Worth the Wait
Chris Kavan - wrote on 05/09/18
The long-awaited film that brings together pretty much every character (sorry Hawkeye and Ant-Man) from the ten-year long MCU has arrived and, let me say, it lives up expectations. The original Avengers has long been my favorite MCU film thanks to its perfect balance between action, humor and chemistry between characters. I often thought they would have a hard time doing justice to each character because - well, there were SIX of them to worry about. I had the same worry about Infinity War, only think, oh, five times the issue. Despite the massive cast (and some new faces) - Infinity War still manages to find a balance and I consider it one of the top MCU films because of that.
This is a long film, and that's because they had to pack in a lot in every minute. The film starts off where Thor: Ragnarok left off - with Thanos (Josh Brolin) having caught up to the escaping Asgardian fleet. It soon becomes apparent the Mad Titan is ready for business - he already has one Infinity Stone, and he wants the rest. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), still without the benefit of his hammer, can do little but watch as Thanos and his cronies (the super-awesomely named Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive and Cull Obsidian) lay waste to his people. Not even the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) can stop the power-hungry monster. Before he is taken, Heimdall (Idris Elba) uses the last of his power to send Hulk back to Earth. Thanos, in short order, also gets a hold of another Infinity Stone in the possession of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) before setting his followers off to Earth to collect more.
This is where things get interesting - as we know Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wong (Benedict Wong) are guarding one stone while Vision (Paul Bettany) off with his girlfriend Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) have another. Hulk - back to Bruce Banner, lands smack dab on Dr. Strange's doorstep, who wastes no time in calling in Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) who is getting ready to marry long-time partner Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) before once again being called in to save the world. An alien craft once again descends on New York, as Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) joins up with Iron Man and Dr. Strange to duke things out. Things don't go quite as planned as Strange is whisked away, forcing Iron Man to hitch a ride on the spaceship.
Meanwhile, Vision and Wanda are likewise ambushed, but lucky for them a bearded Captain America (Chris Evans) is there with Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) who are able to hold off the attack. Learning that the only way to save Vision is to separate him from the stone, they, hook up with an old friend James Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle) and head for the only technologically-advanced place on Earth that will be able to help: Wakanda.
Meanwhile, meanwhile - the Asgardian's distress signal is picked up by the Guardians of the Galaxy - Peter Quill aka Starl-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Drax (Dave Bautista) a now-teenaged and quite sarcastic Groot (Vin Diesel) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). They find Thor floating in space - still alive - and he figures the only way to stop a near-god is a weapon to replace his missing hammer and, in order to do so, will have to visit the dwarves of Nidavellir to forge a replacement. The rest of the Guardians decide to go the Knowhere to visit The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) and hopefully get the Infinity Stone in his possession before Thanos. Once again, things don't go as planned.
A lot of crazy stuff happens that culminates in two massive battles - one, a full-out war on the Wakandan front and the second a more personal battle with Thanos himself. Let's just say, if you avoid spoilers (and you should - hard as it is) you won't see the ending coming and it provides an emotional punch.
Despite the massive amount of characters to deal with, Infinity War does what The Avengers did well on a much bigger scale. It has tons of action, it has great humor and it had ingenious chemistry between characters (Iron Man vs. Dr. Strange vs. Peter Quill - one of my favorites) and it has heart - just watch the scenes with Vision and Wanda and Thanos and Gamora - it is deeper than I would have though possible given the circumstances.
The Russo Brothers (Anthony and Joe) seem perfectly suited for the film and I'm beyond glad they are coming back for the second part. I'm sure there will be a lot going on between now and then, but Infinity War is a near-perfect culmination of the MCU up to this point. The series continues to evolve and bring us new and exciting ways to enjoy it. It has had its share of ups and downs, but has been on an upward trend recently and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.