Avengers: Infinity War (M)

In a Word: Dizzying

It's all been building to this. A cross-over extravaganza of colourful characters, exotic locales and head-spinning action, Infinity War finally brings together 10 years worth of Marvel movies (well, most of them, anyway) in a single, intertwined storyline.

The story centres on Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin) - apparently the most powerful of the bad guys in the Marvel storylines - and his plot to commit universe-wide genocide (although, to be fair, this ogrish giant does have his own twisted moral compass to explain his actions to do with over-population and sustainability of resources). To carry out his plan, Thanos needs to acquire all of the six 'infinity stones' - talismans of great power that brought together make him the master of the universe (no, not that guy - different milieu).

Infinity War

WHEN WORLD'S COLLIDE: Avengers Peter Parker/Spiderman (Tom Holland) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr) meet Guardians Drax (Dave Bautista), Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff).

 

"Films which bring together so many strands can be hard to make (how to do so without sacrificing the audience's connection with individuals characters?), but Infinity War manages it largely thanks to the fact that we already know the characters well."

Of course, the only ones standing in his way are the Marvel good guys including the Avengers - you know, Iron Man (aka Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Vision (Paul Bettany) along with a host of others in a list too long for a single review - as well more stand-alone heroes like Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and those rascally oddballs from Guardians of the Galaxy led by Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt). Through various means, they join together in battling against Thanos and his evil cohort of monster accomplices.

There's plenty of sub-plot twists and turns, humour and strange creatures and worlds to keep even the most hardened Marvel watcher interested. Films which bring together so many strands can be hard to make - how to do so without sacrificing the audience's connection with individual characters?, but Infinity War manages it largely thanks to the fact that we already know the characters well (and, it's worth saying that, if you haven't at least seen some of the previous Marvel films, good luck - this one isn't likely to make a whole lot of sense).

It's a long film - just introducing the cast alone takes a good while - but it moves at such a pace that there's no sense of time dragging. The CGI is stellar (never any doubt it would be based on the previous outings) and with such a star-studded cast - newcomers include Peter Dinklage, the acting is as solid as expected (although given the lack of time for character development, it's not a hard ask in this film).

If you've been a fan of the Marvel films - whether rusted-on or a more casual watcher - this one's essential. And there's plenty of questions left unanswered as the credits roll - just hoping that Marvel's creators don't take the easy (and rather obvious) option with the follow-ups (you'll know what I mean).

Ultimately, this is an in-your-face explosion of out-of-this world super-hero antics which carries with it a sense of culmination yet leave the door open to so many possibilities. Just don't take it too seriously.