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Film Review: Avengers: Infinity War

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This is one of the most, if not the most anticipated film, of the last few decades. Coming into the cinema, I hadn’t felt like this since the lines were half a kilometre long for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. There were people in my theatre wearing Thor outfits, wearing Spider-Man outfits, bringing Infinity Gauntlets into the theatre – there was one lady who had done such a good Gamora cosplay, she was painted green. That’s commitment! That said, this film is rife with potential spoilers, so this review is going to be much more of a recommendation, and then we’ll be posting a spoiler-discussion in a few days’ time. But for now, let’s discuss the epicness that is: Avengers: Infinity War

Firstly, Marvel has to be commended on their sheer balls. No, not the giant purple guy that looks like a cross between your left testicle and Bruce Willis with a bad Instagram filter. I’m talking about the cojones on the fellas over at Marvel who had the audacity to put 35+ named characters in film, crossing over 18 movies and multiple franchises. This is not a formulaic Marvel film,this film takes risks. I take my hat off not only to the directing duo of Joe and Anthony Russo, who’ve previously brought us Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, but also the writing duo of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who’ve written the screenplays for both the Russos’ films, as well as Captain America: The First Avenger, and Thor: The Dark World. Hats off to all you gentlemen, and Kevin Feige as well.

Avengers: Infinity War can be looked at in two ways: as a film on its own, and as a chapter in the MCU, before we head into Avengers 4, and beyond. This film is definitely geared towards the latter. If you’re not already a fan of Marvel, if you haven’t seen the previous films, if you’re not invested in these characters already, then this. Is not. The film. For you. As a standalone movie on its own, this doesn’t really work. It’s definitely a part one of a two-part story, culminating (presumably) in Avengers 4, and if you take it as such it’s a whole lot of fun. But if you’ve yet to invest yourself in this franchise – DO NOT START HERE. Go back, watch Iron Man, probably The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Civil War, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, heck go back and watch them all, then come and join the party. Think of it as a chapter in a book, but without reading the rest of the book, you’re going to come out with a lot of questions, and probably be a tad bored throughout.

Image Credit: Marvel/Disney Studios, Avengers: Infinity War (promotional material)

There’s lots to love about Avengers: Infinity War, but with a cast of over 35 name characters, you really can’t service all of them adequately. However, every single character in this does has their moment to shine. Be it a cool battle moment, or a funny one-liner, everyone has their couple of seconds in the spotlight. What’s even more impressive, is the tapestry of franchises woven together with wildly different tones. The Russo brothers have impossibly made The Guardians, The Avengers, and everyone in between, fit into one movie and still remain the same characters they were in their own. Music cues help with this a lot, but I’m super impressed at how well, tonally, Avengers: Infinity War works.On the other hand, a significant drawback from this is the lack of character development. Most of the name characters have cool things to do, some even have large chunks of plot, but undergo no emotional arc or journey throughout this film at all. That’s to be expected when your cast roster is as big as this, but when I can count (on one hand) the characters that actually had development in this film? That can be somewhat disappointing.

One character that did get development though, is Thanos. Thanos is the Darth Vader of the MCU, he is the crown jewel in their villainous arsenal, he is the big bad you want him to be. He also has his own journey, his own arc, reasons, and a gut-wrenching emotional pull behind his character (because that’s what happens when you give a character actual development, funny that.) Thanos is one of the biggest successes of Avengers: Infinity War, and Josh Brolin did a fantasic job, as well as the visual effects team tasked with bringing his performance to the screen. Brolin has had a resurgence of epic proportions. In this year alone he’s a main character in: Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, and Sicario: Day of the Soldado. Three of my most anticipated films.

Image Credit: Marvel/Disney Studios, Avengers: Infinity War (promotional material)

One thing this film does do well is stick the landing. For comic book readers, you might see this one coming, for those who aren’t familiar with the Infinity War storyline from the comics, be prepared. Clutch your pearls. Wipe your sweaty brow and hold your breath. This ending is every bit the payoff the film sets up. I won’t say much more on that, simply that when this film needs to hit those emotional beats, right at the end, it does so.

It is, however, far from a perfect movie. Avengers: Infinity War got the “war” part down pat, far more than something like War for the Planet of the Apes did, but I missed the character moments. It really doesn’t let you breathe and goes hell to leather at 100 miles an hour from the get go, because it needs to, but I don’t think that makes for the best story telling. To inundate you with analogies, if the MCU was a 10 episode season of Game of Thrones, Avengers: Infinity War is the episode 9. It’s all action, moves at breakneck speed, and works because of all the brilliant character moments building up to this – but it needs to be appreciated in that context. Outside of that context, on its own, this film is all third act, with very little explanation. You will not appreciate this, unless you’ve seen the other Marvel films, I promise you that.

Image Credit: Marvel/Disney Studios, Avengers: Infinity War (promotional material)

I’m also going to say the MCU is in the throes of what happened to the comic book industry decades ago. The first major cross-over blew everyone’s mind, but in many ways, cross-overs aren’t the best stories, those are the smaller, individual movies. Bigger isn’t always better, but it can be marketed to sell a whole lot more than those smaller movies/comics will. Moving forward, I really want to see a lot more team-up style movies, like Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Hulk and Doctor Strange in Thor: Ragnarok, and even smaller cross-over movies like Captain America: Civil War, who have marginally less characters, but manage to service all of them, rather than treating half the cast like they all get cameos. That’s what I want to see, moving forward.

Speaking of marketing though, again, hats off to Marvel and their marketing team. We here at Screenscoop did almost 20 character pieces breaking down those trailers, and what we can expect – some was very much on the money, but some was way off base. Suffice to say if you’ve seen the trailers, you’re still in for a whole lot of surprises, which was great. Kudos to the marketing team for keeping us on our toes.

Image Credit: Marvel/Disney Studios, Avengers: Infinity War (promotional material)

There’s still a whole lot to talk about, so keep your eyes peeled for our spoiler-filled break down, there’s much to discuss and speculate about before Avengers 4, but Avengers: Infinity War is a very spoilable movie, so get on it. If you’re an MCU fan, get your tickets now, get in there as hard and fast as you can, and probably stay off the internet until you’ve seen it. If you’re not an MCU fan, skip this one. Go back, check out the other films, then come at it. Avengers: Infinity War is an absolute beast, it’s the definition of epic, and should be seen in the cinemas, with a huge crowd of fans. It’s out now, stop waiting, don’t delay, get on it.

Avengers: Infinity War
3.5 Our Score
0 Users (0 votes)
Pros
• Thanos. Thanos. Thanos. • Humour & Character Interactions • The Third Act to End All Third Acts
Cons
• Too Many Characters, Not Enough Character Development • Definitely Half a Movie
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