Saturday, May 12, 2018

My Review of Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Directed by Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Thanos: "Today I lost more than you could know, but now is no time to mourn. Now, is no time at all."

Without a doubt, this movie was probably the most hyped superhero movie of 2018 and it's hardly a surprise that within a fortnight of it's general release that it's already cracked over $1 billion worldwide. The hype was inescapable. This movie was bulletproof from failure. The question though - is is any good?

You know, actually yes. I've seen the majority of the MCU films (still some I need to catch up on) and I've watched the previous Avengers ones but it's safe to say that Infinity War is on another level as Thanos's (Josh Brolin) great plan to acquire the deadly infinity stones has come to fruition with some pretty devastating results that are for obvious reasons unlikely to completely stick when we get to the next movie in 2019 but for now, it's hard not to be effected by them.

Thanos showed that he meant business at the start of the movie when he had Thor (Chris Hemsworth) defeated before mercilessly killing Loki (Tom Hiddleston) but it was really the tip of the iceberg in his determination to complete his mission. Grieving for Loki to one side, the decision to pair the Asgard God with the Guardians of the Galaxy, specifically Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) led to some great comedic moments for a movie that also didn't hold back on some devastating moments.

Of course with two prominent members of the Guardians with Thor, the remaining crew also had their problems with Thanos. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) had her backstory with her adopted father greatly expanded upon before being sacrificed for his end goal while Nebula (Karen Gillan) reached out to the rest of the team, even if it was too late. I did like the brief exploration of Gamora and Quill's (Chris Pratt) relationship as well as the latter's initial jealousy of Thor, which again added to some lighter moments in the movie.

The other Guardians team up however with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Spider Man (Tom Holland) on Titan did however lead to a rather deadly and fatal face off with Thanos with only two of the bunch surviving. The comedic banter with Spidey and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) again works in the movie's favour and in general, the scenes with Stark, Strange and Parker are some of the best from the entire movie itself. I genuinely could've watched a lot more with those three.

Of course with Thanos going around collecting the stones, it's not like the heroes on Earth weren't trying to prepare as well. Both Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) found themselves drawn into the battle when Thanos's children also went after them and it didn't take long for the duo to be reunited with The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo not actually hulking out here), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) before the final stage of the battle took place in Wakanda with both Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) added into the mix.

I'm genuinely impressed with the length of this movie and with the amount of characters and locations that we saw, the writers were able to give nearly everyone as much to do. Okay, maybe the likes of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Wong (Benedict Wong) and Shuri (Letitia Wright) didn't have as much to do but they engaged when they were on the screen nonetheless.

As a villain, there does seem to be upturn in the way the MCU are crafting them and Thanos might easily be their most successful to date. The devastation he causes at the end of this movie will be undoubtedly fixed by next year but not all of it but I think the reason he works so well is that while he's genuinely intimidating as a baddie, he's also oddly sympathetic as we managed to see in his scenes with Gamora. Despite his horrible actions, you can almost see why he feels the need to 'save' the universe in his own deadly way.

- The post credit sequence hinted at Captain Marvel, who will appear in the sequel after we've seen her first solo movie. Nice to see Nick and Maria as well before you know what happened.
- Keeping with the Marvel universe (but not the MCU), audiences can see Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 next week.
- There were meant to be appearances for Aunt May, Hawkeye and Ant Man but none of the characters appeared here. No doubt we'll see them all in the sequel though.
- Chronology: 2018 I assume for most of this movie's scenes on Earth.

Avengers: Infinity War prided itself on being the most ambitious crossover that the MCU could've done and it certainly lives up to the hype. There are plenty of funny moments, stellar performances, good fight scenes, emotional and shocking bits and with an excellent villain like Thanos, it's definitely the jewel in Marvel's crown. Now let's hope the sequel gives audiences the ultimate pay off though.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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