Avengers: Infinity War Is A Full-On Superhero Assault And The Stakes Have Never Been Higher
Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War is a test of sorts: How many superheroes can you fit into one movie before it starts to resemble a clown car? The challenge is to give each super (and their super-sized egos) both room to breath and time to shine (where shine = getting to epically kick ass and deliver a killer one-liner after coming out on top). Infinity War manages to do just that, delivering enough one-on-one brawls, battlefield heroics, and self-referential in-jokes to please any Marvel fan.
At the centre of the action is Thanos (Josh Brolin), who you’ll remember from Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos is basically the Robert Malthus of evil villains (shout out to all the Economics 101 nerds out there). He’s anti-population growth and pro-wiping out half the population of every civilization in the galaxy—it’s been a pet project of his for decades and it’s why both his daughters hate him (that’d be Karen Gillan’s Nebula and Zoe Saldana’s Gamora). The only suffering Thanos seems able to understand is the kind that comes from a shortage in resources. You’ll get over losing your family, he reasons, but you can’t bounce back from starving to death.
Fair point, but Marvel’s stable of superheroes feel like there’s got to be a better way. Call us a bunch of pinkos but a redistribution of wealth through a progressive taxation program would be a step we’d try before resorting to the whole genocide thing, too. Patience and good governance, however, aren’t Thanos’ style. Better for the uglier, wrinklier, purple version of the Hulk to Hulk-smash his way across the universe in search of some magic beads (aka Infinity Stones) which once united will give him the power to get super kill-y with a simple snap of his fingers.
The latest Avengers movie is basically a fun party with two dozen or so cool people you really like serving up zingers and comebacks and showing off their latest gadgets/powers… except for the duration of the party you have to watch them all get beat up by one really angry guy with inferior mental processing abilities (like, inferior even to Chris Pratt’s Star Lord). Each one of our heroes is at their best (though we’d like to have seen some more of Shuri, Black Panther’s Letitia Wright, and Loki—there’s never enough of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki) but that best doesn’t guarantee victory over Thanos, the greatest foe they’ve ever come up against.
At a two-and-a-half-hour run time, the movie never feels over-long or unnecessarily drawn out. As we skip across galaxies, from battle to battle and from one feat of heroism to the next (Thor’s visit to the forge on Nidavellir where he meets Peter Dinklage is a major highlight), the contest between good and evil remains undecided until the very end. Let’s just say you’re going to want to stick around for that post-credits scene.
Avengers: Infinity War blasts its way into theatres this week on April 27. The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, and, because it’s an Avengers movie, like a dozen more big name actors. Check out the trailer below.