Avengers; Infinity War is a 2018 American superhero film based on characters from Marvel Comics and is the 19th film in the illustrious Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, it is a sequel to 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and sees Earth’s mightiest heroes take on Thanos (Josh Brolin). He is an alien entity born in Saturn’s moon, Titan and an intergalactic force of evil; hell-bent on causing chaos and destruction in order to achieve his goal of collecting six universal singularities called infinity stones to aid him in his mission of balancing the universe.
Right off the bat, I just want to let you know, however delusional it might sound, that the Thomas that came into the theatre to watch this movie and the Thomas that exited the theatre having seen the movie are two different entities; that’s how good this movie was. I knew beforehand it was going to be a cinematic masterpiece not just because of the cast, whose performances I will touch on in a little while, but also the directors in Joe and Anthony Russo. These are two siblings that gave us the political thriller that was Captain America; The Winter Soldier which I loved, then they went on to direct yet another Captain America movie spectacle in ‘Civil War’ which I adored and even considered the best superhero movie of all time. That said, I’d like to retract my compliment on Civil War; it was a great movie but at the moment, the tables have turned and this new Avengers installment is the dethroner; hands down.
Every single actor and actress in this film was stellar and quite frankly the acting performances surpassed my expectations. There are so many I could mention but the ones that hit home had more screen-time than the rest which in turn translated to my best depictions of the revered Marvel characters they represent i.e Hemsworth’s Thor and Brolin’s Thanos. Speaking of characters, humour in many ways is as much of the latter as anyone in this film; it has such a huge presence and no one does it best than the likes of the following. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), alongside Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) light up the 1st Act of this photoplay with well-executed comedy. A testament of this is when Peter Quill tries to imitate Thor’s voice and Rocket is having none of it; he makes fun of the situation the best way he knows how and the confrontation between the Asgardian and the Guardian (see what I did there) is just the cherry on top. The latter scene in particular aboard the Milano Starship speaks volumes about Thor’s character considering what happens to him before; unfortunately, I won’t go into details on it because I’ll be getting into spoiler territory. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr), Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) have their comedic moments as well but the ones that went down in space were my best. Steve Rodgers is Steve Rodgers in this movie; played so exceptionally by Chris Evans over the past 7 years, the character is as serious here as he has ever been and understandably so given the stakes in play. T’Challa a.k.a Black Panther, who is arguably Captain America but with a trillion dollar bank account, plays an integral role in the imminent war that takes place in Wakanda. He is brave, has astonishing leadership skills and he deals well with the fact that his vision to open up Wakanda to the world is now coming to fruition but with dire consequences as is rightly pointed out by his Dora-Milaje sidekick in Okoye (Danai Gurira).
As disciples of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since its inception in May of 2008 with the first Iron-Man movie, we have had the pleasure of seeing Tony Stark and his super-team go through different phases that have given their characters more depth and made them more compelling. Leading up to the first Avengers movie, the founding members in Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and Thor already had their own stand-alone movies where they had gone toe to toe with very formidable foes which took a heavy toll on them both physically and emotionally and thus them teaming up, with a little push from the ‘death’ of a S.H.I.E.L.D agent, to defeat the Chitauri in New York made sense. They were the best defense that Earth got at the time and they still were 3 years later when Ultron came into the fray with that potential mass extinction event that took place in Sokovia. Nonetheless, the comradery between the superheroes was tested in Civil War. Divided into two factions, they locked horns and as a result, there emerged a wide rift between them especially with Cap. And Tony which carries on to this movie. This distinct aspect according to Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios, was integral in the plot of Infinity War because having the Avengers fight Thanos with the partition still very fresh in their minds would make the film have more weight and for sure, it does.
While on the subject of villainy, let’s just take a moment to acknowledge the true embodiment of evil that is Thanos. This motion-picture is quite evidently being told through his lens and in many ways, he views himself as the messiah that the universe needs so badly who is willing to plunge his hands into the filth so that everyone else can keep theirs clean; a notable quote I took out from Gary Oldman’s Jim Gordon in Dark Knight Rises. Right from the onset, you get to see why he was dubbed the Mad Titan in the first place; he has a fetish for death, as unconventional as it is and hence there is a method to his madness, pun intended. I don’t know about you, but I have been longing to see this antagonist get out of his chair that he so loves sitting on and get into action; wreck some havoc and give the Avengers a run for their money. Well, the wait proved worthwhile in many many ways but at the same time, he did one particular thing that I wasn’t pleased with. Again, I won’t mention it; it’s a spoiler but some food for thought as well. Furthermore, I was a bit concerned about the CGI aspect of this character coming into this movie, well portrayed by Josh Brolin by the way, but all in all, I left the theatre very impressed. The same applies to the children of Thanos, “The Black Order” or rather “Cull Obsdian”, depending on whether or not you agree with the movie going for the latter title. Aside from their exceptional visual appearance of the troop, I loved how they sold that allegiance aspect that they have to the purple guy; willing to go the extra length to serve his cause. Ebony Maw, specifically, does this not only through his actions but also his words as is vividly shown in the 1st Act of the film. Nonetheless, the others in Proxima Midnight, Black Dwarf and Corvus Glaive who are more hands-on in battle than their mystical counterpart do contribute a great deal to the conflict.
In spite of the praise that I am giving this movie, it is not without blemish. Upon seeing it, I felt like was robbed of the opportunity to see more of the characters I have loved over the years in the M.C.U. I am well aware that this film is about the Mad Titan, it might as well be called “Avengers; The Mad Titan” kind of like “Captain America; The Winter Soldier” for all I care. That said, I think the film should have found a balance in the allocation of screen-time because sincerely speaking, I strongly felt like The Winter Soldier, The Hulk, and Captain America to some extent had just as much of a cameo as Stan Lee, who so happens to be a bus driver in this. That’s how I see it, maybe you have a different opinion on it and I would like to get your take in the comment section below. Lastly, if you don’t already know it, I am not a fan of product placements in movies; I see it as a lousy way of advertising products or franchises and thus, judging by this statement, your guess on how I reacted to that Starbucks mini-commercial is as good as mine.
To conclude, I’d say that words are not enough to describe the awesomeness that is Avengers; Infinity War; it truly is the culmination of everything we have been loyally keeping up with for the past ten years. Additionally, it’s paramount we acknowledge the great villains that have graced this franchise right from the start. We’ve had the power-hungry Obadiah Stane, the mutant monstrosity that was Abomination, the vengeful Whiplash, the cunning Loki, the Hydra herald in Red Skull, the back-stabbing Ronan, the deranged robot in Ultron, the Asgardian reject in Hela and even the Killmonger himself; all of whom were proper adversaries but they pale in comparison to Thanos, there is no disputing that. Another parting shot I can give you without giving up too much is the fact that you might want to reconsider your predictions on the location of the Soul Stone if you haven’t seen the movie already; that’s all I can say.