“Epic and heartbreaking!”
“Really good but really good but really horrible”
These were the reactions of my two teenage daughters after we saw Avengers: Infinity War last night. Less than 24 hours previously, I had the privilege of attending the Brisbane premier with my wife Kelly (if you want a big screen, awesome sound and comfy reclining seats then I highly recommend the Titan Luxe at Reading Cinemas in Newmarket, Brisbane!). Marvel movies are a bit of a thing in our house, especially with the older girls, and I certainly needed no convincing to see it a second time. By the studio’s own admission, Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of 10 years and 19 movies that have built and developed the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Over the years many memorable characters have been introduced such as Iron Man, Captain America (a personal favourite) along with the other Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and a host of others. Marvel has also been commended for prominently featuring female heroes who command the screen along with their male (and alien) counterparts.
There will be no spoilers here, except to say that the movie does an admirable job of managing such a large ensemble of characters while constructing a cohesive and clear storyline. Avengers: Infinity War picks up as the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, but a dangerous menace has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. As a stand-alone movie the plot is accessible, although fans that have followed the MCU from its inception will enjoy the connections from previous movies that are weaved throughout. I am no expert reviewer, but the movie does deliver and we were not left disappointed, and are certainly very keen for the sequel to roll around next year. The villain, Thanos (excellently portrayed by Josh Brolin), is certainly front and centre throughout the movie, and his character and motivations are more complex than your usual “run of the mill” baddie. These nuances certainly left our older girls conflicted about what they should feel about this character, given that this decision is usually made more straight forward if the villain is rather one dimensional.
Thanos first appeared in the Iron Man #55 comic book issue in 1973. He is a powerful Titan warlord who rules over the furthest regions of space and commands massive armies known as the Chitauri and the Outriders. “We always knew that the bar was very high with Thanos,” said the producer, Kevin Feige. “He made a very brief appearance in ‘The Avengers.’He had a couple lines of dialogue and a brief appearance in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ and we saw him very briefly at the end of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’But other than that, we’ve never really seen him do anything. We’ve just been teasing his presence and the coming of Thanos since ‘The Avengers.’”
Feige continues, “In our story, Thanos had to deliver a threat far beyond anything the Avengers had ever seen before. That’s not just making him strong and powerful, which he is. It’s about having a villain who’s charismatic and who you surprisingly begin to feel for a bit. More so than any of our other movies, this is very much a story about Thanos and his drive, goals and past. This is the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that a film is really told from the villain’s point of view.”
This movie is rated M in Australia and PG-13 in the US and I would concur that this is pretty accurate. While there are Marvel movies with more crude humour, this is one of the more violent outings, with the usual mayhem that accompanies these movies coupled with significant personal violence as well as complex overarching motivations that stimulate discussion. Overall, Avengers: Infinity War is a spectacle 10 years in the making and if you’re a Marvel fan, it’s certainly worth a trip to the cinema to see it on the big screen.
Avengers: Infinity War is out in cinemas in Australia now. View the trailer here.