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Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Finally, the film that is the first part of the culmination of ten years of Marvel films, all of which I enjoyed, of course some more than others. But I put this one right at the top of the pile. The story gives you a halfway resolution to the story of the Infinity Stones, a subplot that has been running through all of the movies. Halfway I say, because naturally a story this big and with so many characters cannot be resolved in just one movie. This one clocks in at just one minute shy of two-and-a-half-hours. But the film flies by. It is a truly epic palette on which our superheroes paint their picture.

We have bad guy Thanos, who has been shown mainly in fleeting glimpses in several of the movies, starting with the original The Avengers (2012) (at the end of the movie in one of the now-famous after-credits scenes). But we know that he is one of the biggest bad guys our heroes have ever faced and the story tells us that if he gets all the gems he's hunting down to place with the "Infinity Gauntlet" on his hand, he will be able to wipe out a great portion of life in the universe with "a snap of his fingers." And the fight to stop him and his cronies is on from the first of the movie, with
WARNING: spoilers below
The Hulk, Heimdall, Loki, and Thor unable to stop him from their ship in space, and Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Bruce Banner (have to see the movie to see how he's on Earth all of sudden when he was in space minutes ago), Vision and Scarlett Witch failing to stop his cronies on Earth, at least at first.
That's how relentless that even the first third of the movie is. The stakes are for real, and the movie makes you worry about our heroes.

The special effects have to be mentioned because they are flawless and never take you out of the movie with a misstep in execution. As for the film, there are so many great moments that it's hard to break them down into favorites but I'll give a shot at a few: Spider-Man swinging under a bridge, hanging low and skimming his feet across the water; Bruce Banner in his Tony-Stark-made Hulkbuster suit that is essentially a big, fat Iron Man suit made for the Hulk; Thor
WARNING: spoilers below
being rescued by The Guardians of the Galaxy and forming a friendship with Rocket Raccoon, of all characters, and constantly calling Rocket a rabbit. Strangely, Rocket, although wondering why he's being called that, doesn't get mad and is very chill with it
;the humor, which is mostly relegated to the first two-thirds of the movie and is fairly scattershot as this is a fairly dark chapter for the Marvel heroes. Like the previously mentioned
WARNING: spoilers below
Rocket being called a rabbit; Star-Lord being jealous, in a very amusing way, of his crew oohing-and-aahing over a unconscious Thor's super-masculine form; Peter Parker and his gee-whiz, semi-innocent remarks and pop culture callbacks to help him and his friends out; Tony Stark fumbling a bit in Doctor Strange's mansion and almost damaging a very important magic vessel of Strange's that's made to look like a giant urn and Strange's physical reaction to that; the gigantic final battle that takes place in Wakanda, Black Panther's home, and the almost sense-numbing non-stop fury of said battle.

The acting is fine, with pretty much every character getting their special moment, but for me, the movie is almost stolen by Josh Brolin as Thanos, who, to the writers' credit, is not just a one-note bad guy, but a being with a purpose, however misguided that purpose is. He's evil, but he doesn't think he is. One moment he'll seem almost reasonable, the next he's committing murder. But sometimes, it bothers him...sometimes. I was a bit bothered by the trailers and the look of Thanos' face--it seemed to be not too realistic in a way good CGI should be, to me, but on the big screen, Thanos looked completely realistic, and Brolin's features showed through the animation but not to where you felt cheated. Every change or flicker on Thanos' face was sold because of Brolin and he deserves the lion's share of credit for the character's success.

There are some deaths, which is righteous or otherwise we as an audience might not care or be invested. But...
WARNING: spoilers below
as some of the good guy or gals who don't make it have other movies already announced, you know they'll be back somehow in the next movie.
There is only one after-credits scene and it comes at the very end of the movie, with bad things afoot and someone being called in to help. Won't say who, but I'm pretty sure I know. Anyway, terrific time at the cinema.