Avengers Infinity War: A Review

The immense success of the Marvel franchise has been a cinematic revelation: no other comic book, no superheroes (we’re looking at you, DC) have gained quite the rabid fan following that Marvel has spawned. From good old Captain America to snarky Tony Stark, fans have followed the characters from villain to villain, planet to planet: Infinity War is the culmination of all we loved about previous Marvel movies, and yet it heralds the new era of that is to come.

Releasing a letter to guard against spoilers may have been the best thing the Russo brothers could have done, because every second of the film seems to yield plots and events that will decide the fate of the universe. Considering the number of characters, each with their own complex back stories and subplots, one would expect to be victims of information overload- but the quick, clean action scenes interspersed with classic Marvel sass and witty dialogue lighten the weighty plot points. The emotional power of this movie and these arcs is not to be underestimated, however, with important sacrifices being made by characters left and right, this may be the saddest Marvel film yet. You just know it’s a gut-wrenching movie when even the villain cries, which Thanos does (I won’t tell you why)- diehard Marvel fans should invest in boxes of tissues for sure. The fighting is intense and immersive, managing to toe the line between necessary for an action movie and monotonous: fervid fights between every possible villain and superhero are seen, each unique in its own method and taking place exotic locales from across the universe. Ambitious as the crossover has been deemed, it can be said that each character got his due- but, like every movie before it, it leaves viewers eager to see the next in the series, in this case, Captain Marvel (who has interestingly been gender bent to a woman in the cinematic universe).

Thanos, the brightly violet ‘evilest of all evil’- Josh Brolin- has been angling for this final showdown for the past few movies, but when watching one realises that every Marvel sub-franchise has contributed plot points to this one even if you did not quite see it then. The Guardians, Thor and the Asgardians, Dr. Strange and his Mystic powers, the Avengers and Ultron: the way the puzzle pieces, or should I say infinity stones, fit together is astounding to watch.  Yes, there are scenes that will have you laughing out loud: look to the hilarious Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista) for these, but Tom Holland is equally wonderful in his stint as a naive teenager with Spidey powers. Old favourites do what one expects- Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)is brilliant and witty, Chris Evans is blonde and honourable as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulkis angry and everywhere, though the Black Widow Scarlett Johansson could have used more screen-time. It’s the way it all comes together, nostalgia with new blood, sass with serious concern, that has always made Marvel a success. Meanwhile, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Scarlet Witch (Mary-Kate Olson) are essential to some of the film’s major plot lines but, despite their status as some of the most deadly women in the world, seem passive- used as they are by the male figures in the story for their own ends. After the massive success of Black Panther it is also shocking that Shuri, Okoye and the King himself didn’t get more screen-time, but let it be known that any glimpse of Wakanda and T’Challa is great in my book.

Fates and worlds hinge upon a group of superheroes so diverse that half of them don’t know each other- new alliances are forged, old friends reunited, but the villains just may not be defeated. Suffice it to say that if you’re a Marvel fan, there’s no way you would have missed this movie anyway. If you’re not a Marvel fan, well, this’ll be the movie to convince you otherwise.

- Devanshika Bajpai