Director(s): Anthony & Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
This review is spoiler free in terms of major character fates and plot outcomes. If you’re worried about reading anything, pop back here after you’ve seen the movie.
The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. (Source: IMDb)
It is impossible to talk about this film without first talking about the incredible achievement that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Infinity War is more than just the next installment in this expansive franchise, but it is the culmination of 10 years in the making, and with all 18 films that have preceded it, leading up to this moment.
Infinity War is “event cinema” in its purest form, and beyond that, it is a true spectacle. To see this many characters on screen that we have come to know and love over the years, newly formed allegiances, and a threat of an unprecedented level all in one film, is truly thrilling. It is worth noting – and this may seem an obvious point – but this is not the film to take someone along to for their first taste of the MCU. Prior knowledge of the MCU up to this point is absolutely essential, and this film makes this abundantly clear by not wasting any time faffing around with character introductions or rundowns of everything that has happened so far.
This massively goes in the film’s favour however and it pretty much segues in perfectly from the post-credits scene of Thor: Ragnarok. It does spend some time initially checking in where everyone is, but after a mildly clunky couple of minutes, and as soon as characters start meeting, it finds its flow and it never lets this go. Characters who have not met up to this point seem born to share the same stage; particular nods to Stark & Strange who have a wonderful dynamic, and Thor & the Guardians. The “ego-off” between Thor and Star-Lord is as wonderful as you would expect, and there is a surprising “bromance” that develops between Thor and Rocket.
The side-plots that the film goes off in all feel entirely necessary and add something to the story-line. With so many threads and so many different characters involved, there was the danger of things going awry, but mercifully, the Russo brothers keep everything focused on the end-goal. Tying all of this together is the singular threat of Thanos (voiced and mo-capped by Josh Brolin), and the film makes the smart decision to introduce him straightaway. This not only adds weight to all the following situations that the characters find themselves in, but ensures the stakes are consistently high throughout.
Speaking of Thanos, it has taken many attempts (with varying success), but Marvel have finally found their perfect villain. They’ve been on a good streak with villains recently, but Thanos easily takes the crown…or should that be gauntlet? His motives make sense in many ways and having him looming in the background for so long leading up to this point, makes the payoff even more worthwhile. Running the risk of being a one-note, all-powerful tyrannical figure, there is actually surprising depth to this character, and a humanity that felt earned and necessary. There is a particular relationship involving Thanos and another character which sees this all come together, and without spoiling anything, it is truly great.
It is amazing how the film packs so much in, and yet the hefty runtime absolutely breezes by. No character feels extraneous, and every single one has their moment without it feeling shoehorned in. To have pulled this off, is an incredible feat, and all credit to the Russo brothers for having the guts to have it pan out the way it did.
The ending. Don’t worry, there’ll be no spoilers here, but to have left things the way this film does is a truly gutsy move. It works in beautiful and unexpected ways and means that the anticipation for the next Avengers movie is already sky-high.
I saw this movie and you should too. The culmination of so much hard-work, world-building and character development over the last 10 years, Infinity War is Marvel at their very, very best. The scale and audacity of this film are extraordinary, and just the fact that it works so damn well, is a miraculous achievement in itself. The next installment could not come any sooner…