*Editor’s Note: This review is spoiler-free, but if you want to go in 100% clear – it’s worth reading this after!*
It’s quite hard to believe that Iron-Man, directed by Jon Favreau, was released 10 years ago. What was once a C/B-List character, at best, has now become an international icon and founding stone for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a franchise which has seemingly been building up to this particular film after all this time.
You would be right to be nervous about that, especially with the number of characters/well-known actors on screen (let’s be honest, I lost count after the 25-minute mark). But directors Anthony and Joe Russo seemingly pull off the impossible and create a film that perfectly shines on each of these characters, their relationships and makes the most out of the character developments after all previous films. There’s almost a relief you feel in the theatre when seeing this characters meet for the first time in an organic fashion that never feels false to the story.
Ever since we saw his big stupid purple grin in 2012’s ‘The Avengers’, Thanos has been this constant yet distant thread plotting from behind the scenes and manipulating the chessboard. But the Russos and Josh Brolin have clearly crafted such a defined reasoning behind the Mad Titans’ actions and behaviour that it never feels false or pushed in. While many criticise Marvel Studios for their villains, both Infinity War and Black Panther are proof that they’re hellbent on rectifying that issue.
Infinity War knows that its odds are high and even skips the usual fanfare to get right into the action, but it also doesn’t forget one of the key aspects to the success of this franchise – its heart. Introducing The Guardians of the Galaxy to Thor and other Avengers provides plenty of laughs throughout the film that helps to balance out the rather darker story elements.
There’s a constant thread that links all these characters together and their heroic moral compass which is how far they would go to save a life, even if it is at the expense of others. It’s an interesting idea that was brought up and debated in Civil War, but on this scale, the decisions are much harder to contemplate. Thanos, on the other hand, understands that such decisions no matter how hard have to be made which provides tremendous conflict between all these characters. How far will you go to save the Universe?
To add to this grandiose occasion is the return of Alan Silvestri as the film’s composer (he previously composed 2011’s The First Avenger and 2012’s The Avengers) which helps tie this big affair into the original Avengers movie.
The biggest disappointment in the film is that while each character has a certain amount of screen time, there’s a character focused on during marketing who doesn’t really have much of a focus in this particular movie. However, our relationship with the said character in previous movies provides enough of an emotional pull for tougher sequences and we already know how they would respond to the situation. It’s also worth noting that Infinity War is also the first part of a two-part story and much will be expanded upon in next year’s Avengers 4 (so far untitled).
Overview: Expect plenty of surprises, laughs, and heartbreaks as Marvel Studios celebrates the characters we all know and love while continuing to push them against seemingly impossible odds and obstacles. It’s worth every penny.