It all came down to this. Ten years, 18 movies and more characters than you can mention. All roads led here. Avengers: Infinity War was the culmination of the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and something fans have been waiting for since Thanos’ fleeting appearance in Avengers Assemble and perhaps further back when Iron Man was released in 2008.
At the start of Infinity War we have the fall out from Captain America: Civil War, and the Avengers broken up, Hulk, Thor, Loki and the Asgardians with Thanos looming over them as shown in the Thor: Ragnarok post credits scene and the Guardians of the Galaxy generally Guardianing up the galaxy while Thanos, the man pulling the strings behind the scenes seeking the Infinity Stones to give him mastery over all time, space and reality.
Quite frankly it is fantastic from start to finish. From the opening on the Asgardian craft seen at the end of the third Thor film to the post credits scene Infinity War is relentless. The action does not let up. The large battles, from Wakanda to New York and outer space all look exhilarating.
One of the fears of Infinity War was that with so many characters to cram in it would be too difficult to give them all a worthy amount of screen time without making a 15 hour film. Those fears are put aside as everyone has their part to play, no character is maligned. They all have their moments, of course some more than others but no one is left feeling like a 93rd minute substitute to run the clock down.
As usual there is some witty dialogue, superhero quips and sharp one liners. The merging of virtually every hero in the MCU leads to some great exchanges between combinations we have not seen come together before, the best of which involves Thor, Peter Quill and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy while Spiderman also has his laugh out loud moments. Infinity War also intersperses the fast paced action, darker plot points and more serious moments with these touches of humor, as they have done since Iron Man in 2008. It never feels over done or forced, and lightens the mood at the right times. The laughs have always been one of the best things about a Marvel film, and this is no different.
While in essence there is nothing new or revolutionary in terms of the story, it is quite a formulaic superhero movie in the way in which it pans out, it does it very, very well. The villain, Thanos, is a genuine threat and extremely powerful and given the nature of the movie you really feel that no character is safe. The Russo’s do not break the mould but the film adds up to be more than the sum of its parts. If pushed to find a negative, and it really is a struggle, the money would be on Peter Dinklage’s character, Eitri, isn’t great. The CGI looks poor at times and the character is far from great. So the worst thing, and only negative relates to a tertiary character.
Infinity War is a triumph and just rewards for a decade of hard work from the sheer multitude of people involved. Constantly engaged and interested in what was happens, it certainly does not feel like two and a half hours. It just flew by.
We won’t reveal how it ends, which makes signing off this review somewhat challenging, but the MCU could well have taken an interesting new direction going in to ‘Phase 4’ and seeing what happens next will be seriously exciting…
Avengers: Infinity War is now in UK cinemas everywhere.