Avengers: Infinity War is obliterating box office records, and rightly so.
It passed Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the biggest opening weekend domestic box office of all time at $250 million compared to Star War’s $248 million, and currently sits at $1.9 billion globally. Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely managed to pull off something that seemed almost impossible. While balancing a cast stacked with A-list actors and about 25 different superheroes, they stayed true to each and every character, and delivered a story packed with emotion, humor, tragedy, excitement, and complete devastation. Never have I had such a visceral reaction to a movie, but the pain is worth it to have experienced a cinematic feat that is hands down Marvel’s best film yet, and just an incredible film in its own right.
The phrase that best describes Infinity War is “an emotional gut-punch” and that’s putting it lightly. Before the film even starts, the Marvel intro isn’t accompanied by the iconic theme, but instead somber music that lets you know just what kind of an experience you’re in for. The stakes are high, and the heroes aren’t going to come out on top. We’ve grown up with most of these characters, and seeing them beaten, broken, and obliterated leaves you with a feeling you can’t quite describe.
The gravity of the film however is perfectly balanced with brilliantly written comedy stemming from the interactions between different groups of characters. Doctor Strange teams up with Tony Stark to create one of the best pairings in the movie, leading to a clash of strong personalities that makes for some hilarious exchanges of sarcasm and snark. When Spider-Man joins them, and they run into the Guardians on Thanos’s destroyed home planet of Titan, it’s a comedy gold mine.
The success of Infinity War really depended on Thanos living up to the hype as the toughest enemy the Avengers have ever faced, and the film definitely delivered. Thanos is a brilliantly crafted villain. The level of power he possesses is terrifying, but he’s not just a one-dimensional murderous psychopath. He truly believes his agenda of destruction is necessary to save the universe.
The battle sequences in the film are also fantastic. The massive fight in Wakanda more than fulfilled expectations, with Thor making an entrance that was one of the best scenes in the entire film. The most emotional and epic battle came in a final fight between Thanos and Tony on Titan. Thanos took down the Guardians, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange one by one until the only one left standing was Tony. He was the most heroic and selfless we have ever seen him in this film, surviving everything Thanos threw at him, including an entire moon, becoming the only human to draw blood from Thanos. In a heart wrenching moment that made everyone in the theater gasp, Thanos stabbed Tony through the chest and was about to use the full power of four infinity stones to end his life, when Doctor Strange intervened. This was probably the most shocking moment of the movie, as Strange gave the Time Stone to Thanos in exchange for Tony’s life, seeming to give up the greatest weapon they had against him.
This is all part of Doctor Strange’s plan however, as he had used the Time Stone to examine 14,605,000 possible futures when they had first landed on Titan, finding one in which the Avengers triumphed. Whatever future Strange saw, Tony Stark’s survival was the key to set the timeline in motion.
The emotional impact of this film cannot be understated. Marvel fans have been following these characters for 10 years, seeing them grow and develop over that time. It all started with Iron Man in 2008, and Tony Stark’s character transformation is the beating heart of the MCU. He was first introduced as a selfish, womanizing billionaire, but over the course of seven films the man he really is underneath the façade has been revealed. Tony Stark is a man who would give up everything to save the world, and he’s at his absolute best in this film. In a stacked cast it’s hard to pick one stand-out performance, but the man who started it all, Robert Downey Jr., is that one.
In the final moments of the film, Thanos retrieved the sixth and final Infinity Stone, possessing the power to wipe out half the universe. He snapped his fingers, and one by one, the second generation of Earth’s heroes disintegrated. In the most traumatic scene of the movie, Tony watched a terrified Peter Parker dissolve in his arms, leaving Tony to live his worst nightmare alone on Titan.
The heroes hardly ever lose in superhero films, but the Russos didn’t shy away from flipping the genre on its head. We’ll have to wait a full year for the conclusion to this massive cliffhanger, but the still untitled Avengers four will be bigger and even better, paving the way for the next phase and bringing an end to an era of the Marvel universe ten years in the making.
Whether you’re a Marvel fan or not, Avengers: Infinity War is the cinematic event of a lifetime that everyone should experience on the big screen.
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