Its been a long time coming but finally Avengers Infinity War is here. Ten years, eighteen films, dozens of characters and a million fan theories have led to this and my excitement for this film was through the roof but with a lot of caveat questions. Could Marvel deliver on a decade of hype and build up? Would Thanos work as a villain? Could all these characters work in one single movie?
We have seen all the heroes in this film in at least one other movie so far, and the majority in 2 or 3, so the avengers, guardians and friends are all familiar to us which is gives the film a fantastic starting point. This is a film that would be simply impossible to attempt without having done what Marvel has, bringing so many characters into the public eye. You don’t necessarily have to see every marvel film that’s been released to this point, but you certainly have to have seen at least the two previous avengers films, Guardians Vol 1, Civil War, and Ragnarok. Going into this film having seen all 18 of marvels offerings is certainly the best preparation though and it definitely aided my enjoyment of the film.
One of the most enjoyable parts of Infinity War is getting to see so many of these characters we have grown to love meet for the first time, whether its Thor and Drax, Tony Stark and Star Lord, or Dr Strange and Spiderman. The Russo Brothers, directing this project, do as great a job as possible to give every character at least one moment, big or small, to shine. The trademark Marvel humour is there in spades and has some great moments that break up the overall serious tone and dire situation that all the characters find themselves in. The tones of so many various movies mix together wonderfully somehow, the comedic light-hearted guardians not feeling out-of-place with the avengers or the “not avengers but kind of are” characters who have had more serious films previously. Nothing in this film quite reaches the comedic fun of Thor Ragnarok, but the consequences of that film do weigh quite heavily on Infinity War and in particular on Thor, who probably gets the most screen time as a hero.
It an incredible achievement that I didn’t feel any character was grossly underused as I can remember a moment for every one of them where they caught the eye. Of course, we always want to see a bit more of every character but in a movie so packed of both characters and development of Thanos it’s impossible to have that without a preposterous run time of something like 4 hours. The two and a half hours of infinity war fly by, and fits in a lot. There may be a bit too much going on for some people, as the film does switch from place to place at speed. I was engaged throughout so didn’t find it too hard to follow what was happening, and each location was noticeably different so I always felt within seconds i knew which storyline we was going to.
I have gotten this far, and praised this film a lot, but the biggest strength of Infinity War is, for the first time in the MCU, the villain. Thanos has been a shadowy figure throughout 18 films, reference with reverence by everyone who knew him and feared by all. Paying off on that is a huge ask and this film manages it. He is the main character of the film, and he is, in my opinion, the best villain the MCU has ever had. He is incredibly powerful on his own, a point which is made abundantly clear in the opening scene, and once he begins collecting more power from the infinity stones he is out to collect, he becomes more and more formidable. That isn’t what makes him great though, the best part is the motivations he has and the reason he is trying to wipe out half the universe. Writing that like that it sounds preposterous, but much like Killmonger in Black Panther, Thanos believes wholeheartedly that what he is doing is the right thing for the entire universe because of his life experiences. We learn about what he’s been through, what he cares for and why he’s so determined to win.
Everything Marvel has done to this date has been in build up to this in some way, you can draw a string from Infinity War to any previous MCU film, which is a completely ludicrous statement. The action, whilst never reaching the height of that airport fight in civil war, is consistently brilliant, among the best use of powers and abilities we have ever seen. Infinity war takes all the best parts of all of marvels decade of films, and combines them into an incredible crescendo that rivals Empire Strikes Back in terms of impact and memorable moments.
Good: The culmination of a decade of work, fans will be blown away by this film. It delivers.
Bad: If you haven’t been keeping up with the MCU, you will not get anywhere near as much out of this film. Prior knowledge being a requirement is rare for films but Infinity War is no place to drop in.
9.5/10 – They did it.