Posted Apr 27 2018

Avengers Infinity War - This Movie Rocks The Marvel Universe - To Its Core

Dir: All The Russos (Anthony & Joe)

Starring All The Chrisses (Evans, Hemsworth, Pratt), Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, All The Benedicts (Cumberbatch, Wong), Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, All The Toms (Hiddleston, Holland), Karen Gillan, Sebastian Stan, Benicio del Toro, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Peter Dinklage, Danai Guria, William Hurt, Sam Jackson, Cobie Smulders

So after 18 previous films and ten years, this is what it has all been leading to. With expectations going through the roof and beyond, Infinity War could so easily get it wrong. Indeed, previous superhero movies have come unstuck when they’ve tried to throw everything and the kitchen sink into a threequel (or, in the case of DC, just about anything they’ve tried with more than one protagonist), and given this movie has more heroes than anything EVER!!! well, it’s a delicate balance and a difficult trick to pull off.

The question was - Can Marvel and the Russo brothers manage such a feat?  The answer is - AND HOW!!

The threat of Thanos that has hovered over the MCU for several years now finally arrives in the daunting form of Josh Brolin, whose powerful albeit psychotic credentials are more than established in the movie’s opening scenes, moments designed to let you know that the gloves (bar one infinity gauntlet) are most definitely off here. Thanos is after the six infinity stones (some of which we have encountered before) and plans to use them to put into action his unique solution to over population – destroy exactly half of all living things in the universe. The Avengers, the Guardians and the remaining Asgardians are all that can stop him, and in the Russos’ remarkably swift film they are scattered all over the universe in their attempts to do just that. Thus, in various classic Marvel Team-Up combos, we move from New York to “Space”, to numerous planets to the recently discovered Wakanda (“Forever!”)

Yet, the great success of the Russos’ film is how effortlessly all this is managed – for a movie with a cast of so many, each character appears to have plenty of screen time, plus there is room for action, there is space for humour – plenty of it, stand up Thor and the Guardians, Dr Strange and “douchebag” Tony Stark in particular. There is also great clarity to the film – despite all the planet and country hopping, there is never any uncertainty of where you are in the plot and how actions play into one another. It is in reality a remarkable feat of juggling, one that comes across as a fast moving, thoroughly entertaining smooth running engine. An engine with tremendous heart, always essential to the MCU.

And this is a film with consequences – boy, are there consequences. It’s not a spoiler to say that people die here. And when they do it is really felt. In all sorts of unexpected ways. And even with that knowledge, and all the foreshadowing that Marvel has laid with this being a game changer for everything that has gone before – you just won’t be prepared for what actually happens.

Disappointments? Well, Cap feels a little underused. And Howard the Duck appears to have not survived his time with The Collector.

But, otherwise, this is the modern blockbuster (something that Marvel have almost singlehandedly shaped) writ large as contemporary epic cinema. And. It Rocks!

Excelsior, indeed.

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