Director: Joe & Anthony Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo
Length: 2hr 29m
N.B. This review may contain spoilers.
Sitting in the York PictureHouse on a rainy Thursday night, I was intrepid. I was expectant. Months of trawling the internet for new scraps of footage, hours of analysis and just the ten years of build-up films had been building to this: Avengers: Infinity War. Having such an idea of a film going into it is frankly was suicidal. Two and a half hours later I pulled myself from my seat, aghast with my mouth wide open and my mind hurtling through the past hours quicker than Thor does when using the Bifrost.
Opening where Thor: Ragnarök left off, Joe and Anthony Russo have managed to merge the fantastic humour that Taika Waititi’s intergalactic road-trip exuded, but this levity merely punctuates Infinity War amongst the grossly epic and massively consequential events of the film in the most bewildering and disturbing way possible.
In all honesty I’m not sure where to begin with my thoughts on the film, and any one who is reading this having seen Infinity War will sympathise with me. I’ll begin with this: this is a Thanos film. It should be called Thanos: Infinity War, but this isn’t a criticism. Josh Brolin’s Mad Titan steals the show and solves Marvel’s decade-long problem of inconsequential villains in a way that justifies the intensely slow build up since his post-credits reveal at the end of 2012’s The Avengers.
The ensemble movie that some expected doesn’t come. The splitting of the now-enlarged Avengers team ensures this, but nevertheless the interaction of both Team Titan and Team Wakanda in a way that resembles when one used to get all their action figures from all the different universes together and smashed them into each other. Apart from the notable absences Valkyrie and Korg (Taika Waititi is shook), the teaming of the characters creates an amazing amount of gratification for the Marvel fans who have been invested in the universe for the last 10 years.
A lot of this film’s quality can only be measured once the, as yet untitled, Avengers 4 is released but as a set up, it does all it can. Thanos’ destruction of half of the universe at the end is such a bleak and hopeless moment for the MCU that it can only stoke the fires of anticipation for the resolution that will come next year. The addition of the post-credits scene knocks the film down a peg as being able to plot out how the Avengers might turn this one around distracts from the “what the fuck” moment the main film ends with.