Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
10 years of ground-breaking cinema has built up to this moment. It’s the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date and by God does it deliver.
I usually like to write my reviews immediately after having seen a film, but with this one I felt as though I needed more time to digest what I had seen. It’s such a large movie, both in terms of the scale within which the action takes place, and the sheer production size that it can at times feel overwhelming, and taking some time out to process the movie before finalizing your thoughts is probably the best bet.
As always this review will be spoiler free and I implore everyone to try and go into this movie knowing as little as possible. Even the smallest of spoilers might detract from what is a piece of cinema like no other.
The Russo Brothers have done a fantastic job with a movie that may have been one of the most difficult films to produce in cinematic history. Never before has a film not only had 10 years worth of build up via the format of 18 previous films but also had to integrate over 60 previously established and popular characters. It’s a challenge that would turn away many people in the film industry and some serious credit needs to be dropped at the feet of the Russos. They manage to perfectly balance the massive cast of heroes and side-characters, giving all the right people just the correct amount of screen time. Of course there are characters who stand out more than others, but that’s always been the case since way back at Avengers Assembled, so with the addition of the Guardians and about 10 new franchises it’s hard to criticize.
You could quite easily make a case to say that at least 9 or 10 of our main protagonists steal the show and that is no bad thing. But despite all these new faces, despite the multitude of interweaving storylines that play out over the course of the movie, in my own personal opinion it is the MCU’s big bad, Thanos, who comes out of this movie as the star.
As the Russos have stated before, Infinity War is essentially Thanos’ movie and after having seen it you cannot disagree. What that means is that we have perhaps our best ever Marvel villain, and one who could easily hold his own against some of the better villains in movie history. He is given depth, emotion, motivation and presence, all key ingredients in the superhero movie cocktail.
What surprised me was the level of emotion throughout the movie. From the opening scene the pace of this movie is frenetic, very rarely taking a moment to allow the audience to breath. So at first I was scared that the Russos had sacrificed character development and raw emotional moments for a film more akin to the final Harry Potter movie but on a bigger scale. Fortunately I was proved wrong many times over as the film continued to deliver emotional sucker-punches and some really nice character work, especially among some of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Unfortunately there were the odd moments of dodgy CGI, which was dissappointing but not distracting. But my biggest complaint came from the fact that during some of the action scenes, I felt the direction wasn’t as strong as in past Marvel movies. I often found myself losing track of what was happening due to the shakey cam and close up shots, which was a shame especially in the later battles.
The ending is perhaps the bravest I have seen in a movie and it will keep you thinking about it for days after having watched it last. I saw Infinity War at a midnight screening on the day of release, and I’m still going over the ending in my head. It sticks with you on a number of levels and it’s unlike anything Marvel have ever done before. Fortunately they earn the ending, the jokes are toned down throughout the movie compared to the likes of Thor: Ragnarok and you’re very much grounded in the idea that it’s not playtime anymore.
As Dr. Strange says “We’re in the end game now”.
Final Score: 8/10 Porgs