12 June 2018 | jordanthomas_2009-346-914758
Infinity War does a brilliant job by seamlessly combining the last few films together. It picks up where Ragnarok left off on the space shuttle with Thor, Loki, Hulk and all the remaining Asgardians. It opens with a distress call as Thanos and his Dark Order have slaughtered most of passengers including some of the remaining Asgardians. He interrogates Thor and beats Hulk so bad he is too scared to ever turn green again. A defeated Hulk/Bruce Banner is then transported to Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum so he can warn him of Thanos' arrival. It is down to Doctor Strange, Wong, Tony Stark and Spider Man to prevent Thanos' evil minions from destroying New York and taking the time stone. It's a thrilling action sequence that introduces Starks cool new nano-bot armour that creates its own swords and shields.
Thanos has been teased since 2012 and the wait has paid off here as he is by far one of the best villains. The story is more about him achieving his goals which is refreshing to see as the villains are normally sidelined in these films. He is so determined to get all six gems, each gem making him stronger. The Avengers and Guardians have to race against time to stop him from finding all six. One sequence on his home planet 'Titan' is worth mentioning and like most of the film, it is breathtaking and tense. His crew (Dark Order) also seem unbeatable as they battle the rest of the Avengers in Wakanda with their alien army which also proves difficult. Thanos gets some interesting backstory, it would have been even better if the menacing Dark Order got some backstory themselves as we never really understand them or their motivations.
Even though it enters familiar ground, it is often done differently and most of the time it's unpredictable. It's full of surprises and twists which will leave you exhausted by the end. Although Infinity War feels over stuffed with characters and storylines, the Russo Brothers do an exceptional job by giving each character enough to do. Its great to see some focus on characters like Gamora and Thor as previous films have kept it prominently on characters Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America. That's not to say they don't get anything to do because they do, it's just not as much as usual. This entry really does require you to see all of the ones before it as it can become confusing. They often call back to previous events and storylines, so it's a better experience if you are familiar with all of them. There are also so many fun references like Rocket Racoon's need for artificial limbs, Thor's new haircut and Drax's constant quips.
There are too many visual effects shots which could have been avoided using practical effects. The CGI shots don't look bad, but sometimes they can be distracting. However it's a technique that is quicker than any other, and with studio films of this scale that's just a small price to pay. The action scenes are so well directed accompanied by a music score by Alan Silvestri who always adds that extra level of excitement to them. It is a relief to say Infinity War runs well over 2 hours 30 minutes which is the longest Marvel film. There is no point saying its "baggy" or "overlong" as fans of the franchise will greatly appreciate this and with so much going on the runtime is justified.