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Review – Avengers: Infinity War

Infinity War Poster

Infinity War Poster

It’s hard to overstate just how much hype this movie has. It enters its own realm of anticipation, with probably only The Force Awakens coming close to being the same sort of pop-culture touchstone event. Ten years. Eighteen previous movies. One story, all leading here.

What can I say about Infinity War without diving into spoiler territory? Thanos will have my hide if I give anything major away, after all.

There are a lot of characters. A lot. The Russo brothers have been tasked with directing a coherent movie with more major characters than perhaps have ever been assembled in one feature film. Quick, someone do some research on that claim. Just about anyone who has had a major part in a MCU film ever makes an appearance here, and yet somehow things remain cohesive. There are a few reasons for that, but I’ll just say kudos to the Russos for finding a way to make it work.

There are some characters noticeably absent that I thought for sure would make an appearance and some who I never saw coming. You will be surprised at least once, I guarantee it. One new actor plays against type in such a genius way, the audience applauded immediately. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. The cast, mostly returning from previous issues films is a ridiculous cornucopia of talent who have embodied these characters over the years in such a manner that you feel like you know them. That makes the deaths all the more meaningful.

Yes, important people die. And some of them, I am quite sure, are going to stay that way. Others are a bit up in the air, as comic book characters are wont to be, but you asked for real consequences, and you will be handed them.

Loki is no longer the only really great MCU villain. After existing as an overblown cameo for most of this time, the biggest baddest of the big bads, Thanos, brilliantly played by Josh Brolin is complex and terrifyingly powerful. He’s no doubt evil – and yet, we…understand him. He doesn’t simply want power or money. He’s not just bloodthirsty. He doesn’t revel in destruction for destruction’s sake. He’s not even necessarily what you would call misguided either. He has a purpose to everything he does, and he is set to accomplish that, no matter the cost.

There are some bitter and jagged pills to swallow. Right. Off. The. Bat. Ouch. I still don’t know how I feel about one of them. In some ways it takes just about everything good that happened in a certain previous film and crushes it into dust. And then blows that dust into your eyes.

This movie is heavy. Like Back to the Future heavy. I’m not sure if it’s going to lend itself to a lot of repeat viewings. And the next year is going to be a long wait for Marvel fans. Yes, Infinity War is its own thing. A beginning, a middle, and an end. Yet there is so much left to hopefully be resolved in 2019’s yet untitled Avengers 4. If this is where Infinity War ended for good, if this is where the Avengers franchise put the final period, it could be over. But it would be a shockingly grim ending for a series that brings levity and hope to the table so often. I’m not let down by this ending, but I have never been more motivated to theorize about what is yet to come.

Speaking of humor – this movie is hilarious. I mean, yeah, so much of it is death and destruction, and it is by far the darkest of the Marvel movies, but it has plenty of those moments that will have you applauding and hooting as well. Fear not.

The plot and story? Hmm. What about them? They honestly don’t exist to a huge degree, which is why it manages to remain so cohesive, if that makes any sense. What’s there is solid, but with so much happening, there’s not a lot of time (even with the 160 minute runtime) to bring in lots of new details and twist. This is Infinity War after all, and that is what we get. Pretty much non-stop action from start to finish without much room to breath. It is Intense. If you are hoping for something sublet and genius like Ragnarok, or culturally significant like Black Panther you may walk away disappointed. But if you are hoping for mind-blowing action filled with interactions from just about every single one of your favorite comic book characters as they both bicker and work together in new and exciting ways, then be prepared for exactly what you want. Stark meets Strange? Gold. Spiderman and…anyone else? Priceless. And when Thor does that thing? Yeah!! Some really great moments all around.

The Lord of the Rings. Watching this movie called to mind how I felt when reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Not to somehow belittle Tolkiens masterpiece of literature (Marvel movies are good, but not in the same realm), but in scope and scale, and method of story telling. With so many characters doing so many things, there are stories happening concurrently, all over, with different characters. We’re given enough time with each to become invested before suddenly being reminded that there is something else, equally important and interesting happening at the same time as we switch from outerspace to Wakanda, to New York, to somewhere else.

Visually this is a treat. Especially when the reality stone is involved.

Once again, Kudos to the directors for somehow making this happen. It’s a culmination of great story telling over ten years, great actors who know these characters, and a simple yet solid script that doesn’t allow for too many distractions.

There is an scene after the credits. I mean, you knew that, but it had to be said. And boy is it a good one.

How I ultimately feel about it will be determined by the final payoff next year, but I have a good feeling they know what they’re doing here. See it, but maybe catch up on any of the other MCU films you may have missed first. It will be worth it.

Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film

Brother Hamster did not screen this film

My rating: Four out of five hats



Avengers: Infinity War assembles in 4,200 theaters, including IMAX 3D, April 27

4 thoughts on “Review – Avengers: Infinity War

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