Review: Avengers: Infinity War

10 Years and 18 films later brings us, finally, to the culminating duke-it-out between Omnipotent Overlord Thanos and the disbanded Avengers. The Russo Brothers have fashioned a visual effects bonanza that marries cohesive storytelling, humour and big screen spectacle in equal measure. In an age of Superhero fatigue, Avengers: Infinity War delivers.

The most telling card that makes Avengers: Infinity War such an ear shattering joy to watch is the narrative decision to not include superfluous re-exposition of its characters. By this I mean, think about X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse – did you notice that Magneto’s back story gets retold again and again in each film? That’s unnecessary re-exposition or, as I like to call it, the Simon Kinberg effect.  It’s the same thing as watching a horror movie sequel where the bad guy(s) are the only consistent thing and you have to relearn the rules even though you know how the whole thing works.

Screenwriters Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) assume you’re up to date with all the MCU machinations and just run with it. The only back story and exposition you get, thankfully, is Thanos. And it works a treat.

The now disbanded Avengers initiative are like an annoying sore on the buttocks of the government with the members dispersed after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther. When Bruce Banner returns to Earth with a warning that Thanos is coming for the remaining infinity stones, a collection of 6 gems that will grant him dominion over the universe, it isn’t too long before all hell breaks loose.

Marrying up a wall of characters and trying to give them airtime in a very tight 140 minute run time is no easy task and, for the most part, the Russos manage to achieve a solid balance between the story lines that are running through the film. Avengers: Infinity War motors along its trajectory filled with quipping, humour, spectacle, a surprising level of heart and peril as this giant purple humanoid sets his plans in motion.

Avengers: Infinity War is definitely the MCU’s The Empire Strikes Back moment (thank you, Kozzie), and marks the best in the franchise since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s certainly the best of the Avengers films and proves there’s plenty of life left in this multi-billion dollar Marvel universe.

★★★★1/2

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is in CINEMAS NOW!