Before I get into this non-spolier review of “Avengers: Infinity War”, I need to take this moment and fully recognize the unprecedented achievement Marvel Studios has brought to fruition. Seriously, 18 movies leading up to this epic 19th with Odin knows how many more to come? No one has done anything like this, I look back six years ago when I said the same thing when the first 5 Marvel films led to “Marvel’s The Avengers”, and now I sit with my kids who grew up with these movies and these characters and I’m am truly in awe. But all this was before the movie started, so how does this movies handle this mother of all set-ups?
The previously introduced Thanos (Josh Brolin), mad titian and step-father of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) has finally got around to making his move to capture all the Infinity Stones: gems of power that have been scattered across the galaxy. These gems control Space, Time, Power, Reality, Mind and Soul. Benici0 Del Toro has one, The planet Xandar has one, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stole one, Dr. Strange( Benedict Cumberbatch) protects one, Vision (Paul Bettany) is using one, and one gem is unaccounted for. Thanos sends his minions, The Black Order to claim the stones that reside on Earth, this of course captures the attention of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Captain America (Chris Evans), and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), as they lead their teams to prevent Thanos from acquiring the gems. Meanwhile in space, a barely breathing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) meets the Guardians of the Galaxy led by Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) who also try to keep the remaining stones out of reach of the evil Thanos. Action scene upon action scene ensues as it all leads up to a massive battle on Wakanda to ensure that the Infinity Gauntlet is not completed.
Now I have to say that while I love this film as the 19th in a series, it is probably the first Marvel film that has little to no story. It’s essentially a game of hide-n-seek, that turns into a game of keep-away, that ends up like almost every Star Wars movie ever made. We see our beloved heroes scattered and battling insurmountable odds against this space god, and they do about as well as you expect since the majority of them are human in some way. No character is given an arc, because you have seen them in anywhere from one to nine previous films, the henchmen are disposable, so the only character that should be given some kind of depth is the one role that Marvel kinda struggles with and that’s their villain. Brolin as Thanos ends up being tremendous. True the animators have to make every grin, facial tic, and sheer giant-size of him work, but Brolin really sells it as a slightly complex monster. He has a vision and a goal that makes sense to him, and those are the best baddies, the ones that believe that what they are doing is for the betterment of all life, and in this case, ALL life.
So I admit, this only really works on an emotional level if you’ve seen all the films that came before, and any other movie I would not give it a pass, because a movie should stand on its own regardless of where it lands in its dedicated series. However since I love more than half of the films Marvel has churned out in the past decade, and because this is historic in its execution, I have to love “Avengers: Infinity War”. It has everything I ever wanted to see since these movies began, and as a comic reader it has everything I have read come to life. But even more than that, and most importantly, this is not the end, not even close.