Let The End Begin
This is a spoiler-free review of the film.
It has taken 10 years and 18 movies to get to this moment. Avengers: Infinity War is the beginning of the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we have known it to be. It pulls from all the properties the franchise has established for one big epic film set on massive proportions. Nothing like this has ever been done before in the history of movies and it is a gargantuan task to accomplish with so many characters, subplots, and arcs to cover. With the amount of expectations this movie has around it, you would think it to be impossible for Marvel to incorporate everything together so seamlessly. I am happy to say that Avengers: Infinity War has definitely met most of the expectations that have been placed on it and occasionally exceeds them making this a great addition to Marvel Cinematic Universe and a wonderful way to cap off the beginning of the end.
In the new film, the villain Thanos begins a quest to find and collect all six of the infinity stones. Realizing the danger that this could possess, The Avengers along with the Guardians of the Galaxy begin to assemble in an effort to stop the mad titan’s master plan.
Everyone is here for the end as Infinity War boasts a large and impressive cast. Everyone from Iron Man to Star Lord to Black Panther to Wong is present and barely anyone is missed. There are some characters that are at the forefront more than others, and not everyone gets a time in the spotlight. It would be an impossible expectation to have everyone have one defining moment in the movie, but for the most past Marvel has effortlessly incorporated each character’s story and arc into this film giving a majority of them time to shine.
Each character serves a role in the film no matter how big or small it may be. Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor definitely all have the most to do in the film, but that doesn’t mean everyone else gets sidelined. Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther, War Machine, Rocket, Groot etc. all have vital roles in the film no matter how much screen time they may get. Everything done in this film serves a purpose, and it is impressive that Infinity War is able to be so coherent and juggle all these pieces on this massive scale.
That makes the movie more investing as well. Because we have established films that have given us time to care for these characters, we really enjoy seeing them on screen no matter how much screen time they get. It truly is a treat to see some new characters meeting for the first time as well as seeing reunions between old characters. While not everyone has a chance to meet with everyone else, there are small smiles that I was having from even the tiniest interactions we did get. That’s where the movie finds most of its fun and entertainment just from the sheer joy of seeing all of our favorite characters on screen interacting and fighting for their lives.
The stakes are very real in this film, and that has always been one of my biggest problems with Marvel movies. I never truly felt the weight of any situation during previous films and I was rarely surprised. This is the exact opposite with Infinity War. From start to finish, everything that came at me was a welcome surprise. This is probably the first Marvel movie since Captain America: The Winter Soldier that I have been truly excited, surprised, and invigorated from start to finish. That’s not to say the other entries were bad, it’s just that Marvel has really established the playing field well in this movie leading to great moments of unpredictability.
I have to give the movie major props on how unpredictable it is. Marvel has truly gone all in on this movie saving all of their greatest risks and tricks for the very end of their franchise. The trailers give away basically nothing about the film and I liked that. Everything you see in the movie should be a genuine surprise for most people and it’ll be hard for you to predict how everything plays out.
This unpredictability is mainly due to the excellent villain that is Thanos. Seriously, I would say he is the best villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe period. There is so much depth and layers to him that make him so compelling and complex to watch on screen. The best villains are those that truly believe what they are doing is the best possible thing even if it may be skewed and that is perfectly exemplified in Thanos. Aside from the physical prowess he possesses and the spot on voice work from Josh Brolin, there is a true humanity to the character that makes him so great to watch on screen and in a way you can understand his logic.
This is more of a Thanos movie than anything else. We really get to learn and understand where he comes from, what motivates him, and why he sees his solution as the best. Sure the Avengers are definitely there to help stop him, but if you watch the movie from Thanos’ perspective, he could easily be the hero of his own movie and that is what makes him so rich and unique. I can not speak more highly of Thanos as a villain; he is certainly one to connect with and remember even long after the Marvel Universe dies out.
The action sequences are yet again top notch, from small street battles to big scale wars. Each action scene provides enough excitement from seeing different Avengers working together for the first time, to triumphant heroic moments to keep you invested yet scared. Since the stakes are real this time, there is an added danger and weight to what everyone is doing making each scene all the more tense to watch not knowing whether or not it could be a certain character’s final moment in the franchise.
There are undoubtedly some problems with this movie that hold it back from being the epic masterpiece that Marvel wanted. There is a lot going on in this movie between character arcs, locations, and overall missions. All of the plot threads serve a purpose, but it is sometimes jarring to be switching between so many different characters. This was a problem the movie would undoubtedly face given the sheer magnitude of the film, so I can forgive it for now but with Avengers 4 I hope to see the subplots a bit more focused up and converged on smoother.
There were also certain character decisions that didn’t really work for me in the movie given what has been established about them. Some characters make choices that I don’t necessarily buy given their character arcs in their individual movies. I understand that they were used to drive the plot forward but one in particular had me scratching my head. (Trying to keep it vague here to avoid spoilers).
One big question people may have is whether or not they have to see all 18 Marvel movies in order to understand this one. It certainly helps and elevates the experience of the movie when you have seen and understand all the characters and individual arcs, but it is not completely necessary. In all fairness, I would say the most pivotal films would be Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Guardians of the Galaxy. This just helps to give a baseline for some of the plot elements and characters brought up in this film.
Even though this is part one of a two part film, Infinity War is a complete film in its own right. There is a proper beginning, middle, and end that truly embraces everything that has been established in the Marvel legacy. It does set up the events for Avengers 4 quite well, with an ending that is equally traumatic and frustrating to deal with. There will certainly be a lot to discuss leading up to the final film in the franchise.
Avengers: Infinity War is a great celebration of everything that the Marvel team has accomplished in the past 10 years. It sets the stakes high from the very beginning and never lets you go. While all the individual characters shine in their own regard, it is Thanos that truly stands out with a fascinating psychology that enrich the film to a new level. Having a villain of this stature makes the movie all the more tense and exciting to watch with moments of genuine surprise that will blow you away. A few issues aside, Marvel has pulled off an impossible task of bringing over 50 characters together for one epic film that truly works well on its own. Now we just have to wait one more year to see how it all wraps up….