Review – To Infinity And Beyond Wow! (“Avengers: Infinity War”)

Wow. There are SOOOOO many superheroes in this movie, it’s mind-blowing. I’ll be so busy telling you who all the characters are that, suffice to say, required watching of all the previous Marvel films are required here. Better get out your playbook, kiddies, ’cause here we go…
(Some spoilers ahead!
Picking right up from the final moments of Thor: Ragnarok, Thanos (Josh Brolin in mo-cap) has arrived … finally! He’s an intergalactic super-baddie (with super-nasty cronies) who wears the ultimate weapon, the Infinity Gauntlet. But that huge gold glove needs six special stones to power it, and he’s already got one. Earth has two of them, but he wants them all and nothing is gonna stop him from his murderous rampage. This movie takes us on several journeys, fights, full-out battles, and intergalactic escapes to other planets to get those stones, with multiple storylines interconnecting and criss-crossing throughout Thanos’ deadly quest.

We have Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) first attempting to stop Thanos, but that only leads to Bruce being zapped to Earth to warn Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Spider-man (Tom Holland), and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, jr) of the Mad Titan’s immanent approach. But while Strange, Tony, and Spidey decide to take the fight to Thanos in space, Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and her love, Vision (Paul Bettany) are on the run from Thanos’ warriors in Scotland. Remember? Vision has the Mind Stone smack dab in his forehead.

Luckily, they’ve got the banished Avengers to help them out: Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Captain America (Chris Evans). They figure, hey, where’s the best place to hide Vision? Where else but Wakanda! There they meet up with King T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), all his fighting brethren, and the former Winter Soldier himself, Bucky Barnes–who now goes by the name, The White Wolf (Sebastian Shaw).

THEN, we have the Guardians of the Galaxy joining in! Star Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), teenage Groot (Vin Diesel v/o), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and raccoon Rocket (Bradley Cooper v/o). They hook up with Strange, Spidey, and Tony to try and defeat Thanos on his lost planet of Titan, but things get a little dicey. Meanwhile, while Thor is busy getting a new hammer made with the help of Eitri, the Dwarf King (Peter Dinklage), Thanos is jumping all over the galaxy, collecting those stones one-by-one like Pokemon cards, and it looks like no one can stop this guy!

At a fast-paced and streamlined 2hrs and 29mins, the screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who wrote nearly all of the other Marvel/Avenger films), wastes no time in throwing in their signature beats: adventure, pathos, comedy, action to the nth degree, and a remarkably fleshed-out Thanos that, pound-for-pound, is a humanistic-alien villain containing THE most compelling and emotionally satisfying backstory that I’ve seen in years. Oh sure, he’s out to conquer the universe like all the others, true, but it’s WHY that’s so dreadful and absorbing at the same time. Never has a comic book story seemed so real and so gut-wrenching.

Plus you have the typically wonderful Avengers/Guardians dialogue that’s laced with comedic quips, Stark’s puns, and Quill’s bad-boy behavior that lighten the mood over this rather dramatic and dire plot that, as Dr. Strange puts it, “This is the end times”. It’s also a testament to Markus & McFeely, and to the Russo Brothers (Anthony & Joe) as directors, to not only keep the flow of this movie going smoothly with all the multiple stories, but to give as much screen time to their individual characters as well. In fact, there’s SO much of this movie that you know that there’s a part two planned for 2019. Stay after the credits and you’ll be treated to a tasty little teaser, sorta introducing a new Marvel superhero for Infinity War-part two, or Avengers 4, or whatever they’re gonna call it.

ZOOM (2006)