There was an idea: to bring together a group of remarkable franchises, to see if they could become something bigger. So when we wanted more, they could bring us the battles we never could’ve believed we’d ever see on the big screen.
The Mad Titan is finally making his move and first to feel the full brunt of his ambition are the fleeing Asgardian refugees, with Earth – where Thanos knows two of the infinity stones reside – next on his target list. Drawing together Marvel heroes from Earth and across the cosmos, the very fate of the universe hangs in the balance as Thanos and his Black Order stop at nothing in their pursuit of ultimate power.
Picking up mere moments after the “Thor: Ragnarok” mid-credits teaser, the film quickly makes good on its promise to show that Thanos is the real deal villainy-wise. There’ll be no complaints about Marvel’s villain problem this time out, that’s for sure, and in relying on Thanos (a superb Josh Brolin) to be the narrative force of nature driving the plot forward, we get to examine and understand him and our heroes in new and unexpected ways. Fears of an overcrowded cast are quickly allayed as the Russo brothers demonstrate an even better handling of multiple characters than they achieved in “Captain America: Civil War”. There are even some surprise inclusions and at least one appearance which will likely have you grinning ear to ear.
The action and the spectacle are everything you could have hoped for and, despite the numerous TV spots, trailers and teasers, you can rest assured you really haven’t seen anything yet. Action and fight choreography-wise, Marvel has stepped up its game yet again and by bringing new and unexpected combinations of characters together, we get some truly spectacular combo moves and tag team fights against Thanos and his acolytes. But where “Avengers: Infinity War” excels and – if I’m honest – surprises is in just how effective it is at building a real, palpable sense of tension and dread. There were frequent points during the film where I realised I’d been holding my breath and by the end of the film, my hands ached from digging my nails into my palms so frequently. The threats our heroes face is relentless and comes with real costs, right from the start of this expansive movie. Nobody is safe and however you’ve spread your bets across the actual Marvel dead pool, you’re probably in for a few shocks and some surprises.
Admittedly, the film has a little difficulty in juggling the different tones of the clashing franchises, particularly finding the right balance between the “Guardians Of The Galaxy” and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but once the going gets really tough, things settle in to a groove which sees all the heroes click, underpinned by a real emotional heft as a decade’s worth of hopes, dreams and affection for these characters is put through the wringer in every conceivable fashion.
Go and see this as soon as you can. Go and see it before its many shocks, surprises, reveals and big moments seep out into the wider world. Marvel have celebrated their cinematic universe’s tenth anniversary in spectacular style, not by resting on their laurels but by shaking the leaves loose and scattering them with an audacity you can scarcely believe. If you left “Avengers Assemble” feeling elated and came out of “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” enthused, prepare to leave “Avengers: Infinity War” awestruck. It’s that big. It’s that good. It’s that astonishing. There’s a sole post-credits scene, so stay in your seat although chances are you’ll be too stunned to move until the house lights come up anyway. Eighteen movies have all been leading to this, they said. Nothing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will ever be the same, they said. They weren’t kidding and it’s not over yet.