STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Hiddleston, Sebastian Stan, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff, Anthony Mackie, Tom Holland, Benicio del Toro, Danai Gurira, Don Cheadle, Letitia Wright, Idris Elba, Gwyneth Paltrow, Winston Duke, Michael James Shaw, Terry Notary, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Carrie Coon and Peter Dinklage
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.
Avengers: Infinity War focuses on the Avengers and their allies face the biggest threat in the universe: Thanos. The Mad Titan’s goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality….wiping out half of the universe. Everything that the Avengers and the Guardians have fought for has led up to this moment, where the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
Ten years ago, we witnessed the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man, where in the after credits we were introduced to Nick Fury looking to talk Tony Stark about the Avenger Initiative. Six years ago we witnessed the solo lead characters banding together for Avengers (Avengers Assemble for us here) in taking on Loki, where we’re introduced to the simmering threat of Thanos. Now, in Avengers: Infinity War, after a few more brief appearances in the MCU films since the first Avengers film, we get to see Thanos in action and what his endgame is. This review I’ll try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible when it comes to big/key moments in the film and, considering the two and a half hour runtime, has plenty of.
The film wastes no time in showcasing the threat and contempt Thanos has as he pursues his quest to collect the six Infinity Stones and therefor inflict his will on the universe. We’ve been treated to few, brief appearances of Thanos, particularly the different looks of the character over the years and Josh Brolin, in his third appearance in the role, gets to really sink his teeth into Thanos’ motivations and actions. Thanos brings a clam dread whenever he appears on screen, with his motivation for domination making the villain somewhat empathetic and with the heroes trying to come up with ways to stop Thanos and his ‘children’ from collecting the Infinity Stones, we get a full, interesting arc following Thanos which easily makes him the most compelling character in Infinity War. We’re introduced to the ‘Children of Thanos’, Thanos’ henchmen known as the Black Order, while they served their purpose of doing deeds in the name of Thanos, the one that made a memorable impression on me was Ebony Maw, portrayed by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor from Irish crime drama series Love/Hate (or you may know him for his lead role in Irish prison drama Maze from last year). Ebony acts somewhat as an advocate, hype-man if you will for Thanos as he gets the most dialogue out of the Black Order characters and brings a menacing presence on screen compared to the others. The heroes are spread out into three separate group arcs, which makes for some interesting character dynamics and interactions, with possibly the best involving Thor with the Guardians of the Galaxy. The editing between these separate arcs and Thanos’ is well done, but it’s in the final hour of the film, where the stakes are at its highest and you feel it, that the film excels. From the standout hero arc, I most say that I enjoyed Chris Hemsworth as Thor, bringing with him that tone he had in Ragnarok, which is why he and the Guardians compliment each other so well, and his arc is the most interesting from the heroes side of things. I felt the action sequences were well done, particularly those taking place in Wakanda as advertised in the promotional material.
As is the issue with a film that has amount fifty or so characters spread across a two and a half hour runtime, there’s some characters that get to shine well other are limited to small doses. Granted, those that get limited screen time might get a larger role in the Avengers film next year, it still feels like certain veteran cast members and their characters are somewhat wasted here. At times the special effects are below-par, particularly when it comes to the War Machine and Hulkbuster armour without helmet appearances that just don’t look good on the big screen, especially in certain scenes where the green screen is just too noticeable, it’s something that has been noticed for the last number of Marvel Studio films that the special effects seem to downgrading in quality the further we get into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Outside of Ebony Maw, I really didn’t care for any of the Black Order members or even feel like they were much of a threat to the heroes whenever they went to battle on screen, in particular Corvus Glaive came across as the weakest of the lot. It feels like there is a few scenes left on the cutting room floor as, keeping it spoiler free still, there is a few noticeable absentees in regards to keeping with Marvel’s continuity as certain characters have randomly disappeared compared to when we seen them last on screen. While the humour is played down more as the film progresses, it still feels at times that the Marvel humour is trying to hard, but this is mainly happening on screen whenever members of the Guardians are involved and there are a few character decisions that seem ill-thought out and you question more of the more you think about the film.
As a spectacle, Avengers: Infinity War goes all out in creating big, memorable moments for fans that have been following the MCU for the last ten years. Thanos is one of the most interesting and threatening comic book villains in cinema history and all the while the film manages to find a way of feeling like it’s trying to do too much at once and feel incomplete as we await the next Avengers instalment next year. 7/10