April 25, 2018

Avengers Infinity War is in theaters on April 27th, 2018.

It was very nearly six years ago now that The Avengers came barging into theaters around the world like the Kool-Aid man. I remember seeing it the day of its release and thinking, "I need to see EVERY. SINGLE. FILM. that has anything to do with superheros EVER." That feeling lasted about a day. Marvel has a fan base that is -- for lack of a better term -- overwhelming, in a lot of ways. There are people in the world who will verbally deliver you to Hades for questioning Captain America's intentions or speculating on the relationship between Bruce and Natasha.

There are grown men and women who know more about the Marvel Universe than the actual one they exist in. And good for them! I think at this point, that place is safer. No matter whose corner you're in, Marvel has something for everyone. For me, Marvel and Taika Waititi gave me my favorite character, Korg, in Thor: Ragnarok. They know their audience -- a good portion of the planet -- and seem to have an endless supply of what I like to call Movie Crack; an extremely addictive plot device/story/character/score that you simply can't get enough of it. This review is going to be scant on details because I would never even dream of potentially spoiling even a single detail for any of you. That said...

Avengers: Infinity War is centered around a villain who thinks he is a hero named Thanos (Josh Brolin). His goal is to collect all of the Infinity Stones -- that look a LOT like Sonic's Chaos Emeralds -- and destroy half of the population of the entire universe. This installment of the franchise is billed at 2 hours and 40 minutes long. That only seems long. When one considers all of the story being jigsawed to form a whole, the movie -- realistically -- could have been longer.

In the first 10 minutes or so, we get follow-up on that Ragnarok credits scene featuring a hammer-less Thor (Chris Hemsworth) followed by catching up with Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and Tony & Pepper (Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow) back on Earth. Bruce is running the Thanos warning down to NYC in the style of Paul Revere warning of the British. Somewhere on a fieldtrip, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his spidey sense get wind of the doom about to befall the city and he swings into action. I don't quite get why Tony Stark doesn't like the lad, but I enjoy the banter.

Meanwhile, somewhere in space, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and the rest of the Guardians crew are cruising along when they, too, learn of Thanos' impending arrival. I'd like to take a moment here to say that, as a wrestling fan, I can not only relate to the fandom of the superhero genre, but every time Dave Bautista -- who plays Drax -- was on-screen, I had a big, stupid grin plastered on my face.

Over in Europe, Wanda and Vision (Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany) have their first run-in with Thanos' soldiers, the Black Order; they are ruthless and loyal to their gigantic overlord and willing to do whatever it takes to get the stones he seeks. Still to come are, of course, a bearded Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a blonde Natasha (Scarlett Johansson), and -- off in Wakanda (forever) -- are Bucky (Sebastian Stan), T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), his tech-savvy sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), and Okoye (Danai Gurira).

Honestly, there are so many people in this movie. I think I'm in it at some point. It's an impressive feat. Hearing folks say things like, "I've been waiting for this movie for nearly a decade" is pretty cool. It's going to be a surreal experience for them. Anytime you get this many stars in one film, it's going to be explosive. For me, I imagine it's like a Royal Rumble in the wrestling world, with men and women. Literally every superstar they've got. And they're all just doing what they do best. I can't speak on the intricacies of the stories behind every character. I never read the comics and I've seen a handful of the movies leading up to this one. That said, I think Anthony and Joe Russo absolutely nailed it. My writer brain took to picking apart scenes that I thought could have been funnier, but they don't pay me to write these movies. Yet.

Truth be told, writing a Marvel movie seems like an incredibly tall order. My regards to Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, as well. Infinity War is a movie that is written, with love, for the fans. It is brimming with effects that will melt IMAX moviegoers' faces off of their heads. Alan Silvestri composes the score to accompany the on-screen maelstrom, giving the audience a submursive experience fit for the fan who has patiently awaited this moment.

Your diligence leading up to this moment is about to pay off in spades. If I may make a couple of suggestions -- bring some tissues and a stress ball. You'll be learning the fates of characters you've invested your time and emotions in. In the meantime, keep me in your thoughts -- my mother is a massive Robert Downey Jr. fan and I've refused to tell her what happens.


Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Katie Katie (Contributor) is a cinephile and Chicago native who has been reviewing film for nearly a decade. Her heroes include Roger Ebert and Jay Sherman -- it stinks!
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Avengers: Infinity War is here, and wow is it here. This will be a completely SPOILER- FREE review and is cut short to keep it that way. Also, keep in mind that I am a MASSIVE fan of these films, and I may have some sort of bias in the subject of comic book films because of this. Infinity War is the culmination of ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Remember the ugly purple guy from the after credits scene of the first Avengers film? Well, his name is Thanos and he is the biggest bad of them all. Infinity War does an unbelievable job of making this character not only terrifying, but very well-rounded. He is the main character of this film. He is the driving force of this story, and the Avengers along with the Guardians of the Galaxy are just trying to keep up. Do they succeed, or do they fail? Show up to the theater as soon as possible to find out.

Speaking of the teams involved, there are A LOT of characters in this film. I would say 95% of the heroes in this film get at least one great moment to shine, but a few side characters do still get dealt a short hand. This was to be expected in my opinion, so I wasn’t too upset. It’s not like Iron Man or Captain America only have two lines, it’s ones you could expect that have this problem. There are also fantastic storylines from characters that you wouldn’t necessarily expect, so it makes even more sense that smaller characters stay that way in this script.

With this film containing so many characters that are scattered all over the galaxy, it does jump around to catch up with different stories that are going on at the same time. I thought the editing of each cut was placed about as perfectly as they could be. Unlike a film like The Last Jedi, where you jump cut from Luke and Rey arguing with each other to Finn and Rose just walking around a casino, you’re completely invested and excited to see what’s going on with every group of characters in this film, making the cuts nothing to be upset over.

I think the one negative I can really think of as a massive fan of these movies is if you are NOT a massive fan, or if you haven’t seen a good chunk of the 18 MCU films that came before this, you may not be as invested or follow along as easily. Being a fan of the films and the lore really go a long way with this film. You are thrown straight into the thick of it after the Marvel Studios logo shows on screen. Someone who doesn’t know the past could immediately be confused, but I believe what is shown on screen is explained enough and is entertaining enough to still be enjoyed by any audience member.

This is actually where I’m going to end the review. PLEASE go see this film as early as you possibly can. It is full of spoilers and huge surprises that you deserve to experience in a theater first, especially if you’re a fan. Be excited for the action. Be excited for characters meeting that have never done so before. But most importantly, be excited for the surprises. Your jaw will drop multiple times and by the end of the film you’ll be looking around your feet trying to find your jaw because it’s just completely hit the floor and fallen off.

Rating: 4.9 out of 5

LoganLogan (Contributor) is a Texas native and a massive fan of all genres of film. You can find him talking about movies on YouTube as half of the CraZCouple or in line for the latest Star Wars/Comic Book film.
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If you’ve been watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the past 6 years then you know it’s all been building up to this this movie. The question is - was it worth the wait?

There are a TON of superheroes in this movie, everyone from Iron Man(Robert Downey Jr.) to Starlord (Chris Pratt) and all across the Marvel universe. Take note though that not everyone is in it, some peeps are left out and they do provide an explanation so I didn’t feel like a part of the movie was missing. That being said, with all these superheroes and supporting cast it’s a juggernaut of a movie. Some scenes skip around too much and there’s so many things happening on different planets you forget when the last time you saw XYZ was. It certainly doesn’t flow as well as I expected it to, I honestly felt like they could’ve done a lot better with the scene changes and getting the whole gang together. Some of the characters weren’t even with the other characters and it was something that - especially in the end, needed to happen.

Josh Brolin plays Thanos, the big bad planet killer they have been teasing us about since forever. I dislike CGI villains and have a really hard time taking them seriously. I think he’s an amazing actor but the animation just ruined it for me. If they could just take a note from the Hellboy Films and use prosthetics, I think the outcome would’ve connected better for me. Marvel has a serious problem with their villains - this certainly doesn’t help.

I left the theater feeling shocked and very sad. A lot of people die - not just superheroes and it will leave you wondering “well what’s next then?”. At least that’s how I feel now. I take no comfort in knowing there’s only 3 more officially confirmed Marvel Movies...that means a lot of what happened is probably official. Maybe in the sequel they will use the Time stone and hit rewind!

So onto the question, was it worth all the teasing and hinting over this very long 6 year period? My answer is no... it was a great movie but a bit hard to follow and I’m not on board with CGI Thanos. I’m a fan of the Russo brothers I just thought this was too much crammed together. Marvel fanboys/girls will love this movie as well as casual fans of the franchise.

If you’re not up to date watch Thor: Ragnarok - this takes place immediately after those events and they do not give a recap so be caught up before you go!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

AshleyKAshley K. (Contributor) is a frequent traveler currently living in San Diego. She's a super nerd who enjoys all kinds of movies and doesn't always think the book was better.
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Since the events of civil war, all the heroes in the galaxy must unite despite their differences. This includes the Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers, Dr. Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) and more to fight against the evil father of Nebula (played by Karen Gillian) and Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana); Thanos (played by Josh Brolin). He will not stop at anything to acquire not one or two, but all six of the infinity stones. Will the Avengers be able to defeat Thanos before he welds all the power or will they all be destroyed?

This Marvel Cinematic Universe has foreshadowed this event since the very beginning. That is over ten years of superhero films. And while I was worried that this could easily be a over crowded mess of a film, the Russo brothers pulled it off. They were able to give most characters just enough time to give you what you were hoping for. But by far, the best part of the film is Thanos. Josh Brolin (previously seen in “No Country of Old Men” and “Inherent Vice”) absolutely killed it playing such a terrifying villain. He is now my favorite MCU villain by far. I also thought the Russo brothers did a fantastic job with the comedy in such a dark film. At moments the audience was crying and a few seconds later they were laughing. And like I mentioned earlier they did a great job not only spending time with the majority of the characters, but also understanding them. They had to take these characters that were previously written and directed by different directors and merge them into one film, and surprisingly they made it work. And while the tones are different between scenes, it completely works.

Now while it was awesome seeing all these characters that you have waited for years to see battle together, this film does have its flaws. The big issue I wanted to address is the amount of time spent with each character. There is so much going on in this film and so many different subplots that it is easy to forget what is going on with the different story lines. I also feel that some Avengers did not get as much screen time as I would have liked. But then again these directors had to fit all these heroes into a two and a half hour film. Another flaw that I do not think is the directors fault is that you are pretty much required to see all the prior Marvel films. Like I said before, I would say that that falls more upon Kevin Feige and Disney rather than the Russo brothers.

Over all I had an absolute blast with this film. The pacing was very fast and made the long runtime fly by. It was great seeing all these characters we have all grown to love finally have a team up movie. There are some minor flaws like I said but if you have been a MCU fan you will have a great time with this! It is a lot of fanservice, but still a great experience.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Cabell Cabell (Contributor) is a filmmaker from Tampa, Florida. He will watch just about any film but when he's not reviewing the latest hits he spends time directing films of his own.
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