While “more is always better” isn’t always the case when it comes to film, it definitely is for Joe and Anthony Russo’s Avengers: Infinity War. It’s the film with the most as it’s a movie that brings together a wide range of characters from 18 movies and 10 years of continuous storytelling. It also has a villain who was first teased 6 years ago, and whose quest has taken him on a path that can destroy and rebuild the universe with just the snap of his fingers. There’s no doubt that Infinity War is the most movie, and while it is a rollercoaster of emotions, it’s also quite a bit of fun.
For longtime fans, there’s great joy to be had with this movie. There’s something to be said about saying yes to this ride 10 years ago and finally getting the pay off, at least a little bit of it anyway. We’ve been waiting years for this story to be told, even longer if you’re a fan of the comics. It’s a culmination of everything we love from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s something that needs to be talked about in more ways than just one.
Infinity War finally brings Thanos (Josh Brolin) out in the flesh, as he and his “children,” The Black Order, are on the hunt to retrieve the Infinity Stones, six all-powerful stones that were created at the beginning of the universe. Thanos was born a mad man, as he believes the perfect way to balance the universe is to kill half of it off. He’s succeeded time and time again, with an army at his disposal, but with the stones wielded by his hands, he can bend the universe to his will with the snap of his fingers. Who can stop him? The Avengers, of course. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes may not be so mighty anymore, but as they are broken up into different teams and sectors, they must to bring together the best asset of each hero to stop the all-powerful Thanos.
With so many characters and so many stories to tell, this movie starts quick and does not let up. Almost instantly we see how and where each of these characters are going to end up, and while it’s random and done as quick as possible, it’s a ton of fun seeing them come together. It starts off with Tony Stark squaring off against an equal-sized ego in Doctor Strange. Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch are just fantastic opposite each other. We don’t get to see characters like Captain America, Black Panther, Black Widow and others come together until later on, but the biggest surprise team-up had to have been Thor, Rocket and Groot, more so the former two.
Thor pretty much lost everything before this movie even began, but lost the rest of it in the opening scene. And out of all characters, he confides in Rocket, a character who constantly pushes those close to him away. It’s a remarkable relationship, one I was not expecting. The relationships in this movie is the key to everything, as without them the story would not have pushed forward as well as it did. And not just between heroes, but between hero and villain as well. It’s no secret that Gamora is the daughter of the Mad Titan, and it’s on full display here as their relationship takes center stage for much of the film.
First of all, Josh Broil’s performance as Thanos is second to none in this universe. Thanos was the key to everything, and even though his plan is outrageous and somewhat basic, Brolin gives him a turn that is absolutely terrific. He has many scenes with Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, as the father-daughter relationship pulls at the heartstrings many times throughout its story. It’s magnificent from start to finish, with a conclusion that will leave you gasping for air.
Although the film is full of amazing character moments, banter and relationships, the sheer size and scope of this film may have held back a few of those character stories too much. The story doesn’t just span from Earth to Space to Thanos’ home plant Titan, but across the stars and beyond. Our characters are never in one place for more than a scene until the final battles, which doesn’t allow certain stories to play out as much as we hoped. Take Scarlet Witch and Vision for example, who both have an integral part to the story. When we first meet them, they’re romancing it up in Scotland, hiding away from the world. We get glimpse, but rather have time to show us, we’re basically told the two have a romance and extremely strong connection, then move right on to introduction of Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, which ultimately does end up being a badass fight scene.
Without the definition, the backing, characters aren’t pushed forward as they should be from movie to movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love this movie and every single risk the Russo’s took with it, but what arcs did they have? I understand the larger war at hand, but the film is filled with so many bits and pieces that it held it back just a tad from reaching its full potential.
An argument can be made for both sides that this is just the first half of the story. It’s not over, and the ending proves it. The ending will no doubt be controversial and have fans everywhere both raving and roaring, but because it is just the first part, everything stays spotty until we see the whole thing through. But let’s be real, that ending is completely bonkers and only goes to a depth that a movie like Infinity War can reach.
I love this universe. Everything about the interconnectivity draws me in two to three times a year, over and over again. And the best part about it is the characters and the way they all interact with each other. That’s why Infinity War is so special and such a treat, it puts them all in once place, together. The action is mind-blowing, the emotions are real, the surprises will shake you to your core, and even though we may argue and debate about character arcs or its controversial ending, we have to remember that this movie wasn’t made to give you what you want or expect, rather the complete opposite. This is the culmination of 10 years of filmmaking, and while some things are expected and given, Marvel, Kevin Feige, the Russo’s and everyone involved promised something that would change the game completely, and that it did.