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REVIEW: “Avengers: Infinity War”

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Twelve years ago, Marvel Entertainment realized that while they did not control some of their most popular characters, they did have the rights to a select fortunate group of less popular characters that could prove to be profitable. From there, they started a venture no one imagined could be possible: a franchise of movies all existing in one shared universe, with each film affecting this universe in new and exciting ways as it led to one exciting culmination of those efforts.

In 2018, we have reached the beginning of the end of their efforts, which is technically the first part of a two-part finale. Each Infinity Stone has revealed itself one by one across the last ten years with the Mad Titan, Thanos, orchestrating the events from behind the scenes. Now, the final battle to save reality itself has begun and Avengers: Infinity War has proven itself as exactly what we wanted and so much more.

The film opens with Thanos’ arrival in full force to bring balance to the universe. To do so, he begins to collect the Infinity Stones, which will grant him the god-like power to wipe out half of the universe with a snap of his fingers. His search brings him to Earth where the fractured Avengers, as well as the other heroes of Earth, must gather together to defend not just their planet, but all of reality from being changed forever.

The plot of this movie has a lot of characters to display and inform us about since Captain America: Civil War two years ago and it devotes proper time to each and every one of them. We follow many different characters, both new and old, including some you don’t expect. The pacing is practically perfect with the film moving at a pace just fast enough to facilitate the action and impending danger but slow enough that we can comprehend each moment as it happens and understand it. The dialogue actually dials down the amount of humor used in service of the more serious tone this movie employs. There are a couple moments from the trailers that are not in the movie, but the ones we are given instead will not disappoint.

However, the story of this movie outshines even the plot. The MCU knows how to use novelty to its advantage, with so many new combinations of characters interacting and fighting together. The progression shown for our heroes is natural and does a great job of adapting comic book elements that we have wanted to see from the beginning. The universe is expanded across the universe as we venture across the universe to multiple new planets and locations. One criticism of these movie has been that the stakes are low. Well, Marvel has something to say about that.

Marvel has been criticized for their villains being written weakly compared to their heroes. I personally do not agree in most cases, but I can certainly agree that Marvel films devote more time to their heroes overall. The quality of their villains has improved over the years and now we have Thanos, who is easily the best villain of any Marvel film to date. Not only is Thanos powerful and threatening, but he has more development in this movie any other antagonist in the MCU has received in just one film. His motivations and drive are clear and somewhat sympathetic, and he truly believes himself, not a hero or a villain, but to be doing the universe a noble service. He is simply captivating to watch.

The acting in this movie is on par with everything we have seen from the MCU. The chemistry leaps off the screen, making every frame entertaining to watch. Josh Brolin finally gets the chance to flex his acting chops as the Mad Titan and gives a hypnotic performance despite the fact you never see his face. As I alluded to earlier, some actors appear that I dare not spoil, as true Marvel fans will be astounded at the detail that this movie has gone into.

Every frame of this movie is gorgeous to look at. The backgrounds and costumes are beautifully designed with great color, form, and texture. While the CGI faltered in areas of Black Panther, Marvel stepped up their game with every pixel they rendered. The motion capture is fluid and really allows the performances to shine through. I had the pleasure of seeing this film in 3D and I am glad that I did because it only served to enhance the experience.

Alan Silvestri reclaims the reigns from Danny Elfman to give us a score that perfectly encapsulates every tragic moment of this film. Each piece is a gorgeous earworm that will no doubt end up on the playlist of any Marvel fan, with special mention to the pieces underscoring Thanos himself. They even incorporate the themes of the many heroes as a way of introducing them, which I was personally glad to hear.

There is no higher recommendation I can give for Infinity War. This is one of Marvel’s masterpieces and it should be experienced in the theater because it’s worth every penny and then some. Although you do not have to, I do think that you should be caught up on the rest of the MCU canon before watching this one. It only serves to enhance the experience. I am impatiently waiting for the part two to this epic finale and I know that after watching this movie, you will feel the same.

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REVIEW: “Avengers: Infinity War”