Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Non Spoiler Review

It's been 10 years in the making. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been building to Avengers: Infinity War since 2008 when Robert Downey Jr. first suited up in the Iron Man armor. Since then, countless other heroes and villains have been introduced across 18 films. Marvel Studios has managed to do what other companies are trying unsuccessfully to emulate; creating a shared Cinematic Universe.


With Infinity War, the entire Marvel Universe collides in the ultimate battle. Intergalactic baddie, Thanos, is seeking the infinity stones in an effort to balance the universe. The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and other heroes must assemble to try to prevent the death of half of the universe.This is a film that is hard to talk about without getting into spoiler territory so we're going to be intentionally vague.



This movie lives up to the hype. There's a reason why it's the biggest film opening in history. Having earned their wings on Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War,  the Russo Brothers have upped the ante and created something that is both a culmination of a decade's worth of films and something that stands on it's own.  And yes, it does stand on it's own.


It doesn't require you to have seen the previous movies, though that certainly helps.  In fact, it's highly recommended to see at least a few of the more notable ones before checking out Infinity War.  The film manages to incorporate dozens of heroes and still somehow manages to give them all their time to shine.  Some of the characters are much more fleshed out here than even in their solo films.  



The action never stops.  From the opening scene, this film feels like the third act to any single movie.  It's basically a series of third acts but somehow still seems to be a cohesive film.  I'm not exactly sure how the Russo Brothers pulled it off.  It's a testament to the power of the MCU and all of the character building they've done in the previous decade.  What makes the MCU work so well is that it utilizes the formula of the comic books that they're based off of.  It's episodic stories that can stand alone while at the same time working in a much bigger context.  The crafting and world building that Marvel has achieved is nothing short of incredible.  That's why they can do a big crossover film that has no internal build up and make it work.  It's because we know these characters.  We know this world.   For a 10 year old kid in 2008 that's a fan of this series, they've spent half of their lives with these characters.  They're invested.  


And Infinity War delivers.  It's filled with the action and humor that we've come to expect from the MCU.  Since no time was needed to develop the heroes, this film flips it and spends the majority of it's run time building up the villain, and boy does Thanos deliver.  He's a force of nature that just shows up and wrecks shop.  What makes him work is that while he's not necessarily sympathetic, he has his reasons and believes he's doing the right thing.  It's what made Kilmonger so fascinating in Black Panther.  Thanos just amps it to the next level.  


The ending packs an emotional gut punch that for the first time in my cinematic viewing experience, left the audience completely silent when the credits rolled.  It was a very odd feeling and one I certainly didn't expect.  


Now, regarding the ending.  One complaint that I've seen a lot of about this movie is that it feels like a part one.  We know that Avengers 4 is coming next year.  We know it'll change what we perceive about this one.  We know which other movies have been announced on the Marvel slate.  We know about contract lengths.  We know about comic book source material.  All of that is irrelevant to the film at hand.  If you see this without any knowledge of any of those things, this film would serve as a satisfying, if not depressing, conclusion to the story arc.  We're judging the events of the film, and especially the ending, based on what we think is coming in the future.  That's not fair.  That's not the film's fault.  Avengers: Infinity War is an impressive and spectacular culmination of ten years of careful planning and masterful execution.  


Not only is Avengers: Infinity War the best MCU movie, it's the greatest comic book movie ever made.  It captures the magic and wonder of the source material and brings it to life in a way that's both faithful to the spirit of the characters and something new and exciting.  

So what did you think of Avengers: Infinity War?  Do you agree with me?  Do you think I'm insane?  Let me know in the comments.  Remember, this is the NON SPOILER review though, so please be mindful.  We'll have a spoiler talk in another article.  And speaking of...

(This is only one of 3 articles regarding Infinity War that will be coming to the site in the next few days.  I'll also be doing a recommended viewing guide for the unseasoned movie going public.  In addition, there will be an Avengers 4 prediction so I can see just how wrong I can be!)

Comments

  1. Excellent review. The emotional impact of the ending really is a gut-punch. Thanos is easily the most compelling villain in the series; he exudes a strange, dark charisma.

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