Review: Avengers: Infinity War – 10 years snapped by

Infinity War cast poster

Regardless of how you feel about the Marvel movies as a whole, Avengers: Infinity War is the definition of a cinematic event. Not just for the sheer spectacle or massive cast, though it has both of those to spare, Infinity War is a film that has done something no other film has done before. It is the culmination of 18 films and the world those films have built. Does it (can it?) live up to the hype?

Infinity War’s biggest risk was always going to be the poor use of characters due to its’ massive cast. The track record for comic book films with a large character count is at best mixed. Often finding characters criminally under-utilized or nothing more than vague outlines of the full-fledged characters you find in their respective solo films. Despite the massive cast, Infinity War uses our heroes well with all of our favorites getting their chance to shine. This is done however by largely focusing the film on Thanos’ story rather than The Avengers.

Thanos on Titan

While most every major character has some story or plot they are entangled in as part of the whole, how they wind and weave within Thanos’ arc is what matters most and thankfully, how we as the audience spend most of our time. This of course only works though because unlike most Marvel villains, Thanos is thought out and relatable. Does he want to blink half of all life out of existence? Sure, but he is also never “mad with power” in the way that Red Skull, Hela or Ultron were. He doesn’t seek to control the world, to be worshipped as a god or remake the world in his own image. From his point of view, Thanos is the hero trying to save half the galaxy (even if doing so means sacrificing the other half).

Beware, spoilers begin ahead.

Sacrifice is a major theme throughout Infinity War. Several times our heroes find themselves forced to choose between sacrificing one life for the sake of the galaxy yet remain unwilling to do so until literally all else is lost. Thanos is also forced into such a position but unlike our heroes, is willing to make the sacrifice which ultimately leads him to his end goal. Even in that moment however Thanos is humanized, as we see the weight the decision to make that sacrifice has on him.  I suspect that the still yet untitled Avengers 4 will only further continue this theme of sacrifice (but rumor and speculation is for a future article).

Black Panther, Black Widow and Wakanda stand ready for battle

The heroes are also split up and combined into various groups that leads to many fun interactions. From watching Stark and Strange try to out douche each other to Thor and Rocket going on an intergalactic road trip, the character combinations manage to keep the film moving at a brisk pace and the various plots entertaining (though admittedly some more than others).  This all culminates into two final, concurrent fights. The massive battle in which Captain America, Black Panther, Winter Soldier and crew fight off the Black Order and their army in Wakanda is certainly a fun spectacle but also feels like one we’ve seen many times before. The whole thing feels straight out of Lord of the Rings (which kind of set the standard for heroes holding off a massive CGI army battle scenes).  The fight on Titan between Thanos, Stark, Strange, Spider-man and most of the Guardians of the Galaxy is a much more interesting fight however; as the various characters get more of an opportunity to show off their powers and skills. The weight of the film itself shows most in these scenes as we wonder which hero will fall first.

Captain America fights off Thanos

We don’t have to wait long to find out and yeah. That ending. Whether you’ve seen the film or not, you probably know what I’m talking about. How the ‘Snapture’ will play out in the Marvel universe is still unknown but it took a lot of balls to end Infinity War the way they did and shows how far Marvel has come as a film studio.

In the end Infinity War continues the unprecedented trend of Marvel films continuing to get better with time, offering a fun stand-alone experience made infinity better by having spent the last ten years getting to know these characters and this world.  Thankfully we’ve not been snapped into dust and will get to see how this all plays out in Avengers 4 next year.

Final Rating: 9/10

GoG Break Down:
How it was viewed: Theater
Running time: 2hr 36min
Recommend viewing: If you missed this in theaters you missed out.
Why you should see it: The fact that this movie doesn’t suck is by itself amazing.
Why you shouldn’t see it: You’ve somehow managed to avoid 10 years of Marvel films or you managed to suffocate your inner child many years ago.

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