Avengers: Infinity War
Starring: Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Tom Holland, Dave Bautista, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright.
So, it has all lead to this... 10 years on since it all started and is the what? the 19th movie in the franchise? This being the first unification of all the three phrases of the marvel cinematic universe. And with Winter Soldier and Civil War directors AND writers, the Russo brothers at the helm and Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely penning the screenplay, we should be in for quite a ride. Especially as the above mentioned seem to be the most popular of the MCU according to several different polls. (At time of writing)
There’s a lot of ground to cover but this has all been part of a long and planned storyline which bravely, and thankfully doesn’t stick to the comic universe’s canon, but instead keeps as much of the core fundamentals of not just two but maybe three and possibly referencing many more comic storylines. But the key focus is the Infinity Gauntlet that Thanos welds, who goes on a relentless rampage of obtaining the mysterious and powerful Infinity Stones to make him unstoppable and giving him the capability of wiping out half the universe’s population at the snap of his fingers.
It’s definitely a Thanos film as oppose to the Avengers or the Guardians, or any other hero for that matter. It offers a grander understanding to the Titan, shining a lot of light on his character and not in the way many may expect. It actually hurls a larger question at the audience, turning the tables with the universe’s lives hanging the balance. Could he really be the necessary evil, the ultimate antihero? Many will die or all face eventual self-annihilation.
It's unclear if Cable is going to be this iconic but THanos is now most certainly one of Brolin's key roles and for those who don't really know him, they going to now. I mean, Brand from Goonies has really come a long way and though he is a big name in Hollywood and has been in films like No Country For Old Men, the reworked Old Boy and earned an Oscar nomination for his role in Milk; Thanos is going to reach everyone...
There’s non-stop action of epic proportions, fusing much of the trademark hits of most of the films gone before. But in between there’s a multitude of constant emotional turmoil where the most costly and difficult choices have to be made. These inner conflicts appear to resonate throughout the film on quite a board scale. It really doesn’t hold it’s punches and it’s instantaneous and unrelenting until the grand finale, being mostly unpredictable, it’s loaded with enough shockers to reboot Tony Stark.
There is so much; so much so, I’ve already seen the film twice now, yet with the longest running time and boasting more than 60 main marvel characters, (trying to count them all) there’s still a few obvious ones missing. I was more aware of the audience’s reactions second time round, with the knowledge of knowing what was to come. There’s a massive shuffle and reshuffling of characters throughout which leaves the audience guessing where this is going to go; a huge challenge the writers have managed to conquer superbly.
But there are some weak edits and quick plot hole fillers. However they’re quickly forgotten with the perfect balance of clashing incredible and outrageous egos all over the galaxy. And my only other criticism is Alan Silvestri’s score. Whilst it holds up beautifully during the more emotional pockets, the rest just isn’t epic enough to keep up with the heroics. Some of the sound too, especially during one battle, appears to be too low or even missing.
The standard Marvel comedy we have all come to love is still there with more than a few laugh out loud moments. The script offers brilliant banter and the chemistry is only amplified with the history of each character bashing together. It’s the emotional relationships between theses characters that really binds and holds this film together greatly, which is only brought to life by each of star’s performances, each bringing their own good and bad sides with them.
The Black Order of Thanos are brought into the fray and they are an impressive addition, but they did remind me of General Zod’s henchmen from Man of Steel, only better; especially Proxima Midnight. Each of them had a strong enough presence to rival our heroes and actually fear of the outcome at each encounter. Though other minor props do feel copied or repeated and not necessarily from the MCU. But, forget about that. They’re really minor details and creating something wholly original will probably have an even more negative result.
There’s plenty of those warm fuzzy feelings which gives you a boost each time a character makes their entrance. There’s some serious upgrades and It’s certainly not the first time the Russo brothers like to flex the heroes’ strengths, remembering Cap holding the helicopter in Winter Soldier; this time its Thor that gets their muscle struggle treatment possibly making Thor the star of the film. Of course, this is a personal opinion as majority of the characters get a fair share of the action.
Infinity War is so much more than what I expected and even with the mass amount of devastation, I found it quite empowering. You know it’s amazing when it’s difficult to pick out highlights and sure, there’s always going to be parts you might want to press fast-forward on your third or fourth screening but there’s really very little downtime and each cluster of scenes are swiftly moved on into immense action. They have taken all the little highlights from all the previous films, snippets which we can so easily identify with each character, and reworked them into the film in almost Easter Egg fashion; yet it’s all done in such a refreshing way.
As a whole, the film is stunning with some of the best, crisp CGI ever to be seen. It’s the perfect amalgamation of the entire MCU to date and there’s still more to come. Whilst majority of the previous MCU films each have their own individual merit, I’m finding it easy to say this is the best one yet! It’s an absolute must-see, especially for fans of the franchise. Go watch it! Thanos demands it!
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 10
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Points: 10 for Thanos and a near perfect, challenging film that exceeded all my expectations.
**SPOILER ALERT** DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM!
So people, what did you all think and more importantly, feel after all that death? There was me making one small educated prediction of only Steve Rogers biting the bullet but how wrong was I?? That end finale as death chooses who goes and who stays was shattering as much as shocking, not really allowing you to recovering until after Spider-Man’s heart breaking demise. These are those dull, saddening thumps that brought contrast to the warm, fuzzy moments of greatest as each character came into the story. And Black Panther? Groot and the rest of the Guardians?? Almost too much to bare. But forgetting the end. What about Loki? He’s actually dead, and so abruptly. The rest of the survivors from Ragnarok too, dying an Alien3 death to not even make it to the next instalment. Poor Valkyrie.
It has to be said, the use of Scarlet Witch was so pleasing, really showing what she’s capable of. Previously I’ve thought her character was a weak link knowing that her comic self is incredibly powerful, I’ve thought the films so far haven’t really done her character any great justice, until now of course. And, as much as I love seeing the Hulk go on a rampage and smash some serious shit, I know I’m not alone there; I’m really glad they put him on the bench for this one. It really worked with Banner having that inner conflict with a pride-damaged Hulk refusing to come out to fight.
So what happens now? Who really knows? I think Dr. Strange knows even if Cumberbatch doesn’t. He’s seen the only one winning outcome so his decision to give Thanos the time stone wasn’t really a choice. Obviously there’s that nod to Captain Marvel but have we forgotten about Adam Warlock, who they hinted at the end of GotG Vol.2 which leads me to question what happened to Hawkeye? What about Starhawk and Kraglin’s crews? Will the next Ant-Man movie hint at something? There’s one other person I’m leaving out on purpose as after a recent discussion with a fellow geek and Marvel expert, I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun. And I’m not talking about Red Skull. But I would so welcome the return of this character.
There’s still so much scope and knowing they’re not sticking to comic canon, it could only be misleading to want to read up. What’s your thoughts and theories? Comment below, elsewhere or tweet but let’s please respect that many people have yet to see the film, so just be mindful of what we say.
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