Avengers: Infinity War review “An Exhausting Thrill ride”

Avengers Infinity War movie posterAvengers: Infinity War is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest films, if not the biggest. We couldn’t honour such an epic without giving it a special review. For the first time, the whole Movie Metropolis team will share their thoughts throughout this article on what they thought of the third Avengers movie. Reviews from the contributors will be added to the post as and when they manage to see the film.

Before we begin, did you know that Movie Metropolis has ranked the entire MCU up to Avengers: Infinity War? Make sure you check out the ratings we gave each film and let us know your thoughts in the comments sections at the bottom of each post. Please be aware that some of these reviews may contain spoilers.

Adam’s Thoughts

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been delighting fans of the comics and thrilling moviegoers since 2008 when Iron Man steamrolled itself onto the big screen in an epic fashion. From the special effects to the casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, it was the complete package.

The culmination of all those films through Phase One, Phase Two and Three has come to a head in this, Avengers: Infinity War. It promises to be the biggest, baddest and most epic Marvel movie to date, but is it actually any good? Read on to find out.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr in Avengers Infinity War

© Marvel

Directed by Antony and Joe Russo, the masterminds behind the fantastic Captain America sequels, Infinity War picks up just after the end of Thor: Ragnarok. This starting place seems fitting and not jumping too far ahead of the finale of that film is perfect to reintroduce our beloved heroes.

The cast form one of the best ensembles ever put to screen, though from each of their solo outings, this is really no surprise. Seeing Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America et al come back together is frankly, a joy and the film works best when there are as many heroes on screen together as possible.

A highlight in this instance is Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange – prepare to jump on the Steven Strange bandwagon. After a relatively lacklustre solo outing, his character pops on the screen and really benefits from the Russo brothers zingy direction.

As is the case with many films involving such a large cast, much of the 149 minute runtime is spent following a few of them at once, each going about their own mission in relation to stopping Thanos and his possession of the Infinity stones. If I count correctly, there are 3 quests going on at once, but only two are really successful.

Special effects wise, this is a $400million movie, so you know what to expect. For the most part, the CGI from Industrial Light & Magic is seamless and really rather beautiful. The motion capture work done on Josh Brolin to turn him into Thanos is exquisite and the end result is a truly menacing villain. Elsewhere however, there are a few corners cut if you look closely enough, but I’ll leave it down to you to try and spot them.

Focussing on Thanos himself, he proves to be a fitting villain for a film this gargantuan in scale. His towering presence and almost demonic sense of entitlement completely does away with the stereotypical Marvel bad-guy problem that the MCU has been suffering with. Obviously helped massively by Brolin’s incredible performance, Thanos is up there with Loki in terms of sheer entertainment value.

Nevertheless, Avengers: Infinity War is not a perfect film and it would be wrong of me to pretend it was. Despite its massive length, elements do feel rushed from time-to-time and cramming 20+ characters into a film was never going to be a slam dunk. Some moments that should have deep resonance really don’t reach the emotion they were clearly intended to do, and that’s because of the film’s need to tie up as much of the plot as possible. Thankfully, from a tonal perspective, the Russo brothers manage to keep the balance almost perfect and it’s a vast improvement over Joss Whedon’s disjointed Age of Ultron.

My biggest issue with the film however, is the ending. Avengers: Infinity War is not a film you come to the end of and applaud. In fact, the main response from the entire screening of the film I was watching was a collective groan as the end credits begin to roll. Despite the promise that Infinity War would work as a standalone movie; it just doesn’t. It’s very much a starting chapter for what comes next in Avengers 4. But we need to wait just over a year for the concluding chapter to arrive in UK cinemas, and that is incredibly infuriating.

Overall, Avengers: Infinity War is a culmination of everything Marvel has been working towards for a decade. In its favour are an incredible cast, that trademark MCU humour and some stunning action sequences but these are offset by an infuriating ending and a lack of emotional heft to the film’s inevitable darker moments.

This may definitely be the biggest movie in the MCU and it’s definitely the 2nd best Avengers movie, but it’s not quite up there with the very best.

:star: :star: :star: :star:

Alex’s Thoughts

A film ten years in the making, from the moment Nick Fury revealed his mission at the end of Iron Man was to bring together Earth’s mightiest heroes, the MCU has led us here to Avengers: Infinity War.  The film thought to be too ambitious with characters we’ve come to love throughout the years and watch grow into the heroes we’ve all come to admire.

Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War

© Marvel

The threat of Thanos is everywhere and it’s safe to say we are not left disappointed, as the movie gives us a villain not only to fear but who demands our respect with motives that are understandable and are very sympathetic. Recently Marvel has truly improved their antagonists and Thanos is their magnum opus.

Infinity War’s strength is in separating the characters into the smaller groups allowing the film not to get too convoluted and allows each character their own chance to shine. Just seeing the likes of Doctor Strange interacting with Spiderman, while Thor meets the Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing but a treat for all cinema-goers. For fans of Marvel you will not be disappointed as the humour is still there and all the characters blend really well, but when the serious tones do take over the effect is felt and it is definitely the most emotionally impactful Marvel film to date.

Marvel throws in a number of great surprises and delivers on every single one. The questions that fans have been asking for have been answered and even to some we never thought we would get an answer to. However being the first of a Marvel two-parter you can almost guarantee that there are more questions to be asked particularly after its amazing cliff-hanger. Usually, when a franchise does the two-parter movie I see it as just a simple cash grab, but this is the first time I feel it truly works.

Avengers: Infinity War would definitely be a contender for one of the better Marvel movies, although I will not go as far as say it is the best until I’ve seen it a few more times. From first viewing, though I can appreciate the magic and wonder that comes with watching these movies, and 2019 cannot come soon enough. It is a film that lives up to the hype and makes us want even more.

:star: :star: :star: :star: 1/2

Jesse’s Thoughts

I don’t think I have ever been nervous about seeing a movie. Excited, yes. Apprehensive, maybe. But nervous: never. After 10 years of build-up, the time was finally here. I was about to watch Avengers: Infinity War for the very first time.

I don’t think a film has ever left me that speechless. The pure trauma of it all and the sheer scale of the massacre that was committed rattled me, and the rest of the audience in that screen, to the very core. The tension that pulsated, stranger to stranger, through people cramped into tiny red seats, showed on the faces of this audience and on me. To describe Infinity War as an emotional rollercoaster would be an understatement.

Tony Stark, Dr Strange and Bruce Banner in Avengers Infinity War

© Marvel

Without a doubt, this is one of the most complex and most ambitious movies within the MCU, if not ever made. With a plot that very carefully manages to weave in and around each well-loved character, I watched expectantly, waiting for the universe to be relieved of the scourge of Thanos.

And then he clicked his fingers.

Believe me, if there had ever been a time where about 200 people all held their breath at the exact same moment, it was at that point in time. The ending was exactly what the film needed to make it a masterpiece. It was raw, it was emotional: it was Marvel. There is a reason that this movie was 10 years in the making, and that was it.

I don’t think a movie has ever emotionally ravaged me like Avengers: Infinity War (apart from maybe Beaches but, let’s be honest, who didn’t cry at Beaches?!). I couldn’t talk for a good five minutes, I just exchanged wounded glances with my fellow viewers, who I knew felt the pain that I felt. I was broken but in a good way.

It is safe to say that this is a movie worth watching. It brings together all of the characters you love, all those storylines that caused you so much joy, so much pain, so much sadness. Avengers: Infinity War made me think about a lot of things, but the main thing was this: I was never going to experience it for the first time ever again. This is a movie, where the first time will not be your last, but you will never be able to watch it in the same way ever again.

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

Emily’s Thoughts

For all the collective groaning about the prospect of another Marvel movie, it’s hard to deny that Avengers: Infinity War has been one of the most anticipated cinematic events of recent times. So after a culmination of 18 movies and 10 years in the making, is Infinity War the cataclysmic finale spectacular we’ve all been waiting for? Well, no. It’s okay. Possibly when taken in the context of previous Marvel offerings, you could say it’s fairly ambitious, entertaining and even thrilling (for a Marvel movie).

Without giving too much away, the overall story is as follows. Earth is being threatened by Thanos, played by a purple Josh Brolin on steroids. Thanos is in search of the infinity stones which, should he have all six, will give him the power to destroy half of all existence with the click of his fingers.

Thor, Star Lord and Gamora

Like many maniacal overlords, Thanos believes this sacrifice will be for the good of everyone, bringing balance to an overcrowded universe. Raging against him are the disbanded Avengers and friends: Stark and Strange head for Titan along with Spiderman and later the Guardians. Thor joins ranks with teen Groot and Rocket. Meanwhile on Earth, Steve Rogers (no longer opting to be called Captain America), Black Widow,  Banner and Black Panther must showdown with Thanos’s team of formidable henchmen.

The enormity of Infinity War can at times be overwhelming: the hefty cast list, exhausting 2 hrs 30 min running time and successional battle sequences leave you feeling fairly drained and the story arcs of each of the many characters feels, understandably, a bit rushed.

There’s danger, there’s action, there’s death. Plot wise, that’s pretty much it. Anthony and Joe Russo have a large cast to cater for and not much wriggle room for development in between the lengthy battle sequences. Brolin’s Thanos isn’t half bad and already so much better than the forgettable MCU villains of the past. Brolin brings an emotional gravitas and a recognisable complexity to the character that makes him highly watchable.

Fans will surely get their kicks out of witnessing some of their favourite characters meet up and spar for the first time but Marvel still seems to an issue with pacing and tone. The sad moments aren’t quite poignant enough and switch too quickly to the lighter moments. The gags don’t really land and it’s still very hard to care what happens to any of the main characters. Whilst it’s never boring, it’s also deeply unsatisfying. Who knows, perhaps given another ten years it could have been better, though something tells me that’s unlikely.

:star: :star: 1/2

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