Probably the most accurate thing that can be said of Avengers: Infinity War is that it’s a movie aware of its own importance. The culmination of the last ten years of movies set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Infinity War delivers on the hype that’s been brewing ever since ‘Thanos’ appeared at the end of The Avengers by taking every aspect of this universe that we’ve become so used to, and dialling it up to a hundred. The result is a movie that bulldozes you with a powerfully emotional experience becoming, perhaps, not the absolute best film of the franchise, but the most important.
Infinity War keeps the stakes close and personal for our heroes
Following both the ‘Avengers’ and the ‘Guardians’ trying to stop the mad Titan, Thanos (portrayed by Josh Brolin), from obtaining all six of the Infinity Stones, Infinity War performs a juggling act that manages to balance the wide amount of characters of the MCU, without feeling overcrowded or annoyingly forced. Directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, make the wise decision on focusing the majority of the plot on several key characters, allowing the story to maintain a close emotional centre throughout the movie.
Whilst this does mean that not all characters or fan favourites get equal screen time or impact on the movie, Infinity War keeps the stakes close and personal for our heroes. The action is very focused on how each sequence effects the characters engaged in the fight and allows the real consequences and payoffs of each moment to come to the foreground. A common criticism of various MCU films is that there aren’t really any lasting consequences in their films. Well, that criticism is nowhere to be found in this film, as almost every scene has a character emerge slightly changed.
Paired with call-backs, the return of several fan favourite characters and a surprise cameo that truly comes out of left field, all the entertaining aspects of the big ‘Avengers’ team up films are there
Like any good team-up movie, Infinity War indulges in pairing characters off in unexpected, but surprisingly, entertaining ways. Characters meet and clash with one another, both verbally and physically, and the various powers and skill sets of different characters result in creative and stunning fight sequences. The conflicts and character relationships remain at the heart of the movie. This is a movie filled with big personalities and watching them clash off one another is one of the most entertaining aspects of the film. The film is also packed full of jokes and quips that have become a common feature of Marvel. Paired with call-backs, the return of several fan favourite characters and a surprise cameo that truly comes out of left field, all the entertaining aspects of the big ‘Avengers’ team up films are there.
All of this, however, is almost inconsequential next to the big baddie himself, Thanos. This movie was going to ride or die based on how effective a villain they could make him, both as a threat to the ‘Avengers’, and as a character in his own right. Thankfully, Thanos provides everything you could want in a villain. You understand his powers, his motivations and his actions. He is more of an all-rounded character as any other villain in this series.
Josh Brolin’s performance is surprisingly soft-spoken for a character of that large a threat and really brings out the heart-breaking aspects that make you understand why he feels he needs to do what he has to do. His interactions with certain characters really show him to be a layered character, with more than just a desire for destruction. But when the chips are down, you see why he’s a threat as he stands his ground against some of the most powerful characters in the series.
no one who even slightly cares about any of these characters will be walking out of the cinema feeling emotionally okay
The film isn’t perfect, by any means. Some pacing issues in the second mean that we spend maybe a bit too long on certain storylines that aren’t the most interesting. But in terms of sheer spectacle and emotional impact, you’d be hard-pressed to find another blockbuster of the last few years that even comes close to matching it. But the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been due to the characters they’ve given us, and that’s where this movie is at its strongest. Avenger: Infinity War is a movie that delivers on everything that last few years of films have been building up to. The weight and stakes are real like they have never been before. And no one who even slightly cares about any of these characters will be walking out of the cinema feeling emotionally okay.