has demanded peoples silence so we held off for a couple of days but here it is…Obviously a massive Eitri, king of the Dwarves of Nidavellir sized ***SPOILER WARNING*** I’d also like to add a warning to anyone who is yet to see Avengers: Infinity War. This film will BREAK you.
Marvel Studios celebrates it’s 10-year anniversary this year as it was way back in 2008 when Samuel L Jacksons’ Nick Fury showed up in the after credits scene of Iron Man to tell Stark “I’m here to talk to you about the Avenger initiative” We since have been transported to the past, lands of gods, space and realms beyond. But its was back in 2012 where we got a first glimpse of Thanos, the real reason for the attack on New York. Thanos then plays a large role in
and then confirms he’s on his way to “do it himself” at the end of Age Of Ultron in 2015. For 6 years we have known he will be the big bad for Avengers 3 and the expectations have been massive. So, does he and this film live up to those expectations. The short answer. Hela Yes!
I don’t know any other example of a blockbuster that has for over 10 years taken the time to individually introduce characters giving them the time to develop whilst hyping up a bad guy for 6 of those years. Then, to put as many if not all of these key characters into one film against the villain in a crossover event to end all crossover events. It is ambitious to say the least. But it has been done and this is no least through Kevin Feige’s passion and knowledge of the world he is putting together and innovative directors, amazing costumes designers, consistently great special effects and a cast who are perfectly cast and committed to their individual characters. Civil War we got a glimpse of how this could actually work. We got a number of new characters joining the ranks and one whopping fight scene. That fight scene made me feel like a kid again playing with my toys where anything is possible. Infinity War does this but basically barely gives you a chance to put those toys down. It is relentless in the best possible way. The script is punchy with humour used as a glue within scenes and a tool for breaking up what is essentially the most distressing superhero story ever told. We are taken to around 5 different locations which keeps the imagery fresh and often delivers a stunning colour pallet with huge variety. A lush green Wakanda to a ruined orange Titan. It’s this constantly moving sense that makes the 2 hours and 40 minutes fly by. You never once stop and think about how long the film is because you simply don’t have the chance. This is reflective of the Avengers not having a chance to keep up with the speed of how quickly Thanos is getting business done. The Russo Brothers are masters of juggling all the elements needed for a thrilling and yet heartfelt story. The ending is the ballsiest I’ve ever witnessed. It made The Empire Strikes Back look like a happy ending. The feeling you get watching Kick Ass get beaten up is tripled throughout as this is essentially the tale of Thanos winning and our heroes simply, doing their best. It is a brave move but will have audiences everywhere chomping at the bit for the next year and half waiting to find out how Earth’s Mightiest Heroes can possibly come back from this. DC please take note…CGI on point. Character Development. Emotion. Genuine fear that the villain will kill your most loved heroes. Check, check, check and check.
The Key difference to the comics version of this tale is not including Lady Death as the main motivation for Thanos and his actions. I think this is a good decision though. Lady Death, Eternity and these types of characters might be a bit hard for general movie goers to swallow (However they did manage to pull off Ego the Living Planet somehow) Instead the movie uses Gamora as a key part of us understanding the mind of Thanos. His warped sensibilities are delivered with such poignancy that sometimes you let you guard down and actually empathise with him…. until he goes and does something horrendous that is. His love for Gamora is so well put across and the conflict between the two is a delight to witness. Zoe Saldana really comes into her own here and Gamora who started to offer a look into herself in Guardians 2 really shows why she is the person she is. It’s a shame however that this is also our goodbye to Gamora which will surely change the landscape of ‘Guardians 3’ She is not the only casualty of course. We get a ton of disintegrated heroes but some went before the horrifying victory of Thanos. Gamora being one, the other is Vision (but as AI can’t he just be rebuilt?) Loki and Heimdall. The only one I could have predicted was Idris Elba’s Heimdall, the rest were real shock moves and because of this the film had a feeling of dread and jeopardy throughout. No Adam Warlock who is another big part of the comics but likely to be a big part of Guardians 3 and the rumour is The Eternals is the next obscure Marvel group to be transferred to the big screen of which Warlock will probably play a part in. I will come back to the rumoured appearance of Captain Marvel too.
We got to see the debut of Iron Spider in this film. I am not a fan of the suit and think they should’ve had it coloured Gold and Red like the comics to signify it’s Starks and not Parker’s but when those 4 legs pop out in takes you straight back to the pages of Civil War. Speaking of Stark, the amount of new tech that has come with the ‘nano’ system is endless and it’s hard to keep up with the various gimmicks popping out of the suit. A fantastic one on one with him and Thanos though. Another hero who has a great head to head with the big guy is Doctor Strange. Cumberbatch was on top form again as the sorcerer supreme and it was an interesting dynamic to see Strange take the cold approach to caring against Stark who was guilty of this selfishness in the past. Maybe a mirror of how characters develop in the MCU to end as true heroes. This quick battle with Thanos has imagery that on paper would sound silly but anything can be achieved now. This and the use of the reality stone in another earlier scene with The Guardians proves that whatever wonderful, zany or bizarre things are on the pages of the comic books can be bought to life.
I have next to no criticisms for the film. However, The Children Of Thanos were merely goons in the end. Looked cool but ultimately met their demise before we got to no any of them. The only one I would’ve liked to have seen more of though was the seriously creepy Ebony Maw (played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) who commanded his scenes. The other slight niggle is the overcrowded film meant that a lot of characters got no chance to delve into how they were feeling and what this whole thing meant to them. A number of these character like Romanov and Banner have complex relationships and we simply get a line or two exploring that. But when you have a film with 20 odd characters in that is to be expected.
Because of the massive cast I am hesitant to explore each and every member as this review may then last as long as the movie but some stand outs for me are as follows. Tom Holland again puts in a sensational innings as our Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man. He continues to embody a young naïve but selfless Peter Parker. Robert Downey Jr and Tony Stark have come of age and you can’t help but think some kind of big sacrifice is coming for a character that has finally learned what it takes to be the hero. The moment we say goodbye (probably temporarily as Homecoming 2 is already in works) to Peter is the most distressing of all. If you do not well up to that then Thanos has more humanity than you. Groot, who aside from the assistance with Stormbreaker and final battle serves as a background character. His new grumpy teenage persona makes you miss the charm of old Groot and cuteness of baby Groot. Chris Pratt is his usual sharp and hilarious self as Peter to start off with but with the loss of Gamora you see a new side of him. One that recklessly costs potentially the only chance to beat Thanos. He plays this with a grit I haven’t seen from him before. I’ve already spoke about Saldana and Cumberbatch and touched on how good Josh Brolin is. Josh Brolin put to rest any doubts people may have had. His motion capture work here shows every twitch on the face of Thanos and it’s that humanity that is vital in the creation and belief of a monster and Mad Titan. Dave Batista is hilarious as Drax and the ‘why Gamora’ line may be the biggest belly laugh these films have got from me. His timing and delivery is always impeccable. One thing I really enjoyed was watching Ruffalo’s Banner start to directly interact with the Hulk and I am looking forward to seeing how this is expanded on in Avengers 4. A great spin on what is expected as Dinklage playing the Dwarf King Eitri stands nearly 11 feet tall. He plays this small part in a very other the top Shakespearean manner which actually fits in perfectly for the purpose of the act. One of the surprises and ‘gasp out loud’ moments was the return of the Red Skull who instead of dying when blasted with the Teseract in ‘The First Avenger’ was zapped into space (as a lot of people had theorized). Ross Marquand puts on a near replica of Weaving’s take on Skull after Hugo was recast (he was not a fan of his experiences with Marvel) I for one hope Marquand returns as Red Skull in number 4 or maybe even another future Marvel Endeavour.
As well as being shell shocked and rocked to the core after watching this film I came away with some real satisfaction and pay offs. For me some of the shots of Thor wielding the Storm breaker with lightening behind him was what I’ve been waiting for. The site of him Rocket and Groot turning up was brilliant and matched with Winter Soldier using holding Rocket up as he fired his gun in one hand and Bucky’s own gun in the other. A great exchange then with Barnes and Rocket about him wanting his arm which has been a joke made on the internet for years now. ‘I am Steve Rodgers’ was a really great moment and Okoye teaming with Widow and Wanda had me chomping at the bit for an all-female spin off.
By far the most exciting moment was the after credits scene. We see Fury and Maria Hill on their way to pick up Barton when a car crashes without a driver. Then a helicopter. This showing that the effects of Thanos is across the world. Has he wiped out 50% 60% or even more? Unfortunately, then Hill and even Fury goes (the line of choice here is superb) but just before that Fury manages to get a distress signal to (judging from the logo) none other than Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. So, what does this all mean for the future? My personal theory is that Ant Man & The Wasp will be set just before IW events and maybe even finish with the purge and Hank or Janet disintegrating? Then Captain Marvel as already announced will be largely set in the 90s but finishing with her as an established caretaker of the universe. Maybe the very final shot of this is her getting the signal and shooting down to Earth? From there I have no idea. Which therein lies the fun. These films still after 10 years continue to surprise and thrill. Maybe a mutant gene is awoken as part of all this kafuffle?
So, to wrap this up quicker than Thanos finished off The Avengers I want to put it out there…Top 3 Marvel movies ever! It symbolises all the hard work and a combination of everyone involved in all the projects from 2008 onwards and does it without a hitch. This film is like jumping out of a plane, you are excited throughout, possibly the happiest you could feel but at the same time constantly in fear of dying.
I am happy to give the latest MCU outing 9.5 Infinity Stones out of 10 for Ben Outta Ten
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