In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos (Josh Brolin) is on a mission: to eliminate half of all living beings in the universe. To perform this mission, he needs the Infinity Stones, which will give him the power to erase all that life with a snap of a finger. After sending various and sundry minions to collect them only to have them fail, Thanos decides to take matters into his own hands and collect the stones himself. His quest brings him to Earth and to the attention of the Avengers, who are committed to stopping him. But will they be powerful enough.
Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of ten years of Marvel Studios films, and features most of the characters who have appeared to date. The build up to it has been insane, and fans expect nothing but an all-out epic that puts the other Marvel films to shame. Did we get it? Well, I’d say so.
Avengers: Infinity War might be the best comic book film yet. By that, I mean that the film is the first that delivers the best that comic books has to offer. It has the kinetic action and imaginative design of Jack Kirby, the emotionial resonance of Chris Claremont in his prime, and the whip smart dialogue of Brian Michael Bendis, all blended together in one near perfect movie.
The film hits the ground running and almost never stops. But even in the slower, more exposition laden parts, the audience never loses interest due to the novelty of characters who have never shared the screen talking to each other in pitch perfect dialogue.
Now, I do have to add a caveat that this is coming from someone who has seen every Marvel film made. If you missed Doctor Strange or Black Panther, you might not feel the brief introduction of their status quo the film gives you will be enough. You are given enough to know where they are coming from, but due to the sheer number of characters (including a surprising number of supporting characters) in the film, you don’t get more than that.
Where the film does devote sometime to is Thanos. Thanos is one of the best comic book villains to date. His motivations are fully fleshed out. They’re completely insane—the killing of half the universe to achieve “balance”—but in his mind he is doing the universe a favor. It’s a classic case of the villain think he’s the hero of the story, but never has it been presented so well. You’d almost be willing to go along with him if the plan didn’t involve massacring trillions of people.
A lot of credit for that has to go to Josh Brolin. He one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. But he deserves kudos for playing Thanos as a lower key than you’d expect. His Thanos isn’t a megalomaniac hell-bent on murder, but rather the worst kind of zealot–one who truly believes in his mission so much that he is willing to make any sacrifice to complete it.
Credit should also go to the Russo Brothers for just managing to pull something this epic off. The narrative bounces all over the globe and to the farthest reaches of space and back again but is never confusing and the viewer is never lost. And they create a great balance of tone, with laugh out loud moments peppering the high drama and pathos.
If you want to be a nitpicker, there are some nits to find. Namely how Thanos and his forces ability to find the Infinity Gems comes and goes as the plot needs it, as does Thanos’ power level. And, which might be a big one for many of you, that even though this is built as a standalone movie, it most certainly isn’t. It’s definitely Part One. But none of these are big enough to ruin your enjoyment of the film as long as you go along with the ride.
So, if you are fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then this is the fitting epic you have been looking for. If you are a casual MCU fan, there’s enough of a spectacle for you to enjoy. Either way, I recommend it to you highly.