Avengers: Infinity War Review (2018)
SHOULD YOU WATCH IT?: YES
IMAX: YES - 3D: UNNECESSARY - MID-CREDITS: NO - POST-CREDITS: YES
Avengers: Infinity War is the literal culmination of everything that has happened in the MCU since the Avenger Initiative was teased back in 2008’s Iron Man. While every movie had its own story to follow, they were all building their characters and the world around them to finally come face to face with the inevitable: Thanos.
For anyone who’s into comics, you already know that the use of parallel universes is basically par for the course. Each universe has its own distinct difference from every other universe. I grew up reading the 616 universe in Marvel comics, basically the main one. There was also the Ultimates universe (among myriad others) but I didn’t dive too deeply into that. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is no different. Same characters but things are slightly different. Thor isn’t as powerful in the MCU as he is in the 616 universe, and the Scarlet Witch is/was apart of the X-Men for most of her 616 career (she was also bat-shit crazy). Usually when an MCU movie comes out that is supposed be based on a comic storyline, everyone wants to see page-to-screen. Different universe so, again, every time, they don’t get what they want. Remember Iron Man 3 and the Mandarin? Or Thor: Ragnarok? How about on the DCEU side with Batman V Superman? The point is fans usually expect something completely different from what they’re given. Is it the same with Infinity War? Sure there are numerous differences to be discussed, but by the end of this movie, it doesn’t matter in the slightest. Infinity War is the movie we’ve been waiting for since “I am Iron Man”.
The movie delivers on several major moments from the comics source material it leans on and it does not disappoint. So what’s it about? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last ten years, you know that the MCU has been teasing the arrival of its greatest big bad: Thanos. You can read up on who he was in the comics here, but his motivations are much different in the MCU than in the comics. Thanos has been dispatching his minions (Loki, Ronan etc) to secure the Infinity Stones which grant limitless power. They all fail. So he decides to do it himself, and that’s where the movie opens.
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The events at the end of Thor: Ragnarok lead directly into the opening moments of Avengers: Infinity War. We get to see Thanos in action for the first time and he is an absolute force to be reckoned with. The opening moments set the tone for the rest of the movie both in humor and in weight. Thanos sends his children to Earth to collect the stones there, while he goes elsewhere to collect the rest. This is where we see Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Wong come face to face with their destinies. We know that Doctor Strange possesses the Time Stone (the eye of Agamotto) and that Vision possesses the Mind Stone as the core of his existence. The children of Thanos (read about them here) separate to collect each stone and this brings all our heroes into play. The heroes in New York band together to defend the Time Stone and the heroes on the other side of the world band together to protect Vision. If that wasn’t enough, we have the Guardians of the Galaxy on their own missions in space to thwart Thanos before he can catch all the Pokemon..er…stones.
That’s about as much of a summary as you can get without spoilers. Everything we’ve discussed in here was common knowledge before the movie dropped so don’t worry about it. I will say that Josh Brolin’s performance as Thanos is fantastic. This was his movie. To some, his motivation seemed pretty weak, but to be honest with you, it’s a bit better than his comic book counterpart’s. Brolin sells the unwavering belief and cold intelligence of Thanos surprisingly well. It’s Brolin’s first experience with this amount of motion capture work so I’d say he should get stellar marks. Doctor Strange and Thor are the other standouts in the film. Thor's the most entertaining and satisfying character overall. Just wait until you get a load of him toward the end of the film. Fantastic stuff.
On every level, this movie satisfies. Top notch action sequences, levity and emotional heft can all be found here. After Killmonger, and now with Thanos, it may be safe to say that Marvel's figured out its villain problem. Lastly, I just want you guys to know that death abounds. I’m sure you’ve heard little things here and there, but make no mistake, the Russo brothers have not shied away from death and I’m so incredibly happy because of it. Real stakes. Trust me. And yes, there will be an Avengers 4 (still untitled) but best believe that there’s no magic cure or reversal to what you’re going to see. Gird your loins. Don't forget to check out our thoughts on the future of the MCU. I'm sure we'll have to update it after Avengers 4 drops, but for now, it's fun to speculate.