Avengers: Infinity War Review
The moment has arrived. We have been prepared very nicely over the past 10 years by Marvel Studios for this magnificent showdown after being introduced to a majority of backstories, twists and betrayals in each of the Marvel heroes’ solo movies.
After what feels like years of waiting since the announcement broke, Avengers: Infinity War is hitting screens on 27 April 2018, however, I had the honor and challenge of watching it yesterday at a private press screening to try and bring you the best spoiler free review possible, and I promise you, that is what I have delivered below.
How Many Heroes Now?
One of the biggest challenges I assume Marvel Studios faced was trying to fit all 30 heroes into one single sitting, giving each a balanced amount of screen time to satisfy our desires of witnessing their developments since their last movie. Without spoiling anything, I can tell you that Marvel pulled that off with “pizazz”! There is more than enough content, moments and action with our favorite heroes to satisfy our biases. So sit back, sadly I cannot say relax, because it is a full on adrenal and emotional overload roller coaster ride from the first second that the movie starts, but you will without a doubt, enjoy the beginning, the end and all the Marvelous bits in-between.
Being limited in what I am allowed and would like to say, with my focus on ensuring that your viewing experience is not either over-hyped or spoiled, Avengers: Infinity War wastes no time in confirming what we see in all the trailers. Some of you may have steered clear of the trailers, but there is no harm done in watching them to get you “in the zone”, they reveal zero plot direction spoilers or even a glimpse at what the movie is about in essence.
We know that Thanos is on a mission to gather the six Infinity Stones so that he can infuse them with the Infinity Gauntlet, but we are left with a few questions before the movie, specifically, where did Thanos get the Gauntlet and how does it possess the ability to house the tremendous power to be able to harness the Infinity Stones’ unparalleled power and abilities without overwhelming Thanos and killing him (with reference to when Starlord held the Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 1).
Not only does Avengers: Infinity War answer this question in a magnificent way, but the movie also pays homage to each of the previous Marvel movies, their locations, characters and introduces a few new locations through a perfectly balanced recipe of nostalgia, awe and terror when Thanos talks about what he can do with the Stones’ combined power, let alone being able to individually control each stone and it’s special ability at will.
This movie is unlike most, where the level of predictability is contained to milliseconds before something happens, so basically, what makes this such a fantastic movie, is that when you sit down and the lights dim, your personal theories about which version of the Marvel Comic Universe has been adapted, or who will play what specific role, could either be fractionally correct or totally wrong, because I can guarantee you, you will not guess correctly what happens, how it happens or who it happens to.
Who Has The Stones For This Fight?
We have seen the locations of all the Infinity Stones, bar one, the Soul Stone (Orange), and with two stones being on Earth in the possession of The Vision (Yellow – Mind Stone) and Doctor Strange (Green – Time Stone) we get to traverse the galaxy as we revisit Knowhere for the Reality Stone (Red) which is in the possession of The Collector, as seen in Thor: The Dark World.
After Thor: Ragnarok, we know that Loki has the Tesseract (housing unit of the Blue Space Stone) and lastly, we also know that the Power Stone (Purple) is locked away by the Nova Corps on Xandar, as seen at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 1. Again, nothing I just said were spoilers, but just refreshers if you have not had the time to binge re-watch all the Marvel movies in preparation for Avengers: Infinity War like I proudly did.
Something that struck me is the issue of morality. Many might not know why Thanos is specifically on his hell-bent crusade to obtain the stones, but one thing is for sure, while you are reading this, you believe that he is a heartless, brutal and ruthless Titan, and you would be correct, save for a few fleeting moments where you make some twisted connection with his convictions and almost feel like switching sides (…almost). No, this is not a spoiler folks, so please do not rage at me, it is but a prod at how emotionally engulfing Avengers: Infinity War truly is to your senses, where you are overwhelmed with so much tension, compassion, elation and shock, that if you were wearing a heart-rate monitor while watching the movie, it would be fooled into thinking you are at gym doing a strenuous workout.
Spoiler Free Expectations
The dynamics seen between the interactions of all the heroes post the tragic split of the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War is also exceptionally important, all the while exposing so many visible cracks and motivational boundaries that need to be set aside to create the unity that is required to face Earth’s largest threat to date.
Tony (Ironman) is still battling with what he experienced and the knowledge he was cursed with six years ago during the first attack on New York in the first Avengers movie, which has him permanently on the defensive as we have seen in all the movies post his short trip through the portal, however, he seems to be the only one actively staying aware, as each hero is on their own journey and going about their daily routine, with Young Peter Parker (Spidey) being a good example. When chaos breaks out on Earth, our heroes need to act fast, with zero knowledge of the threat and hardly any warning, which ramps up the tone of the movie instantly. With Thanos on his way, galactic journeys, personal tensions between heroes and the MCU being brought together in one movie (finally), you are without a doubt in for 2 hours and 29 minutes of pure gold, worth every cent spent producing it and watching it on the biggest screen you can possibly find! *Hint* IMAX!
Just before I wrap up my discussion-type review, I must also add, that even though Avengers: Infinity War has such a serious tone, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance, there are many classic Marvel comic-relief scenes and priceless one-liners that you must stay alert for that act as palate cleansers between the high intensity segments. There is even a brilliant surprise character that you meet, that is so drenched in blissful irony, you will not be able to help but burst out laughing at the oxymoron staring you dead in the eye. There is not just fighting and preparation happening, but also a great balance of plot fillers that nicely round off previous movies by filling in missing lore (story) that had us wondering about certain things at the best of times.
Produced by Marvel Studios, boasting a credits roll like none other seen before in film history, Avengers: Infinity War was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, on a budget of between 300 and 400 Million Dollars, which I do not know how to convert into South African Rands. This is due to it being one of the largest and most attractive casting movies to date as well! Thus far, all reviews are positive, with a 9+ on IMDB already, however, not all other reviews are… sensitive to readers who just want to know whether it is going to ruin their lives or be worth spending their time seeing. The movie is PG-13, so keep that in mind as you book your tickets (if you have not already). The cinematography, visual effects, sound and music are all out of this world, sucking you in and holding on with each passing second. My tickets are booked for IMAX, and I will be watching it again a few times to soak in this Marvel Masterpiece.