We’re not going to talk about who dies and what really happens. Probably later.
Avengers: Infinity War is seemingly the climax of what every past film in the MCU has been working towards, and the natural question to ask is this: Does it deliver?
Yes. Massive in scope and scale, Infinity War indeed feels like the culmination of everything that’s been building over the last 10 years and 19 films. However, this culmination is twisted and mutilated in a climax that is extremely satisfying, and extremely devastating.
Picking up immediately after the events of Thor: Ragnarok, the Mad Titan Thanos has finally gotten off that chair and is hunting down the Infinity Stones, which are capable of helping him achieve his goal of destroying half of all life in the universe.
My biggest fear going into Infinity War was that it was going to be a mess. There are over 25 characters the film follows, but wisely they are grouped up, so scenes never feel as though they are dragging or too scattered. For example, Thor, Groot, and Rocket have their own quest, leading to some of the best jokes in the film.
That’s another thing: Infinity War is hilarious. The interactions between characters who have never met are often the highlight of movie, most of which involve the Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor.
Anchoring the characters together though is Thanos, who is thankfully more understanding and intriguing than maniacal or cartoony. Why he wants to destroy half the universe is made clear, and you get why he wants to do so. Alongside Killmonger and Loki, Thanos is an MCU villain All-Star.
Props need to go to directors Joe and Anthony Russo, taking on Avengers directing duties from Joss Whedon. While the film never feels Whedon-esque, so not too quippy nor winks at the audience for too long, the movie is more firmly in line with Captain America: Civil War, just times 200. The movie is gigantic in every sense of the word, but the Russos are able to balance characters, events, and emotional beats without bogging the plot down or loosing itself at any point.
But how is the film devastating? How does the movie leave you hyped beyond believe, but also with an Infinity War-sized pit in your stomach? Well, it really does boil down to the ending, which I’m not going to dive into. But I’ll say this: Infinity War is part one of a larger story. A fourth Avengers film is coming out a year from now, and holy hell, does this movie leave you hanging out to dry. In its final moments, Infinity War knocks the wind out of the MCU and it’s fans, then politely asks you to wait for 2019, which, frankly, is going to be impossible.
It was really easy for me to write everything above. If you’re fan of the MCU, you’re going to go into Infinity War and you’re going to have a good time. What’s hard is trying explain how inaccessible this film is to anyone who has not been following the MCU for the past decade. If you’ve missed a few movies like The Incredible Hulk or Iron Man 3, yeah, you’re going to be fine, and you’ll still get a whole lot out of Infinity War. However, there has never been anything like Infinity War before. Never has a series of loosely connected films merged together and formed a movie that is almost entirely built on one’s understanding of everything that’s come before it.
Again, Infinity War is a blast, especially if you’ve become so entrenched in the MCU as so many have, myself included. However, something is lost getting to this point. The details, and especially the smaller moments, moments of greater emotional depth forged from dedication to character growth, aren’t omnipresent in Infinity War. Thanos and his plight has weight, but not the same foundational connections and heart found in Guardians Vol. 2, or even Black Panther. This is all just to say that Infinity War is a big movie, and some of the smaller character moments I love about past entries in the MCU get left behind, but I’m not sure what can be done about that.
The untitled fourth Avengers movie comes out May 3, 2019. It is going to be a grueling year.