One of my favorite comic book events from when I was a kid is Marvel vs DC. It was a huge crossover that required readers to buy four main books and many spin-off ones in order to get the total experience. Heroes from both universes crossed over and had to fight, only to eventually realize who they should be fighting. It was epic in every sense, and a series I’ve never forgotten. Anthony and Joe Russo managed to bring that same feeling to the big screen with Avengers: Infinity War (2018). While I’ll not spoil any of Infinity War, the rest of the MCU is fair game in this review…YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
Infinity War delivers on a lot of promises and is a great time at the theater
Thanos (Josh Brolin) has been hunting for the Infinity Stones for quite some time(at least since the first Avengers film) and has finally gotten his hands on one as the film begins. His ship was seen with a stinger at the end of Thor: Ragnarok dwarfing the ship carrying all of the remaining Asgardians. Infinity War begins there, as Thanos and his Children decimate Thor, Hulk, and Loki in search of the second stone in the set of six. From here, he sends The Children of Thanos to earth to seek the two known to be there: one in Vision’s head, and the other in Dr. Strange’s medallion.
The Russo’s had to figure out how to tell a story that would involve basically every hero established over the last ten years of MCU films. None of them really needed character development as they’ve all had either stand-alone films or been a big enough part of other films, but Thanos was barely known at all. They, with a massive team of writers, were able to craft a compelling narrative for Marvel’s big bad while giving the audience exactly what they were craving: more of the heroes they love cracking jokes and kicking ass. The task is no simple one, as navigating through all of the costume-clad heroes required the power of Odin and all of the nine realms. While every character is given a few moments to shine, the original group of Earth’s mightiest heroes takes the forefront.
The story weaves four narratives together in a compelling fashion, moving seamlessly back and forth between them until they finally converge. Each branch of the narrative fits heroes together who had yet to interact (or had been on opposite sides in Civil War) before this film, giving the fans numerous moments to nerd out over. There is a plenty of action and some great interactions which often result in amazingly humorous exchanges. The team-ups of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Spider-man (Tom Holland) then The Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) get to do much of the comedic lifting.
Who would have thought Thor could be so funny?
Hemsworth has been the biggest surprise in the MCU as of late. We’ve seen Thor become a better character in his last three appearances, and he has been able to steal almost every scene he is given. The Russo’s give him plenty to do – some of it funny, and some of it showcasing just how powerful the God of Thunder has become. However, much of the focus falls to Brolin, who gets to do some great work behind the purple CG face of Thanos. His motivation for finding the stones isn’t quite as maniacal as many of the other villains in superhero movies. He seeks balance…and while his methods are horrendous, he doesn’t come off as completely heartless or one-dimensional as he easily could have been. Think of basically every DC villain to date who seem hell-bent on destroying everything…but then what’s left to rule? Not that Marvel has been free of things like this…I’m looking at you Hela!
It should be noted that this film fixes the CG problems that were apparent in Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther. There is a massive battle – which is seen in the trailer – in Infinity War, much like the in the other two, but this one looks good…not necessarily just in the design. The creatures coming in massive waves are given a look that is forgettable and unoriginal, but the waves of them don’t look as choppy as they have in the last two Marvel efforts.
Avengers: Infinity War delivered exactly what it should have. This is the second-to-last chapter of a massive book, and, if you didn’t love the previous chapters, you probably won’t love this one. This movie is an epic comic book crossover on the big screen, with plenty of things to enjoy. So, grab your popcorn, smother it with butter, and dump a whole bag of M&Ms in there for good measure as you indulge in the visual and auditory splendor that is this movie. You’ll likely be left reeling for one reason or another, but it’ll be worth all the time and calories you’ve just ingested while you sit through thousands of names rolling in the credits as you await that final stinger you know Marvel will leave you with. Avengers: Infinity War earns the Must See rating and the “…To Be Continued” next year reminder.