The Blockbuster Dream: “Avengers: Infinity War”

The Female Gaze: Lindsey Jones
The Female Gaze: Lindsey Jones

If you thought you witnessed ultimate decimation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), think again before watching “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018).

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, part one of two “Infinity War” is as overwhelming and emotional as fans expected.

Set across the universe, in countries from Wakanda and Scotland to planets Knowhere and Vormir, “Infinity War” stars nearly every Marvel superhero in the MCU.

The originals like Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) return with newer heroes Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Okoye (Danai Gurira).

Marvel has crafted the universe for a decade which finally culminated into “Infinity War,” where the superheroes must join together across planets to stop the ultimate-giant-purple-villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) from wiping out civilizations.

Since the end credits clip after “The Avengers” (2012), Thanos has been searching for the Infinity stones which would give him ultimate power for creation or devastation. His emergence has been teased throughout the past few years and his character arc was one of the few fleshed out in the film.

“Infinity War” is filled with expected death, destruction and a few surprises. The plot leans towards the dedicated fans who know every easter egg, rather than Marvel world newcomers.

That being said, the film cleverly embeds the relationships between the characters, so you’re always slightly clued into the relationships, even if you hadn’t seen all 18 films beforehand.

As depicted in the posters, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) meets the Guardians (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana), while Captain America (Chris Evans) joins arms with Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). The reunions and new introductions brought clever comedic moments as the superheroes butt heads.  

The film successfully jumps from planet to planet and group to group, without disorienting audiences too much and is almost episodic until the climax with Thanos.

Because the film has come after a handful of origin stories and sequels alongside the Avengers group stories, the characters’ foundation has been in the making for years.

This left “Infinity War” to jump into the current moment where the Avengers are broken up and Thor and Hulk are across the universe. Leaving this review spoiler free, “Infinity War” embodies Hollywood studios’ convergence and a shift in storytelling.

Since it is a combination of a decade in the making, it only makes sense that “Infinity War” cost Disney around $400 million in production and marketing, but, its destruction of box-office records should let Disney and Marvel executives sleep well in the upcoming weeks.

“Infinity War” leveraged its huge superhero star cast in the marketing leading up to the release, but its character development was focused on a few key players and left everyone else to a few one-liners. However, they gave most characters enough screen time to please fans.

The large number of characters would be any studio’s dream. Ensuring screen time for every superhero brought the mega fans to theaters and the hilarious pop-culture-driven jokes kept more mainstream fans laughing before a dramatic shift in the film. Again, I won’t spoil anything--just go see it for yourself.

The success of “Infinity War” at the box-office and with fans is unsurprising as it is a combination of the past Marvel films of the last 10 years. “Infinity War” beautifully condensed so many storylines into 149 minutes--it left me both in shock and at times, in tears.

The next chapter in “Infinity War” can’t come soon enough to see the outcome of the ultimate fight. Until then fans will have to look forward to Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018) and “Captain Marvel” (2019).  

“Avengers: Infinity War” is playing now at Ashley Square Cinema.