The following review contains potential spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.
Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War is the climactic culmination that encompasses 19 feature length films, ten years of worldbuilding (beginning with the release of Iron Man in 2008), and billions of dollars of production costs. The mad titan, Thanos (played by Josh Brolin), has finally arrived and is taking no prisoners–this climactic battle is not simply for the fate of Earth, but the entire known universe. Thanos seeks to eliminate half of all life in the universe in order to clear old things away to create room for the new to grow and flourish without struggle. To accomplish this seemingly unthinkable goal, the mad titan will have to gather the six most powerful objects in the universe: The Infinity Stones. With all six legendary stones at his command, Thanos would need only to snap his fingers and his cataclysmic vision would be realized.
Contradictory to the film’s title, this mission is too much to handle for the Avengers alone; for the final battle with Thanos, they would need the help of everyone–barring only the conveniently absent Hawkeye and Ant-Man. Standing with the Avengers in this ultimate showdown are familiar faces such as the Guardians Of The Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and even the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. It will take everything this ultimate culmination of Marvel’s greatest heroes have to stand against the unyielding might of the god-like Thanos and the power of infinity that he wields at his fingertips.
Avengers: Infinity War was released on April 27 in most U.S. theaters. The film received an immaculate 9.1 on IMDb as well as a respectable 84% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In an unexpected turn of events, Infinity War breaks away from the typical Marvel formula of endless comedy broken up only by crisp action sequences in favor of a constant emotional and physical struggle. This particular story isn’t carried by the biting quips of Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) or the destructive capability of the Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo). In fact, it doesn’t focus on the growth of our heros at all–this is the story of Thanos.
Infinity War follows the mad titan on his journey to restore balance to the universe; huge emotional depth is created in a character previously thought of as only an indomitable monster, making him feel almost as if he is the true protagonist of this film. “Both simultaneously managing to finally give life to an ever-alluding foe while giving a masterclass in character management – its fun, heartbreaking and even overcomes many of the franchises long suffering flaws,” said Ian Morton, a critic on allthingsmoviesuk.com.
This movie was advertised as the ultimate fan payoff: To see every hero, they’ve grown to know and love for the past decade band together in one final battle to end all battles. What the fans received was so much more than they ever could have hoped for. Instead of a massive battle with each superhero haphazardly thrown onto the field with allies they have never known, fans receive incredible character moments with hero matchups they could only have dreamed of. To hear Drax the Destroyer (David Batista) marvel at the “pirate-angel-god-man” that was Thor (Chris Hemsworth), to witness Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) banter about pop culture references and to see the genius scientist Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) be completely outsmarted by the 16-year-old prodigy-princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) were all character moments match-made in heaven.
The only drawback to speak of with such an expansive cast is that there really isn’t time enough to spend with each character and really focus in on them individually leaving little-to-no room for individual character development –except Thanos, of course.
Dedicated and casual fans alike flocked to witness the grandeur of the ultimate superhero crossover film–they expected to leave the theatre with a smile on their face and closure in their minds. Instead, they left with bitter tears and broken hearts. Marvel Studios pulled a complete 180 on the precedent they’ve been setting for a decade of films; this was not a happy ending, and not everyone was coming out alive.
Marvel’s typical formula has always been exciting and entertaining, but lacked actual stakes–in short, the audience always knew the heroes would win, which led to a lack of distress or urgency. From the very beginning of Infinity War, that precedent was utterly shattered. Within the first several minutes of the film, not one, but two beloved Asgardians (Loki and Heimdall) are viciously murdered on screen while notorious powerhouses Thor and Hulk are beaten to a bloody pulp by the monstrous Thanos. These chilling scenes immediately set the tone of urgency and make two facts abundantly clear: no one is safe, and your heroes are in danger.
Throughout the film, fans are left with a growing pit in their hearts as their favorite heros are brutally picked off one by one. This feeling of growing despair comes to a climactic head when the unthinkable happens–the mad titan Thanos actually succeeds. Half of all life in the universe is abruptly ended and half our heros along with it.
The audience’s collective heart is ripped from its chest as our remaining heros helplessly watch the likes of Black Panther, Star-Lord, Spider-Man, and many more dissolve into dust before their very eyes. That broken heart is then spat upon as the ending scene features the sinister Thanos gazing out upon his work with a smile on his face.
Avengers: Infinity War is an incredible cinematic experience and Marvel’s greatest achievement in film to date. Featuring an incredible balancing act of a massive cast of characters, stellar action sequences, and the most menacing villain Marvel has ever produced, Infinity War easily cements itself as a must see film. This film marks the emotionally charged ending to era of Marvel that fans have spent a decade waiting for–oh man was the wait worth it. Landing the biggest box office opening of all time, Infinity War is sure to become an iconic classic that will be remembered for generations to come.