Sunday, April 29, 2018

Movie Review: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (Non-Spoiler Review)

Ten years ago, Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. started something that no one could've foreseen becoming what it is today.  Iron Man began a decade-long journey with characters from all over the globe and beyond, which has taken us to places no comic book fan ever thought they'd see on the big screen, and some that just shouldn't have been possible.  But they were.  We saw characters like Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, and the aforementioned Iron Man, most of which were characters that the average person on the street had never heard of, and yet, within four years, they would grow to super stardom as Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige managed to bring them all together for the what many people considered the cinematic event of the decade...The Avengers.

But this was just the beginning.  Over the next six years, Feige built and shaped this world into something spectacular.  Something more than just the Avengers.  This was a family.  You really began to care about all of these characters and the lives they were leading.  You wanted them to succeed, you wanted them to love, you wanted them to learn and grow, but most of all, you wanted them to survive, because with the Avengers there, the world was a safer place.  However, little did they know that behind the veil, pulling the strings, was a Mad Titan named Thanos.  It has been unclear for years as to what his true motives were, but Avengers: Infinity War finally brings them all into the light.

Infinity War truly is Thanos' film.  His arc throughout is so beautifully structured.  This is the absolute, hands down, best villain I have ever seen in a comic book film and is one of the best villains in cinematic history.  He's such a complex, layered character who at times you sympathize with, even when you know what he's about to do, and this is what makes him so incredible.

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The opening of the film is unlike anything we've ever seen in a Marvel film, and it sets the tone for what we were about to witness.  That is literally all I can say about it without dipping into spoilers, which you can read in my full spoiler review that is currently up.

We also got our introduction to Thanos' Black Order, who are seen in the trailers, which consists of Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, and Cull Obsidian. I really liked how these characters were handled.  They accentuated Thanos and the power he brings to the situation.  We also learn a lot about Thanos in this film, which is great, as we really only knew some surface level information from previous films.

For those of you who have been paying attention over the last decade, you know that the infinity stones are extremely powerful. As Gamora says in the trailer, with this kind of power, Thanos could wipe out half of the life in the universe with the snap of his fingers.  And the final reveal of the last remaining stone is one that you'll be talking about for a while, as Feige and the Russo's did a great job with this.

Captain America

This film not only has an amazing villain, it also managed to give a near perfect balance of our favorite characters.  This is a feat in and of itself as the sheer number of heroes from the past 18 films shouldn't all work together in one film...but they do, and they do so beautifully.  You get little pockets of characters interacting with one another, as seen in the trailers, and they are all handled with such finesse, they all fit together perfectly but still manage to encapsulate the personalities of all these characters.  It's mind blowing.

The Russo Brothers have really out done themselves this time around.  They took what was great about their two previous MCU installments, and blended it to perfection, successfully merging deep character pieces with edge of your seat, high intensity action.  Their aesthetic choices where pitch perfect, from the color palette to the fight choreography, and so much more.  The pacing was astounding, especially for a 2.5+ hour movie with so many moving parts.  It could have easily all fallen apart at any moment, but it didn't.  Never once did I feel like it dragged, never once did I feel the long length of the film.  That's how gripping the story is, and that's not something you find very often.

Overall, this is a brilliant piece of cinema, with more depth and complexity than most comic book movies can ever reach.  It was perfectly balanced and structured, and I for one am excited for what’s to come next.  And if you want to dive deeper into spoilers, be sure to check out my full spoiler review, right HERE!

The Merc’s Score:  10/10

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