10 Years in the Making: Movie Review – Avengers: Infinity War
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Scarlett Johansson, and Elizabeth Olsen with Josh Brolin, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel
Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo
My Rating: *****/5
Ten years have passed since the Marvel Cinematic Universe began with the first “Iron Man.” Now, the culmination of all the films that have been released since then has arrived with “Avengers: Infinity War.” Though tackling a film of this magnitude was never going to be easy, directors Anthony and Joe Russo have risen admirably to the task and provided what’s easily the best “Avengers” yet.
The story, based on the comic book storyline “Infinity Gauntlet,” is as follows: the Mad Titan Thanos (voice of Josh Brolin) seeks to gain control over a series of artifacts called “Infinity Stones” to reshape the universe, killing half of its inhabitants with a snap of his fingers. Despite that absurd description, make no mistake: he is a villain well worth the past decade of buildup. He opens the movie with shocking actions, and without spoiling anything, doesn’t let up from there. He and his minions, “The Black Order,” are easily the biggest threats the Avengers have faced, obliterating the franchise’s complaints about often pitting the heroes against less than compelling villains. Their motivations are completely understandable, and Josh Brolin’s motion capture performance as the Mad Titan puts the character in a surprisingly sympathetic light.
While the prospect of uniting such a large amount of characters to fight Thanos may seem overwhelming at times, the Russo brothers were the perfect directors to take the reins from Joss Whedon; who directed the previous “Avengers” films in 2012 and 2015. With the help of a record budget of $400 million between this film and the fourth (and final) installment in 2019, the number of massive superhero battles and intergalactic travel helps redefine what a blockbuster epic can be in the span of 150 minutes. Alan Silvestri returns to give a perfect musical compliment to the action, and ace cinematographer Trent Opalach delivers a dazzling array of fights right out of the pages of the comic books that inspired the film.
Even though you can definitely enjoy the film more if you’ve been following the narrative from the beginning, the feats accomplished in the movie are proof the characters of Marvel Studios have earned their place alongside more recognizable heroes, such as Batman and Superman. Between widespread critical acclaim, new box office records and more films such as “Ant-man and the Wasp” in the wings, any claims of “Avengers fatigue” are highly unfounded.
Setting the stage for the conclusion of the current MCU story arc next year, “Avengers: Infinity War” is the best “Avengers” film yet. It’s an ideal blend of action, humor and emotional depth, “perfectly balanced as everything should be.”