We’ve been waiting ten years for this movie. Since Marvel Studios released ‘Iron Man’ in 2008, every film they released since was leading up to ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and I’ll cut to the chase: it delivers.
Over the years, film after film, Marvel Studios has given us a whole league of heroes, who will be called upon to stop Thanos from completing the Infinity Stones, six gems of immeasurable power. We’ve seen the individual stones in separate movies but now Thanos has come to collect and the Avengers, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and The Guardians of the Galaxy must all join forces to stop him.
From the sheer amount of star power in this film, there was no possible way to make this about any one hero. In fact, a large chunk of its 149-minute running time is given to allow all the individual characters to meet and interact and to put all the subplots together for its big finale.
Fortunately, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made good use of its time in the past ten years to familiarize us with all of its characters. There’s no real need to dig deeper into who they are because we know them. Instead, the film’s narrative sets up the pieces, playing off everyone’s personality quirks with the best possible characters for both dramatic and comedic effect and getting everyone ready for its monster finish.
And while all of this is happening, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ takes time for us to get to
know who Thanos is and why he does what he does. As much as it is a movie about its heroes, it’s also a movie about its villain. Josh Brolin manages to find a semblance of humanity in Thanos, creating a rather engaging death-bringer with a purpose for his wanton destruction.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo juggle multiple fan-favorite characters with thrilling action sequences, comedy, and drama that makes ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ such a spectacle that its over-two-hour running time flashes by in an instant but it feels like you’ve been watching forever. It takes expectations and built up momentum from the many previous films before it and throws it into the mix, and then turns them upside-down. There are instances and moments that feel like a comic book coming to life.
The biggest challenge of reviewing a film like ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is that every
moment of the film is best discovered on its first viewing in the cinema without any
preconceived notions or expectations. I feel that one must use broad strokes to
preserve the integrity of that experience.
Yes, the narrative is heavy on exposition but it’s well-balanced with great fight scenes, witty banter, comic situations, and emotional weight that you savor every moment of it as you are leading up to the end.
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is the culmination of 18 films. Its story and the immensity of its battle sequences, the depths of its drama, and the spark of its humor is all taken from what was laid out before. And despite all of the expectations and all the promises that have been made about what this movie comes down to, it still manages to surprise and deliver something unexpected and yet so inevitable.
Or maybe I’m still on a high. As a reader of comic books from as far back as the 80s,
I’ve been waiting for a movie like this my whole life. I thought I got it when I saw
‘Captain America: Civil War.’ I was mistaken. This is even bigger and the stakes are
even higher. I’m watching ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ a second time just to know if what I’m feeling now holds true. And then I’ll probably watch it a third time because it’s a hell of a lot of fun.