In some ways writing a review on Avengers: Infinity War seems almost redundant as it’s the type of film that has a devoted audience so built-in that there’s no need to read someone’s thoughts to convince you otherwise on its worth.
That being said, my line of work means I am fortunate (privileged even) enough to see films earlier than the masses, and I can’t help but feel a certain duty to share my views, even if they’re not entirely needed.
As it stands, my review on Infinity War will be light on specifics as I wouldn’t dare of spoiling even the most minuscule detail; a filmic event 10 years in the making? I’m not about to ruin that for anyone!
Essentially a sequel to every MCU film that has come before (dating back to 2008’s Iron Man), Infinity War is a hefty, ambitious actioner that has been masterfully handled by directing duo Joe and Anthony Russo (who helmed both Captain America sequels The Winter Soldier and Civil War), the two somehow managing to juggle each character with respect and relative focus.
Given just how many players are involved here (apart from Ant-Man and Hawkeye, the band’s all here) Infinity War could’ve been a seriously cumbersome film, so it’s to the Russo’s credit (and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) that they opt to spin the characters into select core groups, giving them their own mini-adventures before ultimately culminating in an epic battle that defies expectation. The group adventures range from the expected (Captain America and his usual cohorts teaming with Black Panther) to the unforeseen (Thor shacking up with Rocket and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy).
As successfully as they have juggled everyone though, it’s understandable that some characters garner heavier focus than others, and despite Wakanda earning a prevalent placement in the film’s finale, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and his right-hands (including the fierce Danai Gurira) is one of the major players who feels a little short-changed overall.
Slipping in far easier than one may expect however are the Guardians of the Galaxy, with the aforementioned Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) playing well off Thor (Chris Hemsworth), with the latter still maintaining the sense of humour he discovered in Thor: Ragnarok; perhaps some of the best banter though happens between Thor and Quill (Chris Pratt), the latter’s masculinity evidently threatened by the hulking Thor to the point that he lowers his vocal register to save face.
But what of the obvious conflict that will befall our heroic supergroup? Well, it’s (finally) arrived in the form of Thanos (a supremely compelling motion-cap performance from Josh Brolin), an intergalactic war-lord of sorts who desires to rebalance the universe through the collection of the Infinity Stones.
Thanos has long been a figure referenced and teased throughout the previous films, and his appearance here doesn’t disappoint, in fact you could almost claim this to be his movie with the Avengers making appearances as his supporting cast.
He’s an unflinching villain without question, but there’s heart, sense, and logic to his madness that make him a far more rounded figure than what most superhero films are afforded.
Though we know another Avengers film is on the way (Infinity War and the as-yet-untitled sequel were filmed back-to-back) this never feels like the first half of a bigger story. Unlike other finale films that are split into two, Infinity War very much feels like its own film, though its closing moments has the potential to drastically alter the course of any future stories.
All in all, this is a huge, monumental feature that will at once please, torture, frustrate, and delight its dedicated fanbase. And, as always, enjoy the final credits as the tease on hand here may be one of the most satisfying yet.
Avengers: Infinity War is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer below: