Runtime: 2 hr 40 mns
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Casting: Sarah Finn
Music: Alan Silvestri
Cinematography: Trent Opaloch
Screenplay: Stephen Mcfeely, Christopher Markus
Production Design: Charles Wood
The Marvel Cinematic Universe had been building up for a big moment in superhero-movie history ever since Iron Man/Tony Stark greeted us as with his snappy humor and charisma in 2008. Staying faithful (largely) to the comics and maintaining a steady pace, we were led to Avengers in 2012, by which time, every cinema goer irrespective of his or comic book inclinations knew who wielded the hammer and who threw the shield. But the Russo brothers (directors of Avengers) had been hinting at something massive that they were building towards. Ten years of rigorous movie-making and character expansion had to give away to something powerful and momentous. In that and in much more, Infinity War doesn’t disappoint. It rises to the great tasks at hand – using a mammoth cast, justifying the imminent threat to such a powerful ensemble from a newly introduced antagonist and still keeping it, signature-Marvel with the occasional dollops of humor and comics Easter-egging.
Trifling spoilers ahead! There is no ‘once upon a time’ for Infinity War. It gets to the point in a minute and you will see why. Thanos, the big bad antagonist, has been seeking the six Infinity Stones for a while now (if you have followed the previous movies) and here, the ‘Mad Titan’ decides to take matters into his own gauntlet. But if you find yourself relating to the logic in his madness, don’t blame yourself. He wants to wipe out half the life in the universe and if he gets all six stones, he can achieve it by a ‘snap’ of his fingers. The story really works because that part of his plan and his reasons are exceedingly clear even with the entire world blowing up against a backdrop of breathtaking action sequences. His affection (in his own way) for Gamora and his insistence on random, dispassionate purging is what strikes the strange emotional chord for him the movie. The Avengers, on the other hand, is still reeling from the fallout in Civil War and they must come together to orchestrate their best maneuvers yet to foil the plans of the fearsome foe they face. The story doesn’t do much character development for the heroes but it does expand well upon previously explored concepts. The Scarlet Witch-Vision romance takes a nice turn. Doctor Strange and Iron Man are not exactly the best of buddies when it comes to teamwork. And the friendly neighborhood Spiderman is determined to play his part as ‘there won’t be a neighborhood’ to begin with if Earth’s mightiest heroes lose this one.
Screenplay and Direction
Infinity War shines considerably well in these areas when you put the tremendous storyline in context. The screenplay rarely appears abrupt or unevenly paced even with the multitudes of story arcs happening at the same time. This where non-hardcore fans of the Marvel series might find things moving too fast. Scenes jump from one world to the next with little or no prelude and while Marvel hasn’t attempted anything of this scale yet, it does feel pretty stable for seasoned viewers. The uninitiated may be alienated finding the enormity too much to take in. Still, all things considered, Christopher Markus and Stephen Mc Feely have done a grand job at the screenplay and obviously, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo do get the claim to their directorial magnum opus.
Performances and Effects
As stated, there is little character development (except for the unintroduced Thanos, who also undergoes limited development as a character), which brings our favorite heroes being played in their usual ways and demeanors. You will find Tony Stark being, well, Tony Stark, Spiderman slinging webs and one-liners and Doctor Strange being edgily egotistical, all as expected. The performance of Tom Holland (Spiderman) is very commendable towards the end of the movie where we see how much he has grown, yet being a kid at heart (in a good way). Chris Hemsworth (Thor) is pretty affable with his usual self and you will also catch Peter Dinklage (we won’t tell you who he plays) in brief but solid action.
The visual effects of Infinity War are at par with any movie of its class. Right from the different worlds that we are taken to, the Wakandan forces battling out-worldly demons, to rendering the impressive fight sequence between Strange and Thanos (we are tight-lipped about any further details), everything was just spot on. A special mention is Ebony Maw, whose fight scenes are simple, vicious and beautiful at the same time.
Alan Silvestri keeps it superhero-friendly throughout the movie and while the music doesn’t rise to especially ear-catching tracks, it works. It doesn’t push any envelopes and keeps everything feeling grand and awesome, which is the point of a Marvel movie.
Marvel has done it again. They are not afraid to put quite a few of their eggs in this basket, and it pays off well! A word of advice: be decently well versed with the MCU before you go for this one. Trust us- when you will find twenty odd heroes battle hundreds of enemies in their signature style, when you see an Avenger fiddle with a flip-phone unable to call another Avenger, when you see Earth’s fate swinging between hope and despair, you will understand the odds and the stakes and you will be able to breathe the awesomeness of it all and relish this marvel (cheesy pun intended) to its core.