“Avengers: Infinity War”
By Jason Wiese
NOTE: If you are a die-hard fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and your excitement and expectations for this film are already high enough, do not read the following review, at least until after you have seen it. Of course, it will remain devoid of any spoiling details, but I believe that this film is best to be experienced firsthand with as little indication of quality as possible. I believe this to be true for most films, but this is a special case.
You know, I have always envied those who were born early enough to see The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Over 30 years later, the discovery that (POINTLESS SPOILER ALERT) Darth Vader is, in fact, the father of Luke Skywalker has evolved to common knowledge. It does not require seeing a single frame of a Star Wars film to know this and repeat viewings, as entertaining as they may remain, could never compare to the power of that startling revelation upon its initial release. I could only imagine the feeling of witnessing firsthand an astonishing cinematic event that would inevitably change the course of a beloved franchise forever. Until now.
Avengers: Infinity War is a film 10 years in the making. Every one of the 18 previous entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with 2008’s Iron Man has led to this moment that sees the collective alliance of more comic book characters than I can fit onto one page, all of which have grown to become welcome additions into the hearts of film and comic book lovers worldwide. However, there is one character who is not particularly loved by this community, and especially not by the characters within this world, whose actions happen to be the catalyst for the occasion.
Thanos (Josh Brolin) is a titan who is hellbent on, not just world domination, but universal domination. In order to complete this task, he must retrieve the six Infinity Stones, which have been hinted at on many occasions throughout the franchise, insert them into a gauntlet of his design to harness their power and gain complete and infinite control. With the end of the world on the horizon, nearly anyone on Earth, or elsewhere, known to fight evil in a stylish uniform come together to face Thanos for a war that none of them are prepared for.
This movie is a big deal. Truly, I do not believe that I have had the pleasure of being exposed to such a momentous occasion, and I have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Of course, frankly, I am biased toward this franchise, which I have enjoyed greatly for years, but never have I felt the weight of my admiration so severely. Admittedly, to experience the emotional grip of the film to its full effect, it would require you to be previously familiar with the franchise. Otherwise, it would come off as just another well-made, yet utterly confusing, blockbuster. But for MCU obsessives, seeing the suffering of these stunningly portrayed characters by a multi-multi-multi-star-studded cast at the hands of a purely, uncompromisingly evil being results in gargantuan reactions.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo do what they have always done best with their MCU entries and make Infinity War a brilliant balancing act of a bajillion characters within a complex story that carries themes of pain, loss and, above all, family. It is a thoroughly exciting, emotionally grounded journey of anxious anticipation that (and I would never say this unless it was genuine) will leave you breathless.
This is only the beginning…