Rating: 9/10 (Masterpiece but the end...)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Benicio Del Toro, Brie Larson, Idris Elba, Benedict Wong, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, with Vin Diesel as Groot and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo
Producer: Kevin Feige
Banner: Marvel Studios
The wait is over. The biggest film of the year and quite possibly the biggest ensemble ever seen in cinematic history has arrived. Spanning an unprecedented 10 years, Marvel Studios biggest film, Avengers: Infinity Was is here. Does the film live up to the gargantuan expectations and deliver on all counts? Let's find out.
Plot: The Avengers, operating in separate factions team with up with the Guardians of the Galaxy and use all of their allies and resources to try to stop Thanos (Josh Brolin) from eliminating half of humanity in the universe.
Performances: The Russo brothers have stated that Infinity War is a Thanos film. And it really is. Josh Brolin is impeccable and outstanding as Thanos. Marvel films have often had horrendous villains with only Loki and Erik Kilmonger making an impact. It's safe to say that Thanos is easily the best villain the MCU has ever created. Brolin's performance of empathy, rage, and conquest are all easily portrayed by the veteran actor and it's rare where you get to see a film from the villain's point of view for the majority of a movie. The movie belongs to Josh Brolin.
Since it's a massive ensemble, there is only so much screen time available to other characters but the Russo brothers do a fantastic job of balancing the cast.
Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans all bring a new dimension to their characters and the stalwarts are flawless in their portrayals of their respective superhero characters.
The Guardians of the Galaxy provide most of the jokes in an otherwise serious film and Pratt and co. deliver once again. Dave Bautista steals the show with his comic timing.
However, Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther is the odd one out in this film. After a historic success, the King of Wakanda has a mere 15 minutes of screen time and it feels more like a cameo than an actual role.
The rest of the cast and crew is adequate and all perform well. Special mention to Tom Holland and Zoe Saldana as they provide the film's most emotional moments and they are excellent.
Direction: The Russo brother's had massive pressure on them to deliver in this film. Originally a two part film with one story, the directors opted for two different films. Having delivered two blockbusters already in The Winter Soldier and Civil War, they were tasked with handling Marvel's biggest film to date. And they pass with flying colors. Filmmaking is no easy task whether you are a a commercial director or an artistic one and the effort and strain they've put into the film show. How do you balance almost 30 characters while making each and everyone have an impact on the story? Ask the Russo brothers. The brilliance in this film is how well they balance each form and shade of the film. It has the tone of Doctor Strange while not losing out on the comic brilliance that is the Guardians of the Galaxy. It has banter between Stark and Strange that is brilliant because of how similar their characters are. Even small characters have a big part to play. They successfully do what Joss Whedon did in the first Avengers and they balance everything perfectly. The various subplots merge into one and make for an incredible experience from start to finish. Also the emotional stakes and weight of the film are handled with precision. Infinity War is a film based more on human emotions with an action undercurrent and that's a first for a Marvel film. Thanos while hell bent on destroying the world, is somebody who is empathetic and you feel for him. Some of the other characters have emotional arcs as well such as Vision and Scarlet Witch. While making a movie like this might have been a daunting task, the Russo brothers deliver what will be remembered as a classic yet so incomplete because of the cliffhanger ending.
Technicalities: Marvel Studios has always had superior production values and Infinity War takes that to the next level. Music by Alan Silvestri is outstanding. Cinematography by Trent Opalach is ethereal. The visuals during the action sequences are simply godlike. Production Design, Makeup, Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing are all phenomenal. The visual effects in Infinity War are quite simply the best graphics you will ever seen in a movie period. They are simply unbelievable. Whether it be the attention to detail in Brolin's Thanos or the world's they have created, Marvel has outdone themselves with this one. Action Sequences deserve a special mention. Infinity War features about 5-6 action sequences and all of them are fabulous and a treat to watch. The climax sequence in Wakanda is probably the pick of the lot while the Battle on Titan is also brilliant. Production Values by Kevin Feige are out of this world. IF the dictionary could feature a picture next to the world planning, Kevin Feige's face should be right next to it. What this man has been able to accomplish has been nothing short of extraordinary and the fact that 19 films later, the audience is still lapping up the films tells you something about the brand of Marvel Studios.
+ Literally Everything
Final Take and Analysis: After 10 years, it's hard to believe Marvel is where it's at. They started it with a movie called Iron Man and cast a man with a sinking career as Tony Stark in Robert Downey Jr. and the rest is history.
10 years later, they're the highest grossing franchise in history and will probably will be for the rest of time and they make films with minimum content and churn out consistent blockbusters every time.
It's safe to say they push the boundaries and in Infiinity War, it feels as if Marvel has outdone themselves. The film as a whole is fantastic from start to finish. The direction and performances are simply outstanding and the film runs at a breakneck speed that you never feel bored and will find it hard to breathe.
The first act deals with Thanos and his conquest before your favorite Avengers start getting introduced one by one. Captain America and Thor are responsible for the films best moments and Thor in particular gets a scene that literally brings the house down towards the end. Ragnarok has changed his fortunes and don't be surprised if Thor is now on your list for favorite Avengers. All of the characters play a crucial part in the story in stopping Thanos from achieving his ultimate goal. The brilliance and differentiation lies within the emotional stakes. Most Marvel films are built on action sequences and the story while leaving emotional moments out.
Infinity War is perhaps the most emotional movie because of everything that happens throughout the film. You will cry, you will laugh, and you will cheer because Marvel is not playing around this time and they've catered to every section of the audience with every possible genre. Infinity War is essentially a masala entertainer. It has action, comedy, drama, and a little bit of romance thrown in there.
The ending though, is probably what will stay with you. The Russo brothers and the writers of the film have come up with an ending that is surely going to haunt you. It is equivalent and as shocking as the end of the Telugu film Baahubali The Beginning and is highly reminiscent of that film. You'll be thinking about it until the fourth Avengers film arrives next year.
Overall, Avengers: Infinity War is a masterpiece from Marvel Studios and delivers on all fronts and lives up-to the hype. With a massive ensemble cast, brilliant direction, and ethereal action sequences, this movie is simply amazing. Go and experience the cinematic journey that is Infinity War.