There really isn’t much else to say. After 10 years of films, 10 years of character building, 10 years of anticipation, it all led up to this. With a decade worth of hype, it seemed impossible for any film to live up to it all. And honestly, I still don’t know if it does because my mind hasn’t stopped spinning from the spectacle I just saw. I definitely have to go back and see it again just to take in everything that happened. Maybe a third time. Is it worth it? For sure! But to quote Luke Skywalker from The Last Jedi, “It’s not going to go the way you think.”
Big kudos to Josh Brolin. It’s hard to be the subject of a massive build-up like Thanos has received, but Brolin created a stunning performance. His take on the massive master of Titan is so much better than the near mindless and half-crazed villain from the comics. Oh, don’t get me wrong. He’s still as far out there as you can get, but Brolin makes him easy to understand. You realize that Thanos has an actual well-thought plan for everything he is doing. He’s not your typical guy who wants power for the sake of having power. As every good villain does, he believes he is doing the right thing.
The story picks up shortly after the end credits scene in Thor: Ragnarok. We find out what happens after Thor and Loki see the massive ship that hovers over the Asgardian refugees. From there, it’s a mind-numbing steamroller of a film that runs over and flattens you again and again and again. But that’s what I like about this film. Thanos isn’t just the villain du jour. Already, the villains of an Avengers movie are far more threatening than someone like Yellowjacket or Vulture. Avengers’ villains have to be a cut above to catch the attention of this team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But Thanos is far more of a threat than even Loki, the Chitauri, or Ultron. Put together. And the Russo brothers who directed the film make sure we know that.
With so many characters in play, not everyone gets equal screen time, but that’s what I’ve always enjoyed about Marvel films and why they are so much better than other films in the superhero genre. The creative team’s devotion to telling a good story trumps this incessant need in other films to cram as many characters as possible onto a screen. Which is not to say there isn’t a TON of costumed crusaders in the film, but that the story is the most important part of this movie. Fans of the Guardians of the Galaxy will be quite happy as our ragtag team from space plays a significant part as does their new buddy Thor. Iron Man plays heavily into the plot as seems right seeing as his movie launched this entire universe. Solid appearances by Bruce Banner, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange also will delight fans of their characters.
Lots of great little one liners pepper the film, but not so much to feel like it’s a comedy. There are plenty of great quotable lines but there is a more serious tone and the script reflects that. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of funny in the film and you’ll find many that are worth repeating. What the creative team has done that was the most genius was somehow keeping what is unique to each character or team of characters while having them interact with one another. Their individual voices stand out while blending into this overarching story. The quirkiness of the Guardians, the kind of nerdy innocence of Spider-Man, the brashness of Iron Man, the honorable Captain America, and the leader of the Wakandan nation in Black Panther are still distinct in Avengers: Infinity War.
Without getting too in detail (because you’ve got to see this without spoilers), this film is about Thanos’ quest to get his hands on the six Infinity Stones and the Avengers hopes of stopping him. If Thanos gets the stones he planes on reshaping reality as we know it. From previous films, we know the location of 5 of the 6 with two of them on Earth – the Time Stone in Doctor Strange’s Eye of Agamotto and Vision’s Mind Stone. The end of Thor: Ragnarok has Loki taking the Tesseract from Asgard which is actually the Space Stone. The Guardians gave the Power Stone to the Nova Corps at the end of their first film. And The Collector has the Reality Stone. But the Soul Stone is unknown. Thanos sends his minions to collect the two stones from Earth while he sets off after the others. Can the Avengers protect the entire universe?
Even if you’re not a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you need to see this film. It really is the culmination of movie history in the making. And if you are a fan? Haven’t you already bought your ticket? I have! I’m seeing it again this weekend!