After the incredible hype and build Avengers Infinity War has arrived. For me after the disappointing Spider-Man Homecoming and the better but not amazing Black Panther, I was concerned whether Marvel Studios could once again deliver a great entry into MCU. I am happy to report that Infinity War is not only a great entry but breaks new ground for super hero films. Going forward there will be spoilers so do not read any more if you don’t want to know them.
The film follows members of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy as they try to stop Thanos procuring the Infinity Stones so he can fulfil his plan of killing half of the universes population to restore order.
This film is undoubtedly the MCU’s darkest entry. Following the events of Civil War and Thor Ragnarok the Avengers are disbanded and have not spoken. Unlike previous super hero films this breaks ground as the focus is well and truly on Thanos. We learn why he is determined to wipe out half of all living creatures, his origin and Marvel has crafted the film so well that we even get to see the “evil” characters emotions come to the surface.
The film sees the Guardians split up with Groot and Rocket teaming with Thor whilst Starlord, Gamora, Drax and Mantis end up with Stark. Despite the darkness of the film the Guardian characters manage to seamlessly retain their humour. Unlike Ragnarok the humour is fantastically placed and does not feel forced. It also gives a welcome respite from the oncoming gloom.
The other main focus on this film is surprisingly not the broken friendship of Captain America and Iron-man but is instead Vision and Wanda Maximoff. The screen time and romantic element of this film is devoid of humour and you get to see real human emotions that allows Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany to display their acting skills. It also adds another dynamic to this film that has not been seen.
The meeting of Doctor Strange and Tony Stark is cinema gold. The egos of the characters is bursting off the screen. The trading of insults with Starlord adding his brand of humour is something I have been waiting a long time to see.
This film is groundbreaking for the MCU as it finally delivers a villain who is a legitimate threat and match for the heroes. But where Marvel has excelled is with the children of Thanos. Their battles with our heroes shows that even his adoptive children are not just fodder doomed to defeat by our heroes but they represent a real threat who in one on one combat could easily win. They are faster, stronger and better organised than our heroes and in the first half of the film the weaknesses of the Avengers are exposed.
Major spoilers ahead
If Thanos’ adoptive children represent a legitimate threat to our heroes, Thanos is the end game. From the first moments on screen Thanos easily defeats the Hulk before killing Loki with ease. He oozes confidence that his plan will inevitably succeed. But unlike previous bad guys, Thanos can back it up.
One by one he takes ownership of the Infinity Stones. We learn that he is driven by the death of his people as they all starved due to overpopulation despite his warnings. He truly believes that he is saving the universe by killing half of it.
When he captures Gamora we learn that after he killed half of her people, the population and planet they live on is flourishing. What comes totally out of the blue is Thanos has to do one task obtain the soul stone, he must sacrifice someone he loves. Gamora triumphantly laughs as she believes Thanos only loves himself. We brutally discover that he truly loved Gamora as his own daughter and kills her. The hurt from this and the horrific sacrifice allows him to grasp the soul stone.
He then goes after Doctor Strange and the time stone. We learn that Strange has looked into the future and out of over 14 million futures only one does Thanos lose.
Despite the best efforts of Stark, Spider-Man, Starlord, Drax and Mantis, Thanos obtains the time stone defeating all of them including Doctor Strange.
In the mean time Thor, Rocket and Groot go to Nidavellir where with the help of Eitri they forge the Storm-breaker axe that gives Thor the power of the bifrost.
As Thanos’ army arrives on Earth and attacks Wakanda, the rest of the Avengers and Wakandans desperately try to fight them off to give them enough to time to remove the mindstone from Vision so it can be destroyed before Thanos takes it. Our heroes are overwhelmed until Thor, Rocket and Groot appear. Their victory is short lived as Thanos arrives and takes the mind stone killing Vision.
Thor manages to hit Thanos with Storm-breaker but Thanos with all infinity stones manages to click his fingers before retreating.
Suddenly our heroes begin to turn into dust. We lose Groot, Starlord, Barnes, Drax, Mantis, Spider-Man, Strange, Maximoff and Black Panther. The rest of or heroes are defeated and separated.
Thanos wakes on a new planet fully healed and satisfied that he fulfilled his destiny.
This ending is an unexpected dark turn. Our heroes for once have been defeated and despite coming joining together, still failed to save the universe.
The deaths of these beloved characters is heart wrenching but gives Marvel a chance to reset and puts the franchise in a unique position where we have learned Thanos motives and fulfilled his dreams of wiping out half of the universe.
As mentioned this film is really all about Thanos not the heroes. This new direction is fresh and is truly unique. There can only be minor criticisms of this film. The graphics, storyline and humour are easily the best that the MCU has produced. The only weakness of this film is that with so many characters separated you are constantly jumping around. As a result the film at times is disjointed but this is a tiny criticism in the grand scheme.
Overall this film is 5* out of 5. Marvel has delivered a film that truly breaks ground for the super hero genre. I just fear that Marvel will struggle to match this excellence going forward and will find a way to reverse all the deaths in this film. If Marvel goes down this route it will make a mockery of this film I would have to change my rating of this entry to match the overall story arch.