When Avengers: Infinity War was released on video-on-demand this past week, I was excited and curious to revisit it, wondering how the film would hold up months later now that all of the hype has died down. Thankfully, the experience was just as satisfying at home as it was in the theater on opening weekend, although all of my issues, including the film’s pacing problems, still stand.
But now that we’ve just about exhausted our conversations about Infinity War‘s most significant elements, I’d like to discuss some ridiculously minor nitpicks that have bothered me on every viewing so far. To be clear, most of these aren’t things I fault the movie for that much; this isn’t a CinemaSins video. Still, I feel compelled to share them and find out whether they bring anyone else about two to five seconds of mild annoyance.
Here are those nitpicks in order:
1. The opening scene is fantastic, but would it have killed the Russo Brothers to establish what happened to Valkyrie in the movie itself? It’s not even like it’s meant to be a mystery whether she survived since the Russos have since confirmed that she did. The fact that we spend an entire movie with her, only for this film to open with a massacre of the ship she was on, and we have to hop on Google to find out whether she lived or died, is a bit irksome.
2. Michael Giacchino established a great new Spider-Man theme in Spider-Man: Homecoming, yet it is never once heard during Infinity War. There’s even a moment early on where it would be absolutely perfect, with Peter swinging from the bus on his way to help out, but completely different music plays over that shot. I’m growing convinced that the MCU composers don’t even watch any of the movies other than the ones they work on.
3. Some of the CGI is surprisingly bad considering this is the biggest movie of all time. Do you have any doubt looking at this scene that you’re watching actors standing in front of a green screen?
This is especially odd because most of this sequence was actually not shot on a green screen; I’m guessing just this one part was since it involves a special effect with the Hulk. There are a few other instances of bad CGI throughout the film, most notably later on when Bruce is in the Hulkbuster and his head is sticking through. Just go back and rewatch that last shot at the end where Steve says “Oh God” and pay attention to Bruce in the background. He looks rough.
4. I love nearly all of the Guardians stuff in this movie, but there’s one line that feels a little off to me; it’s the part where Rocket asks Quill why they’re responding to the distress call, and he says that whoever sent it might “give us a little cheddar cheese for our efforts.” It’s such an on-the-nose way of establishing who the Guardians are by having Peter basically flat out state, “We’re in it for the money, baby! We only care about ourselves! Gamora is the voice of reason! I like ’70s music!”
5. Just about every joke in the movie lands in my opinion, except for one: the bit with Peter imitating Thor’s voice, which goes on for about 15 seconds too long. We get the joke right away, and then it just keeps going, and going, and going. Not to mention the fact that a person talking weirdly but insisting “this is my normal voice!” has become a pretty cliche gag at this point.
6. I’m a bit unclear about what exactly Wanda and Vision were up to before the Black Order attacked. I assume it’s supposed to be really early in the morning since they’re getting out of bed and it’s still dark out, right? But then they talk about Vision making a 10:00 a.m. train. So did they wake up at like 2:00 a.m. just to walk around Scotland and hang out until Vision’s train? Is the idea that they’re only doing things at late hours because they’re in hiding? Clearly, Steve, Nat, and Sam were in the area planning to find Vision, so what were they going to do if the Black Order wasn’t there? Just wait outside until Wanda and Vision woke up?
7. I still find it really weird that everyone is cool with calling this dude, who they’re all treating like a regular guy now, “Vision.” All of the other characters have normal names to go along with their superhero personas, but this guy is stuck with his girlfriend nicknaming him “Viz.”
8. The fact that the film jumps back and forth between a million different storylines creates for some awkward transitions, the most notable of which comes after Cap tells the gang that they’re headed home. Immediately, we cut to black, only to end up in a flashback of Gamora, a character who wasn’t even in the scene we were just watching.
9. Gamora says “If Thanos gets me, I want you to promise me that you’ll kill me,” a sentence which has at least one too many usages of the word “me.”
10. The Collector repeatedly yelling “Magnificent!” to interrupt the emotional scene between Gamora and Thanos always bothers me. Between this and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Benicio Del Toro sure has been doing a lot of overacting in the past year.
11. Rewatching this movie after Ant-Man and the Wasp, the timeline is really confusing. Black Widow mentions that at the time of this film, Scott is under house arrest. That suggests that Infinity War is taking place during Ant-Man and the Wasp. But the remainder of Infinity War appears to unfold basically in real time after Black Widow’s line. So when do Scott, Hope and Cassie have time to just casually relax and watch a movie in their makeshift drive-in, a scene clearly taking place at night? Wouldn’t the snap have happened by then? Instead, in Ant-Man and the Wasp, it seems to happen the next day at the earliest.
12. Peter says that he can’t be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man if there’s no neighborhood, but the punchline is him admitting, “Okay, that didn’t really make sense.” But it actually made complete sense! Stop doubting yourself, Peter.
13. There’s an interaction between Spider-Man and Doctor Strange that goes like this:
Strange (to Stark): I’m sorry, I’m confused as to the relationship here. What is he, your ward?
Peter: No. I’m Peter, by the way.
Why does Peter say “by the way” here? That phrase implies an aside, but what Peter said is actually completely on topic. That would be like if I asked for directions and you responded, “Take a right on Main Street, by the way.”
14. What the heck was the point of having Thor lose his eye at the end of Ragnarok if he was just going to get a new one in Infinity War? It’s hard not to interpret this as one director making a choice with a character and the next directors responding, “yeah, no thanks.” The Russo Brothers would be terrible improv partners. I was pretty into the eyepatch look and would have loved to see that continue, or at least kept around longer than one hour after Ragnarok.
15. Another example of a rough transition: we go right from the devastating death of Gamora into a pretty lighthearted scene of Cap and the gang arriving at Wakanda; there’s only about a minute in between Gamora dying and a joke from Sam. Maybe the scene with Thor arriving at Nidavellir could have gone after Gamora’s death instead since that’s a bit more serious?
16. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating: I feel like the snap sequence would be a lot more effective had the order of the deaths been different. It starts off with Bucky, and when he turns to dust, the audience is shocked, mainly because it’s reasonable to imagine that Bucky could be killed off permanently. But then the very next death is Black Panther, at which point it’s obvious that all of this stuff is going to be reversed, as there’s no way in hell Marvel would kill off Black Panther two months after his movie was the biggest phenomenon of the year. The deaths should have started with the side characters and worked up to the bigger ones; I would have suggested rearranging it to Bucky –> Wanda –> Sam –> Groot –> Black Panther –> Mantis –> Drax –> Quill –> Strange –> Peter. (I only put Black Panther before Mantis so that the movie doesn’t have to cut back and forth between Wakanda and Titan.) Granted, that would only mean we were fooled for another 15 seconds or so, but they would have been a powerful 15 seconds.
17. One more general thought: after all the hype, and after this movie was promoted as the ultimate showdown of all time and the event the entire MCU has been leading up to, it’s a bit disappointing that the film honestly doesn’t feel that big, and the cast is spread out the whole time. This is something we’ll need to reassess in a year, though. If the reason for that is to build up anticipation for Avengers 4, where every single character, including the snapped ones, participate in one battle together, then this will no longer be an issue. But if the snapped characters only come back at the very end of Avengers 4 and don’t participate in the final act, I’ll be disappointed that we didn’t exactly get the massive, epic battle we were promised.