Spoiler-free Review: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (it all comes down to this)

Will one mad titan have the stones to pull off remaking the universe in his own image?

After ten years of Marvel Cinematic Universe films and planning, Thanos (Josh Brolin) at last makes his move to collect the six Infinity Stones, artifacts of such immense power that only a very few can wield even one without being destroyed. Utilizing a special gauntlet designed to contain the gem stones, the titan and his minions will travel the galaxy to collect his prizes… and remove any obstacle who stand in their way. A mysterious fate awaits one of every two living beings should Thanos succeed, and while every hero in existence who can stand against him will make a valiant attempt to do so, failure will change life as they know it with a mere snap of his fingers.

In 2008, Marvel launched their MCU initiative with a bold plan: to make the movies only Marvel knew how to make. Gambling upon director Jon Favreau and risking the casting of Robert Downey Jr. in the title role of Iron Man, the Marvel movie-making machine hasn’t looked back. Even their most ambitious and least-know entries have found success and added to the fandom, creating the single-most complex franchise of films and characters ever conceived. From gods of thunder to galaxy guardians, fans have proven rabid for more, now culminating in a multi-title spanning, multi-character event that you already have a ticket for or already plan to get one. Nothing in this review will convince you whether or not to see this film, but can anything live up to the hype, the secrecy, and the promise building behind one this culmination of a decade of comic book films?

Co-directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, previously entrusted to both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War, appear to have little issue juggling large groups of characters while keeping the Marvel banter and charm of the individual characters intact. Coming off the smash and some claim even surprise success of Black Panther earlier this year, it seems an impossible task to pack so many known characters into one location-hopping film to tie together ten years of plot threads — and yet they’ve done it. As fans brace for what feels like could be the final fate of their beloved characters, witnessing the selfless struggle of it all unfolding has both the necessary epic feel of a summer blockbuster infused with all the heart fans have come to expect from Marvel — ’nuff said.

Once the lights come up (for the love of Marvel, stay until the end of the credits… sheesh!) the aftermath of water cooler talk and social media will keep fans happy speculating on everything they just witnessed for some time. While Marvel has campaigned to keep details on the down-low (#thanosdemandsyoursilence), the misinformation campaign may rub a few viewers the wrong way; in other words, some of what you see in the advertising may not be what’s actually in the film. Marvel previously got away with this in Thor: Ragnarök, showing clips from scenes that lacked key details revealed in the theatrical cut. Reports of several fake scripts were leaked not only to online venues but to the actors themselves, hinting there may have been lots of extra scenes filmed to keep everyone guessing.

If you were looking for more about the movie itself, here’s all you need to know: Josh Brolin portrays Thanos as one of the best Marvel villains shown to date while at the same time managing to humanize the monster, a true believer who views himself as savior, a hero in his own mind doing what must be done… no matter the cost. Anyone who says otherwise will have to come up with a whopper to qualify for their no-name non-bronze no-prize already in the mail, true believers.

Avengers: Infinity War is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language, some crude references, and all the feels.

Four skull recommendation out of four

5 comments

  1. SPOILERS may appear in comments below…! SPOILERS may appear in comments below…! SPOILERS may appear in comments below…! SPOILERS may appear in comments below…! SPOILERS may appear in comments below…! SPOILERS may appear in comments below…! SPOILERS may appear in comments below…! SPOILERS may appear in comments below…!
    Got it? Good… and I may be as responsible as anyone.

  2. SPOILERS, SPECULATION.

    Hey, you know all those memes showing people shellshocked after watching the movie? Well, there’s a reason for that: the assumption is 50% of the population of the known universe just got wiped out… including more than a few people you might know and care about. Of course, in comics tradition, no one in the Marvel Universe (cinematic or otherwise) stays dead for long. So the big question on everyone’s mind is not whether or not these characters stay dead but on how exactly we’re gonna get them back.

    Early speculation is it’ll have something to do with time travel, going back to change the known MCU, or a combination of sorts. Did anyone catch Petter Parker’s answer to Iron Man asking “Where did you come from?” and Parker answering “The future?” Hmm… a hint? Or how about Thanos pointing out that Doctor Strange wasn’t using the Time Stone?

    But the biggest question in my head was actually asked by Magento in the first X-Men movie: “Are you sure you saw what you saw?” But what did we actually see? The Thanos Effect? The Rapture? Or… something else, perhaps?

    Let’s look back to the Doctor Strange movie:

    The good doctor beat Dormammu by trapping him within a contingency loop: a spell with a pre-condition triggered by exactly what Strange had guessed would happen. That was a risk, of course; would it have worked if the bad guy hadn’t killed? In Infinity War, Strange goes through millions of possibilities to foresee an workable outcome and claims to find only one.

    What if Strange wasn’t seen using the Time Stone because he had secretly already used it? Rather, what if Doctor Strange created a spell that was not only triggered by use of the Time Stone but, when joined with the guantlet and other stones, triggered an effect of Strange’s shoosing using the Infinity Gauntlet itself?

    Knowing how Thanos was going to use his prize, think about what you saw happen to the heroes of the MCU. Were they really wiped away from existence, or were they secreted away to mount a counter offensive after Thanos believed he had won and would be none the wiser?

    If you need further proof, watch Strange’s reaction to being disappeared; doesn’t seem all that surprised, does he?

    Are you sure you saw what you saw?

    Discuss.

Speak up, Mortal -- and beware of Spoilers!

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