Leo Tolstoy meets Cecil B. DeMille

Leo Tolstoy meets Cecil B. DeMille in the latest Avengers flick. Cinematic excess accompanies more characters than even the Russian novelist would have attempted. Yet most Marvel fans will be entertained, and even I (a casual fan) recovered from the mind-numbing action in the film’s second and third acts enough to embrace the ending, which – spoiler alert – is brave enough to let the villain not only win but actually be mostly right, at least if one agrees with Thomas Malthus. (Perhaps I’m evil, but I kind of hope Thanos is allowed to keep his victory in the sequel, instead of Tony Stark using the time stone to change this first film’s outcome.)

Though Avengers: Infinity War is guilty of the aesthetic disease called “more is more,” it gets a reluctant, minimal thumbs-up from me (2 ¾ stars on 0-5).  And most audiences agree, as the film is getting ready to pass Titanic for fourth place among domestic moneymakers, at around $660 million. (Adjusted for inflation, however, it’s not even in the top 30 yet.)

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