Avengers: Infinity War (2018) (Spoiler Filled Review)

After ten years of dodging threats left and right and staring down world destroying villains all through time and space, the Avengers meet their greatest foe yet. Known as Thanos, he’s a warmonger and mad man who has waged pure battle against the concept of life, and seeks six gemstones to complete his gauntlet. Said gauntlet will grant him the powers of a god, allowing him to complete his ultimate goal for the Marvel Universe. Suffice to say that after every threat has been thwarted from Red Skull to Loki, Thanos is the most fierce and complex villain that the Avengers has ever met.

Spoilers after the Jump >>>

“Infinity War” is a lot of movie to soak in, and it thankfully finds time to establish the heroes we already know, while also setting the stage for the takeover by Thanos. What helps in his ultimate plan to destroy life, setting the balance for the universe is the performance by Josh Brolin who is a scene stealer pure and simple. You would think the special effects would overtake his presence, but Brolin emits a calm calculating madness that makes Thanos not just intimidating but absolutely terrifying. Unlike most villains, he doesn’t see himself as a good guy, so much as a force of nature with an inherent purpose. Once he starts murdering characters left and right, it’s with the calmness of a tsunami that hits had and settles back in to the elements.

Kudos also go to the Russo brothers who are able to work within the scope and gallery of characters that Marvel and Disney have available to very good effect. With the original miniseries event, Marvel had every single character from Daredevil to Nightcrawler to work with; this is a fall back for “Infinity War” which is supposed to rattle the Marvel Universe to its core, and an advantage. As this allows for a better sense of presence for minor characters like Wong, and also offers folks like Okoye from “Black Panther” to once again step up and steal the show. Your love for “Infinity War” really depends on how much you’ve invested in these characters for all these years. I was thoroughly invested in discovering where they were going, and how the team ups would ultimately fare against Thanos’ campaign of terror.

The most emotional of the teams is the Guardians of the Galaxy with Thor, all of whom represent characters that have lost their worlds and families. Once Thor loses Heimdall and Loki to Thanos, he becomes more Guardian than Avenger in the very end. We also get a greater sense of Peter Parker and Tony Stark’s dynamic which makes Peter’s sacrifice gut wrenching. The real heart and soul of “Infinity War” is the characters, despite the action set pieces being quite excellent. It helps that the massive cast all have immense chemistry with one another and work beautifully within this narrative. So when Groot is bickering with Thor, or Okoye is fighting alongside Black Widow, you buy it, and even better: you root for them. “Infinity War” loses its momentum in the final ten minutes where the Russos and Marvel break their promise and sneak in a climax that’s more “To Be Continued…” It left literally muttering “That’s it?”

I was surprised when the movie just ended during Thanos’ big win, never indicating what turn the story would take soon. I’m excited to see what Marvel is going to go with the next film (Oh Captain! My Captain!), but the anti-climax left me frustrated, confused, and disappointed, despite its wink wink nudge nudge to “Empire Strikes Back.” I hope the next film has more of a resolution because if Marvel devotes their time to gimmicky non-endings, I’ll eventually tune out, rather than see where I’m being led. That said, despite its weak book end, “Infinity War” is a great adaptation and stellar crossover, centering on character, and the grueling burden sometimes brought on by family, and offers probably the most horrifying villain of the MCU yet.