10 years!! 10 years of Marvel films have now culminated in one of the biggest and most ambitious superhero project ever. When Iron Man was released in 2008, never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be sitting in a cinema ten years later, having watched all 18 movies in the MCU, almost bursting out of my seat with excitement. I have waited since the films announcement in 2014 and with every passing Marvel film, my anticipation grew and it was finally quenched when I finally got to see the cinematic event of a generation.
Overall, the film was amazing. It managed to bring together 10 years of both loosely and heavily inter-connected films, with numerous characters and it wasn’t a complete mess, which it so could have been. Coming off the back of some of the best Marvel films, namely Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther, Infinity War had to pull it out of the bag, and then some!! It had the typical Marvel humour, with hilarious one-liners from our favourite characters as well as incredible action set pieces and industry defining CGI.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the film was the way the Russo Brothers (the directors) intertwined different characters, for example you had Thor joining Rocket and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, with Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax and Mantis linking up with Tony Stark and Peter Parker. These combinations equal a perfect mix of comedy and action as we see the characters bouncing off one another with their dialogue and creating unique action sequences when they are fighting Thanos and his goons.
Speaking of Thanos, what a villain he is! He is menacing, whilst at the same time his actions and motives are understandable, making him even more threatening. Thanos isn’t evil for evil’s sake. He is evil so that he can complete a goal, and follows a set of rules and objectives in order to be successful. He is akin to lawful evil, a term used in Dungeons and Dragons which describes these sorts of characters as having rules in order to exploit a system or complete their goals. In an early scene, he fights off the Hulk, and this is only after acquiring two of the Infinity stones, which highlights how strong Thanos really is, and what a danger he would be with all of the stones. The Russo’s have done a great job fleshing out a character that little is known about if you haven’t read the comics. A friend of mine said, rather brilliantly, that we shouldn’t see this as an Avengers film, but instead as a film about Thanos. He suggested that rather than the film being called Avengers: Infinity War Part One it should be renamed Avengers: Thanos’ Big Day Out which I think is a brilliant title.
His followers, the Children of Thanos are also interesting, although the best has to be Ebony Maw. His mysterious powers are more than a match for Sorcerer Supreme Dr Strange, and everything he utters is menacingly villainous. His mannerisms and of course, the British accent, remind me of Ralph Fiennes’ Voldemort. They are both downright intimidating as soon as they open their mouths. Proxima Midnight, despite being the worst CGI’d of the Children with her dodgy horns, definitely gets the “Best Name Award” and also “Most Gruesome Death” of the film too, and I think the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. The other two children are less memorable, Corvus Glaive looks like a weird goblin, whilst Cull Obsidian is just a crocodile looking, Hulk knock-off.
It has to be said that there are negative aspects of the film, thankfully though, I do not thing they detract from its success. Avengers: Infinity War suffers from something I call part-oneitis, where the film is clearly setting up the story for part two. Other films have suffered from this, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay are good examples. Mockingjay Part 1 is a particularly boring and tedious affair in comparison to part 2, this is mainly due to the fact that its main purpose is to set up the events of the second film. The book, which isn’t split into two, does not suffer from this and is a great deal better because of it. It is because of this that, although the stakes are high in Infinity War, there is no great sense of threat overall as it is only part one, and if you know the comic story like I do, then you sort of know what direction the film will be going in anyway. So, when characters die throughout the film, despite being slightly sad seeing these beloved characters meet there end, it is not truly heart wrenching as you kind of know that in the end they will all be ok. Marvel will never go full Game of Thrones on their universe, it’s way too lucrative to do that.
Some have said that the film has a major plot hole in that, in order to save the universe and it’s resources, Thanos eliminates half of the universe’s population. Why doesn’t he use the stones to create resources so that there isn’t a problem. Although this does logically make sense, it also would make for an incredibly boring film. Also, we don’t know the whole story of Titan, Thanos’ home planet and this would have played a part in his decision to cull the population.
Something I found a bit irksome was the way they threw in Red Skull, a memorable villain from the first Captain America film. His reveal was really well done and came as a huge surprise to me as well as most of the cinema, but it seemed way too convenient that he happened to be teleported by one of the Infinity stones to the location of another. It was a well believed theory that Red Skull never actually died, but was instead teleported across the universe by the Tesseract, though it is incredibly fortuitous that he ended up were he did. It seemed to only serve the purpose of ‘fan service’. He is in the film only momentarily and his character doesn’t serve to further the storyline other than to tell Thanos about how to access the Soul Stone; Red Skull is only used as a plot device. After spending 13 films wondering what had happened to him, his appearance was unsatisfactory to say the least.
An interesting side note is that, at the end of the film, the remaining superheroes comprise mainly of the original Avengers, those that started this juggernaut of a franchise. I think it is rather fitting that they will finish off this ten year project in the spectacle that will be Infinity War 2. I also believe this is how Hawkeye will be brought into the second film to complete the original group, with his family having died and he re-joins his Avenger friends in order to exact revenge.
Special mention goes to Tom Holland, AKA Spiderman, whose final scene in the film is apparently completely improvised. If it hadn’t been pointed out to me I wouldn’t have known! It is so genuine and one of the more poignant moments of the film, and shows a great understanding of his character by Holland.
The end credits scene is brilliant. It sets up that Captain Marvel may be used to defeat Thanos and also, it hints at how she will be used by Marvel going forward. I suspect that she will become the new figurehead of the MCU, much like Iron Man was in 2008. It is entirely likely that the original Avengers may not all make it out alive in Part 2, and therefore the MCU needs a new Iron Man. Captain Marvel is that character, and who better to introduce her to the franchise than Nick Fury. I chuckled when Samuel L Jackson was about to utter his catchphrase just as he began to fade out of existence; how fitting that Fury became Jackson, the same way that Jackson became Fury.
The Thing Is, Avengers: Infinity War is an amazingly ambitious enterprise, and one that has been pulled off incredibly well. The film is well paced, the plot, although predictable, is not like a piece of Emmental cheese and full of overly-sized holes, which is refreshing. Thanos makes for a formidable villain and it will be interesting to see how the remaining Avengers defeat him. Despite its problems, Infinity War rose to meet its high expectations and in many cases surpassed them. It’s already broken records and will most likely continue to do so. I bet those over at Warner Bros and DC Comics are rather envious right now, and making copious amounts of notes!