Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – Anthony and Joe Russo

Where to start. This is easily my most anticipated film of 2018, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building to this moment for years under the producer Kevin Feige. Ever since the first appearance of Thanos in The Avengers mid-credits scene in 2012, the films that Marvel have created have all been hinting and adding to the overall story-line that come together in Avengers: Infinity War. Anthony and Joe Russo have done a marvellous job at capturing the true essence of the characters, whilst allowing them to explore new situations and character dynamics. For instance, the egotistical pairing of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) works really well, as there is a plausibility to their behaviour and their opinions of one another are true to their characters.

Considering the sheer magnitude of the cast, the tone and setting shifts throughout to accommodate all of the characters. Prior to watching the film I was concerned that this might be jarring, but I actually found the pacing of the film to be very efficient, as there is a collection of both fast-paced plot driven scenes, and lengthier more emotion driven scenes that develop characters, such as Thanos, effectively. The Russo brothers worked really well to shift between characters so that nothing really felt drawn out. In fact, from the opening of the film it gets straight to it, and instantly plunges into the action. As they managed to pace the film well, I also feel that the tone was mastered too, as they created an amalgamation of comedy, action and drama. Added to this other dynamics are explored through the introduction of the Black Order (Thanos’ children). In particular, the character of Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) feels completely unique from anything we have seen before in these films, due to his menacingly creepy persona.

As the Russo brothers have said this really is Thanos’ film, and therefore the film focuses on his objective to achieve balance in the Universe. Played by Josh Brolin, the character is magnificent to watch, with incredible CGI that exceeded my expectations, and a compelling internal struggle that makes Thanos more understandable for audiences. The directors, along with the writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, created a rich character arch for Thanos and built up a backstory that reveals and rationalises his motives and determination. Flashbacks are utilised and the audience is given a glimpse into his psychology, which enhances his character, and plays into his interactions and relationships with other characters, specifically his daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana).

Certain characters did not get as much screen time as I was expecting, for example Captain America (Chris Evans), but I completely understand the challenge of making a film with such an extensive cast and the Russo brothers, along with the writers, did a superb job of allocating each character a sufficient amount of time so that no character felt completely disregarded, as it depended on their contribution to the story. Whilst I do have a few small complaints about the film, it does not take away from my overall enjoyment of the film.

I loved this film, and definitely had a smile on my face while watching it. It was a huge payoff to see these characters come together in their resistance to arguably the fiercest villain of the MCU so far, Thanos. The action sequences in the film are splendidly choreographed and the film is full of surprises. Although this is a stand-alone film, as the previous Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Part II titles were scraped, the untitled Avengers 4 film coming out in May 2019 has been termed the final chapter to the last ten years of the MCU. This makes it all the more intriguing and exciting to see what they will do with Avengers 4.

 

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