It seems like ages since I was at the cinema and ages since I’ve seen a good Marvel film on the big screen. Yes, I’m still kicking myself for not going to see Black Panther at a cinema and only seeing Thor: Ragnarok on Blu Ray, so when Biggles said he wanted to see Avengers: Infinity War again I went along with him. Luckily seeing Black Panther isn’t a prerequisite as long as you know a little bit of the back story – enough is delivered in Civil War to get by.
Seeing such a good movie surrounded by noisy kids and indifferent parents isn’t my ideal viewing experience but I hunkered down and concentrated as best I could on the movie. The soundtrack is pretty epic for a lot of the film which helped drown out most of the background noise.
I won’t say too much here, apart from saying that if you have even the slightest interest in the Marvel cinematic universe then this is a must since it draws together umpteen heroes to fight the ultimate bad guy Thanos an excellently computer generated and well-written character voiced by Josh Brolin and based on the original Marvel comics.
In Marvel’s 1991 Infinity Gauntlet graphic novel petulant villain Thanos already has all the infinity stones in his brass hand and so is all-powerful. Determined to please his Mistress Death (who was ‘washing her hair’ for the movie), in a story on a cosmic scale as far removed from the movie as Civil War was from its graphic novel, Thanos starts off by eliminating half of the universe’s population, rapture-style. Marvel heroes (including the X-Men and New Warriors also detained at the salon) team up to fight Thanos to save the Earth from an ice age (and the universe in general).
In the film all the heroes we’ve seen on screen before (with the exception of Ant-Man and Hawkeye) get their share of the action. This is a very well executed balancing act and with over a dozen writers on board it’s no great surprise. While Infinity War wasn’t as make or break a story for the studio as Justice League was for DC (and boy they have some work to do to recover from that dross) – given that we’ve already had two Avengers films and at least one (the first one!) was an amazingly good film – it still had a lot of hype and expectation to live up to. It certainly delivers – there’s very little in the way of faults.
There’s also a huge amount of call-back and Easter Egg tomfoolery to keep fans happy. Whether it’s the return of characters almost forgotten from previous Captain America films or a neat solution to Thor’s eye problem which has its roots in Guardians of the Galaxy. Interplay between characters who haven’t met before is great and the thorny problem of Tony not talking to Cap anymore is well side-stepped.
Thor for me was once again my favourite character and his interplay with the Guardians was the highpoint. If I had to be picky I found Iron Man’s adaptive nanotech suit too much like Green Lantern’s ability to quickly conjure up any old thing to fight his adversary. Also I still find Falcon to be a bit lame in comparison to the other heroes and was disappointed that Vision didn’t at least try to kick Thanos’s ass – he seemed too loved up with Wanda to think he might be able to try and help in any way other than the way he chose. Phew, still no spoilers… I’m doing well…
My favourite Easter Egg – that I actually missed, got a whiff of after being confused by a mention of Arrested Development in the credits and had to look up today – is in the scene at Knowhere where there’s a blue man wearing specs in one of collection cases. Oops, was that a spoiler? I best stop.
Suffice to say that this is a far better film than Age of Ultron, it’s no surprise that it’s breaking box office records and I’m glad I saw it at the cinema despite being surrounded by slurping, crunching, foot tapping, talking, mobile phone checking imbeciles.