Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War
By: Morgan Gilmer
Getting the Band Back Together
Almost six years ago, I sat down for a showing of The Avengers at my local theater. Fast forward to now, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought to fruition a franchise that started ten years ago with Avengers: Infinity War. It’s sort of surreal to look back on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and see just how much progress and character development has come together to culminate in this two part “threequel” to 2012’s The Avengers. The first part is a heart-wrenching beginning that will lead to what I can only imagine will be a jaw-dropping conclusion.
Infinity War picks up just after Thor: Ragnarok, and it never really slows down. The movie follows the ever-expanding cast of Marvel characters on their mission to stop Thanos (Josh Brolin) from collecting all of the Infinity Stones. Thanos has been looming over the Marvel Universe since The Avengers, and we finally see him in all of his terrifying glory. We learn quickly that with all six stones, Thanos will be able to destroy half of the universe. And so Earth’s Mightiest Heroes team up with characters like Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop him. Wow, that’s a lot to unpack if you haven’t been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Because of that, it’s kind of important to have seen the majority of the preceding movies if you haven’t already. Otherwise, most of the plot just won’t make sense.
It’s a Little Crowded in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Because of the nature of the film, there’s very little time to do any sort of character development. I could take up the entire review simply listing off characters. By the time anything significant occurs in one scene, the audience is transported across the universe to see what the others are doing. In this respect, the movie is lacking, but I never really figured we would have time for in-depth character development. It was never really meant to be a character-building film like Civil War anyway. In all honesty, most of the characters have already have their big moments in previous movies. Instead, most of the character building is saved for Thanos himself. It provides much needed insight into his motives and backstory. It’s an interesting break from the ominous Grimace-like figure we’ve seen only in end-credit scenes of previous movies.
What the movie lacks in character development, however, it makes up for in being extremely well-paced. Though the movie runs a whopping two hours and forty minutes, the acts of the movie appear to blend into each other. The film itself contains enough action scenes to keep audiences engaged. Without spoiling anything, I’d note that there are, of course, scenes that the movie could have easily done without or with less of. Still, most scenes run a perfect length and keep a strong pace.
The movie maintains the wit that made Thor: Ragnarok so memorable. It’s chock-full of Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) quips and Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) out-of-tune references to the 80s. While the backdrop of the movie is dismal, the dry humor of the characters adds a bit of fun back into it. Part of the enjoyment of the film is seeing such a cast of characters interact together in the same film. There’s a sense of there being “too many cooks”, but the broth is far from spoiled. Instead, the conflicting personalities only add to the overall humor and chaos of the film.
In the end, Infinity War is exactly what I expected. Is it a critically acclaimed movie? No, but it does an excellent job of building on what the Marvel franchise laid out for itself. It loses points in character development, but it does little else worth criticizing. Still, the film beautifully ruined my childhood. The special effects are breath-taking. The Russo brothers (Anthony and Joseph) deliver just as well as they did in their Captain America films. The movie itself feels like a comic book, something I noted made Thor: Ragnarok so enjoyable. I struggle to remain spoiler-free just because so much happens in the film. If you’ve followed the Marvel Cinematic Universe, do yourself a favor: go see Infinity War.