“Avengers: Infinity War” is an Ambitious, Master-Class Big-Budget Blockbuster

INFINITY WAR

Well, it has all led to this. “Avengers: Infinity War” was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt and pretty much every Avenger you can think of. The film is about The Avengers, go figure, battling the mighty Thanos (Brolin), who is on a quest to capture all six Infinity Stones in order to succeed with his deadly plan.

To put it simply: yes, I was excited for “Infinity War.” This has to be one of the most anticipated movies in the history of my existence, and the trailers and previous films in the MCU led to my expectations being sky high coming in. Also, Thanos has been teased since “The Avengers” back in 2012, so I was really hoping that the Russo brothers could pull off such an intensely hyped up villain.

The Good

Thanos. Not only did the Russo brothers successfully make Thanos a brutally terrifying villain, they gave him enough heart and enough development to make him one of the best villains the MCU has ever seen. Brolin is outstanding in the role, and every scene that the man is in left a lasting mark, either out of pure fear or with strong moments that made his character much more than just a big, powerful man looking for destruction.

Marvel has really improved on their action sequences in their recent films, and “Infinity War” continues that trend in a big way. This, aside from maybe “Civil War,” has the biggest and most impressive moments of action in the entire franchise. Each of the major members of the Avengers gets a chance to shine, and the camerawork and visual effects are seamless at all times. The stakes are also higher than ever, which helps to make every fight feel brutally necessary, and as if the world depends on them winning.

It would be impossible to go through every great performance, so I’ll leave it at this: every returning cast member shines in their own right. The cast is exceptional, the chemistry is outstanding and the individual performances are all equally funny, emotional and well-crafted to the point that I’ve fallen in love with every single hero that the Russo brothers throw at me.

Speaking of those lovely Brothers, the direction they take this film deserves all the credit in the world. The comedy, the heart, the heartbreak, the drama, the suspense, the characters, the storyline, the cohesion, it’s all there. Somehow, within this 149-minute epic, the Russo brothers find the perfect balance between everything, and it makes for a film that is consistently dynamic and unpredictable.

In an unprecedented move, “Infinity War” is quite easily the darkest Marvel movie to date, and in all the right ways. Sure, as I said, there is a load of strong comedy, and it lands with a 100 percent success rate every time, but that has been something expected from Marvel. Now, with their biggest movie yet, they’ve upped the stakes and added a ton of powerful dynamics that lead to pain, anguish and emotional peaks I could have never predicted. Not anyone could have pulled off so much here, but the Russo brothers and this absurdly talented cast does it, and they cannot be commended enough for it.

Because of this increase in drama and tension, “Infinity War” also becomes the most ambitious film in the MCU by quite a large margin, and those risks work every step of the way. For such a huge blockbuster that will be one of the highest-grossing films ever by the time it’s done, it could have played everything safe and went strictly for the cash. Instead, “Infinity War” is none of that, and all the better for it. The unpredictability, the sharp shifts in tone, the fight scenes in the final act, Thanos’ arc as a whole, all of it feels new to Marvel, and it all makes for an experience like no other.

It seemed impossible that the Russo brothers would actually be able to work characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy into this seamlessly, but somehow they did that too. The stories interweave beautifully in ways I just did not predict, and it leads to phenomenal moments of comedy and development. Seeing characters that I’ve individually loved come together to fight one evil is as amazing as any nerd dream I may have had, and it just felt like there was so much care and precision to every move made in this movie, and it brought a smile to my face more than nearly any film ever has.

The ending act is something I will only touch on in vague terms before I do a spoiler review, but, to put it lightly, it’s a master class of cinema. As I have probably said a billion times, the comedy mixed with the stakes and emotion is flawless, and there were more than a few times that my jaw dropped all the way to the floor by the pure awe of just how terrific the conclusion to this movie is.

It might be redundant at this point, but I have to say one more time: “Infinity War” simply is outstanding for having the balls to be original. Yes, there’s that branded Marvel comedy that works so well, but to do that while having other scenes that left me in fear or heartbreak is something that almost no movie of this size can possibly do. This film has the makings of a strong drama, the witty lines of a top-tier comedy, and the action of, well, a big-budget action movie all in one, and is still well-balanced, still has incredible payoffs, still has a strong villain, maybe their strongest villain in terms of development and still has the cohesion to make every scene of the utmost importance. Yes, I know that sentence was long, but I just had to fit all of these perfect pieces into one cohesive thought somehow.

The Bad

Towards the middle, there were a few minutes where I began to feel the runtime a little bit. But, in a film pushing 150 minutes, am I really going to sit here and complain about a five-minute span that was only slightly less great? No, no I am not.

Conclusion

“Avengers: Infinity War” is a masterpiece in big-budget cinema, a tour de force in the superhero genre and a groundbreaking film for Marvel Studios. This film showed that Marvel could and will go for something outside of their coveted formula, and that they can still pull it off with immaculate precision. This is a daring film, a stunning film, a film that Marvel fans should appreciate, a film that works as a great film and not just a great action movie. The Russo brothers continue their hot streak following “Civil War,” and in a big way: I mean, how in the hell did they pull off Thanos, how? I’m still sitting here, hours after leaving the theater, mind reeling with new things I loved about this movie. “Infinity War” is a masterpiece through and through, and deserves the highest of scores that I can bestow.

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Get tickets and showtimes for “Avengers: Infinity War” here

What did you think of “Avengers: Infinity War”? Comment below with your thoughts.


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