*Gets home from the movie theater and instantly starts typing up a storm*
In 2008, Iron Man teased us with an unexpected end credit scene that saw Samuel L. Jackson step into frame and tell Tony Stark about an idea he had. An idea to assemble a team of remarkable people. An idea that would come to be known as The Avengers Initiative.
Throughout the next ten years, we saw that idea slowly — piece by piece — come to life. Not all of them were great. Some of them were even bad. But they were all working towards something; one, giant, climatic finale that was sure to bring us all down to our knees.
And here we are. Avengers: Infinity War has finally arrived.
Before we go any further I’ll mention that I won’t be spoiling any aspects of the movie whatsoever. I’m not going to go into specifics on anything and will only mention footage that was seen in the trailers because I know how upset I would have been if someone had spoiled anything for me.
That being said, if you want the best possible movie-going experience, then take my word for it and just go see the movie. The less you know about Avengers: Infinity War the better (the trailers actually do a really good job at not giving too much away), and then you can come back to the review after seeing the movie.
So. Moving on then.
Thanos (Josh Brolin) is coming. We’ve known that ever since the first Avengers movie back in 2012 when he first appeared in the end credit scenes. He’s shown up in a handful of other Marvel movies along the way, but his reign of terror has now begun.
He’s looking to collect all the infinity stones — tiny little gems with unique and extraordinary powers which are scattered throughout the entire universe. Should he get them all it would mean complete and total annihilation.
That’s where the Avengers come in. This time, it’s not just three or four or five of them. There’s no time to worry about grudges or romances. They just have to stop Thanos.
So come Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), come Captain America (Steve Rogers). Come Spider-Man (Tom Holland), come Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), come Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Come Thor (Chris Hemsworth), come Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), come Gamora (Zoe Saldana), come T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), come Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Come Vision (Paul Bethany), come Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), come Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), come Groot (Vin Diesel), come Falcon (Anthony Mackie), come Bucky (Sebastian Stan), come War Machine (Don Cheadle) and anyone else I might be forgetting. Come save the universe one last time.
Except for you Hawkeye. You can stay home.
You’ve read the cast list, you know how many characters are crammed into this thing. One of the most remarkable aspects of Avengers: Infinity War is that it never feels as crowded or overstuffed as you might think.
Yes, they’re dealing with a whole lot of storylines and personalities, and there’s no way to perfectly execute that. The Russo Brothers, however, come pretty damn close. While some movies that only have two or three main characters can’t even utilize them all correctly, Avengers: Infinity War finds time to give everyone something to do in a significant way that actually matters to the story.
I imagine writing that must have taken months and months and months to work out in the script, but it’s something that ultimately pays off in the long-run. While there are nit-picks I may have with the movie, almost none of them that I can get into for spoilers stake, the Russo Brothers have such a clear vision and are such avid fans that its impossible not to watch this thing without a big stupid smile.
A couple of standouts: Tom Holland as Spider-Man is a knock-out, his character continues to grow and mature and they take him to some really exciting places in this one. Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange is a character I’ve never been all that excited about until now — everything that he goes through and the role he plays was an unexpected but welcome surprise.
And, of course, all of the Guardians of the Galaxy. I didn’t love Guardians Vol. 2 and was worried that their future would be nothing more than slapstick routines where they’re forced to crack jokes every 10 seconds. They have some of the funniest lines in Infinity War, that’s for sure, but they’re also given time to have emotional moments and dramatic angles in there as well, which is something I was so grateful for.
The largest takeaway of all, though, has to go to Thanos. Thanos has to be great. He had to be so intimidating that he could single-handedly pose a threat to all of the Avengers. Infinity War achieves that and more. Not only is he this menacing figure who seems indestructible — he does so without feeling distant. There’s a very human level given to Thanos to the point where you can almost understand where he’s coming from and why he might do the things he does. While Avengers: Infinity War has so many characters and storylines on the heroes side of things, Thanos is the one constant who’s there for all of it — making this, really, his movie.
To this movie, he brings real stakes. This isn’t an everybody is getting home safely kind of movie. The ending….we’ll just say it’s an ending alright. One of my common complaints with Marvel is how little of a chance they can sometimes take when it comes to their plot structure and act 1, act 2 and act 3 narrative styles, and Avengers: Infinity War came and blew that right out of the water.
So, in short, it's everything that you hoped it would be and more. Of course, we all wanted and expected Avengers: Infinity War to be great, but let’s not take away how challenging of a task the Russo Brothers were up against. They had to take ten years of hard work — which is 18 separate movies up until this point — and find a way for them all to come together in just one film. And it worked. I don’t know how, but it really worked. Eat your heart out Justice League defenders (calm down, calm down, it was a joke).
Watch the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War here and then let us know what you thought of the movie (don’t even think about spoiling the movie for others) in the comments below!
'Avengers: Infinity War' review: There was an idea...9