Throwback Thursday: Avengers: Infinity War

This review will be packed with spoilers, but if you haven’t seen Infinity War yet, you probably don’t give a damn anyway. 

Endgame is nearly here, and it wouldn’t feel right to review that without first looking back at the first instalment of this two-part story. Infinity War was a cinematic event, it made a ridiculous amount of money and it was the culmination of 10 years of build-up, or so we thought… Obviously, this story isn’t over yet, but Infinity War marks the beginning of the end and the end result is one of the finest superhero films we’ve ever had. If you’ve seen my MCU Film Rankings, you won’t find this statement surprising, but I’m going to go into more depth with why I love this film. So, without further ado, let’s look back at Infinity War.

Infinity War started perfectly, setting a tone that confirmed to the audience that this was going to be unlike any Marvel film we’ve seen before. Sure, we’ve seen loss and pain throughout the lifecycle of the MCU, but it often played things quite safe and you never truly felt like the main players were at risk. So, how do you kick off this film? By having the antagonist beating the hell out of The Hulk and killing one of the most-loved characters in the MCU in Loki. It shocked me, I was expecting big things to happen, but to kill off such a large character in the opening 5 minutes was bold, and it worked perfectly. Instantly, Thanos was solidified as a threat unlike one we have seen in the MCU, and suddenly as an audience we fear what might happen to these characters. For the first time in the MCU, I truly felt like nobody was safe.

So let’s talk about Thanos, quite simply, he’s the best villain the MCU has had and may ever have, I’d go as far to say he’s one of the best film villains of all time. He’s deeply complex, he’s layered and in a weird, twisted way, you can understand his motivations and why he’s doing what he’s doing. Josh Brolin delivers a sensational performance, crafting an incredibly menacing villain, yet playing him with such a calmness that at times you can’t help but admire him. Infinity War is just as much about Thanos as it is about the heroes we know and love, and I found some of the most intriguing parts of this film are the sequences that prominently involving the villain, including some of the flashbacks that set up his backstory and make the moment he sacrifices Gamora for his cause all the more gut-wrenching. The best villains are flawed, the best villains have a semblance of humanity about them. This being wants to wipe out half of the universe, he wants to commit one of the most deplorable acts you could ever imagine, yet, as I said earlier, there’s still a side of you that can understand why he is doing this, and you will find yourself captivated by his convictions. Thanos, for me, is one of the biggest reasons why this film shines and stands out against the rest, my only complaint would have been that I wanted to see more of him, thankfully, his story isn’t over just yet and I can’t wait to see what they do with him in Endgame. 

The other part that is so brilliant about Infinity War is the way in which it juggles it’s ridiculously large cast almost seamlessly. I remember before I saw the film last year my biggest worry was that it simply wouldn’t be able to handle such a large cast and at some point down the line the quality would diminish as a result, or certain characters wouldn’t feel relevant. Sure, some characters do have more time and exposure, but nobody feels out of place and the Russos did a stellar job of dividing them and making sure they all had their part to play in the story. Pairing Iron-Man with some of the Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, was a stroke of genius and led to some genuinely funny moments. The decision to team Thor up with Rocket and Groot was an equally brilliant decision and the banter between them is great. The biggest compliment I can give the creators here is that I didn’t once think: “I wish this character was here instead.” or “I wish this character was with this character.” Everyone slotted into their places like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle and I still to this day can’t believe they managed to pull off a feat like this so well.

Although this film is quite layered and complex in comparison to some other MCU films, it still has some of the best set-pieces the franchise has ever seen. Encapsulated by Thor’s arrival in Wakanda, a moment that got quite a few cheers in every screening I went to, it’s such an epic moment and will likely always be in the Top MCU moments ever. The action throughout is thrilling and great fun, filled with stunning visuals and plenty of tension, I still vividly remember the number of stunned gasps I heard when Thanos stabs Iron-Man near the climax of the film, we were all convinced that was the end of him and the amount of emotions I was feeling at that time was crazy, Infinity War is certainly a rollercoaster, which leads me to that fateful moment…

The Snap. One of the most shocking moments in cinema history, when Thor impales Thanos, you think it’s all over. But nope, that line: “You should have gone for the head.” sent shivers down my spine as you realise, that for the first time, the heroes are about to lose, and they’re about to lose badly. I can’t put into the words the atmosphere in the cinema as all of these beloved characters dissipated into dust before our very eyes. As an audience, we knew the stakes were high, but I’m not sure how many genuinely believed that this event would happen. It stunned audiences at the screening I was at into a solemn silence, and it’s an atmosphere I don’t think I will ever experience again.

I could write pages and pages about this film, I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface. But in the interest of time, I’ll wrap it up here. Infinity War was a cinematic event, a superhero film like no other which will rightfully go down as one of the best in the history of the genre. To think it’s only the first part in a two-part story fills me with excitement, and I can’t believe that this time next week I’ll probably be sat down writing my review for Endgame. 

Infinity War literally has it all: Thrilling action, fantastic characters, plenty of tension, excellent comedy, hugely poignant and emotional moments… It is the complete package. As I said earlier, if you haven’t seen it already you’re probably not interested and never will see it. But if you’re a fan of the MCU, then this is likely one of the most satisfying films you’ve ever seen and a perfect payoff for 10 years of build up. If Endgame comes anywhere close to replicating the quality of Infinity War, then we’re in for a treat.

Bring on next week.

I give Avengers: Infinity War a 9/10. 

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