‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Review: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ of Superhero Films
Avengers: Infinity War is finally in theaters and is directed by MCU veterans Joe and Anthony Russo, who previously directed the second and third Captain America films. Built up to be the culmination of 10 years worth of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film has already broken dozens of box office records and is on its way to become one of the highest grossing films in history. With so much hype built around it, did Infinity War meet expectations? Well, to put it plainly, ABSOLUTELY! Not only is it the best Avengers film to date (at least until Avengers 4 comes out next year), but the film manages to balance amazing action and visuals with an unpredictable story, great characters, and a completely unforgettable villain (more on that later).
The plot, by now, shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone who has followed these films. After years of buildup, the mad titan Thanos (played by Josh Brolin) has finally launched his galaxy-wide plan to attain all six of the chaos-inducing artifacts known as the ‘Infinity Stones’. When Bruce Banner, also known as The Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo), learns of this scheme after crashing back down to Earth, he manages to inform Doctor Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) of the coming threat so they can gather the Avengers to fight off Thanos and his invasion. Word eventually gets to Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (played by Chris Evans), and even the Guardians of the Galaxy, who all become entangled in the battle against Thanos as well. From there, it’s an all-out war on two fronts to stop the extinction of half the life in the universe.
First, let me talk about the real star of this movie: Thanos. Without a doubt, Josh Brolin’s Thanos is one of the absolute best villains in comic book movie history, right up there with Heath Ledger’s Joker. In fact, he may be up there with Darth Vader as one of the best movie villains PERIOD. Why? Because on top of being incredibly intimidating, as well as having a big presence throughout the film, Brolin gives the character bucket loads of much needed depth and emotion. His scenes with Zoe Saldana as Gamora in particular are a big highlight. To have years of buildup for a character like this and for him to actually live up to it is something that cannot go uncelebrated. For that, hats off to you Mr. Brolin, hats off to you.
As for the other characters, once again, every actor gives it their all. All the main Avengers, from Thor all the way to Iron Man, get the screen time they deserve and are excellently acted across the board (I mean, what do you expect from Robert Downey Jr. at this point). The more recent characters, such as Black Panther and Doctor Strange, also make a great return along with their supporting casts. Special praise must be given to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, as by this point, his iteration of the wall crawler far outweighs both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s (a point that is especially proven in a specific scene during the climax). It helps that all of the characters have excellent chemistry with one another, leading to some very sharp writing; and yes, the Guardians are still just as entertaining as ever (especially Dave Bautista as Drax, who had me in stitches with most of his lines).
The action scenes? Well, Infinity War succeeds once again in that aspect. The Russo brothers had already proven themselves in terms of action with their Captain America films, but here they really outdid themselves. Not only is the action very well choreographed and paced, but the scope of these battles makes you feel as if you’re watching a Superhero version of Lord of the Rings. Also helping the epicness of the film is the score by Alan Silvestri, which gives each scene the boost that it needs to deliver both the excitement and surprises.
Speaking of surprises, I will not DARE give away this film’s ending. In my opinion, it is one of the most gripping and emotional finales to ever be put into film in recent memory. The only thing that I will say is that this is absolutely part one of a two-part story, so be prepared for a serious cliffhanger. Just remember, if you have seen the movie, #thanosdemamdsyoursilence, seriously.
In conclusion, Avengers: Infinity War lives up to all expectations and then some. Are there one or two nitpicks that some people could find, yes, but then again, every film has that aspect. What is most important though is that despite the odds, Marvel has successfully pulled off a seemingly impossible cinematic experiment a decade in the making, and they did it with flying colors. Hopefully Avengers 4 manages to also live up to the hype and be the part two to this excellent part one, but if it has this quality, I think that all of us are in good hands. As for this film, to quote Hollywood fanboy Kevin Smith, it is a “gigantic Marvel masterpiece” (from comicbook.com).