Everything has been building up to this.
If you are familiar with Disney and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll know that they tend to stick to a pretty strict handbook with regard to formula: the heroes triumph and eventually overcome their obstacles, there is a generally low blood count, and more often than not, the viewer is left with a sense of closure or at least some logical idea regarding the destination of the next instalment.
The most important aspect to address about the film I suppose is this: from the moment you cross the threshold of the familiar hair-raising title sequence, expect that handbook of the last ten years to be completely phased out of reality.
The Russo Brothers follow up their last cinematic instalment of the franchise Captain America: Civil War (2016), which placed our heroes at odds with one another and splintered them into indifference, by driving them back together in this intense and powerful first instalment of the Avengers’ conclusive arc. The likes of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and many more join forces to take down the treacherous titan, Thanos ( Josh Brolin), in order to prevent his accumulation of the Infinity Stones and subsequently, wiping out half of the universe to replace it in his own image.
Infinity War succeeds tremendously with homogenising every Marvel film since the release of Iron Man (2008) with effortless balance, whilst simultaneously warping and subverting our expectations for the Avengers in the face of the possible destruction of the universe, as the smoke of Thanos’ wrath slowly creeps in, darkness extinguishing the light. Thanos is surprisingly a complicated and incredibly nuanced villain, harbouring a lot more in his deadly punch than a mere lust for power and domination. I would even go as far enough to say that in some ways, he could be considered the protagonist of the narrative –a bold readjustment to the stereotypical Marvel formula.
Expect tears, laughter, and thrilling reunions, as well as holding out your curiosity for new meetings between amalgamations of your favourite Marvel superheroes – followed up with the renown sardonic, witty humour that is woven through the heart of each film. Not to mention some of the most beautiful cinematographical shots in the MCU and action sequences which give a nod to the likes of The Battle of Helm’s Deep from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. As the longest Marvel film duration to date – weighing in at a hefty 2 hours and 40 minutes, the stakes have never been higher, with the film enforcing a constant momentum of emotion and angst throughout the interweaving narrative threads, straight through to the most stunning cliff-hanger climax that will have you clawing for next summer to come around.
Infinity War stands as an incontrovertible blockbuster success; looming over the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and sporting a Thanos-esqe stature; glinting in its haunting and apocalyptic nature.