After 10 long years, the moment Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have been (im)patiently waiting for has finally arrived. With Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel and directors Joe and Anthony Russo have developed arguably the most ambitious movie to ever grace the silver screen, with its scope astronomical in size and exhibiting unparalleled levels of star power, there’s a reason it’s one of the most expensive and most anticipated movies ever made.
The big, the bold and the baddie.
The culmination of the last 10 years and all 18 films in the MCU has led to this pivotal moment, the appearance of the true big bad of the franchise, Thanos, hellbent on wiping out half the galaxy by collecting each of the six Infinity Stones and harnessing their power with his Infinity Gauntlet. To fight an enemy of this galaxy-shattering importance, it was always going to take everything the Avengers had and more, such is the jaw-dropping ambition of this movie. Not only does the film treat fans to the return of MCU stalwarts Iron Man, Captain America and Thor but the rest of the ever-growing Avengers crew alongside Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Spider-Man, and last but never least everyone’s favourite space-faring outlaws the Guardians of the Galaxy finally get to fight alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Astoundingly this seemingly endless cast is just a fraction of the film’s gargantuan scale, a feat that undoubtedly establishes the enormity of the filmmaker’s success in beautifully executing a film of such magnitude. The unparalleled effort to not only include so many characters into a film but also utilising such a wonderfully diverse and well-crafted set of locations for the Avengers’ fight against Thanos and his minions is further testament to Marvel’s unwavering ambitions. On Earth the fight is taken back to the familiar settings of New York and Wakanda as well as Scotland, and on the intergalactic battlefield, fans are introduced to new planets like Titan as well as revisiting places such as Knowhere. In terms of the directors’ achievements in delivering a film of such titanic size and importance to the franchise, there is not a single fault to be found and it can arguably be counted as the most impressive film to be seen on the big screen, such was the almost ungraspable vision behind the making of it.
Sharp storytelling with a sizeable scope.
Without giving away any specific spoilers, it’s safe to say that of a similar ilk to Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Infinity War pulls no punches with its attempts to shock MCU fans and perhaps veer from expectations. The film’s blistering opening sets the film’s tone perfectly, a rare blockbuster that keeps the viewer permanently open-mouthed and on the edge of their seat, despite clocking in a weighty 2 hours 29 minutes. As is par for the course with the MCU, there is a plethora of tongue in cheek humour with hilarious payoffs, especially with the introduction of the Guardians, with Thor and Rocket providing many of the film’s best laughs. The way in which the film also deals with the emotional side of the story, with the potentially calamitous consequences of Thanos’s quest providing a unifying backbone for the heroes to thrive on being executed to perfection, as well as introducing unexplored layers to certain characters and to Thanos himself, with his complex motivations placing him amongst the MCU’s most creatively portrayed villains. One criticism, similar again to The Last Jedi is that within some of the film’s dialogue there is a few cringeworthy, run of the mill lines but for a big-budget, crowd-pleasing superhero movie, it’s easier to forgive elements like this being included.
Critically speaking in terms of its scope, Infinity War might not harness the technical prowess of film’s like The Return of the King, but that is not to say in the slightest that its tremendous battle sequences disappoint. It makes complete sense for a film like this to be reliant on special effects, and although this means the battles may not feel or look as real as other films, it does not make them any less impressive. The fight scenes as always are beautifully choreographed, but it is the satisfaction one gets from seeing just so many heroes fight alongside one another against a villain of such enormity that is one of the true achievements of this movie. The battles the heroes fight on Titan and in Wakanda can only be justifiably labelled as spectacles, and they play out with such effortless flow despite the focus constantly switching, a further testament to the achievements of the filmmakers who were able to simultaneously harness two pivotal battles and have them unfold without blatant interruptions.
Whilst it’s surely easy to become apathetic to films of the superhero genre, with Infinity War Marvel have taken it to the next level and created a generation defining piece of cinema whose scope might never be paralleled. Undoubtedly some of the dialogue could be better refined and despite some gorgeous shots and a surprisingly powerful score, all the technical elements don’t quite make the perfect film, although they aren’t far off. As far as the MCU goes there isn’t a wholly better film made in the franchise, with the sheer ambition paying off in such a perfect way that its impossible not to feel some sort of overwhelming emotion when watching it play out.
(Stay for the end credits obviously)
MCU Fan Rating: 10/10
Critical Rating: 9/10
Words by Elliott Jones