Avengers- Infinity War- A Review

Posted: 04/29/2018 in Uncategorized

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The scope and breadth of this film is enormous. Its aftermath is no less so. That Marvel successfully brings a decade’s worth of films and characters to this one cinematic culmination is breath taking. Make no mistake folks, counting performances, action and amazing cinematic grandeur, with many risks taken, Infinity War is a masterpiece.

From a marketing campaign blitz, this film was bound to be successful…and enormously so…but the delivery is just so astonishing. This film is a love letter to any kid who ever picked up a comic book or to any one who simply wants a grand spectacle of  a movie. There is no schlock here. There is due gravitas, powerful consequences, a somewhat relate-able villain which in and of itself is incredible considering he is presented as both genocidal and completely mad. Brolin’s Thanos eliminates the frequent criticism of fans and non-fans alike who claim that Marvel’s cinematic bad guys are one dimensional or one and done. From his motion capture depiction to the amazing performance given by Brolin, Thanos might as well be real. He is violent, cruel, driven and yet his ultimate goal in this incarnation is really not as insane as it should be.

His relationship with Gamora (Zoe Saldana) informs a great deal of the film. Saldana’s performance as the daughter of Thanos is riveting, including her attempting to stop him. Her back story is handled in a brief yet beautiful sequence. All moments between the mad titan and her dazzle. Scenes such as the one with Nebula (Karen Gillan), however, remind us exactly who and what Thanos is.

Honestly, performances in this film overall were just so outstanding.  So many pairings of heroes worked together so well on so many levels that several off shoot partnerships could easily become films on to themselves. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange showed both astounding strategic brilliance as well as a profound understanding of no win scenarios. His team up with Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey) and Spider-man (Tom Holland) allowed for both hilarious repartee and the notion that some connections in the source material lore could easily translate to big screen magic. The team work demonstrated between the trio and later GOTG members Starlord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax (David Bautista) and Pom Klementieff as they engage Thanos was just…superior. Hurled insults and profanity pushed forth that such characters as GOTG remain true to their characters, regardless what film they appear in. Stark is genius level intellect and snark, Strange no less so and Peter Parker blends intelligence, insecurity and humor as befits his youth.

This was no mash up team up folks. Among the best pairings were Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) who pretty much steal the movie in numerous scenes. This film tied in perfectly with Ragnarok, literally picking up where the earlier film left off. If someone had said years ago that a film featuring a rude CGI raccoon and a god of Thunder might be a sure thing, would anyone have believed them? They will now. Honestly , the sequence where the Guardians meet Thor might be among the best comedic moments Marvel has ever offered.

So many Easter eggs as to numb the mind, so many cameos kept secret including a holy eff moment with Thanos as he searches for the soul gem. Peter Dinklage’s role could not have been predicted, nor will it be revealed in this review.That Infinity War so seamlessly ties in as far back as First Avenger and pushes through to numerous films until this opus  – is perfection.

What appeared as too many spoilers were in fact feints, yielding such key moments that were both unpredictable and rewarding. Relationships moved forward rewarding fan hopes. The Romeo/Juliet arc involving the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) and Vision (Paul Bettany) was as visually stunning as it was heart breaking. Elisabeth Olsen has made the role her own and in every film I have seen her in ,thus far, she has proven one to watch. Her chemistry with Paul Bettany pays proper homage to the source material long time romance. We expect Stark’s relationship progession with Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) as each film has moved them forward with a key moment in last year’s critical darling “Spiderman-Homecoming. Another romance led to the line “I love you more than anything” which was so earnestly delivered as to make the scene deeply resonant. No emotional beats were skipped with this one.

The action sequences with the incandescent visual production from Weta Digital and Industrial Light magic brought the notion of war to a new level in superhero genre. The tone and atmosphere set by the Russo Brothers pushed forth succinctly the notion of how much one can truly lose and at how horrific a cost victory may be attained.  That the battles occur on several fronts made the film seem more insular than expansive as ultimately whether the heroes fought his group the black order, or the man himself, everything was at stake.

The Hulk/Banner arc was both unexpected yet understandable. Such a powerful arc enabled Mark Ruffalo’s  Bruce Banner to shine as a hero in his own right whether in Hulk form or not. Nearly every character got sufficient screen time. The presentation of the Secret Avengers tied in with an arc started in Civil War and continued in the nigh perfection that was Black Panther. Marvel understands their fan base. We pull for the heroes to be victorious and feel due unhappiness in their defeats. Marvel gets it right. That Avengers 4 will be equally well attended is a foregone conclusion. Marvel sets a new meteoric standard, presenting a superior product that is a perfect balance of heart, humor and action. Infinity War might be the best thing Marvel has released…so far.

 

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