“Avengers: Infinity War,” directed by the Russo brothers, is a breathtaking, heart-racing film that will leave you shaken and twisted as if you had succumbed to Thanos’s power yourself.
Infinity War, while remaining on the moral side of its heroes, is really a movie centered on its villain. Thanos, portrayed by Josh Brolin, is an intergalactic conqueror dedicated to “peace and balance” throughout the universe. Unfortunately, his plans include murdering half of the universe so that the remaining half can live with plentiful resources. To achieve this goal, he requires the Infinity Stones, all-powerful gemstones that have the power to alter aspects of reality.
With the Power Stone Thanos can shatter planets; with the Space Stone Thanos can move over lightyears in the blink of an eye; with the Reality Stone he could turn the Moon to Swiss cheese. Our heroes, the Avengers, are on a mission to stop Thanos’s quest to acquire all the Infinity Stones and wipe out half of all life with a snap of his fingers.
Throughout the film, we see snapshots of the action around the vast universe. One moment, we’re in Wakanda, home of the Black Panther, portrayed Chadwick Boseman. The next moment, we’re in the thick of it on an alien spaceship with Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange, portrayed by Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, and Benedict Cumberbatch respectively. Many films struggle with these rapid cuts between locations and ensemble casts, but not this movie. Infinity War shows all the moving parts of this cosmic machine, and the audience never feels whiplashed between scenes.
The editing team, led by Jeffery Ford and Matthew Schmidt, does stellar work in making the moviegoer feel absolutely engaged in both the combat between opposing forces, and the intriguing interplay between allies.
The movie is the 20th in a long-running series known both to fans and producers alike as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Infinity War has no issues reminding the audience of this fact. Every thread and morsel of Marvel mythology laid out in the past nineteen films receive a satisfying payoff in this film. In addition to the ties from movie to movie, the ties between characters are only strengthened and solidified. Developed over worlds and nations, these cinematic connections are much like Spider-Man’s webs: carefully woven and cohesively bonded. The intense back-and-forth between Thanos and Tony Stark draws the audience into the intense, cinematic fights. The heated philosophical debates between Stark and Doctor Strange forces the viewer to combat their own moral principles on what is right and what is wrong.
Every character is developed, especially Thanos, who previously had only been referenced in allusions and post-credit cameos. Thanos has a truly heart-wrenching journey over the course of this film and stops at nothing to achieve his solution to the universe’s problems, even paying the ultimate price. Thanos states, “The hardest decisions require the strongest wills,” and the film examines this adage from every angle. Every character makes an incredible sacrifice.
“Avengers: Infinity War” is effectively a metaphor for its titular superweapon: the Infinity Gauntlet. It was crafted carefully over many years and is utilized by an evil force to gain supreme power. (Coincidentally, Disney owns Marvel Studios).
Much like the Infinity Gauntlet, the movie has its own set of all-powerful Infinity Stones: the counterpoint between characters, the Marvel mythology, the plot sequence, and development. These elements all draw together to make a truly spectacular film. “Avengers: Infinity War” is an incredible feat of visual storytelling, a Marvel Studios homerun, and a prime candidate for several Oscar nominations come year’s end. “Avengers: Infinity War” has earned a perfect six Infinity Stones out of six.