Man, can you believe that it has been 10 years since we watched Nick Fury appear in the after credits sequence of Iron Man and wanted to talk to Tony Stark about the “Avengers Initiative”? I sure can’t, especially since in those 10 years we have seen a huge array of characters make their way onto the big screen and team up in some sort of fashion. Hell, we even saw the impossible when Spider-Man (Who’s license is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment) showed up in Captain America: Civil War, making anything into a possibility. Now we get to see the payoff. With a record making opening weekend leading to an almost all-time money making record, is Avengers: Infinity War really that good or is a bunch of Marvel/Disney hype for nothing?
Title: Avengers: Infinity War
Production Company: Marvel Studios
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Produced by: Kevin Feige
Starring: 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 & Chris Pratt
Based on: Avengers: Infinity War by Marvel Comics
Release dates: April 27, 2018 (Worldwide)
Running time: 149 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (United States) / M15+ (Australia)
Following the destruction of Asgard, Thanos and his adoptive children—Cull Obsidian, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive—intercept the ship with the surviving Asgardians to extract the Space Stone from the Tesseract. Thor, Loki, and Hulk are unable to stop them as Thor is defeated while Thanos kills Loki and overpowers Hulk. Heimdall uses the Bifröst to send Hulk to Earth and is killed by Glaive. Thanos and his children depart, using the Power Stone to destroy the ship.
Hulk crash lands in New York City and reverts back to Bruce Banner, who finds Stephen Strange, Wong and Tony Stark. Banner relays a warning about Thanos’ plans to use the Infinity Stones to kill half of all life in the universe. Maw and Obsidian arrive to retrieve the Time Stone, prompting Strange, Stark, Wong and Peter Parker to confront them; Banner, however, is unable to transform into the Hulk. Maw captures Strange; Stark and Parker pursue his spaceship while Wong stays behind to protect the Sanctum Sanctorum and Banner contacts the rest of the Avengers.
In Scotland, Wanda Maximoff and Vision are ambushed by Midnight and Glaive. They are rescued by Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Sam Wilson, and seek shelter with James Rhodes at the Avengers’ New York headquarters. Vision proposes that Maximoff destroy the Mind Stone in his forehead to keep Thanos from retrieving it. Rogers suggests they travel to Wakanda to remove the Stone as having Maximoff destroy it will also destroy Vision.
The Guardians of the Galaxy respond to a distress call in deep space and find the remains of the Asgardian ship. They rescue Thor, who guesses that Thanos will be looking for the Reality Stone, which is in the possession of the Collector. He decides to retrieve a weapon capable of killing Thanos from the Dwarven realm of Nidavellir first. Rocket Raccoon and Groot accompany Thor to Nidavellir, while Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer and Mantis follow Thanos to Knowhere. With the Reality Stone already in his possession, Thanos ambushes the Guardians and captures Gamora, who knows the location of the Soul Stone. Nebula escapes Thanos’ captivity and requests the remaining Guardians meet her on Titan. Thanos takes Gamora to Vormir, a desolate planet where Red Skull, keeper of the Soul Stone, informs him that the stone can only be retrieved by sacrificing someone he truly loves. Thanos reluctantly throws Gamora to her death, which grants him the Soul Stone.
Stark and Parker eject Maw from his ship and rescue Strange. The trio proceeded to Titan, where they meet Quill, Dra, and Mantis. Strange uses the Time Stone to view all the possible futures and tells the others that there is only one future in which Thanos loses. The group form a plan to confront Thanos and remove the Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos teleports to Titan, where he justifies his plan as necessary to guarantee the continued survival of the lives that will be spared. The group manage to subdue him until Nebula arrives and deduces that Thanos killed Gamora. Enraged, Quill retaliates which breaks the group’s hold on Thanos. Thanos overpowers the group and Strange surrenders the Time Stone in exchange for sparing Stark. Thanos then departs Titan for Earth.
Thor, Rocket and Groot arrive at an abandoned Nidavellir, where Eitri informs them that Thanos forced the Dwarves to create his gauntlet before killing them all and leaving Eitri as the sole survivor. The four create Stormbreaker, an axe that grants Thor the power of the Bifröst. Back on Earth, the Avengers arrive in Wakanda and task Shuri to safely extract the Mind Stone from Vision. Thanos’ army of Outriders invades Wakanda and the Avengers mount a defense alongside King T’Challa and the united Wakandan armies. The Outriders are on the verge of overwhelming the Wakandan forces when Thor, Rocket and Groot return to Earth via the Bifröst and rally the defenders. Although Midnight, Obsidian and Glaive are killed, Thanos destroys Vision and retrieves the Mind Stone. Grievously wounded by Thor, Thanos activates the Infinity Gauntlet and teleports away.
Thanos’ plan comes to fruition as people begin disintegrating, including Bucky, Drax, Groot, Mantis, Maximoff, Parker, Quill, Strange, T’Challa, and Wilson. The surviving heroes are left separated: Nebula and Stark are stranded on Titan, whereas Rogers, Thor, Banner, Romanoff, Rhodes, Rocket, Okoye and M’Baku remain on the Wakandan battlefield. Thanos, now fully healed, awakens on another planet and watches the sunset in satisfaction.
In a post-credits scene, Nick Fury and Maria Hill disintegrate. Fury manages to transmit a final distress signal to Captain Marvel.
- Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man:
What can you say about the guy who gets top billing and also started this whole thing? Downey as Tony Stark is perfection as always. He shows the reality of what is going down since he is the only one who seems to know the weight and purpose everything leading up to this movie has brought upon himself. Trying to do the best to make sure that Thanos does not succeed while keeping others at arm’s length to protect them weighs heavy on Tony through the whole film and Downey makes sure we see every second of that in his face and movements.
- Chris Hemsworth as Thor:
Thor is one of those characters who has gone through a bit of a change recently. With the events of Thor: Ragnarok fresh in his mind, Thor is the first one set upon by Thanos in a very 1986 Transformers Movie style massacre, leaving many members of his clan dead at the hands of the Mad Titan. Thor takes this in a weird way, making himself serious as possible for revenge, but still keeping the more light-hearted version of the character from the previous movie, possibly at the request of Hemsworth himself. But none the less, the character is still very much the same as we know him from the previous Avengers movies.
- Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk:
To be honest, this is a disappointment. In a movie where there are big fight scenes and a really big and powerful villain to be fought, we barely see Hulk at all in Avengers: Infinity War. Instead, we get a more worried and boring Mark Ruffalo running around trying to get everyone together and trying to speak the gravity of the situation to them while battling some sort of self-doubt bullshit that’s keeping Hulk trapped within himself… Not by his own choice, but more Hulk having a bout of self-doubt. A real loss to the film.
- Chris Evans as Steve Rogers:
Steve Rogers is also one of those characters who comes off more subdued in Avengers: Infinity War. Instead of being the proud beacon of America and trying to save the world, he’s almost dropping himself back in all the situations that require him to man up and lead. He will too often back down and let other characters just do their own thing, even take charge of the situation. I think this has a lot to do with the burnout that Chris Evans himself has had with the role, leading to a performance that just really is unbecoming of the Captain America character.
- Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow:
Once again, Black Widow is one of those characters who really stand out in Avengers: Infinity War, leading to more questions about why she doesn’t have her own movie yet. However, it looks to be headed that way since Johansson as Widow tends to move into the leadership role that is abandoned by Captain America/Chris Evans. While Widow doesn’t have any deep arcs or moments in Avengers: Infinity War, she still manages to show us why she is one of the key players in all these films.
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange:
While this is the second time ChamberSchnizel has donned the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, he shows the reason why he was given the role. As Doctor Strange, Bendything WonderPatch keeps things light but mysterious, makes things feel really important when addressing the Infinity Stones and what their collection can mean to the universe. But at the same time he is always quick with a quip, much better than Tony Stark, Peter Parker, and Star-Lord combined; while also not coming off as the comic relief either. A great testament to how good of an actor Cumberbatch is.
- Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine:
Poor Don Cheadle, a guy who has a lot of talent and never gets a real chance to show it off. As War Machine, Rhody is just there to be the heavy artillery and that’s it. We do get a small glimpse into a budding friendship between Rhody and Sam Wilson through the film, but it’s never given any real spotlight. But together with Anthony Mackie, Cheadle makes sure that when that heartbreak moment comes, you feel it. Showing that some actors can do a lot with the little they are given.
- Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man:
You’d think that after all Disney did to bring Spider-Man back to Marvel movies that they would have something more for him to do. Playing up more of the “He’s the reason Tony Stark can still feel emotions” here than “Friendly Neighbourhood”, Spider-Man feels more like the goofy sidekick than the turn of the tides character that he was made out to be in Civil War. But thankfully Holland keeps up the performance that he did in both Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Always quick with a joke and always showing some sign of being a newcomer to everything in the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man is a very welcome part of Avengers: Infinity War… Not to mention the Iron Spider costume is awesome looking, much better than they did in the comics.
- Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther:
You’d think given the worldwide acceptance and praise of the Black Panther movie that there would be more for T’Challa to do in Avengers: Infinity War rather than letting his homeland of Wakanda being a set piece for a huge battle scene. But here we are and that is exactly what happened. No last-minute rewrites to add more into the story or anything, just a moment to bring Bucky back into the fold and then used as a General for the armies of Wakanda to fight off aliens. That’s it.
- Paul Bettany as Vision:
Given that Vision is one of the main characters and keepers of the Mind Stone, you’d think there would be more to Vision in this film. However outside of starting to explore his relationship with Wanda, and the whole “take the stone out of my head will kill me” thing that is used as some sort of emotional and ethical issue in Avengers: Infinity War, there isn’t much to Vision. However, I will give props to Bettany as he plays the role of an emotionless robot with growing emotions very well here, which is a big difference since I came off seeing one of his early performances as the loudmouth announcer Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale only the weekend before, showing a major range to a great actor.
- Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch:
Oh Wanda, left once again to carry a lot of emotions here in Avengers: Infinity War. Not only does she have to show her relationship with Vision as somewhat romantic, but also the heartbreak of being the one who destroys the robot she loves in order to save mankind… Only to have it undone thanks to the fucking Time Stone. Olsen does a great job here, but for some reason, she always plays the role as too reserved. I know from the comics that Wanda is not an overly emotional person, but she is human and loves life, which is something that doesn’t come from Olsen at all in the movie till the moment ultimately dictates that she needs to emote during the scene.
- Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon:
Another character and actor that is just thrown into Avengers: Infinity War with no real rhyme or reason. However, as I mentioned with Don Cheadle, Mackie seems to find a way to make sure that you get something from the two characters in terms of a budding friendship that is ultimately fucked over thanks to Thanos in one of the more emotional few seconds of Avengers: Infinity War. Again, small moments with great actors will be remembered more than large moments with good actors.
- Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes:
The White Wolf, or Winter Soldier or that kid named Bucky only gets added to the mix thanks to the war against Thanos making it’s way to the doorstep of Wakanda. Everything done through post-credits scenes since Captain America: Winter Soldier comes out to meaning nothing. Even the reunion between Bucky and Steve doesn’t come off as something that it really needed to be: The motivation for Steve Rogers to get his head back into the game and fight to win. I feel sorry for Stan as he has to act off Chris “I don’t want to be here” Evans for most of the film and it hurts his character and performance so much too.
- Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord:
I think you can say the following about everyone involved in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies: Thank god that they exist… At least they did. You get what I mean. Having Star-Lord there as the more space-bound Tony Stark was a great thing to see, adding a lot of much-needed humor into a lot of scenes that otherwise would have killed Avengers: Infinity War. Keeping up with the quip throwing Spider-Man during a fight with Thanos is something that only Chris Pratt can deliver, not to mention changing gears into one of the more emotionally charged two scenes in the film too. Chris Pratt shows why he is one of the more in-demand players in Hollywood today with this role.
- Pom Klementieff as Mantis:
Ever the “fish out of water”, Pom’s Mantis is still around… And that’s it. Outside of one plan of Star Lord’s that involves her, she is pretty much there to laugh at the obvious.
- Karen Gillan as Nebula:
Poor Nebula, we know you will get some more time in the next film, but in Avengers: Infinity War you were nothing more than a plot device to keep things moving with more important and emotional characters. Your torture leads to one of the most emotional moments in Avengers: Infinity War and nothing more. Here’s to you getting more screen time next time. Gillian as a performer deserves it as Nebula has gone through a lot of emotion and character changes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
- Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer:
Oh god do I love me some Drax. Ultimately turning himself into the second biggest meme coming out of Avengers: Infinity War, Drax is so god damn awesome that you actually hate that he doesn’t get his chance to take his well-deserved revenge against Thanos when they are on The Collectors platform on Knowhere. Bautista does a good job is taking the non-emotional Drax and turning him into one of the funniest things to be seen in Avengers: Infinity War.
- Zoe Saldana as Gamora:
If there was ever a character that you thought was not going to end up meaning so much to the motivation of the main villain, it would be Gamora. It’s here that we thought we would see her get her revenge against her “Father” Thanos once and for all, but instead, we see her backstory with Thanos, learning how she became adopted by the Mad Titan. Then there is the moment where she realizes that she is the only thing that Thanos loves, leading to a shocking moment that left no breath in the theater, Gamora becomes one of the must watch characters in Avengers: Infinity War and Saldana makes sure you know it. A great break out moment for a great actor.
- Vin Diesel as Groot:
For someone who only utters 3 words at any time, Groot is a good character. Given what we learn in the final moments of his screen time will rip your heart out of your chest and require a box of tissues in order for you to get over it. Sure, he is nothing more than an analogy about teenagers in modern day than anything else, Groot is still the lovely character that we have all come to love and buy in insane amounts.
- Bradley Cooper as Rocket:
Rocket is a great character, used more as a comedy character than anything else, but a welcome one at that. Rocket takes his time to bring some of the more technical moments into a bit more light hearted side of things rather than bore you with tech speak, plus his time with Thor is great to watch. Here’s to hoping that Rocket gets his paws on Winter Soldier’s arm like he… oh wait… Never-mind.
- Josh Brolin as Thanos:
Oh man, where to begin. Thanos as a character goes from the crazy guy who is obsessed with pleasing Lady Death to a more complex character that has many different layers and a method to his plan that actually makes sense. After many years and all the rumors about how Thanos is this madman who goes around destroying planets and killing millions, we find out that Thanos is a survivor of the planet Titan, a planet that destroyed itself thanks to over-population and overdevelopment. Thanos saw this and the people of his planet called him mad when he suggested that by culling half of the planet’s population, it would ensure that the planet will be sustainable for generations to come. While this didn’t happen on Titan, there are countless worlds that thrive because of what Thanos did, leading to the idea that a population cull is actually a somewhat sane idea to stem the lack of resources that a planet can sustain. Something that might work if we as a world were more insane. To Thanos, this is logical and you actually believe it. On the other hand, you get to see the more loving and peaceful side of the character when he is around Gamora, the only thing in his life that he actually has some good emotions for. All of this is shown through some amazing motion capture work from Josh Brolin himself, who is actually capable to play both sides of what has become a very complex and sympathetic character to some degree. A top performance that deserves an Oscar but won’t because Hollywood’s Acting Academy hates Superhero movies.
What Worked in Avengers: Infinity War… Everything. A 10 year build up to the battle with Thanos and everything delivered. This shows that the Russo Brothers as directors were able to get the best out of most of their cast and editing it to make an epic finale to 10 years of build that would make Vince McMahon jealous. Everyone on set looked like they were having a blast (Except Chris Evans) all the way and wanted to make sure that the fans of the comic books, along with the fans of the movies walked away with something to talk about, and man they succeeded. Avengers: Infinity War is a great piece of storytelling that will be the benchmark for movie universes for decades to come. It even had the balls to do something that not many films will do: Leave things with the big bad villain actually winning, or at least thinking he has won. The ending of Avengers: Infinity War is one that no one would usually have the balls to do and thankfully the Russo Brothers did it. I would love to go through all the moments that I loved, but that would be nothing more than recapping the whole movie again and that would be pointless. Instead, I’m just going to praise everything from the action to the reunion moments, to the heartbreak and beyond. Avengers: Infinity War is a marvel of moviemaking that is going to be hard to surpass in movies to come.
If there was anything that I think didn’t work with Avengers: Infinity War it’s that some of the characters like Mantis, Drax, Bucky and more got lost in the shuffle. I know Avengers: Infinity War was meant to be the big movie that brought EVERYONE together, but when you have that many big time actors put into one movie, some of the lower tier actors and characters tend to be put off to the side and even left on the cutting room floor. So when people ask about HawkEye and Ant-Man, I think they got lucky as they would probably have been lost like so many other B-Tier or lower characters were.
Then there are just the people who just didn’t want to be there. Guys like Downey, Hemsworth, Hiddleston and Evans are wanting out of the Marvel movie franchise with these two films, but at least a few of them put in a performance that made it look like they were wanting to at least give it their all. Hell, even lesser characters with a lot less screen time put in better performances than this one person I have mentioned a few times: Chris Evans. I’m sorry to all his fans but for someone who is so central to the whole Avengers thing, the guy needs to put in the effort. If there was anyone who embodied the whole “doing it for a paycheck” theory, it’s Evans. His lack of effort into his character not only hurt him, but the other characters around him and the film overall.
Avengers: Infinity War is everything that has been hyped up about for the last 10 years and more. I don’t think I’ve seen a film that has affected so many people so deeply in a movie theater and online. From people posting memes to people actually keeping their mouths shut about spoilers for the first week or so since the film’s release. It’s hard to see something so effective yet so quiet at the same time. After 10 years of building up, the Russo Brothers delivered an action packed emotional roller coaster of a movie that is going to be the benchmark for not only franchise films but movie making for a long long time.
A Gathering of Greatness
Avengers: Infinity War is one of those movies that not only lives up to the hype, but surpasses that by a milestone. Great acting from 99% of the cast makes this one hell of a movie to watch. Avengers: Infinity War is just a great movie overall and is something that everyone needs to see.. If you haven’t seen it twice already.