‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Review: Superhero Mash Up Packs A Serious Punch Filled with Heartbreak and Humor

Check out our review of Avengers: Infinity War as the first 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes to a head in one gigantic blockbuster…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

Avengers: Infinity War had a lot to live up to despite the fact that there’s been nothing quite like this kind of film in the history of Hollywood.

10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe led to this film — and its sequel due out next year — with hero meeting hero, finally teaming up to face one ultimate villain. Considering the litany of groundwork that was laid before this movie arrived, Marvel had a lot of expectations to fill in a two hour and 30 minute film, but let’s just say the meticulous way that Kevin Feige has built this universe absolutely paid off.

If you remember the joy and excitement you felt when seeing 2008’s Iron Man as Tony Stark came face to face with Nick Fury when he uttered the words ‘I’m here to talk to you about the Avenger initiative’ — which signified the first ever shared universe in the superhero genre — that same kind of thrill will be felt over and over again by watching Avengers: Infinity War.

Watching Tony Stark meet Doctor Strange for the first time or witnessing Star-Lord banter back and forth with Thor — it’s the kind of movie that every kid who ever grew up playing with action figures fantasized about except this is no dream because Marvel made it a reality.

But perhaps the best part about Avengers: Infinity War is that the movie not only shows the best superhero team ups in history, the film actually has real emotional depth, side-splitting humor and a villain that finally makes you feel like the good guys might not win this one.

With that said, let’s get to our spoiler free review of Avengers: Infinity War

Plot

This stage has been set since the first Avengers movie when a cosmic bad guy named Thanos sent Loki to Earth with an alien army at his back in an attempt to wrestle away a weapon known as the Tesseract that had been kept on Earth for many, many years.

Avengers: Infinity War follows that same thread as Thanos has finally decided to take matters into his own hands to collect the six infinity stones — space, time, reality, power, mind and soul — that will give him the ultimate power in the universe.

His plan?

Thanos wants to wipe out half of life across the cosmos to give balance to the universe.

To stop Thanos, Earth’s mightiest heroes will have to call all corners to find the combined strength to deal with the threat in front of them. That means old grudges will have to be settled and new teammates will welcomed into the fray as the Avengers take on Thanos in a battle for the very existence of life on Earth.

Acting

One thing that Marvel has always done better than almost anybody else casting blockbusters is finding the right people to fill the roles. At this point it’s tough to figure out where Robert Downey Jr. ends and Tony Stark begins. Tom Holland is by far the best Peter Parker/Spider-Man that’s ever been in television or film and Chris Hemsworth — thanks in large part to director Taika Waititi — has managed to transform Thor from a dud of a character to one that electrifies (quite literally in some cases) every time he’s on screen.

So don’t expect anything less than spectacular from the collective parts of the Marvel Universe that converge on this movie — you already know the players and you know they are great — they just had to show up for work and play together this time around.

That’s why special attention must be paid to Josh Brolin in his motion capture performance as Thanos, who is by far the most intimidating, capable and frightening villain Marvel has ever produced.

Add to that, Thanos isn’t just a bad guy wielding a big stick in his mission to take over the world as so many past villains have schemed to do. Instead, Thanos is a character with real depth and that’s on display thanks to Brolin really creating layers to this ultimate big bad.

Perhaps the most remarkable part is that it’s just Brolin’s bellowing baritone voice that manages to do the job yet he does it so well that you’ll really learn to appreciate what he brought to Thanos when this movie is finished.

Directing and Writing

As a self-professed Joss Whedon fan boy, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator did an admirable job kicking off the shared Marvel Universe with The Avengers and he did his best to carry it forward in a somewhat flawed effort with Avengers: Age of Ultron. But for all that Whedon did to set the foundation for what was yet to come, it was Anthony and Joe Russo who really took Marvel over the finish line with their films in this series.

Let’s not forget, the Russo brothers made Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War — arguably to this point two of the strongest offerings over the 10 year history of Marvel Studios.

Well the Russo’s are back at it again because they seem to really find a way to mix all the key elements needed to make a blockbuster movie like this relatable to audiences far and wide. Avengers: Infinity War is chocked full of heart, humor and spectacle — while also dishing out more than a few tear jerking scenes as was predicted when this film was first announced several years ago.

The writing from Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely is very strong in delivering the legacy of all the films that came before this one and rolling it up into one gigantic summer blockbuster.

What’s Wrong with the Movie?

Listen there’s no way to avoid some characters being marginalized when you’ve only got 150 minutes and seemingly 150 people all banging against each other attempting to earn some screen time.

Of course, Tony Stark eats up a lot of the scenery in this movie but that’s kind of to be expected given he was the founder of this entire film universe. To their credit, the filmmakers did a wonderful job of giving characters like Gamora a lot more to deal with in this movie than what was probably expected.

Unfortunately that comes at the cost of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Anthony Mackie’s Falcon and Don Cheadle’s War Machine at the outskirts of this film when it comes to anything other than the big action sequences.

Now that being said — when you’re asking one movie to bring almost every character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe together under one umbrella, some people are going to end getting less screen time than others.

In reality, Black Widow and many of the other heroes who are peripheral characters at best in this movie are sacrificed for screen time so that Thanos can actually be given some real depth and gravity rather than some of the poor attempts at villains in past Marvel films.

You have to pick your poison and in this case Thanos ends up being the best villain Marvel has created — alongside Erik Killmonger in Black Panther — and that’s because they actually took some time to add some story to the character rather than just being some big bad guy who wants to beat up the heroes.

Final Verdict

Avengers: Infinity War is satisfying in so many ways while paying homage to all the films that came before it. The groundwork has been laid for a decade to get to this point and Marvel spared no expense to ensure that this movie ticked all the boxes of a blockbuster while still creating a unique film going experience like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Avengers: Infinity War is action packed yet still hilarious at moments and truly heart wrenching in others and it all pays off in the end.

Avengers: Infinity War gets five out of five on the Skolnick Scale

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