Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

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A decade after its inception, the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes on a level of its own the first of a two-part epic involving Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the Guardians of the Galaxy as they finally come face-to-face with the powerful Thanos.

Thanos is a powerful being who has been hunting down the Infinity Stones so he can become the most powerful being in the universe. However, there are a group of heroes who stand in his way. Thor seeks revenge for the destruction of Asgard and when Bruce Banner is sent to Earth to warn the others about what’s coming, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man are ready. However, Thanos has not come alone as he brought his Black Order army to locate and collect the stones for him.

Meanwhile, Thor meets the Guardians of the Galaxy and despite Star-Lord having fear that Gamora may end up more attracted to the God of Thunder, Rocket and Groot travel with Thor to find a weapon capable of destroying Thanos. When Vision and Scarlet Witch are caught in Scotland, they get some unexpected help in the forms of Falcon, Black Widow, and Steve Rogers, who has since given up the Captain America name. With Black Panther and Winter Soldier in Wakanda and War Machine ready to help, the battle lines are drawn and the stages are set for what will be these heroes’ greatest threat with the fate of humanity in their hands.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has improved in the days since its inception in 2008. From an improved re-casting of one character (Mark Ruffalo replacing Edward Norton as the Hulk/Bruce Banner) to the improvement of its core films thanks to the dissolution of what would be the Marvel Creative Committee, the MCU has had its shares of exciting films that allowed filmmakers such as Joss Whedon, Scott Derrickson, Ryan Coogler, James Gunn, Jon Watts, and the Russo Brothers to be allowed to bring their visions to much success, with each film improving the level of quality, ranging from fun and exciting to the seriousness of its nature.

After successful turns as the directors of the Captain America sequels The Winter Soldier and Civil War, it was the smartest move that Joe and Anthony Russo would be the ones to take over for Joss Whedon in helming this third installment of the Avengers ensemble franchise. The Russos tend to bring a level of realism and humanity to the superhero genre and once again, they succeed in such a major way that brings a series of interconnecting stories into a true Marvel epic film.

The cast could not be any more perfect in this film. Robert Downey Jr. once again brings his Tony Stark as the “leader” of the team while Chris Evans sports the post-Captain America look from the 70’s and 80’s when the character gave up the Star Spangled Avenger look. Chris Pratt brings both the comedy and serious nature of Star-Lord and it seems like Dave Bautista’s Drax and Pom Klementieff’s Mantis are Marvel’s version of perhaps Laurel and Hardy because they play each other off so well in comic fashion. This comes notably in scenes with Downey’s Iron Man, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange.

Josh Brolin is truly top-notch as Thanos. While he has aspirations of being the most powerful being in the universe, he does have a human-like quality when it comes to feelings for a specific character. However, his methods obviously are unorthodox and will go to extremes for his selfish need of gaining the power of the Infinity Gauntlet and doesn’t care who he hurts in the process. Thanos claims he wants to end everything so he can rest, but there may be something else he has in mind. The film ends on an insane jaw-dropping moment that will change the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever and the only disappointment is that viewers will have to wait until May 2019 for the next Avengers film to see how everything plays out.

Avengers: Infinity War has truly lived up to its promise at changing the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a shockingly insane moment, and yet the lead-up to that moment is both a welcome meshing of fun and things getting truly real.

WFG RATING: A+

A Marvel Studios production. Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo. Producer: Kevin Feige. Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley; based on characters created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, Dan Abnett, and Andy Lanning. Cinematography: Trent Opaloch. Editing: Jefffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt.

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Chris Pratt, Josh Brolin, Bradley Cooper (voice), Vin Diesel (voice), William Hurt, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Benedict Wong, Peter Dinklage.

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