AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is the third film of Marvel’s Avengers series following on from AVENGERS (2012) and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON(2015). Titan Warlord Thanos is on a quest to find the six immensely powerful Infinity Stones and use them to bring balance to the Universe. For Thanos, balance will be achieved when half the number of all living beings are removed from existence. The only credible opposition to Thanos are The Guardians of the Galaxy and Earth’s mightiest heroes, The Avengers.
Thanos previously used intermediaries to locate the stones such as Thor’s brother Loki and Ronan the Accuser of the Kree. Now, he is pursuing the Infinity Stones personally, aided by his adopted “children” Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, and Cull Obsidian. As shown in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, Thanos can can no longer rely on his adopted daughters Gamora and Nebula.
INFINITY WAR is the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has multiple story links to the Avengers and Guardians movies, it also has some references and character call-backs to other films of the MCU. The opening scene is foreshadowed in THOR: RAGNAROK (2017). However, you don’t need a score-card to follow the action, because writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley have done an excellent job connecting the many moving parts of this story. They have worked on all three Captain America films and THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2013). They have also written the unnamed Infinity War sequel (a.k.a Avengers 4).
The Avengers are fractured post the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016), The Guardians and the Asgardians are nowhere near Earth, so as the threat from Thanos increases, the story takes us to an impressive number of locations around the Universe. The pace is intense, but is helped by the well-timed hits of humour that is very much in the wheelhouse of directors The Russo Brothers.
They key cast is bulging with Marvel stars: present are Robert Downey Jr.,Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin and Chris Pratt. Obviously some do more than others. If you look through that list and think, hang on, where is (insert name here?) then as the writers Markus and McFeeley have hinted, if you don’t see a particular character in part 1, then watch for them in Part 2.
All film reviewer types are currently forbidden from revealing the events of INFINITY WAR. Which is fair enough, because 10 years and 19 movies in, MCU fans care a great deal about the precise details of the plot, who lives and who dies, the fate of Howard the Duck, all of that. There are many solid character moments from our favourite superhero actors. Thanos is now properly embodied by an excellent actor in Brolin, thus avoiding the default ‘slightly-dull-villain’ problem. Composer Alan Silvestri’s score is excellent as always. Suffice to say, INFINITY WAR admirably delivers what Marvel movie fans are looking for. It doesn’t feel overlong, even though it clocks in at 2 hours and 29 minutes.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR combines its character moments, comedy, plot and action with the slick, professionalism we have come to expect from this well-oiled, movie-making machine. The Russo Brothers have made excellent choices throughout and the script didn’t leave me quite where I expected, and I mean that in the best possible way. RATING (8.5/10)