10 years, 18 films, was Infinity War worth all the hype?
I loved how the Russos made this surprisingly accessible for fans who may not have obsessively watched the entire Marvel backlog beforehand or ever (Sacrilege, I know).
Crucial plot points were covered BUT you would be missing out on a lot of character depth, back stories and little references if you haven’t dipped into the other Marvel movies.
It felt like all the other films had been gearing up for this moment.
As much as I griped about some of the earlier Marvel efforts (Captain America: The First Avenger, Avengers Assemble, the Hulk reboots, Iron Man 2), I never faulted the characters; what they stood for, their journeys and their progression over the years.
I have to say that I was actually excited to finally see all these incredible characters unite against a common foe (and what a foe!).
Josh Brolin, take a bow. I couldn’t think of anybody better to take on the Purple Mountain. His vocal gravitas lifting the amazing visual effects. The detail on his expressions were impeccable. For me, one of the most memorable Marvel villains to date.
For a moment, I almost felt empathy for the tormented maniac. An engaging presence that chewed up every scene. You could almost understand his motives. The flashbacks providing a much needed depth with his relationship to Gamora (Zoe Saldana).
Even his minions delivered; Tom Vaughan-Lawlor was brilliant as Ebony Maw and a worthy adversary (most notably for Strange) and it took me half of the film with all that make up to realise that it was The Leftovers’ Carrie Coon playing the bloodthirsty Proxima Midnight (What a name!)
Surprisingly the opening sequence didn’t grab me. As much as it set the tone with Thanos claiming lives from the get go. It didn’t pack the emotional punch I hoped. Maybe because the lives involved were hardly a shocker.
However once Stark, Strange and Spidey united; my doubts were instantly extinguished.
I loved how IW had the perfect balance of humour, drama and action.
The fast paced set pieces, the stunning visuals, the quick witted one liners, the fun exchanges. 2 1/2 hours breezed over in a heart beat.
Mixing up all the characters made for so many brilliant encounters. The biggest highlight involving the unexpected teaming up of Thor, Rocket and Groot.
The Guardians gang almost stole the show from everybody. Drax and Mantis were fantastic: delivering some of the most quotable dialogues.
I think everybody had their moment to shine (The Cap’s Third Man entrance, Strange’s sorcery, any scene involving Thor). An impressive feat in itself considering how many characters were thrown into the mix.
The battle of Wakanda sequences were incredible! It almost (almost) rivalled the epic Helm’s Deep battle of LOTR (Nerd!). The animation, the intensity, riding every high and low.
Now don’t get me wrong, the film wasn’t perfect (Scandalous!). Ruffalo had already won me over as Banner/Hulk BUT he got on my nerves. More so because Hulk failed to turn up when the chips were down?!
I loved how the trailers lied. Manipulating the order of scenes and showing moments that weren’t necessarily in the movie. Some for the better, some for the worst.
After watching Banner embrace Hulk and appearing to resolve his inner turmoil in Thor: Ragnarok, I was a little annoyed that he was still very much unstable and out of control. Watching Ruffalo pull constipated expressions, groan and go a little green after a bad vindaloo was a little infuriating. Tut tut tut.
I’m sure you have heard whispers of characters being bumped off. I wouldn’t be commending a bold finale if risks weren’t taken but the removal of one particular character was abrupt and handled a little poorly for my liking *cough* Soul Stone *cough*
I had to laugh that Gwyneth Paltrow made a seemingly unnecessary cameo and yet both Ant Man and Hawkeye were out of the mix with just a passing comment to explain their absence. Really?
Even the special clip (that all Marvel fans endure endless credits for) was disappointing. Setting up the introduction of another Marvel character that we all knew was coming.
However, the gripping finale delivered a surprisingly dark turn and a very bold move from the Marvel team.
I can honestly say I didn’t see it coming. It’s hardly a spoiler to know that this is only Part One but I’m already pondering theories on how they can work Part Two and any other projects between the release dates.
BUT one thing has been established. It may have spanned 10 years but the Marvel movie-verse still has plenty in the tank (Especially right now) and I for one cannot wait for the next instalment.
3.5/5 (with room for a 4)*
*If some of the little niggles are addressed and rewarded in Part 2!