REVIEW: Marvel’s epic ‘Infinity War’ doesn’t disappoint


Infinity War

Cameron Hoover

“Avengers: Infinity War” is an epic achievement for film and comic book fans alike, even if the clustering of writers, actors and directors can’t quite achieve a coherent flow to the plot.

“Avengers: Infinity War” follows our favorite heroes from previous installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as they face their most formidable foe yet: Thanos. Thanos is searching the galaxy with the Black Order looking for the infinity stones, six artifacts from the universe’s creation that can manipulate time and space.

His goal? Find all six, and “balance the universe,” a.k.a. wipe out half of its existence.

The sheer magnitude of “Avengers: Infinity War” is something to behold. Just 10 years ago at the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008’s “Iron Man,” the mere premise sounded insane. But a decade later, we have a Norse god taking on an army of bug people with a space raccoon and a talking tree, and it somehow all makes sense.

The screenplay from Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely balances the character arcs well enough to keep the 149-minute film moving at a brisk pace. Sometimes heroes can do things that seem out of character, which can sometimes be very annoying. It’s obviously one of the perils of building a singular, cohesive story on the backs of 18 previous films.

Often criticized for following an unwavering formula with lackluster villains and a penchant for not taking chances, “Avengers: Infinity War” absolutely has to be commended.

Marvel films are generally known for a more happy-go-lucky feel, trading the doom and gloom of DC’s Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy for jokes and lighthearted jabs between characters. The laughs are still here in spades, from Guardians of the Galaxy’s Drax and from Robert Downey Jr.’s iconic Iron Man, but there’s a different tone.

Thanos is, undoubtedly, the most frightening Marvel Cinematic Universe villain to date. With each word and fight scene, it genuinely feels like no one is safe. Alan Silvestri’s iconic score and Avengers theme song have even been tweaked to add an extra layer of dread to each of the film’s important later scenes.

Thanos is one of Marvel’s best-written characters put to screen. Even when he wants to wipe out half of humanity, the viewer can almost feel a twisted sense of empathy toward his ideals.

Thanos isn’t just some mustache-twirling Bond villain from the 60s; he has a reason for what he does. Even if what he does is despicable, it’s refreshing for the audience to be able to empathize with a Marvel villain.

As much praise is deserved for juggling so many larger-than-life personalities throughout the film, this is also where the story falters a bit toward the middle sections. The Russo brothers did an incredible job directing so many people, but we only have so long with each character.

There’s a sense of urgency from Thanos’ impending annihilation of everything we know, but that leaves us with a few characters, mainly some of the oldest, most popular original Avengers, who might not get as much screen time as the audience may expect.

Regardless, “Avengers: Infinity War” is a technical marvel, no pun intended. Shot entirely on IMAX cameras for the first time in cinematic history, the cinematography and choreography of the fight scenes is second-to-none. The Russo brothers have definitely learned from their time directing superhero flicks, ditching the quick-cut shaky cam from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” for a wider, more John Wick-esque frame in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

If nothing else, “Avengers: Infinity War” is a must-see because of what it means. When the Marvel Cinematic Universe started, naysayers lined the internet and trumpeted their reasons for why it was never going to work. And a decade later, superhero films, from Marvel especially, have transcended nerd culture to the point where no one moves once the credits roll, just in case there’s a glimpse into the next chapter.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is an emotional, sometimes lopsided story, shot beautifully and acted to perfection. The ending of the film (no spoilers, duh) will floor the audience, and people are already raving mad online trying to figure out where the story goes next. Marvel knows it has us in the palm of its hand, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing any time soon.

Cameron Hoover is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected].