Avengers Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War

The concept of the comic book crossover, an enormous gathering of multiple superheroes banding together to fight a common, often very powerful enemy, finally comes to the medium of cinema. Avengers Infinity War is, despite the gargantuan expectations created by a decade worth of world building and eighteen films worth of hype, a triumphant summer movie stunner.

Featuring the first mass amalgamation of nearly every title from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (with the notable exception of one particular hero), including both the Earth-based Avengers and interstellar Guardians of the Galaxy, the film wastes no time cutting to the chase. Thanos, the ruthless, mad ruler of Titan unleashes his underlings across the solar system and eventually to Earth in search of six cosmic stones that will grant him nearly limitless powers. As brazen and outlandish as the plan is, the film matches this quest (essentially this movie’s McGuffin) by establishing new links – both between heroes we are familiar with and teams who’ve never met.

Without giving too much away (because, yes, like many big event films of the recent past, you should discover every aspect of the plot yourself) the storytelling has a certain Tolkienism to it, with plenty of globetrotting and even planet hopping with the stones being substitutes for the One Ring. The already fractured Avengers break into even smaller factions, splitting up in order to prevent Thanos’ cruel plan from transpiring. This leads to a complete displacement in terms of people and place, which keeps things fresh. You may have seen Iron Man and Spiderman work together before in Homecoming, but never in space, and this situational change gives rise to both numerous thrills but also appropriate levels of humour, especially when burly men with even bigger egos clash.

But the aspects of a crossover that often don’t work in the pages of a comic book threaten Infinity War as well. For all its confident ambitiousness, the film is so cluttered with familiar faces that many simply seem to be there to fulfil the promise of partaking in a big climactic battle. It’s wonderful to see characters come back, but when you’ve recently witnessed the anguish of someone like Black Panther ascending to the throne in his own remarkable film, reappear here again and convey little beyond the specifics of preparing for a large-scale alien brawl, it seems a bit underwhelming as well. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with everyone – Doctor Strange, for instance, seems to steal the limelight in every scene he’s featured in, while Thanos surprisingly turns out to be more than just a giant purple bad guy, conveying underneath the angry scowl and the hunger for power a deeper, more personal conflict that resonates and leads to films daring end.

Speaking of which, perhaps the one defining trait of nearly every crossover event in the world of comics is that it promises to change things – to alter the status quo in ways that leave an indelible mark. In the visual medium of comics, this is easier to pull off because it caters to a niche audience and there aren’t big budgets to contend with and box office expectations to meet. Avengers Infinity War astonishingly achieves its bold promise and does exactly what a crossover comic would – delivering an astounding conclusion designed to forever shake things up, leave jaws on the floor and get everyone talking about it till at least next year when the sequel to this comes out. Mission Accomplished.

Rating: ★★★★☆


About Faizan Rashid

A veteran Dubai based film critic, Faizan has been reviewing movies for nearly a decade. His work has been published in local newspapers such as 7days and on prestigious online websites such as MSN Arabia and wearethemovies.com