Avengers: Infinity War should not work as a film. This two and a half hour movie features over 60 major characters and ties together every single Marvel feature to date. Despite the sheer complexity of trying to balance all this, directors Anthony and Joe Russo deliver an awe-inspiring display. It’s impossible not to smile during Infinity War, as the movie is absolutely full ofcheer-worthyy moments and memorable one-liners. While Infinity War isn’t as good as the first Avengers movie, it was absolutely worth the wait.
The story is set directly after the events of Thor: Ragnarok when Thanos’ ship comes into contact with the Asgardian’s refugee vessel. This big purple tyrant has finally moved from his lofty throne and takes center stage in Infinity War. Driven to literally extinguish half of all life in the universe, Thanos needs to acquire the five Infinity Stones that have been scattered throughout the MCU. It’s Thanos and these rocks that act as the connective tissue to connect heroes like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Strange, Thor, Hulk, and the fractured Avengers together.
However, even though the different team ups are entertaining to watch, Infinity Wars’ plot does struggle. This is mainly because the movie has to completely stop to explain the different Infinity Stones and what they can do. Given the previous MCU movies got to relegate this to the background, it’s a necessary evil given the complexity of certain powers. While this doesn’t ruin the movie by any means, it does cause the second act of the film to drag.
Infinity War is at its best when the Russo brothers allow the cast to interact with each both in and out of action scenes. For how many characters there are, the chemistry among the cast is incredible. Every major hero gets a moment to shine, but the best is the relationship between Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland). The two offer some of the best and most emotional moments, especially near the end. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) had a fantastic showing, but unsurprisingly it was the Guardians of the Galaxy who really made up the plot’s backbone.
Of all the heroes these team has had the closest relationship with Thanos and it really shows. The entire group still delivers the biggest laughs, but it’s the softer moments with Gamora (Zoe Saldana) that help keep the stakes feeling tangible. She knows what Thanos is capable of, but also what he’d do if the two ever came into contact with one another. It’s a fascinating relationship to watch unfold that could have easily made up an entire movie. However, diving into anymore detail would ruin the film and spoil some of the story.
Speaking of Thanos (Josh Brolin), he is just as imposing and terrifying as the franchise has boasted. That’s a lofty goal to accomplish by itself, but Brolin offers up more than sheer intimidation. He’s a villain that knows the pain and suffering his task will cause, yet it’s his belief in the greater good that drives him.
You can almost relate to his way of thinking and Avengers: Infinity War spends an ample amount of time letting us learn about this character, where he came from, and his emotional state. This is one of the MCU’s best villains and a fantastic example for how to elevate these types of antagonists.
It’s such a shame that his henchman – the Children of Thanos – are so utterly underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, they are cool to see in action, but they feel added into the plot out of necessity. We never learn much about them and they simply exist to either further the plot along or provide a complex challenge in fight scenes. That’s fine, but when compared to Thanos their shortcomings are only enhanced. There’s also a few surprise appearances along the way – one of which that will certainly blow your mind.
Actions scenes are everything you expect and more when this many heroes are involved. It’s hard to say if any scene tops the airport fight from Civil War, but they are still highly entertaining. Divulging who is involved or where would ruin too much, however, it’s unlikely you’ll leave disappointed. The Russos have a great eye for action and all of the big battles are easy to follow. Seeing the different character’s powers and abilities interact with one another is probably the best part. There’s a lot of creativity on display, especially for anything involving Dr. Strange.
Avengers: Infinity War is a milestone for the comic book genre. A film that will remain one of the dominate examples of how to bring together a franchise’s lore and characters. It’s a cohesive, enjoyable movie that’s not afraid to go in a bold direction when it needs to. What Infinity War means for the larger MCU is still unknown, but 2019 cannot come soon enough. See this movie.