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.
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In 2008, a little movie called Iron Man
, starring the guy from Weird Science
and directed by the guy from Swingers
, launched a mega-franchise. Ten years and eighteen movies later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems unstoppable as it releases its most ambitious movie to date - Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War
picks up about a year after the events of Captain America: Civil War
, with the Avengers disbanded and scattered randomly about the universe. A super-villain named Thanos (Josh Brolin) emerges on a quest to find the six Infinity Stones that will allow him to control the entire universe. Three of them are in the hands of Avengers, however - Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) possess the Space Stone in the Tesseract, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) keeps the Time Stone in an amulet around his neck, and the Mind Stone is embedded in the forehead of Vision (Paul Bettany) - so Thanos' desire to gain control of all of the stones means that he must go through the superheroes to get them. The Avengers must put aside their differences and work together, along with a litany of other allies, in order to protect the universe from Thanos.
The directorial duties for Avengers: Infinity War
have been passed from Joss Whedon (who has helmed both The Avengers
and Avengers: Age of Ultron
) to the brothers Anthony and Joe Russo (who directed the last two Captain America
movies - The Winter Soldier
and Civil War
). It's clear from the first stunning scene that Infinity War
is in capable hands with the brothers, who do incredible justice to a script, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who have worked on all three Captain America
movies as well as Thor: The Dark World
), that takes a few liberties with the comic book saga. Infinity War
both respects and relies upon the mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it also builds upon it to keep it from getting stale.
Essentially, Avengers: Infinity War
is the culmination of eighteen movies worth of world building, and (almost) every major character from an MCU movie makes an appearance, from the Guardians of the Galaxy to Tom Holland's rebooted Spider-Man to new-kid-on-the-block Black Panther. And, while some are pop-ins, most of the heroes wind up playing important parts in their respective portions of the mission. There are a couple of notable absences (which will not be pointed out here to avoid spoilers), but the Russos manage to effectively assemble ten years' worth of summer blockbusters into one stunning epic movie.
Because there are so many heroes doing their things, Avengers: Infinity War does not allow any of them to shine any brighter than the others do, and there are long stretches of "where's so-and-so right now" throughout the movie. Therefore, Josh Brolin's motion-capture performance of Thanos steals the show. Thanos is easily the most developed and richly portrayed antagonist that the MCU has cooked up (although Black Panther's Killmonger did help pave the way). His motivations for wanting to gather the Infinity Stones is pure and his reasoning behind it is sound, so he doesn't come off as an evil genius or a mad scientist, only as a being who wants to right what he considers to be a wrong. There are even instances where Thanos is - gasp! - portrayed sympathetically! He's still a bastard that needs to be defeated, but Infinity War becomes more than just a good guys-versus-bad guys movie with him in it.
A movie like Avengers: Infinity War is pretty much review-proof. Nothing any critic says is going to affect the opening weekend box office totals. Hell, presale for Infinity War has been setting records without a single press review even being published. And truthfully, this is the Marvel movie that fanboys have been waiting for. The ending is bound to be polarizing and will most likely generate some controversy (again, no spoilers here), but all that will do is feed the Marvel beast. As long as Disney and Marvel keep making movies, frenetic audiences will keep watching them.
Like any self-respecting Marvel movie, the action sequences in Avengers: Infinity War
are well choreographed and flawlessly executed. It does fall into the same trap as most modern superhero movies in that the final battle seems to last for the entire second half of the movie, but luckily, it's a well-crafted epic showdown between the Avengers and Thanos' goons. And, thanks to space travel and teleportation, it takes place in about three different geographical locations. It's basically what one might imagine a mashup of Black Panther
, Guardians of the Galaxy
, and The Avengers
would be. It's long winded, but that doesn't stop it from being fun.