A spoiler-y discussion about Marvel's 'Avengers' mashup

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 4/30/2018, 1:26 p.m.
By now, millions have flocked to opening-weekend screenings of "Avengers: Infinity War," leaving them debating the movie's twists, turns and ...
Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Infinity War" made an estimated $630 million at the worldwide box office for its opening weekend, according to Disney.

By Frank Pallotta and Brian Lowry

(CNN) -- By now, millions have flocked to opening-weekend screenings of "Avengers: Infinity War," leaving them debating the movie's twists, turns and ending, including what it all might mean for the fourth "Avengers" movie due next year -- and really the entire Marvel cinematic universe.

CNN's Frank Pallotta and Brian Lowry decided to do the same -- taking off their media-reporter hats and donning their fan threads -- to rehash the movie's merits (mostly), shortcomings (less so, but a few) and what comes next.

The exchange that follows is filled with spoilers, so if you haven't braved the lines yet and still intend to see the movie once the crowds thin, to paraphrase another Disney-owned franchise, this is not the article you're looking for.

So, again...

SPOILER ALERT

Frank Pallotta: Okay, Marvel movie nerds assemble!

More than anything, "Avengers: Infinity War" is a study in choreography. I'm still pretty baffled by just how well they pulled this off. Yes, it's all branding. But the film isn't hollow. The action is character driven, I care about everyone in this movie and -- at more than two and a half hours -- it doesn't feel fat. I mean it's breezy for a film where there's at least two heroes mentioned that are based on insects. It's a great Iron Man movie, it's a great Thor movie and it's a really great "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie. Nobody's left out.

Plus, as a bald man who also likes flashy jewelry, I related to Thanos.

Brian Lowry: I mostly agree. I think the Russo brothers, who directed the film, did an extraordinary job of juggling all those characters and putting them together in entertaining ways, a la Starlord being jealous of Thor. They also oscillated, pretty impressively, between the light and the dark -- from a funny moment with Spider-Man to Thanos skewering Iron Man. My only real quibble is with the ending -- why they didn't just go ahead and title it "Infinity War, Part I," as was originally intended.

Pallotta: Oh man, that ending. Did it ruin the rest of the film for you? I mean, I usually feel cheated by cliffhangers that are so obviously going to be undone, but I didn't here. It felt organic and I was actually shocked! However, I literally loudly said, "YEAH RIGHT" in the theater when Black Panther got dusted.

Lowry: That was my main problem. Not the lack of closure, necessarily -- I knew there's another movie next year -- but the fact that they killed off so many key characters you know it's all going to be undone. It undermined some of the sense of loss for me that I felt earlier in the movie.

Pallotta: It wasn't so much that they "killed" half the cast. It was who they chose to kill.

Black Panther, Spider-Man, most of the Guardians, etc. That's the future of the franchise and most of those characters have announced sequels. Plus, uh Black Panther is one of the biggest characters in the world and was a part of a cultural phenomenon that made a gazillion dollars. So yeah, no. It would've been bolder if it was switched. Like, if Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Black Widow and the original heroes ate it. I would've left thinking that they'd probably undo it all but I wouldn't have been 100% sure.