Avengers: Infinity War
The Marvel Cinematic Universe set a trend in 2008 that shook the entire film world; a series of individual films that were interconnected into a larger cinematic franchise. In 2012 The Avengers teased that the next couple of years would be leading up to a showdown with the big Marvel baddie: Thanos. After 10 years and 18 MCU movies, we have finally reached this long awaited climax.
Avengers: Infinity War is the supposed finale that Marvel has been building towards after assembling a team of superheroes that features the likes of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Spiderman (Tom Holland), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and many more. If I wanted to list out all of the main characters that appear in this film, it would take the entire review. Safe to say that the beloved characters from the past 18 films converge in this film, as they try and stop the purple alien Thanos (Josh Brolin) from destroying the universe.
The film essentially feels like a TV show finale, not because of the magnitude of the MCU arc, but because of the lack of a filmic structure in the story. There are so many characters to keep up with in this film that directors Joe and Anthony Russo had to compress stories and jump from setting to setting with a quick rhythm. They also had the task to introduce a Marvel villain that would culminate and overshadow all of the previous baddies. Finally, the brothers had to deliver on the incredible anticipation of a ten-year wait. Despite so much pressure, the directing duo managed to pull off a very fun (if slightly long) ride.
Being pitched as a ‘finale’ to the world, this film has one aspect that the other previous 18 movies do not: unpredictability. With the contracts of many of the actors expiring, and much smoke around their future in the MCU, the audience didn’t know what outcome to expect from this big showdown. Without the knowledge that our characters will be secure due to their commitment to appear in a future film, the intrigue and stakes become all the more accentuated.
Marvel has always had a bit of a problem with their villains. Out of the 18 films released so far there are only two or three memorable villains; it is all the more surprising then that Thanos is such a convincing villain. Much like Killmonger in Black Panther, which came out earlier this year, Thanos’ evil plan makes a lot of logical sense, even if it does trample the moral and ethical dilemmas. In the end the movie isn’t so much an Avengers film as it is a film about Thanos. The Russo brothers were smart to focus on their villain, thereby letting the superheroes revolve around him and popping up in turns.
With such a big film, and so much anticipation built up, there was bound to be some mistakes. The pace was kept up with quick cuts, turning to follow groupings of superheroes, however, there are some scenes which are very unnecessary and downright boring (Thor turning on a forge for 15 minutes). Given that the Russo brothers were working under a time-constraint (the film is already more than 2hr and 30mins) some of this “fat” could have been trimmed. Also the lack of a classical story structure takes away the ability for this film to stand by itself; although it does provide added uncertainty.
Infinity War brings the stakes and unexpectedness that the Marvel Universe had been craving for some time, and while delivering on much of the hype and expectation to fans worldwide, the film does have its errors. Nevertheless, some slow scenes and lack of a classical story structure don’t detract from what is sure to please many patient Marvel fans.