It's all come to this. 10 years of world-building, all done on a high-stakes gamble thought to be impossible in Hollywood until one success after another made it possible. This is the Marvel Cinematic Universe's peak. Pessimists will say, "But The Empire Strikes Back got there in three years!" (as critics are calling this film the ESB of the MCU). Others will be overwhelmed by its sheer massive scope - whether it's the lengthy running time, the large amount of characters involved, or the number of plots all diverging to the singular story that connects the film together. Regardless of personal opinion, one can't deny the following statement: INFINITY WAR IS ONE HELL OF A MOVIE, from start to finish. One depressing, heavy, epic, overwhelming movie, but one that actually works. It follows the formula of its predecessors again, but then proceeds to transcend it farther than any of its predecessors had gone before, culminating in a shocking ending that's left people baffled. And, broken.
The major storyline of Infinity War is extremely straightforward - a two-eyed, no-horned giant purple Mad Titan (or Thanos for short) wants to collect six colorful (and powerful) gems to alter the universe as he sees fit. And, it's up to a small, spiky, fast, blue hedgehog to stop Thanos, collect the gems himself, and thwart his evil plan. Okay, that's not really the plot.
Thanos's goal is true, though. He thinks the universe faces overpopulation issues, which would lead to a loss of major resources vital to survival. So, he's after the Infinity Stones, six powerful gems that each have their own power (all but one of them had been seen in previous MCU films) that, when brought together with a special Gauntlet, can reshape the universe entirely. Every single Marvel superhero in this franchise is out to stop Thanos from achieving his goal, as he poses a serious threat, perhaps more so than any other villain before him. This leads to new team-ups between different heroes that offer incredible payoffs and interactions as they ultimately do everything in their power to stop Thanos once and for all.
What follows is a spoiler-filled discussion on the plot, characters, and other aspects of Infinity War. Read at your own risk if you still haven't seen the film yet.
Photo courtesy of IMDB.
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Cast: lots of Marvel superheroes (see full list here, courtesy of IMDB), Josh Brolin, Peter Dinklage
Distributor: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures