So here we are, 10 years on, 18 movies, huge amount of laughs, massive budgets and more action than any venture into the Marvel world has been able to shake Thor’s hammer at in the past. But can Avengers: Infinity War live up to the titanic amount of hype that has built up around it?
Starting with a wild card film of Iron Man all the way back in 2008, not only did this shot-in-the-dark film revitalise the career of Robert Downey Jr, but it breathed new life into the Marvel film franchise. Following up with whole arcs of films linking Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and latterly Ant-Man, Black Panther and The Guardians of The Galaxy – the franchise has grown into an unstoppable juggernaut of cinema that has dominated box offices for the last 10 years.
So, with actors (if not their characters) being forced to age, the Russo Brothers and Kevin Feige, as show-runners, have undoubtedly been faced with a conundrum outside the confines of fan service. Just how long can one actor play a role?
If you aren’t totally au fait with the run up of films that has culminated in Infinity War, the premise is thus: the mad titan Thanos has, for most of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) so far, been trying to collect all of the Infinity Stones that control different aspects of the universe; power, time, soul, mind, reality and space.Why, you may ask? So that he can wipe out half of all sentient life in the universe ‘with a snap of his fingers’. Why would he do that you may further ask? Well, he’s the mad titan after all…
But to the main article itself – can Infinity War, the longest film in the Marvel franchise to date, keep momentum, keep up with expectations and still stay coherent with such a vast cast and huge amount of storytelling to do?
The roster of heroes in this movie is easily the largest to date, with nearly every hero from across The Avengers series plus the cast of Guardians of The Galaxy added on – there’s a lot to get through. Although it’s definitely better if you’ve seen at least SOME of the films prior, there’s still enough emotion and character building layered into the film without it all feeling shoehorned in (this was confirmed by my partner who’s definitely seen less of the films than I have).
There are moments of genuine edge-of-your-seat excitement that will have you restraining your reactions in the cinema; as well as moments of actual heart-wrenching sadness. Thankfully, Feige and the Russo Brothers understand that at their heart, the movies are drawn from comics and there’s just enough humour scattered throughout so that the landscape of the film isn’t totally dark.
Acting across the board is sublime. Over the last decade or so, each of the actors has really had time to sink into their roles – which they have all done admirably. Characters feel reel and evocative – their pain is yours and you laugh with them. Considering franchises such as Transformers have similar lengths of service and long-standing actors; this is no mean feat for an ‘adventure’ movie to muster up. Alan Silvestri’s score underlines everything perfectly – whatever is happening on screen is perfectly matched by the genius composition of the orchestra. With dark and foreboding brass for the approach of Thanos and his vanguard to the swell of strings at emotional climaxes, whatever the visuals themselves don’t bring out of you, the music will.
Now, I’m not saying that the film is some directorial masterpiece of arthouse cinema… it’s not. It’s not some deep and psychological drama (although the fanboy in me still feels wounded at points) that’s made to sit with you for weeks as you reconsider your life. It is however, when looked at as a whole, one of the best films made. It’s no Godfather, no Citizen Kane or even Psycho. However, it is the culmination of ten years of dedication and work from countless staffers, actors, directorial and production staff that has grown into a movie that is emotive, funny, gripping and overall hugely fun.
If you haven’t seen it yet, go, and try to avoid the spoilers – and if there was ever a reason to start looking into investing in a home cinema system for the Blu-ray release, this film is it!
Author: Steve, Chiswick store