Overall Score: 8/10 – For anyone saying the Marvel universe is too light and doesn’t have a strong enough villain or serious enough consequences… This one goes out to you.

 

Maddie Rating: 7/10 – I saw it. I experienced it. I don’t know if and when I’ll be ready to do that again (realistically, probably this weekend because a friend has tickets). This one is a rough ride, folks. It’s got lots of moments of humor, but also more than twice I turned to my friend and said “I don’t like this movie!” because it was so upsetting and I care about all of these characters way, way too much. Did I like this movie (overall)? Yes. But also…

 

For those who have been waiting for a darker, grittier Marvel film with tougher consequences and less fluff… I’ve got a movie for you. Without giving much away, what I can say is that this film is a dark and emotional journey that takes you through deeply poignant, heartbreaking scenes as well as the quirky, fun humor we’ve all come to expect from a Marvel film. It’s also got a few surprises that are sure to make fans excited. Laugh out loud jokes were peppered in with heart-wrenching drama (sometimes to uncomfortable/jarring effect, for me personally, though I’m glad they were there to lighten an overall dark film), and on opening night there were multiple scenes that made the entire audience cheer. Our heroes get to be heroes, though the tone is vastly different from the original Avengers film, and these characters have definitely gone through a long journey since their first team up. Their bravery, teamwork and commitment to saving the world and each other are all there, and that was what meant the world to me, but these qualities are overshadowed by a narrative that is all about sacrifice and the idea that maybe, sometimes, no matter what you do, bad things can happen.

This one was rough for me (we always knew Thanos was going to be a difficult villain to go up against, so no surprises there), but I will say that every time I thought I couldn’t take any more and I was too upset, Marvel would give me something amazing to keep me invested (if you’ve seen any commercials, you know Captain America and company as well as Black Panther and company are in this movie, and I will say firmly that both of them were even better than I could have imagined going into this).

I think the movie struck a good balance (unintentional Thanos reference?) – of heartbreak and humor, victory and defeat, hope and despair. This movie is about life – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. For me, I love superhero movies because I like to believe that the good guys can win and that if we try our hardest and believe and fight for what’s right, everything will turn out ok. The real world often isn’t like that, so I like my fiction to be. I’ll warn you right now (even though, knowing this is part one of two, you should already know) – this movie does not end with our heroes standing around in a circle as their theme song plays triumphantly in the background. This was real, raw, and visceral, and I think it wholly achieved its purpose. Thanos is a spectacular villain, and he is every bit as menacing and powerful and scary as anyone could have hoped for. This time around, Marvel stuck a lot closer to the comics, which should delight fans looking to see a darker side of Marvel films.

Bottom line: The actors were absolutely incredible, as always, and this film was emotional and painful and hilarious and intense. If you’re looking for a fun time, go watch Thor: Ragnarok. If you’re looking to not even eat your popcorn because you’re so anxious and emotional for a three hour rollercoaster of feelings, there’s this new movie out called Avengers: Infinity War that might just be for you.