Film Review: Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Drax (Dave Bautista), Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

The lead up to Avengers: Infinity War hitting cinemas has been a weird one. The fact that this should be one of the most anticipated comic book in several years has largely been overshadowed by celebrities bemoaning the fact that there have been too many comic book movies recently. The fact that some used the word ‘emotion-less’ to describe the genre many come back to bite them. Avengers: Infinity War is one film that is packed full of emotion, yes there are battle sequences and special effects galore but this is also a movie that has real heart, and that heart manifests itself in a number of different ways – from heartfelt deaths through to a villain who almost seems conflicted by his actions from time to time.

The film opens shortly after the events of Thor: Ragnarok and finds Thor (Chris HemsworthSnow White And The Huntsmen, Thor), Loki (Tom Hiddleston – Kong: Skull Island, The Night Manager) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight, Fox Catcher) under peril by the powerful Thanos (Josh Brolin – Milk, Inherent Vice). It is here that we first see Thanos show his capabilities and promises the hell that is about to break out on Earth.

That fight soon hits New York seeing Tony Stark once again become Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jnr – Sherlock Holmes, Iron-Man) to fight alongside Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game, Star Trek: Into Darkness) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland – The Impossible, The Heart Of The Sea as Earth’s first resistence. The battle then turns to a number of fronts including a Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman – Get On Up, 42) led charge in Wakanda while Star-Lord (Chris Pratt – Jurassic World, The Lego Movie) and the other Guardians lead the space side of things.

In a lot of ways Avengers: Infinity War completely erases the sins of the past that we have seen in some of the previous Marvel films. Thankfully gone is the horribly out-of-place humor from Thor: Ragnarok and instead we see a film that gives a massive amount of heart to the storyline and characters, plus something that is missing from so many films these day – suspense. The result is a brilliant combination that sees memorable moments of suspense not just during epic battles, but with more tender moments between Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen – Godzilla, Captain America: Civil War) and Vision (Paul Bettany – A Knight’s Tale, Margin Call) and also that pivotal moment of whether or not Tony Star can bring himself to make the phone call to Steve Rogers (Chris Evans – Snowpiercer, Gifted) to bring him into the battle. Of course the biggest thing about the suspense of this film is once the screenwriters show they are willing to sacrifice well loved characters this time around… you are constantly on edge because you know not all characters will make it to the end credits.

What the screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (The Chronicles Of Narnia, Captain America: The First Avenger) get very right is the characterisation of the film’s villain – Thanos. The biggest weakness when comparing the Marvel films and the DC films in the past has been the fact that Marvel rarely seem to have memorable villains. While DC boasts characters like Joker and Baine perhaps the most memorable villain from Marvel was Bucky… which says a lot when you consider there have been 18 film in this franchise. Here though the screenplay makes Thanos truly three-dimensional. Not only is he given lengthy pieces of dialogue that allows the conversation to further his character but the emotional element of the film also seeps into his character and we see truly touching moments between he and Gamora (Zoe Saldana – Star Trek, Avatar), and as a result we get a better understanding of why Thanos is doing what he is doing – and that goes a long way into making the movie a more rounded film.

The general plot of the film does work as well. Despite the fact it sees a number of battles happening in various places it never feels jumbled like the last Transformers film did. The writers also seem to keep a great handle on the myriad of characters contained in the film and not only is every character given a decent amount of screen time but they are each given a memorable moment as well… meaning that no audience member will go away complaining that their favourite character was forgotten. There are also no moments where you momentarily ‘lose’ you character as the audience is kept up to date at where each character is throughout the film.

While it seems many people were afraid how Avengers: Infinity War would turn out but it seems they have nothing to worry about. Visually, especially in the space locations, the film at times does look  like Green Lantern but just like they did with the past two Captain America films The Russos take this film to a whole new level. Amazing special effects, a great storyline and finally a well-rounded villain means that Marvel have delivered a film above expectations. I never thought I would say this about another comic book movie, but this film will make you laugh, will certainly make you cry and will completely blow you away.

What do you think?

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Written by Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.

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