Released: 25th April 2018
Seen: 2nd May 2018
On the 14th of April 2008, Marvel premiered a movie that would change the course of cinematic history. They’d been working on it for years, since April of 1990 they’d been trying desperately to get a version of Iron Man onto the screen and it went through 28 years of development hell, bouncing between writers and producers and directors before Marvel decided to just make it on their own in 2006.
To call this a gamble would be understating it, Marvel didn’t have the greatest reputation before Iron Man hit the screens. Blade, X-Men, Spider-Man were the only film series of theirs that got any real positive critical reception (Except, weirdly, the third movies in each of those franchises) and the box office was decent, but nothing truly special… then Robert Downey Jr put on a red metallic suit and the world changed.
It seems strange to think about how much one movie changed cinema, but Iron Man did. It raked in over 300 million domestically at the box office, it still is in the top 100 highest grossing films of all time and was the second highest grossing film the year it came out… and it was a film from a company that not even a decade ago was going bankrupt, they hadn’t even been bought by Disney yet. That film changed the course of how we look at blockbusters but it also had one other truly important element. At the end of the credits that movie showed a single scene of Nick Fury starting the Avengers. And here we are, a decade later and Marvel have dominated cinema ever since. Every year since then, except the 1 year they didn’t even release a movie (2009), they have featured somewhere in the top 10 films in terms of box office. Every year. EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY YEAR.
Every year since 2008 they have not only dominated the box office but they have been meticulously crafting a cinematic universe that is the envy of everyone else. No one else has been able to replicate what Marvel did. DC tried and they fell on their face so hard that they basically have admitted that they’re going to retcon everything with Flashpoint. Universal tried to make a Dark Universe and that… well, that was just adorable. Marvel built a universe that’s intricately built up to this movie. They’ve been dropping info about this ultimate battle from day one and they made sure they built to something special. We thought it was impressive when they just threw everyone together for the first Avengers movie… no, no they were just getting started.
So here we are in 2018, Marvel has finally built to their ultimate goal with Infinity War, they finally took the Infinity Stones that they’ve been mentioning in some manner since Iron Man 2 and decided to finally do something with them. They wanted to make absolutely sure that the decade of build-up paid off and turns out, it paid off big time. They had so much build-up that they had to do to get to this movie, it needed that decade of films just to get the backstory of every character lined up. There are so many characters in this movie, so many people with so much baggage that you can absolutely understand and follow if you go in completely blind, but if you’ve been attending the Marvel movie’s diligently every single year (And let’s be honest, most of us have) then this is what we’ve been waiting for. Thanos, a character that was put into a mid-credits scene in the first Avengers movie, finally get’s to show exactly what he can do and what he can do is… Um….
…so, this movie is basically impossible to review. It’s almost completely impossible. How do I describe why the movie is great? How do I convey the emotional intensity of the film without potentially spoiling things? This movie is the kind of movie that has major cinematic universe changing moments before the title card pops up. This is Marvel proving what they can do now. They waited a decade to build up enough capital with the audience so they could pull out all the stops and this movie is them spending every single bit of capital they’ve built up. This film doesn’t pull its punches, it punches twice as hard than any Marvel movie that’s come before it. If you want to know where the story begins, they take the events of the end of Thor: Ragnarok, The finale of Civil War and the final end credits scene from Black Panther and from those points they take every character you have ever loved in a Marvel Movie and slam them together at high speeds. You ever want to see [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] interact? Got you covered. You want to see [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] fight alongside each other? That’s here. Did you wonder what would happen the first time that [REDACTED] met [REDACTED]? Yep, they meet, and it goes down exactly how you think it would go. They throw together characters who you didn’t expect to see together in the same shot at the same time and they make it work, either comedically or emotionally when needed. If there was a storyline from a previous movie that you wanted to see come to a head, that’ll turn up here and they’re going to make sure they resolve it. They’ve been waiting a long time to do this, they have a lot of loose strings to tie together and somehow they get all the tying done.
There are scenes in this film that will absolutely delight you, pure sweet moments meant to make you feel at ease. Like a lot of crossover events they have to start it by having a little fun with the characters and how they interact so, of course, we’re going to get a lot of scenes of banter between these characters that have been thrust together. I’d dare to say that this film contains some of the best dialogue to ever appear in a Marvel movie. It’s incredibly well crafted, there are certain lines of dialogue that set up moments at the end of the film so perfectly that you don’t even catch them until about 20 minutes after you leave the cinema and realise just how clever it was.
Visually, Marvel didn’t just up their game but decided to create a whole new game just because they could. Every single shot in this film is incredibly well put together. They have shots set up so perfectly that the entrances of characters who we’ve seen more than a dozen times over the last decade are still impressive. Even the look of Thanos is perfect, there was a lot of criticism about how he looked different than he did back in 2012 when the first Avengers movie hit theatres but considering that was 6 years ago and technology has improved since then, I think we can overlook that change. The only thing I will say about Thanos is that Marvel has fixed their villain problem. We’ve been screaming for them to push their villains to something new and Thanos isn’t just a genuine threat, he’s a character whose motives are going to be completely understandable to you. He’s the exact villain a movie of this size and stature needed in order to be worthy of the build-up that they have given this film.
Marvel took 10 years. 17 feature films, 2162 minutes worth of cinema in order to get to this film and they made damn sure that every single minute they spent before now was used correctly to build up to the Marvel movie that shatters the mould and will completely throw its audience for a loop and they’ve earned that. They worked up to this grandiose film and made damn sure that it was worth the wait… and it was, oh my lord in heaven how it was worth every single one of those precious minutes spent sitting in front of a superhero trying to save the world… a lot.
Oh, yes, there is an after-credits sequence. Yes, it’s pretty important to the future of the Marvel cinematic universe. Yes, even after 10 years of films that have hammered into our skulls “The movie isn’t over yet”, people still left the second the credits began rolling.