After ten years of building their cinematic universe, is Marvel’s latest blockbuster an infinitely war-some movie, or a comic-book calamity?
The culmination of 18 films, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ brings together the Marvel superheroes we’ve grown to love over the past decade, and to face their most dangerous foe yet. The Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) is on a mission to balance the universe, by destroying half of it, and to that he requires six celestial gems from the very beginning of time — the Infinity Stones. Only the Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, featuring the likes of old fan favourites Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rodgers/Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), as well as new-comers such as King T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and the Guardians Of the Galaxy. But will their combined power be enough to protect the stones, and stop Thanos from wiping out half the universe?
This film is, I think it’s safe to say, the most anticipated movie of this year and probably the last couple years; the only film I felt almost as much excitement for was ‘Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens’, which was the first ‘Star Wars’ film for 10 years, back in 2015. But I don’t think even that had quite the hype’ that ‘Infinity War’ has gained in the build-up to its release. So was it deserved? Does this film meet all the high standards fans are expecting? Well, YES.
Let’s start with the characters — how did the script do balancing around 70 characters in a cohesive plot? I think very well, though there is a definite difference in screen-time between some of the leads and there is a noticeable difference in how often some characters appear and how much effect they have on the plot. The character that had — perhaps surprisingly — the most screen-time out of all the cast was the villain, Thanos. It’s become a bit of a running joke that Marvel movie villains aren’t always the most memorable, save maybe for re-occurring villain-turned-hero Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Thanos, however, turns this trope right on its head, and I would say he’s up there as one of if not the greatest superhero villain of all-time — at least on par with Heath Ledger’s the Joker in 2008’s classic ‘The Dark Knight’. Josh Brolin plays the role excellently, and the character is one of the few villains where you might say to yourself “actually, he’s got a point”. He’s also one of the first in a Marvel film where the heroes are really in peril, and it doesn’t seem as though it’s a sure-win for the protagonists, they’re in peril. Suffice to say, Thanos has jumped up to be one of my favourite Marvel characters.
‘Infinity War’ is action-packed from the beginning, and all the fight scenes are spectacularly choreographed and put together. The visuals as well are superb, especially the CGI work throughout. I must say, there was some slightly dodgy CGI animation toward the beginning, and also some obvious green-screen in small parts, but these are all nitpicks in what is an absolutely mesmerising visual experience.
I really like the story in the film, and the script did a great job juggling all the characters on their separate quests, as mentioned. Overall the film has quite a dark tone, so some of the Marvel trademark humour feels a little out of place at points, however it serves a purpose in the overall script. I also want to mention that this probably has the most radically different story of any Marvel movie, and is completely unpredictable and full of twists and turns. It’s joy to watch and see the events unfold before you, each step beautiful for the eyes and, in some places, torture for the heart.
Overall, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is an absolutely fantastic superhero film, jam-packed with characters, action, twists and turns, and a fitting climax to 18 films and ten years of build-up. A deserved ten-out-of-ten.
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