Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA, . , . Screenplay by , , based on the Marvel comics by , and the comic book by . Cinematography by Trent Opaloch. Produced by . Music by . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by , .
After ending the previous film by collecting all six Cracker Jack prizes and using them to wipe out half the population of planet Earth, evil Thanos ( ) has flown off to his retirement planet and the members of the Avengers superhero team who remain need to figure out their next plan of action. It’s been five years since the devastating event, and Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man ( ) comes up with a theory involving quantum physics that he believes could be used to turn back time and undo all the damage, but the now happily retired family man Tony Stark ( ) isn’t sure he’s up for it; he could help restore billions of people back to life, but he would also be giving up the daughter he loves so dearly. Gathering help from a new “integrated” Hulk ( ) and seeking out the now chubby and alcoholic Thor ( ), then reuniting with Black Widow ( ), Hawkeye ( ), “War Machine” ( ) and Captain America ( ), the team splits in three groups and heads back to three different times and places in an effort to recover the universally powerful stones before Thanos gets his hands on them. The plotting is mainly taken up with the winding roads that precede these goals, then culminates, as all these films insufferably do, in a loud sequence of combat, in which characters with magical abilities still need to work out their issues in hand to hand combat for the sake of a paying audience. The exuberance that kept the last one so fun is weighed down by too much emphasis on dark drama and brooding here, while actors who are forced to get into peak physical shape have their characters’ energies deadened by this genre’s complete terror of human sexuality (even Ingmar Bergman’s ruminations on morality and death allowed his characters the pleasure of a little nookie every once in a while). A sense of individuality beyond these characters’ powers would help keep the film from being so flavourless, and could make the excessive three-hour running time go by a bit faster.