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"Avengers: Infinity War" is a Historic Achievement [Review]

Avengers: Infinity War is already a groundbreaking film as it's a culmination of ten years of interconnected and well-made movies. The groundwork for the movie was laid all the way back in 2012's The Avengers (or arguably 2008's Iron Man). For that reason, this is already an amazing movie but the studio surprised us by making it a great film.

In Infinity War, Thanos finally takes center stage as he begins gathering crystals that date back to the beginning of the universe called the Infinity Gems. He wants to place the gems into the Infinity Gauntlet in order to wipe out half the sentient life in the universe, which he thinks will bring peace. Almost every gem has been seen before in some form in previous Marvel movies, so Thanos makes his way through all of the heroes who stand against him.

Considering the number of superheroes and villains being juggled in this movie, the plotting alone is brilliant. No one character feels forced or out of place, but they also feel like they have room to breathe instead of getting pushed to the sidelines. Introducing the Guardians of the Galaxy into the mix feels just as exciting as when we saw the first Avengers, and connects the Earth-based stories of the Avengers to the space-based universe of Thor and the Guardians, making a movie that feels epic in scope.

The story is a triumph with three different plot threads running at the same time: three heroes trying to replace Thor's hammer, three heroes on route to Thanos' homeworld, and the rest trying to stop Thanos from getting the last of the gems. The stories complement each other perfectly and it never gets confusing. There are a lot of thrilling action sequences but also with a real sense of drama. The fact that the Mind Gem is embedded in the Vision's head meant that his life hung in the balance. As they tried to remove or destroy the gem, the stakes had me on the edge of my seat. In the final scenes, we got to see an epic battle in Wakanda, bringing Black Panther and his warriors up against Thanos' hordes.

I was shocked that the movie even managed to make Thanos an almost sympathetic character. In the comics, he's a third-rate Hitler who just wants to kill for his love of death. In Infinity War, we see how he genuinely believes that wiping out half the population of the universe will bring about peace. He even has a soft spot for Gamora which made their relationship an interesting dynamic.

For all the complaints about CGI in modern movies, Infinity War gets it right. The fight scenes involve multiple human characters talking to, punching, kicking, and shooting at CGI characters and it never looks fake or floaty. In fact, if it weren't for a slightly rubbery look to the facial expressions, there were times where I forgot some of the characters were CGI at all. The motion capture work by Josh Brolin in particular as Thanos is fantastic as we see all the emotion and menace even as he towers over everyone else.

Now let's talk about consequences. Death in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been a pretty flimsy thing. Plenty of the movies had moments where someone seemed to die but (except for Agent Coulson) none of them lasted more than a few minutes. Well, Infinity War features several high-profile deaths of major characters and they don't come back in the end. Quite the opposite. Of course, we're talking about comic books so who knows what happens in the next movie, but at least it feels permanent for now.

Besides all that, Infinity War has all the drama, humor and excitement of the previous movies while turning the whole franchise in a whole new direction. It ends on a shocking cliffhanger, so I can't wait for the next one. Highly recommended.

Have you seen it? What did you think of Avengers: Infinity War?

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