Friday, April 27, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War - Review (NO SPOILERS)

There are honestly no words to describe the level of anticipation for Avengers: Infinity War. The buildup of a franchise for ten years to this type of massive cinematic event is unprecedented, a possible once in a lifetime experience even. Constructing these interesting characters and watching them grow throughout multiple films has been a ride in and of itself, but the big finish is here, the steep drop in the tracks, the end all be all of the last decade of Marvel films.

The Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet -- the evil Thanos (Josh Brolin). On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

An epic in the purest sense of the word, Avengers: Infinity War is relentless, in a way that leaves the audience breathless by the time the credits roll. The film is very much the beginning of the end, a first part in an expansive plot that spans two films (Avengers 4 is on the way in 2019). Somehow, despite being a clear part one, Avengers: Infinity War manages to feel like a culmination and an introduction, while wrapping it all up with one of the best, and gutsiest, endings of all time.

Getting the ending to work at the level it does starts with the characters. Fortunately, the film has an abundance of those, each more interesting than the last. Of course, with an ensemble this large, the odds of truly standing out are remarkably slim, and yet a handful managed to do so. Robert Downey Jr., the man who started it all, continues to embody Tony Stark, the ever-charismatic billionaire despite living through his greatest nightmare, one he has feared for years at this point. Zoe Saldana delivers tremendous work this go around, using a strong connection to the Mad Titan himself to bring quite a bit of depth to her own character.

Yet, above all of them stands Thanos himself, Josh Brolin. Menacing and intelligent, and pulling sympathies from the audience in surprising ways, you understand his motivations and his thought process as to why his plan is a necessity. And all of that comes down do an exceptional job from Brolin, and just stellar visual effects from the hundreds that likely worked on the film.

And that work shows across every inch of this film. A visual feast from start to finish, from extraordinary worlds, to exhilarating action, not a moment is wasted to dazzle the audience in some fashion. The visuals are certainly aided by action that is well-choreographed and varied in ways that utilize all of the different power sets from the dozens of heroes on screen. These visuals and huge action set pieces, though forcing the film to more at breakneck pace at some points, are mesmerizing. Throw in some of most emotional moments ever in a Marvel film, by a wide margin, and you’ll be hard pressed to unglue your eyes from the screen.

Overall, Avengers: Infinity War is the perfect comic book movie. The places it goes, the themes it features, and the general craziness of it all is straight from the page. The film is an epic cinematic experience in the purest sense possible, bringing a conclusion to ten years of storytelling while simultaneously setting the stage for the ultimate climax in the yet untitled Avengers 4. Every character has their moment in the sun, some more brief than others, but never does it feel like the audience has been shortchanged in any way. Avengers: Infinity War is by far the gutsiest cinematic endeavor for Marvel Studios, and they’re still not finished yet.

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