Marvel Studios has called “Avengers: Infinity War” “the cinematic event of a lifetime.” I’ll be the judge of that.
Nearly 10 years to the day after the release of “Iron Man”, the film that started it all, just about everyone who’s part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters come together in “Infinity War”. Their goal? To defeat the evil Thanos.
The plot, without any spoilers, is pretty simple: Thanos is out to obtain all six Infinity Stones. If he gets them, he can put his deadly plan into motion – that is – kill off half of the world’s population. Of course, all the good guys (and gals) want to prevent that from happening. But it will take a combined effort. So, for the first time, members of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy crew and even Marvel’s latest phenomenon character, Black Panther, combine forces. But even that may not be enough.
One hero who doesn’t join the rest is Ant-Man. The writers had to keep him alive for his sequel – “Ant-Man and the Wasp” which opens later this summer. But everyone else is fair game and many do not survive this battle.
Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Civil War” return behind the camera for “Infinity War”. They also directed Part 2 of this saga (which is the continuation of this story), which will be out next year. They do a nice job juggling this massive array of characters, giving everyone a fair amount of screen time, along with balancing the dynamics of a fairly detailed script. A budding bromance between Thor and Rocket Raccoon is a highlight. And this is the most I’ve liked Doctor Strange in a film so far.
There’s a little too much humor interspersed between heavy action and effective drama, but because of the reliable cast, “Infinity War” is, without question, one of the most engaging MCU installments. And the visuals are absolutely stunning. By the climax, we’re watching three major action scenes simultaneously – all are very well done.
For those who’ve been with this saga from the beginning, there are definitely surprises, capped-off by the final scene, which really works and sets the stage for what Marvel will likely call, “The Second Half of the Cinematic Event of a Lifetime”. But this one may be tough to top.
On The Official LCJ Report Card, “Avengers: Infinity War” gets a B+.
Running Time: 149 min.