Avengers: Infinity War review

The build up to the release of “Avengers: Infinity War” cannot be understated. Ten years of Marvel movie releases all adding onto the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has created a complex world of characters and events. The first Avengers film, featuring six different heroes coming together, was released in 2012. Six years later and the roster has grown to dozens of heroes and countless locations and side characters. “Avengers: Infinity War” is the culmination of 10 years and 19 films of the largest box office franchise of all time — to say the team at Marvel Studios had their work cut out for them would be an understatement. Crafting a movie that balances that many characters and locations is a nigh impossible task, yet they pulled it off. “Infinity War” will go down as one of the great entertainment icons of this decade.

One of the first things that “Infinity War” deserves praise for is how well it handles its enormous roster of characters. It was amazing to see all the characters we have followed for the last 10 years matched up in ways you could only have dreamed of. Of course, there is a downside to the enormous roster of the film. People who haven’t seen many of the other MCU films will be left confused, as the film does not waste any time introducing the heroes, and the plot gets moving almost immediately. The viewer, for the most part, is expected to understand the events of the previous Avengers movies as well as the other films in the franchise.

The one character that “Infinity War” does spend a lot of screen time introducing is the villain Thanos. Played by Josh Brolin, Thanos definitively claims the spot as the MCU’s greatest villain. Throughout their 10 year cinematic history Marvel has struggled with making compelling villains, often not investing screen time in fleshing out their antagonist’s motivations or past. While some of the more recent films have improved, notably “Black Panther” and “Spiderman: Homecoming,” the majority of the MCU has lackluster and forgettable villains. However, “Infinity War” spends time fleshing out Thanos and explaining the depth of his character, making him much more than a two dimensional Big Bad Guy for the heroes to beat up. This drastically improves the drama throughout the film and makes Thanos a truly formidable opponent to our protagonists.

Something else that I found really enjoyable about “Infinity War” was just how vulnerable the heroes felt throughout the film. In other Marvel movies, especially the heroes’ solo films, there is a level of security. You know that the hero(s) are going to win, and everyone is going to survive. However, as you watch “Infinity War,” it is made clear that that safety net is not there, and all of the heroes are in very real danger. It is amazing how much more engaging and nerve-wracking every conflict becomes when you know it could be your favorite character’s last.

The movie has few shortcomings. The few nitpicks that I have with the film mainly stem with just how large the scope of the movie is. Not every character gets all the screen time you would hope they would. The pace of the movie, especially during the first act, is extremely fast. The film is forced to jump to lots of different locations and the viewer needs to follow a lot of parallel action. This was inherently unavoidable with the nature of the film, but an issue nonetheless.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is a landmark film is many regards. Disney has taken risks with this film and the risks have definitely paid off. The movie is the perfect summer blockbuster — it’s the visually stunning, edge-of-your-seat, superhero action film that moviegoers couldn’t have created in their wildest dreams 10 years ago. The most frustrating part is that we will have to wait until 2019 for Part II.

The Parkway West Pathfinder gives “Avengers: Infinity War” a 9/10.