Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe began, fans have watched dozens of characters interact and build up a world that viewers have invested in. Through it all, there’s been an anticipation of leading towards something that would change the face of the MCU forever. After a decade of development, fans finally have what they’ve been clamouring for with Avengers: Infinity War. The hype and stakes can’t be overstated, which is why I’m going into full on fanboy mode with this review.
The film opens in a place of pure action, with no time for an origin story. It’s the kind of luxury that Marvel can afford after ten years of creating such a detailed story. Thanos has arrived and he immediately starts hunting down the Infinity Stones to fulfil his quest of destroying half of all life in the universe. The Mad Titan is quickly established as the greatest threat the Avengers have faced, tearing through heavy hitters like the Hulk before you can even get over the emotional upheaval of the first ten minutes.
From there, Thanos engages with different superhero combinations as he makes his will felt across the universe. This leads to plenty of memorable dialogue, from Iron Man and Doctor Strange competing to one up each other for biggest ego in the room, to Star Lord feeling massively insecure around Thor’s masculinity. The Avengers/Guardians of the Galaxy team ups are hilarious, tragic, zany and poignant all at once.
With so many characters vying for attention, you’d wonder how the story could come together without buckling under the weight of its own star power. Yet the Russo Brothers make it look effortless, transitioning from decimated New York streets to far away planets without anyone getting lost in the shuffle. Among the scrum, Infinity War remains Thanos’ story, and the Mad Titan is given the kind of depth that easily makes him my favourite villain in the MCU.
Thanos’ motivations are explained in a way that makes it feel as if he’s the hero of his own tale. He genuinely believes he’s doing the right thing, and more importantly, he’s allowed to show emotional vulnerability that makes him a villain that was worth waiting for. Thanos’ interactions with adoptive daughter Gamora are some of the strongest soul-stirring beats in the history of the MCU. Much of this is helped by Josh Brolin’s stellar acting, and none of it is held back by CGI.
There’s no shortage of death within Infinity War, with several characters meeting their end. This sense of dread heightened the fight scenes, as you could never be sure who was going to be cut down next. Even for the action-packed extravaganzas that fans have grown used to in Marvel films, the fighting was top-notch. My favourite battle had to be the war that broke out in Wakanda for the sheer spectacle of what was involved.
The ending is ballsy and will likely shock many people. Even though part of me expected the film to be much darker than other Marvel entries, it was a reminder of how much I’ve come to care for the characters. Avengers: Infinity War has been a decade in the making and it delivers on all fronts. Emotion, action and character all come together for a film that people are sure to remember for years to come.