Avengers: Infinity War is a choreographed mashup of everything that’s best about the Marvel universe- big bad villains, cocky heroes, puncturing humor, flawed characters and lots of catastrophic destruction. You watch from the edge of your seat as unexpected alliances are formed on familiar and new turfs to stop the one invincible villain with a plan to save the universe by destroying half of its population.
In the middle of a literal chaos, a character shouts in warning, “It will kill you,” only to receive the reply, “Only if I die.” Sitting through the two and half hour of The Infinity War is a similar challenge. It an ambitious and colossal climax to the 10 years of Marvel Universe built-up. Avengers: Infinity War hurtles through its familiar settings at such a fast pace and with so many new trick under its sleeves that it doesn’t give its audience a moment to unclench. There is very little to complain about.
Infinity war opens with a scene that delivers its big bad guys, cocky heroes and a humour at par with its catastrophic disasters. It follows the events of Captain America- Civil War but despite so many different factions and stories coming together, the movie manages to make the introductions without losing on its pace and uses the clashes of their personalities to fuel the setting forward. It’s a race to find and secure the infinity stones on either side. The writers Markus and McFeely give us a standard villain but one who grows more invincible with every passing sequence of the story. Even a hoard of superheroes seem to pale in comparison. Thanos (played by Josh Brolin) has a self-serving vision of saving the universe at the cost of half of its population. On the other hand, the chaotic group of superheroes are incited by different motives to bear arms against him. In an early scene Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) is vividly haunted by his past and wants revenge while the people of Wakanda are allied to the cause by their sense of duty and pride. But despite their differences they manage to extract the biggest cheers until the climax ends with utter silence inside the theatre.
The Russo brothers are completely familiar with the movie’s strengths and know how to build up on them beyond the general expectations. They use action packed sequences, character flaws, humour and emotional tropes to overwhelm in all the right ways. But at a certain point it feels like the whirlwind of activities are a cheat trick to keep the audience away from an actual engagement with the story. It almost demands a second visit for a more steady watch.
But Infinity War has such a world smashing and heart racing execution that such a limitation could easily be given a leeway. It never sags or trips on its own enthusiasm, leaving us with more questions than answers until it returns next year. I always thought I wanted a letter from Hogwarts until today when I realised that I wanted to be ordained an Avenger by Tony Stark on a spaceship.