Avengers: Infinity War Review

Written by: Carlos Zotomayor

Film | May 7, 2018

Avengers Infinity War Marvel Marvel Studios

It comes as no surprise that Marvel Studios' grand finale is as big as they said it would be; but seen through the eyes of someone ten years ago, this movie has a lot of potential to fail. How can one film cram so much star power, characters, and worlds into something cohesive, interconnected, and most importantly, not have it crumble upon itself?

By splitting the story into two, apparently.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

The first part of this two-part series revolves around Thanos. You know him as the big purple guy who makes guest appearances at the end of certain Marvel films. Because most of his backstory until now is based on what few minutes he can scramble together during end credits sequences, a lot of this film talks about his motivations for acquiring the Infinity Stones - six brightly-colored gems which turn the user into a master of the universe (kind of like He-Man).

This buff Barney the Dinosaur wants to wipe out half the universe's population in a misguided attempt to bring balance to the cosmos. Of course, committing mass genocide is a bad thing, so it's up to the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy to save the day.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Let's start with your favorite superhero. If he or she has been in a Marvel Studios movie in the last ten years, chances are he (or she) is in Infinity War. It's mind-boggling to see so many high-profile celebrities lend their talents to one movie and have each of them have enough screen time to justify their acting fees.

Robert Downey Jr., being the highest-paid actor, gets his secured spotlight as Iron Man, but it's also nice to see newcomers like Tom Holland and Chadwick Boseman have their moments as Spider-Man and Black Panther respectively.

Not to be outdone by Earth's skimpiest heroes, the more practically-dressed Guardians of the Galaxy play just as important a role. Seeing as they were the ones to come into contact with Thanos prior to this star-studded film, their experience with space travel and extraterrestrial beings a sci-fi aspect which isn't normally in a superhero flick. That, and seeing Star Lord and Groot mingle with the likes of Thor makes for some of the funniest crossover material you could imagine.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

But heroes don't just talk; they fight too!

This being the biggest superhero film since Captain America: Civil War, entire city blocks, local flora, and big ass moons are reduced to rubble as tightly-dressed heroes fight butt-ugly supervillains. The action starts off slow, depicting fights between certain groups of characters while another posse on some other part of the universe is talking it up. But it gradually ramps up to the epic showdown which shows all the heroes kicking the crap out of Thanos and his army of generic alien minions (or getting the crap kicked out of them). Almost every character gets their own grand entrance (Thor and Spider-Man having some of the best) which is followed by various scraps showcasing their powers solo and with their superpowered allies.

It's just a shame the villains don't get the same love. Baring Thanos' well-written arc which transforms him from villain to would-be messiah, his lackeys just don't have depth. They're just there to scowl, proclaim what a hoot it is to be stomped on by their boss, and step on those who have a different opinion. And I'm not even talking about the generic grunts; these are his four horsemen we're talking about (one of whom has grunts which are his whole vocabulary). Suffice to say, you'll always remember the heroes, but the villains? Not so much.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

The one exception is Thanos himself, who makes up for the lack of villain personality by having more character than all of the others combined. If the lack of memorable supervillains has been Marvel Studios' biggest shortcoming, they certainly did not repeat this by making Thanos a guy everybody is meant to hate.

While you do see him beat the Avengers within an inch of death and win almost every fight, you start to see how much of a toll it's taking on him. He doesn't see his mission as one of desire but of duty. He spares those who aren't a real threat to him. He talks to the ones who oppose him and tries to understand why they do so even if it seems pointless. And he feels for his adopted daughter, Gamora.

In fact, a lot of his "humanity" hinges on his relationship with her. This estranged father-daughter relationship planted roots during the first Guardians of the Galaxy and has come full circle, giving the audience answers to questions left unanswered from past Marvel films.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Which is why you cannot watch Inifinity War without watching a good chunk of Marvel Studios past works. Every film these past ten years has led to this bonanza of references, inside jokes, and relationships which require you to understand these characters' pasts. But in this world where watching Marvel movies are all but a requirement, aficionados will find their dedication rewarded with tight writing which bounces off all the source material.

You may not like the ending, seeing as this is just part one, but you can't deny that Infinity War is a must-watch. It makes waiting for 2019's sequel a lot harder and the other Marvel movies in between seem inconsequential, but it does so while putting a smile on your superhero-adoring face.

About the author: Carlos Zotomayor

Zoto can see your underpants. Mmm... tasteful.

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