By Gabrielle Blanchard, Contributing Writer
Right in time for the tenth anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes (its first “official” entry was Iron Man, who kicked off the entire thing) The Avengers: Infinity War, a movie touted by Marvel as “the most ambitious crossover in history” and with 20+ heroes taking to the screen, it certainly feels as if the viewer is part of an epic event.
With ten years of film, dozens of characters, plots all woven together that date back to that first Iron Man movie, Marvel has created a cohesive universe all its own.
Anyone following the MCU knows the gist of what’s going on here and it’s a little difficult to follow without some of this knowledge. Even as someone who’s heavily followed the MCU, it was a little difficult to keep up with the multiple storylines at times and remember what happened to who: after all, sans for Peter Parker (Spiderman) and T’Challa (Black Panther), nearly all these characters have been involved in more than one film, whether highlighting their own or appearing in others. Now, we get to see some of them together for the very first time, and it’s a way to see these people in a new light.
The general idea is this: The big bad of this film (and the MCU in general), Thanos, is in search of six magical stones that can help him to change and alter the universe to his liking. Over the past ten years, the Avengers have been tasked with protecting these stones and have their own ties to them, through their own adventures. Thanos’s plan is slowly falling into place as he gains the stones and it’s our heroes’ duties to keep him from collecting them all. Protect the gems, save the world.
Everything from the past ten years has led to this confrontation: Thanos’s arrival on Earth.
The movie’s action takes place both on earth and in space, with heroes finally meeting one another. Their stories have overlapped and they’ve all worked to protect the galaxy, but here, we have Thor meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy, who later meet Tony Stark and Peter Parker. On Earth, Dr. Strange meets Bruce Banner and others. There’s more than that but saying too much of a spoiler for the film.
In fact, it’s difficult to say much at all about this film without running risk of spoilers.
It is exciting to see who meets who and what happens with them. Over ten years, fans have gotten used to and familiar lineups, so to see new heroes working together is like watching a comic play out; characters regularly team up with new people there, so to see it play out in-front of your eyes might be a dream to some people. And even if a person is just a fan of the MCU, seeing all these characters running around in one movie is just plain exciting.
There are parts where the film does tend to drag along a little. Early fight scenes could be shorter and less repetitive. Thanos and his minions are interesting, but the ‘search for the gems’ can get really old really fast for some people who would rather see their favorites talking and making plans, not simply fighting and taking action. For most people, this won’t take away from the enjoyment factor of the film.
Still, the film, particularly the ‘third act’ – where all Marvel films place the biggest, most impressive, fight scenes – manages to find a balance with humor, the direness of their situation, and manages to continuously surprise throughout. It’s safe to say it’s not a predictable movie by most means and keeps the viewer wondering just how the heroes are going to successfully make it through all of this.
And not all our heroes make it, a fact spoiled early on by… well, nearly everyone involved with the film. Very few cast members could know the fate of their characters; they were in the dark as much as the audience will be when the lights go up and the credits roll.
For longtime Marvel fans, this movie is a payoff of their time and money spent on previous entries in this franchise. Newcomers would do well to study up on the previous films, if nothing else, to truly appreciate the ambition in this film.
Infinity War’s ending may just be one of the most controversial and shocking endings of a film in any franchise and quite the feat to pull off – and viewers only must wait until May 2019 for that cliffhanger to be answered.
Photo Credit: Marvel, IMDb.com