Directed by: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Pom Klementieff, Sebastian Stan, Zoe Saldana, Tom Hiddleston, Chadwick Boseman, Idris Elba, Paul Bettany, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle
Runtime: 156 min
An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time.
The Avengers and their superhero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos (Josh Brolin) before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.
My most anticipated movie of 2018 was released a few months ago but at the time I was super busy, so I only had the opportunity to write a mini-review. Now, with Ant-Man and the Wasp coming out this week, I am writing full reviews of the 2015 Ant-Man as well as this monumental film, which features a lot of our favorite superheroes. I didn't watch a single clip or trailer for Infinity War, but my expectations were as high as ever. I went into the theater expecting to (finally) get a movie to rival with The Dark Knight for the best superhero film of all-time ...
Unfortunately, I didn't get it. I will get my two issues out of the way now so I can focus on the positives because this movie has a lot of them. Being this a spoiler-free review, I can't get in-depth about its ending, so I'll do it like this. While its concept is incredibly daring and its execution seamless, the emotional impact is significantly reduced by my knowledge of the MCU's future. Everyone knows which films are being developed for Phase 4, myself included, so I can't just ignore what I know. In the same way that I consider every single movie leading up to Infinity War, I also consider the future releases, especially since this is a two-part film with an overarching story.
My other problem is its balance of characters and storylines. First of all, I cannot imagine the colossal task of having to put together so many characters like the Russo brothers did. This is probably the one issue I was expecting this movie to have because I think it is impossible to perfectly balance this many groups of characters, where protagonists of their own sagas are left to secondary roles. While I do think that they mixed the characters beautifully, sometimes it felt that the film was just going from scene to scene without a real flow.
There are a lot of heroes who have to be introduced and teamed up with other ones. Even with 156 minutes of runtime, it feels that they needed more time. The first half of the movie is a bit convoluted since basically, the transitions from scene to scene become repetitive and action-heavy, with no time to breathe. Sometimes it works (the opening scene is jaw-dropping), sometimes it doesn't. These are my only issues with an otherwise outstanding movie, I enjoyed every second of it!
Like I said above, the Russo brothers brilliantly combined characters with one another having in mind the tone of each individual saga. Every actor and actress bring their A-game, everyone's script is excellently well-written. If I had to choose, my standouts are Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Zoe Saldana as Gamora and, saving the best for last, Josh Brolin as Thanos. Oh my God, Thanos ...
Undoubtedly, the star of the film. I never expected that Thanos would have as much screentime as he did, especially when it comes to his backstory. This is the best Marvel villain yet! Even though he is a total maniac, I understand where he is coming from and his motivations are actually plausible. His story is so well-told that I almost wish that he succeeds in his mission ... How crazy is that?!
When someone says "CGI villain", everyone instantly associates that to a horrible and depthless character. Well, Thanos is the exception to the rule because not only the CGI is mind-blowing, his characterization is amazing. Every single second that he is on-screen, I can feel it. His menacing and powerful presence is indescribable in words, you have to see it to believe it. I repeat: best Marvel villain to date!
The action is one of the best in the MCU. The fact that this was the first movie in the history of cinema to ever be entirely shot with IMAX cameras definitely elevates every single set piece. Every sequence feels astonishingly epic and the Russo brothers are part of a very small group of directors who can seamlessly handle shaky-cam. Even in the first half, there are so many entertaining action scenes, cleverly filmed and with fantastic visual effects.
Nevertheless, the big spectacle is saved for the third act where everything feels like I am watching those last epic battles in The Lord of the Rings franchise. Winter Soldier and Civil War might have better choreography and longer takes of action, but when it comes to the enormous and boundless sequences, Infinity War brings it home with bone-chilling charges on armies and exciting epicness levels. Also, the score is sensational and it definitely helps to raise a few goosebumps both in the emotional and action moments.
It is hard to rank it inside the MCU and even harder to do it inside the superhero genre. I do not have the ability or knowledge to do it know. However, it is a ground-breaking and unique film, for sure. There is no other movie with such high stakes as this. Don't get me wrong, even though this film is dark and tragic, the Marvel humor is as funny as ever. In such an action-heavy flick, having the sometimes exaggerated Marvel comedy is a breath of relief and if there is a movie that needs it, is this one.
Congrats to the Russo brothers! I never imagined the day where I could experience a film with so many superheroes, let alone such a magnificent one. Avengers: Infinity War is a ground-breaking movie in the genre, it has some of the most epic superhero action I have ever witnessed and one of the best villains of the genre's history, Thanos. This had everything to be an A+ but some issues with its ending and with the overall balance of characters and their storylines bring it down a bit. Still, it is undoubtedly one of the best superhero films ever and I can't wait to watch again!