Directed by the Russo Brothers (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War), and starring an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr. (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Chaplin), Scarlett Johansson (Lost In Translation, Isle of Dogs), Josh Brolin (Deadpool 2, Sicario), and Mark Ruffalo (Begin Again, Spotlight), Avengers: Infinity War draws in the best in the business to create the biggest film of all time. The lead-up to the film has been 10 years and almost 20 movies and with a budget of $350 million, Infinity War has already made over $39 million in one day. In this post, I will be reviewing the film but will steer clear of any spoilers.
Performances and Casting
There is not too much to say in the way of casting as most of the cast has appeared in previous Marvel films but I think Peter Dinklage was a bad choice for Eitri. Josh Brolin, however, was a great choice for Thanos (despite that casting decision happening over 5 years ago) and Terry Notary, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Carrie Coon, and Michael James Shaw as the various members of the Black Order were well chosen despite their roles being very small. All of the performances were also great and there was not a single weak link.
Screenplay and Direction
The direction and screenplay were both perfectly executed and, considering the sheer volume of content in the film, it is all very well balanced and each major character has an adequate amount of screen time (though the lack of screentime for some made the deaths somewhat less impactful). Also, the humour was considerably better than most previous MCU films with Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Thor taking on most of the comedy.
The story, however, was somewhat lacking, aside from Thanos going to get Infinity Stones with the goal of wiping out half of the universe, there was not a lot of actual content other than fight after fight (which, to be fair, were amazing to watch). The characters and story-lines (aside from Gamora’s and Scarlett Witch’s) were not fleshed out at all and the film suffered somewhat from having one overly powerful villain and a single team trying to defeat him (much like X-Men: Apocalypse. I highlight, however, is the story following the relationship between Vision and Scarlett Witch and everything that happened in Wakanda, including the return of Winston Duke’s M’Baku. Also, though the majority of the film was great, the last ten minutes are somewhat disappointing and I think Marvel has made some very questionable decisions. I would say that, going into the film, you should be very aware that it is the first of a two-parter with the second part coming out a year from now. Otherwise, you will be very disappointed with the ending.
Technicals and Music
One of the most striking things about the film were the special effects. There were very few scenes in which the CGI could have done with some touching-up and the design for the various CGI-based suits was impeccable. The editing was nothing special but, other than one of the opening shots, there were no particularly clumsy edits. Also, the cinematography was much of the same standard: nothing special but good enough to not be noticed. The costumes, as you will have seen from the trailer, are great and, with the return of Ruth E Carter for the Wakandan costumes and the introduction of Judianna Makovsky (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games), the costumes took a darker tone than usual but fit well with the tone of the film.
As for music, the MCU has always been somewhat lacking in grand themes but this is corrected in this film. Starting with the introduction of an amped-up Captain America theme in a sequence towards the start of the film set in Scotland, the music brings an adrenaline-fueled feeling to the film and retains its quality throughout.
Canon and Tie-Ins
As we have come to expect from Marvel films, the respect for the canon and attention to making everything tie in perfectly was flawless. Also, the writers did a very good job of making sure that, even if you had not seen all of the Marvel films leading up to this, you still understood vaguely what was going on (though there is still some stuff you should know to avoid confusion). The use of some of the stones, however, does raise questions about why they have not been used previously in the MCU (especially during the attack on NYC in the first Avengers).
Though the majority of the film is great and, as always, the production is near perfect, the story is somewhat lacking and the ending is very disappointing. I would still recommend seeing the film if you are a fan of the MCU on the whole as it will be important on an ongoing basis (and I am still very excited for Captain Marvel) but you should keep in mind that it is the first of two halves.
I hope you liked this review (let me know what you think in the comments) and I hope you will like the film. Be sure to check out my Black Panther review at The Sci-Fi Critic or some more of ScreenHub Entertainment‘s content like our run-down of vital events to know about before Infinity War and my theory on 3 ways we could see Agent Carter return to the MCU.