Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has now spanned over 18 movies. That’s almost ten years of Marvel superhero movies, and Avengers: Infinity War very much feels like the movie it’s all be building up to. It’s the movie when Marvel’s big bad – the guy who’s been pulling all the strings behind the scenes – finally gets to show the Avengers and us why he’s such a big deal, and why we should be terrified of him.
But, is Avengers: Infinity War the movie so many Marvel fans have been waiting for? Does Josh Brolin’s Thanos pack as big a punch as we hoped he would? Did Anthony and Joe Russo pull off the impossible by bringing an incredible roster of superheroes and A-list Hollywood actors that we’ve come to know and love over the course of 18 movies? Short answer: they certainly did!
There’s not really much to describe as far as Avengers: Infinity War’s plot is concerned. And for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m going to keep this review 100% spoiler-free, mainly because it’s just not cool to spoil any film, but especially one as anticipated and talked about as Infinity War. So, basically, Thanos – the big purple guy – is trying to find all six Infinity Stones (colourful stones that hold immense power on their own, but when brought together make the person who wields them unstoppable), and wants to use them for his own devious means with the help of his shiny gold glove, called the Infinity Gauntlet. Earth’s mightiest heroes (you know the bunch: Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man… way too many to mention here) have to do everything within their power to stop him, not only to protect our little blue planet, but also the entire galaxy.
You can’t park here, buddy. Earth is closed today. Take your tractor beam and skedaddle.
That’s enough plot for you. Yet, as I said before, this movie isn’t really about plot. This film is all about cinematic spectacle. Avengers: Infinity War is easily one of the most impressive Marvel movies to date. The Russo brothers have made a beautiful, shocking, thought-provoking, captivating, emotional, devastating at times, and yes, epic film.
If you’ve been watching these Marvel movies since the beginning – since 2008’s Iron Man to be exact – then this film will be everything you’ve dreamed of and more. And there’s even plenty to enjoy for those of you who have just caught the occasional Marvel movie, that said, I feel that to appreciate this movie fully, you’d need to have a firm grasp on everything that happened prior to Infinity War.
Bringing together such a vast roster of superheroes is no easy feat, as DC Comics’ Justice League recently proved. It’s not a case of just sticking a bunch of famous comic book characters together on-screen and saying, “voilà! Here is your superhero team-up movie.” The Russo brothers, Kevin Feige and everybody involved in the making of Infinity War have shown how it should be handled: with care, consideration, and intelligence, and it should feature good dialogue, a good story, great acting, awe-inspiring spectacle and yes, a great villain. Josh Brolin’s Thanos is precisely that.
You will never be a god!
Marvel movies have in the past suffered from what many refer to as “the villain curse”, although I would say that Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther solved that problem. That said, they pale in comparison to Brolin’s Thanos. Infinity War is very much his film. The film makes you sympathise with him, and I found myself thinking that he certainly had a point, it’s his methods in attempting to achieve his goals that you can’t really agree with. Thanos is arguably the best bit of Infinity War, and I cannot wait to see what more he has in store for as of yet untitled fourth Avengers movie.
However, you can’t forget about the people playing Marvel’s greatest superheroes. Literally, everybody is on fine form here. There are quips, there’s pathos, there’s joy and delight, and some performances will make you weep with sadness. Considering how many characters they had to squeeze into this film, I wasn’t left feeling that a particular hero had been shortchanged or mishandled.
I would have liked to have seen more from certain characters, yet considering how many Marvel heroes they had to handle, it remarkable that Infinity War manages to do everybody justice. I know this may sound like hyperbole, but there is genuine genius behind the making and conceptualisation of this film. The sheer scope of the movie is ridiculous, and the fact that pulled it off to the level that they did is unbelievable.
We kick names and take ass.
When describing Infintiy War, Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige (the mastermind behind the MCU) kept on using the same words: “big”. He was right. This movie is big. The action, the stakes, the payoff, the finale, the heroes, the villain… Everything about this film is bigger than anything that’s come before it in this cinematic universe that Marvel Studios has painstakingly created over the course of 10 years. If you had told me before Iron Man came out that in 10 years time we’d be getting a movie like Infinity War, I would have laughed and called you a madman (or woman). Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a comic book movie quite like Avengers: Infinity War.
All that remains is start speculating on what will happen next and whether the Russo Brothers will be able to top what they pulled off with Infinity War. I certainly hope they do because Avengers 4 cannot suck, but it’s going to be difficult. All we can do until that movie comes out next year is rewatch Infinity War as many times as possible because it really is a film that warrants repeat viewings.