinity Gauntlet, he can fulfill his ultimate goal of wiping out half of humanity. His thought is, whenever a population is getting too big, they become too dangerous, so wiping out half of them will bring balance back. It doesn't even matter who they are, it's just half. He did this before with Gamora's people, and he actually ended up raising her. She, not surprisingly, resents him quite a bit, and does everything in her power to stop him, but he's just too cunning and too manipulative to be defeated. The more the Avengers try to get together, ironically, the more they get split up. The Infinity Stones are spread out far across the galaxy, so that means a lot of them have to go to different places to try and get them. Can they reach them in time and stop Thanos before he wipes out half of the human race? Well, I'm not gonna give away the ending, but prepare for your kids to be scarred for life.
Doug (vo): The funny thing about Infinity War is that what I usually see as cons in a movie, I actually see as pros in this one. The characters are not given much introduction. There's not even that much sitting down and talking about their feelings or emotions or anything like that. They're just kind of running into the action.
(A large majority of the film's characters are shown in various clips)
Doug (vo): But here's the thing. We already know these characters, we've had movie upon movie upon movie finding out about these characters. So when you do see them together, you don't just want Captain America talking about himself or Star-Lord talking about himself. You want to see them interact off each other. And that's exactly what we get. Iron Man and Doctor Strange have been called very similar, so they, of course, don't get along. Star-Lord and Thor are both cocky fighters, so they obviously try to one-up each other. Spider-Man's always looking for Tony Stark's approval, so they have kind of a father-son relationship. While they're constantly fighting and going from place to place, they are still making connections, and they're using just the right choice words to establish themselves and their relationships as, well, incredibly likeable. Even when they don't get along, there's an incredible charm to them. In most action movies, when characters get together and bicker, it feels lame, it's like those stupid buddy cop movies or those dumbass romantic comedies where they just complain the whole time, and yet somehow, they get along. But here, they're so well-set up, you love when they don't get along. They're funny, their quips are wonderful, and you like seeing how they actually do kind of come together. It got to a point where even the smallest cameos got a cheer from everybody, because they knew they were gonna be done right. Even if they didn't say much or do much, you knew that was them, they were there, they were interacting with everybody, they were helping out. The universe feels so defined.
(A scene showing Thor, Rocket Raccoon and Groot visiting Nidavellir and meeting the dwarf Eitri is shown)
Doug (vo): The only part that drags a little is there's a scene where Thor has to meet up with this giant, played very cleverly by Peter Dinklage. It's not just because that's a little person playing a big person, it's because his dimensions are different. It isn't just taking an average-sized person and making him bigger, Peter Dinklage has a very distinct, uniquely-shaped body. So to make that larger gives a visual and a movement we haven't really seen before out of a giant. But it goes on way too long. Every single time it cut back to them at this weird gate and trying to move all these little technical gadgets around, I just didn't care. Maybe because the action here wasn't very interesting and what they were talking about wasn't very interesting.
(More footage of Thanos is shown)
Doug (vo): But everywhere else, the dialogue and the action are fantastic, again, especially from Thanos. I can't believe how much they won me over with this character. I was so ready to not like the motion capture. "Why can't they just do practical effects?" I was so ready to be bored by him. "Nah, you built him up too long. Now we're not interested." But he really was the best part, somehow supplying both the menace and the heart of the movie.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): What can I say? The wait was worth it. Infinity War is a big movie that has a lot of big effects and a lot of big battles and a lot of big characters and a lot of big story. It's the kind of movie where you want a lot going on, it's the kind of movie where you want a lot of things blowing up and people looking pained and going from one place to another, and it can do that because it's had so many films building up to it. This was a gamble that definitely paid off. Just when you're starting to get tired of the Marvel formula and you're kind of looking for something different, they up their game, like they usually do. They seem to know just when to mix it up a little bit more and exactly how to mix it up, while still seeming familiar. It's the same characters with brand new challenges.
(Footage of other Disney, Marvel and Star Wars movies play out)
Doug (vo): And, folks, that's it for this year's Disneycember. I know I had a lot to get through, and I probably didn't get to everything I wanted to. But keep watching and maybe you'll see them in the near future. As always, Disney, for so many years, has been pushing the envelope of what's creative, what's important, what's childlike, and what's adult. It's hard to combine all those things in one, but somehow, Disney still ends up doing it. As long as they keep putting out a ton of material, I'll always be there to talk about it. And as long as you're always there to view it, I will always consider myself a lucky critic. Thank you for watching, and I'll see you at next year's Disneycember.
(The Disneycember logo is shown once more)