Review: Avengers: Infinity War

April 24, 2018
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On May 2, 2008, Iron Man premiered and not a single person on this planet was prepared for the road that it would lead us down.  Sure, executive producer and genius Kevin Feige had hopes but not one person was actually prepared for a path that, even then, was starting us down a journey that would span a decade and (to-date) 18 feature films.  I mean, writing that sentence still sends waves of unbelievability over my mind.  Whether you hate the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and there are plenty out there that do) or love it, you have to admit that it’s THE most impressive achievement in film history.  I say that fully knowing the boldness of saying such a thing.  It’s not just that they pulled this off, it’s that they pulled it off as near flawlessly as they did and the culmination of that feat is finally here in the form of Avengers: Infinity War.

I assure you that there are no spoilers in this.  Disney was very protective over this film and its twists and shocks.  I will gladly honor that because I respect what the film accomplished but I also want you to experience what I did…pure awe.  Infinity War is like watching a magic trick that’s so epic and amazing you don’t even want to think about how it was done.  But let’s stop for a second and talk about that.  This movie harnesses almost every living character from 18 feature films, puts them all in one storyline, gives them all their unique tone, gives them all equal screen time, and never once feels stilted, cheap, not-thought-out, or silly.  I don’t know how they did it but they did it and I’m still slow clapping.

If you’re reading this after you’ve seen it then you’ll understand me saying that there’s lots and lots and LOTS to discuss about what comes next.  Oh, if you didn’t already know, this is just part one.  The movie is almost three hours long and it’s just the first half!  But I have to tell you that there isn’t a single second that isn’t entertaining and it moves at gaspingly-fast pace leaving zero time for bathroom breaks.  The film dishes out plenty of thrills, plenty of humor, but also a lot of dark and heavy scenes that are executed with expert acting skills (there are 11 Oscar winners and 15 Oscar nominees in the MCU).  But where the story goes from here…nobody knows.  Many nerds will theorize but the marketing geniuses behind all this have been relatively strategic to not release what stand-alone movies are coming next beyond Ant-Man and Wasp and Captain Marvel, neither characters are in Infinity War, by the way.  

The one thing I’ve always said about the Marvel films is that they’ve never gotten comfortable or took their success for granted.  If they did, they wouldn’t have continued to take chances and hire insanely risky filmmakers to execute Marvel’s cog in their massive wheel all while allowing the unique style of those filmmakers.  However, Infinity War didn’t do that.  They entrusted this incredibly important project to directors Anthony and Joe Russo.  Marvel was so impressed with how they handled the Avengers-sized cast of Captain America: Civil War that they thought they could handle this as well, which makes that airport scene from Civil War seem like a laughable preschool playground.  The Russos are the true stars of this film.

I told you that there would be no spoilers and I lived up to that.  Know this though…it’s KILLING me not to be able to talk about what happens in this, how it ends, and what comes next with anyone!  It’s the penance I pay for getting to see it a week before everyone else.  But, more than any other Marvel film, it will evoke conversation afterward.  It ends but not really and the unsettling final minutes will be difficult for some to see and might even anger some people.  But “In Marvel We Trust” and they have yet to steer us wrong.  Just know that James Brolin, who plays the villain Thanos, gives a performance that’s just as deliciously nihilistic as Heath Ledger’s Joker and performs it just as well, but when you see what he does…you’ll want to talk about it too.