Avengers: Infinity War
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlet Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Mark Ruffalo, Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Dave Bautista, Anthony Mackie, and Josh Brolin
In 2008 Marvel Studios released “Iron Man” and the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was launched. The film, directed by Jon Favreau and starring Robert Downey Jr. as the eccentric Tony Stark, can be seen as the movie responsible for changing the landscape of the modern superhero franchise. What Marvel has done over the last 10 years is craft a series of films that have brought solo hero stories to the screen while also supplying films for all the heroes to interact. These stories and characters have always been treated as puzzle pieces, “Avengers: Infinity War” is the final piece of a ten year puzzle of world building.
Anthony and Joe Russo are the directors behind this superhero extravagance that features nearly every hero that has graced the screen since 2008. It’s an amazing sight to see so many characters interact with one another, especially during the big action sequences that offer prime opportunity for the characters to display what makes them “super”. With so much going on in the near 150 minutes of film here, “Avengers: Infinity War” does its best to tie up loose ends and open a new chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Earth has seen its fair share of threats from villains both local and intergalactic, however at every turn of near world destruction, The Avengers have been the force to reckon with. But things have become more complex for the team. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and outlaw Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) are still at odds, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) are working together somewhere in space, and in other hero news Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is still in high school, King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is making changes in Wakanda, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are trying their best to make an honest living. What ties all these heroes together is a common foe, the evil titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) who is making his way to Earth with a powerful weapon that could destroy half of all existence.
In the 10 years that Marvel has been crafting storylines for all these characters, the constant through line seen with small clues or post credit scenes has been aimed at tying the worlds together and bringing all these characters into one story. The villain Thanos serves as the key tie that binds. Marvel has always had a difficult time crafting villains, however the CGI constructed Thanos provides some interesting characteristics that serve in creating a troubled humanity for the dominating antagonist. Thanos, voiced with bravado by Josh Brolin, has come to the conclusion that he is the weapon of balance for all existence, it’s a concept that Thanos has accepted wholeheartedly. Thanos is the most complicated character in this story.
While this composition of the adversary is important, especially for this film, it’s equally as important for the heroes to have the same detail. Tony Stark has been struggling for some time with the ultimate threat that he knows is coming to Earth, Steve Rogers understands that war comes with consequence and sacrifice, and Thor has lived lifetimes guarding realms fighting against their own demise. This quality of making humans out of superheroes is what Marvel has done best, which makes it somewhat surprising that “Avengers: Infinity War” struggles with finding that balance of emotion and spectacle in the film. Viewers know that this film is the changing of the tide; the heroes we have grown to love over the last 10 years may not be standing at the end of this film. The emphasis on Thanos as a legitimate threat is present from the beginning but the emotional turmoil for the lives of these characters never comes through with the kind of impact that it should have. With so many characters to find space for, the emotional punches seem pulled, or better yet, glazed over. With the exception of one scene which helps to further shape the idea of Thanos’ purpose, characters are here one moment and simply gone the next.
All the previous movies have established a foundation, one that firmly allows “Avengers: Infinity War” to build upon. This is especially clear in the maneuvering of characters throughout the film; it all fits so nicely when Thor meets the Guardians or when Iron Man meets Dr. Strange. Every character is nicely paired with the attitude and charisma that allows for good banter and interesting contrast of skills. Add Thanos’ serious demeanor to the mix and the heroes shine even brighter when forced to compete with the villain.
The highlight for this film is the undeniable spectacle taking place, it’s exciting and breathtaking watching your favorite Marvel characters fight together on the screen. The Russo Brothers have been building bigger action moments with every film that they compose, this film is their pinnacle for action.
“Avengers: Infinity War” is big and boisterous in all the ways one might expect, unfortunately the drama of all the chaos doesn’t add up towards as satisfying of an emotional finale as one might expect. There is more to come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe of course, and maybe the pieces left unsatisfied here will all be corrected when the saga continues. Still, this is a summer blockbuster movie that is sure to please dedicated fans.
3.50 out of 5.00