Avengers: Infinity War

Disney puts all its heroes in one basket in this epic action movie

     The once mighty Avengers are in tatters. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.: Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Captain America (Chris Evans: Gifted) are feuding. Thor (Chris Hemsworth: 12 Strong) is drifting in space after destroying his home world to save his people. Hulk (Mark Ruffalo: Thor: Ragnarok) is still trying to find himself. 
      The divided heroes reunite to battle a baddie of galactic proportions.
      Thanos (Josh Brolin: Only the Brave) is a space invader obsessed with bringing balance to the universe. It’s his goal to eliminate half the lifeforms throughout the universe to counter overpopulation and dwindling resources. 
     Flashy, entertaining and shallow, Avengers: Infinity War is big-budget popcorn entertainment. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: Civil War) craft a bombastic confluence of seven superhero franchises. It’s a well-balanced film, given the size of characters and number of storylines. The Russo brothers also come up with a few unique character pairings that make the movie a blast to watch. 
       But as in any good Marvel movie, the real test is the quality of the villain. As power-mad galactic terrorist Thanos, Brolin turns in a surprisingly complex performance. His Thanos is committed to his task but not devoid of emotions. He loves his daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana: My Little Pony: The Movie), but won’t allow her to stand in the way of his mission. For a man bent on destroying half the universe, he’s surprisingly likeable. 
        As in most Avengers movies, there’s not time for deep characters. But that doesn’t mean the film lacks heart. Hemsworth, Downey and Saldana all have great dramatic moments. With plenty of comedy to counteract the grim plotlines, the movie also never veers too far into darkness.
       On a more practical level, for a film with an astronomical budget, Avengers: Infinity War has some surprisingly shoddy effects. A few CGI shots are almost laughably bad, and the main battle is filled with disposable monsters that are neither scary nor interesting. It’s a little disappointing that a movie guaranteed to break box office records can’t take care in its craft. 
      Fans of Marvel’s Avengers series will find this easily the best of the three films. It’s breezy, entertaining fun.
Good Action Adventure • PG-13 • 149 mins.
 
 
~~~ New this Week ~~~
 
Bad Samaritan
       Sean Falco (Robert Sheehan) is a valet who drives the cars he’s supposed to park to their rich owners’ homes for burglaries.
       It’s a lucrative scam until it isn’t.
       In the middle of a break-in, Sean finds a woman who’s bound, gagged and pleading for help. Afraid he’ll be arrested for breaking into the house, he leaves her and calls the police. When the cops find nothing, he’s stricken with guilt.
Now, he has two problems: First, he’s horrified that he might have gotten a woman killed. Second, homeowner (David Tennant) knows who he is and intends revenge. 
        A thriller about the dangers of doing the right thing, Bad Samaritan promises a tense cat-and-mouse game of Hitchcockian thrills. 
Prospects: Flickering • R • 107 mins. 
 
Overboard
       Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez) is a thoughtless wealthy man who treats his servants poorly. He fires harried single mother Kate (Anna Faris) over a trivial matter and refuses her pay. 
       When Leonardo is thrown off his yacht and wakes on the shore with amnesia, Kate sees opportunity. She shows up at the hospital as his wife and brings him home to her kids. Leonardo learns the meaning of work as Kate throws him into a blue-collar job and tasks him with raising “their” kids. 
       Leonardo adapts fairly well to life as Kate’s husband. Soon, the two are edging toward a connection. Will Kate’s lies torpedo their burgeoning relationship? 
       A remake of the 1980s romcom, Overboard is still a highly questionable concept for a film. The gender roles have been reversed from the original, but the movie is still trying to make kidnapping and gaslighting cute and quirky bases for romance. While the older film is perhaps a product of the times, this remake feels hopelessly out of touch. 
Prospects: Dim • PG-13 • 112 mins. 
 
Tully
      Marlo (Charlize Theron) is overwhelmed with caring for three young children. She and her husband aren’t connecting. She’s feeling desperate for some alone time. She worries she’s failing as a wife and mother.
      Though she’s against the idea, Marlo reluctantly accepts her brother’s offer to hire a night nanny for the family. Tully (Mackenzie Davis) turns out to be a godsend for both kids and mother.
       A movie about the problems women aren’t supposed to speak about, Tully will likely strike a chord with mothers everywhere.
Prospects: Bright • R • 94 mins.