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Infinity War’ is the most rewatchable MCU film to date

Some Marvel movies have little to no rewatch value. I saw Thor: The Dark World once and had a perfectly fine time, but I came out of that theater knowing I would never seek to watch it again on purpose. I got it the first time, so a second (or third, or twentieth) watch would be pointless. I also feel this way about Avengers: Age of Ultron and Iron Man 3. 

Other entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have loads of rewatch value. Captain America: The Winter Soldier swaps genres depending on which elements of the plot I focus on, Guardians of the Galaxy stays fun no matter how many times I idly catch it on Netflix, and the first Iron Man never ceases to astound me for its prescience in jump-starting the MCU. 

This said, after rewatching Avengers: Infinity War three times since seeing it in theaters, I think it’s the most rewatchable of all 19 current Marvel movies and can’t wait to have a moment to queue it up again. 

The implication in me watching Infinity War three times in as many days is that I am beyond obsessed with the franchise, which is true. I’m bananas about the MCU and its characters. But even as I paid extremely close attention on my first and second watches, I still discovered new things to notice on my third watch and became even more impressed with the movie each time.

Watching Infinity War for the first time was an exercise in being enjoyably stressed out, until the snap came along and punched me in my stupid, hero-loving face. I was so shocked after my first watch that it took a few days for me to put together all of the plot points that led up to the snap. That first viewing was effective in bringing the pain and keeping the hype wheel spinning until the release of Avengers 4, but it’s hard to judge Infinity War as a movie without knowing what happens in advance. 

I waited until I could watch Infinity War at home before I saw it again and I’m glad I did. The ability to see the movie without the stress of wondering what’s going to happen is a boon to the viewing experience, and stopping/pausing/discussing after each important plot movement enhanced my appreciation for the film (though I do feel the need to apologize to my significant other, who expected to watch a two-and-a-half hour movie and wound up participating in a four-hour roundtable). 

My second viewing was spent catching up on laugh lines that I missed in the theater and picking out character moments, like every single time Bruce Banner is in the background visibly losing his shit over everything he missed while the Hulk was in control of his body. 

Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..Thanos (Josh Brolin)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..Thanos (Josh Brolin)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

There are still things I picked up in my third viewing that I didn’t notice in the first two (watching it with captions is recommended at least once). What struck me the third time I watched Infinity War was how well the movie exists on its own while spending every scene setting up next year’s Avengers 4, which is set to be the climax of the entire MCU. While it obviously sets the stakes for the sequel as high as possible, Infinity War also lays out the rules of engagement for any further confrontation with Thanos.

For example, I didn’t notice until the third watch that the individual Infinity Stones glow when Thanos uses their power. By watching the way he uses each stone (and sometimes combines their powers), the limitations of their power and the way he can use them become clear. It took a handoff between the space and power stones to summon, then throw, a moon at Tony Stark, and Thanos appears weak when confronted with objects or individuals who derive their powers from one of the stones (Scarlet Witch held him off single-handedly, and her power comes from exposure to the mind stone). 

Each time I watch Infinity War, I feel like I get another piece of the puzzle. 

Knowing the extent of Thanos’ powers will be key for the Avengers when it comes to their inevitable final confrontation with him. It took until my third watch to fully understand the power levels of the existing Avengers and their new raccoon friend, with regard to their usefulness in the coming fracas.

It’s easier to see where the survivors fit after a third watch. Steve Rogers nearly has the strength to overpower Thanos, as would Bruce Banner in the Hulkbuster suit or the Hulk himself if either of them would submit to some combat training (maybe Natasha could help there). Tony is smart enough to figure out whatever Doctor Strange’s gambit was with the time stone, and Rocket has the technical know-how to build a ship that can get the Avengers safely to space and back should the need arise.

Each time I watch Infinity War I feel like I get another piece of the puzzle that was previously obscured by whatever I was paying attention to before. It’s unlikely (and nuts, even for me) that I’ll keep watching it once a day until Avengers 4 comes out. But as far as Marvel films go, its layered storytelling and ever-apparent trail of breadcrumbs makes it an easy “once a month, or whenever I don’t have anything else to catch up on” movie. 

It’s more than I can say for almost any other superhero film, and it’s pretty much all I have to hang on to until April 2019. 

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