“There was an idea, Stark knows this, called the Avengers Initiative. The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to fight the battles we never could.”
A film 10 years in the making has finally come to fruition, as Avengers: Infinity War has hit theatres. With 18 prior films in this shared universe leading up to this point, there was certainly a tall order to fill. Is Infinity War everything we hoped it would be? Let’s find out as we get into this non-spoiler review.
It’s nearly impossible to pick a starting point, so I’ll just say this right off the bat: This film is incredible! It gave me everything I wanted and everything I didn’t know I wanted. The Russo Brothers did a flawless job incorporating a bevy of characters into this film while also giving us the greatest villain in the MCU to-date in the Mad Titan, Thanos. I may even go out on a limb to say that Thanos could be the best comic book movie villain of all-time.
The focus of the film may sound simple: Stop Thanos from collecting the 6 Infinity Stones. But as the story progresses and decisions are made, this task is really put to the test, as Thanos and his Black Order will stop at nothing to reach their goal. Though we’ve seen Thanos a few times in the past (Avengers, Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy), we didn’t get much in terms of his characteristics and traits. Infinity War delves into the psyche of this villain in ways that haven’t been done thus far. Sure, Killmonger was great in Black Panther, Loki was terrific in The Avengers, and I really dug Red Skull in The First Avenger, but Thanos‘ development is what fans of the MCU have been waiting for.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Thanos is a huge character in this film, but what about our heroes? We know the events of Civil War left the team fractured, but circumstances like universal destruction will surely bring anyone together. The heavy hitters all come to play in Infinity War, though they’re working in different locations like New York, Wakanda, and different settings in space. The way the different subsets of team combinations were given their own screen time, plot points and arcs was simply outstanding. Paced perfectly, the “slower” points in the film had meaning and purpose and didn’t take away from the gravity of the overall plot.
The character interactions between heroes that have never met before was a lot of fun to see, as the Guardians team is now battling side by side with the Avengers. Though the different MCU films have had tonal differences, the characters all blend very well when they share screen time together.
Another great part of Infinity War is the introduction of Thanos’ Black Order in Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian (Black Dwarf). These menacing aliens are some of the toughest foes our heroes have ever faced and waste no time in wreaking havoc. It was great to see not only a strong main villain but a great villainous team, which is something we haven’t gotten until now.
The visuals in Infinity War are top-notch and the CG work on the villains is amazing. The different landscapes shown in locations both on Earth and in space rival anything previously shown. We’re taken to new places and also re-visit familiar ones. There are a lot of dangling plot points from previous films that are nicely tied together over the course of this film. Many questions are finally answered, though I won’t get into spoiler territory in this review.
This film is packed with so many awesome, riveting and heart-breaking moments that simply have to be experienced in a theatre with a group of friends. And yes, the presence of classic MCU humor is there and works very well for the most part, save for a few times with the Guardians crew. The discussions that are sure to arise after you see this film are sure to take up a ridiculous amount of your time. With so many characters in different places doing so many different things, it’s a wonder that the cohesion was pulled off in the way that it was. 10 years and 19 films have given us fans so much material. And though I won’t spoil the ending, let’s just say that it will leave you anxiously waiting for Avengers 4 in 2019. So strap in, enjoy the ride, and prepare yourself for things you will not be expecting.