Sunday, April 29, 2018

Movie Review: Avengers - Infinity War

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Action, comedy, effects
Cons: None worth dwelling on
The Bottom Line:
Avengers team up
Epic action-packed movie
Pure delight to watch

“Thanos Is Coming!”  “Who?”

A Marvel movie release is still huge news these days, and with good reason.  While there have been one or two sub-par efforts, for the most part, these are entertaining, escapist movies.  So I went into Avengers: Infinity War expecting just that.  And I wasn’t disappointed.

As hard as it will be, I will be discussing this movie while staying spoiler free.  Nothing to worry about here, so read on.

The movie opens in space as Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are confronting Thanos (Josh Brolin).  Thanos has finally put his master plan into place, and he’s collected the first of the infinity stones.  With each one he collects, he will grow more powerful.

The Hulk, in the form of Bruce Banner, manages to wind up on Earth after that conflict, specifically in the home of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) with a warning that Thanos is coming after the two infinity stones on our planet.  As word spreads to the other Avengers, will they be able to come together to fight off this threat to the universe?

This really is just the tip of this movie.  It includes a large cast of just about every character we’ve seen in these Marvel movies to date.  And the plot takes place in multiple locations as the battle crosses the universe.  I’m really not exaggerating there.

That means there is plenty to keep us entertained.  At two and a half hours, I worried I might feel the film dragged at all.  I didn’t, and when it was over, I was surprised.  Even when there are epic battles, they didn’t go on so long that I got bored.  It certainly helps that we can jump from one group of characters to another, so something is always advancing the story.

The characters aren’t as strong as in their individual movies, but that’s understandable.  There are so many of them and so much happening that it is impossible to give each of them their own moment.  When the plot does affect one character in particular, we are given some moments to see them react to things, which helps us see the events on a personal level.

The cast seems to be having fun bringing these characters to life once again.  I can’t fault any of the performances here.

Likewise, this movie is filled to the brim with special effects, and they all look wonderful.  Hardly a surprise these days, right?  I was so caught up in the story, I really wasn’t even thinking about the effects, to be honest, which means they were doing their job without overshadowing anything.

And there is plenty of humor, especially in the beginning.  I laughed multiple times, and even missed a little dialogue because the audience I saw it with was laughing so loudly.

At times, I felt like this was a giant fan fiction crossover story as characters who have never met were being introduced in seemingly random combinations.  Not that I am complaining.  I was smiling the entire way through.  Based on some audience reactions, I think there were a couple of cameos I didn’t recognize because I’m not familiar with the comics, but they didn’t hamper my enjoyment at all.  I also suspect that I might have missed some connections because I have only watched most of these movies once each over the last ten years, and I know they’ve been building to this for a while.  Again, this was a minor point.

Avengers: Infinity War will leave you anxious for the next movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially the next Avengers movie (coming April of 2019).  It proves that 10 years out, Marvel still knows how to make an incredibly entertaining movie.

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