6.5 out of 10
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
Avengers: Infinity War Review:
Shortly after the events of Thor: Ragnarok, Thanos and his followers strike the refugees from Asgard on their ship. After murdering everyone on board, Thanos’ true goal is revealed – the Tesseract held by Loki which also contains one of the legendary Infinity Stones. Soon enough, the Mad Titan takes his prize from Loki and then sends his followers to Earth to retrieve two more of the stones – the Time gem held by Dr. Strange and the Soul gem held by Vision.
Having been alerted to Thanos’ quest, Doctor Strange summons Tony Stark to help him. However, even with the additional might of the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, they find themselves on the ropes when Thanos’ minions attack.
Meanwhile, the Guardians of the Galaxy come across the remains of the Asgardian refugees and rescue the battered Thor. The group finds they have a common enemy in Thanos and go on their own quest to stop him.
The Vision and the Scarlet Witch also find themselves under attack by Thanos’ warriors, but they will need to reassemble Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to stop them. However, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, simply locating them may be easier said than done.
Avengers: Infinity War is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references.
Ten years of Marvel movies all culminate in Avengers: Infinity War. Was it worth the wait? Yes and no.
On the positive side, seeing the heroes from various films meeting on screen for the first time is a lot of fun. You see Thor team up with Rocket and Groot. You see Okoye fight alongside Black Widow and Scarlet Witch. You see Spider-Man and Doctor Strange battle together. It’s all a lot of fun and the makings of a great popcorn movie moment.
You also start to see the payoff of seeds planted in films years ago. More is revealed about Gamora’s relationship with Thanos. Vision’s relationship with the Scarlet Witch is realized. Tony Stark’s father/son relationship is further developed.
One of my concerns going into this film was that there were so many characters that some would get short-changed. While some did, it wasn’t the characters that I expected. Surprisingly, Gamora is one of the bigger stars of this film. As mentioned previously, her relationship with Thanos is at the very heart of the story and the villain’s motivations. Her relationship with Nebula is also further explored. And her feelings for Peter Quill are also brought to light. It certainly wasn’t what I expected. Also getting a lot of screen time is Vision. Since one of the main MacGuffin’s Thanos is after is superglued to his forehead, you expect the spotlight to be on him to a large degree, but it’s certainly more than I expected. But of the Marvel heavy hitters, Thor is given most of the spotlight. Reeling from the genocide of his people, he’s on the path of vengeance and it’s one of the more entertaining threads in the film.
Like in The Empire Strikes Back, all of our heroes are on separate side quests that eventually put them on a collision course with the villain. And like in ESB, there are major stakes in the game. Some of the side stories are more entertaining than others, but it all moves so quickly that the two-and-a-half hour running time literally flies by.
And while there are a lot of spoilers and surprises in the film, I was happy to see the return of one particular character that I had no idea was coming back. Their return brought a smile to my face and I hope to see more of them.
On a side note, yes there is an end credits scene. And yes, it’s a fun one. Stick around for it.
What Didn’t Work:
If you’re a fan of Captain America, Hulk, Black Panther, Winter Soldier, or Black Widow, you’ll probably leave Avengers: Infinity War somewhat disappointed. They’re barely in the movie and when they are, they have little impact on the plotline. In fact, the Hulk may have less than one minute of screen time. The rest is Bruce Banner. So that was a disappointment.
A lot of the story was also surprisingly repetitive. Tony Stark meets Doctor Strange and they immediately butt heads. It was a lot like Tony meeting Steve in the previous films. Then Thor meets Star-Lord and they similarly butt heads. It just felt like the same schtick over and over. The same thing happens as Thanos pursues the Infinity Stones. He threatens someone, then one of the heroes immediately caves and gives him a stone. It happens three times in the film.
Then there’s Thanos himself. While his animation is quite impressive, it almost feels like they’re trying too hard to humanize him. They bend over backwards to justify his quest to kill half the universe. It feels forced. They also make a point to say he loves Gamora, but having seen no real evidence of that in the previous two Guardians of the Galaxy films, it does not feel natural. There was one other odd choice with Thanos – on more than one occasion he turns something into bubbles. As I write this, my son said, “Thanos sure likes bubbles.” And you know, he’s right.
Other random disappointments include the story glossing over how Thanos got the first Infinity Stone, not seeing how Aunt May reacted to discovering her nephew is Spider-Man, the complete lack of Hawkeye and Ant-Man, and more.
Finally, if you had to guess how this movie ends, you would probably be right. Avengers: Infinity War has a really dark ending that leaves audiences walking out of the theater on a down note. And while it took 10 years of movies to build up to this one, it’s still only a build up to what will inevitably happen in the next movie. You’re truly only getting half of the story here.
The Bottom Line:
Is Avengers: Infinity War worth seeing in theaters? Absolutely. And you need to see it with the rowdiest audience possible. But the downer ending makes this a movie you may not want to revisit once you leave the theater.