Infinite. Sh*t. Goes. Down.
“Thanos demands our silence”. And quite rightly. All reviewers were told to keep spoilers to a minimum so that everyone can enjoy the film’s shocks, plot twists and NON STOP ACTION. So this is a spoiler free review. Honest.
Now, I’m a huge Marvel fan so I’ll try not to gush too much, but for those not married to the Marvel Cinematic universe, permit me a recap:
The big purple bad guy is Thanos (a mo-cap Josh Brolin). Thanos is a mad Titan, seeker of the Infinity Stones, and has a “chin like balls” (thanks Star-Lord – ok, that’s one lil spoiler).
The Stones were created from elemental stuff at the dawn of the universe, and scattered all over the place. Each stone controls a different aspect of the universe, and whoever controls all six gems will become omnipotent. Their current locations are:
- The Time Stone is encased within the Eye of Agamotto – the fetching necklace worn by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).
- The purple Power Stone was seen in The Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol 1, and was left with Nova Corps on Xandar for safe keeping.
- The Mind Stone is fused into the head of sentient robot, the Vision (Paul Bettany).
- The Space Stone is within the Tesseract, which was last seen on Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok.
- The Collector (Benecio del Toro) has the Reality Stone on Knowhere…in space.
- And no one has ever seen the Soul Stone.
Clear? Okay, on to the film.
19 movies, ten years of stories, and a ton of post credit sequences have been leading here.
We’re launched straight into Thanos’s journey to collect all six stones right from the start. Thanos is an odd one – we’ve heard much, but seen little of him so far – but all that is about to change. Finally, we discover his motive.
Thanos wants to bring balance to the universe and to help it thrive. To do that, he plans to use the Infinity Gauntlet to indiscriminately cull half of its inhabitants
I mean, I guess that would be a way to significantly lowers the cast fee’s, ammaright?! Maybe not… So its up to our heroes to stop him.
This film isn’t like the others. There’s no deep and meaningful ‘getting to know’ chats between characters, or development by exploring backstory. This is all about business.
All the other finely tuned threads from Captain America, Iron Man, The Guardians Of The Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Thor movies have led to this.
Most of these heroes don’t know each other. It’s a bit like throwing a birthday party, where you’ve invited your work colleagues, university mates and family. You know them all, but they are asking “Hey! So how has Thanos ruined your life?”
There are SO many characters in play (27 actors in top billing alone!), but directors the Russo Brother keep it fresh and lively, by playing with the combinations of characters seen together. And always, the dialogue is sharp and has that post-GotG Marvel wit.
In the first few scenes, we see Doctor Strange and Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) exchange a fantastic volley of insults, all the while not acknowledging that they clearly go to the same barber – okay! That’s two spoilers. Sorry.
There were some other character mashups that I hadn’t even considered, and there are some I’ve long dreamed of. Unfortunately none of Marvel’s Chrises make out. Sad day for #ChrisClub – founding member: me. Okay, that was three spoilers). But Star-Lord and Thor get hot and heavy in the Milano with much of the humour at the expense Chris Pratt.
And one new team formation which I want to see more of was Black Widow, Okoye and Scarlet Witch (Scarlett Johansson, Danai Gurira and Elizabeth Olsen) who rightly kicked ass. I shall call them Marvel’s Power Puff Girls™.
In such a crowded cast, the one actor who really has the opportunity to deliver a stand-out performance is Josh Brolin as the scrote-faced Thanos, who, despite being massive, purple and computer-generated, manages to convey a full range of emotions. A baddie with demons, loss and pain, as well as the standard crazy megalomania.
Also props to Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Thanos’s estranged, adopted daughter, who gives a markedly different performance to what we’ve seen of her in GotG.
My only minor gripe was, that for a being with at least some Infinity Stones, Thanos is a bit crap at using them.
But that’s a very minor gripe. I felt like I was watching an actual comic book that had been bought to life. Something I hadn’t felt from previous Marvel films. There’s no preamble or any reminders of who the characters are, it was action packed from the start and relentlessly good. The awesome scope and achievement of Infinity War will leave you emotionally drained in many ways….
I’ve already booked my tickets to see it again!