MAJOR SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War to follow.
I’m still trying to take in everything this movie threw at me for 2 hours and 29 minutes but I can’t hold in these thoughts any longer and I need to talk about all the shocking spoiler filled moments. Avengers: Infinity War has come and gone and it has taken a number of characters along with it. I loved almost everything about this movie right down to just seeing various heroes meet for the first time and partake in some hilarious banter. The biggest star of the movie is absolutely Thanos (Josh Brolin) and this is 100% his movie, he has the most screen-time out of anyone in here and every single thing that happens in this story is tied directly to him. So with that expect his name to be popping up in this review all over the place. I’ll try to cover as much as I can and balance it out as well as the Russo brothers did but don’t count on it.
New Hero Team-ups
One of the most exciting elements of this movie is seeing characters who we are very well acquainted with meet for the very first time on screen. The initial moment when characters are introduced to each other in here is absolutely gold and then when they stick together for a mission it only leads to more epic moments. Some notable moments I’ll go through here. When Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) teleports to Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and thankfully pushes Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) out of the film their dynamic is great. Also when Spider-Man (Tom Holland) has that hilarious meeting with Dr Strange where he makes the joke about using made up names that’s great. That trio has a number of great moments throughout the film especially when they run into Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) on Titan and have that mini fight, what an awesome way to bring these teams together. You also have Thor (Chris Hemsworth) meeting the Guardians team and his interactions with Rocket (Bradley Cooper) are comedy gold, such as every time he referred to Rocket as a rabbit it made my day. Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo) little moment with Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) upon arriving in Wakanda also delivered some good laughs.
We also had characters reunite such as Captain America (Chris Evans) with Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and Bruce Banner with basically everyone but the new introductions are the better moments.
Well I guess now it’s clear why we didn’t see any of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in the posters and trailers; because he’s not in the damn movie. I think that almost certainly cements the fact that Hawkeye is a goner in next year’s Avengers film, so at least he gets to live another year. The other character missing from the slate of superheroes is Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) who I guess is off on his own solo mission. But for those wanting more of Ant-Man you won’t have to wait long as Ant-Man and the Wasp is only a few months away.
[EDIT: Hugo Weaving doesn’t return as Red Skull in the film. The role is filled by Ross Marquand of The Walking Dead fame.]
This movie had a lot of surprises but quite possibly the biggest and best surprise I didn’t see coming at all is the appearance of Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) who it is now confirmed didn’t die upon touching the tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). Hugo Weaving is one of my favourite character actors and his Red Skull villain is the best thing about The First Avenger and one of the better villains in the MCU. Now that we know he is still alive in the MCU and has been watching over the soul stone does that mean we’ll see him return in a future MCU film? I would love to see that come to fruition and see him play a major role in another MCU film but this might have been a final cameo appearance from the character… we’ll just have to wait and see.
The Black Order
‘The Black Order’ or ‘The Children of Thanos’ in video-game terms are like the mini-bosses to Thanos’ main boss. This group of Thanos’ henchmen consists of Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon), Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), Cull Obsidian (Terry Notary), and Corvus Glaive (Michael James Shaw) and these four actually proved to be decent villains and formidable opponents for our heroes. We all know they are only in this movie so the heroes have something strong to kill as Thanos certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but I actually enjoyed their presence. Ebony Maw is my favourite of the bunch and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor does a fantastic job at selling the ruthlessness of this character in such a short amount of time. As the four of them are now dead we won’t be seeing any of them again but at least that means we can have everyone (who is left) focus on Thanos next year’s Avengers film.
As I thought would probably happen (although not in the way it did) Thanos managed to get himself all of the infinity stones and finally complete his lifelong goal. But what I loved about the way Thanos’ use of the individual stones’ powers are presented on screen is how you can always tell which stone’s power is being used and how. When he is using the power of a specific stone it glows giving you an indication of which stone is being used and thus being able to tie certain abilities to each stone. For instance, whenever you see Thanos changing the environment around the characters it’s clear he’s using the reality stone. This is just a detail about Thanos’ use of the infinity gauntlet that I loved.
I know that technically we have already been introduced to Thanos in a number of other MCU films but aside from him sitting in a chair we haven’t really been given a proper introduction… until now. The opening sequence of the film is quite possibly the most powerful villain introduction in all of cinema since the introduction of Heath Ledger‘s The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008). In this perfect introduction we instantly get an idea of just how insanely powerful and ruthless Thanos really can be. In the first few minutes of the movie he absolutely destroys Hulk which sends him into hiding for the rest of the film, and he kills both Heimdall (Idris Elba) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) like they’re nothing. In a matter of minutes he kills more main/semi-main characters than any other MCU villain… and that’s just the beginning of the damn movie.
I talked a little bit about this in my non-spoiler review but I can’t stress enough how damn good of a villain Thanos is and how exceptionally well Josh Brolin portrays him. Yes he’s big, yes he’s incredibly powerful, and yes he wants to kill half of the population of the universe, but it’s being able to understand his motivations and his point of view that makes him the strongest villain the MCU has seen, and we’ve gotten a couple of very good ones recently. The fact that he see what he’s doing to the universe as a good thing is what makes his journey much stronger than that of a villain who kills because he’s evil and wants to kill. It adds a layer of depth to his character so that you know he is more than just an evil doom-bringer and everything he does he does to achieve a goal, a goal he believes will help the survival of the universe. And it’s through his scenes with Gamora (Zoe Saldana) where we see that Grimace still has a bit of heart in there somewhere.
Visually though Thanos is a very well designed villain and the special effects are insanely good, especially the work done on his face. You know it’s all CGI covering Brolin’s face but you are still able to see the nuances of his performance behind all of the added effects so it keeps his performance relatively grounded.
Thanos and Gamora
One of the strongest character development arcs revolves around Thanos and Gamora, and their estranged father/daughter relationship. Overall I really enjoyed all of their scenes together from the flashback sequence on Gamora’s home planet right through to their venture to retrieve the soul stone. These sequences did a lot for Thanos’ character in showing that despite his torturous ways there is still some genuine love that he feels for his daughter Gamora. And it only further reiterates the fact that he’s forcefully committing genocide on all of these planets because he genuinely believes that’s it’s whats best for the universe. And I mean, the scene where Thanos understands that in order to achieve his goal he must sacrifice his daughter is absolutely heartbreaking. It’s not often you feel sympathy for a villain for an action that you absolutely despise but in this moment the pain on his face as he throws her off the cliff completely makes the scene.
I mentioned above how I really enjoyed the content of the flashback scene with Thanos and a young Gamora but the actual flashback itself I thought was awkwardly interjected into the film. It wasn’t a clear transition into the scene so even though it didn’t take long to realise this was a flashback it was a little jarring at first because the scene prior didn’t really lead into the flashback. So a minor issue that I had but still an issue.
Moment of Poor CGI
The special effects in this movie as a whole are absolutely stunning, top notch stuff across every scene. But there’s one effect that really didn’t hold up and stood out to me like a sore thumb. As you know, Bruce Banner is the one in command of the Hulkbuster armour as Hulk shat himself in the opening scene of the film. Now there isn’t that much time where you see the Hulkbuster armour with the helmet off and Banner’s head poking out but for the time that it is on screen I couldn’t un-see how off it looked. Considering how much incredible CGI there is in the movie the fact that only one moment stood out for me is also a positive in a way but it did bother me so I have to mention it.
Climactic Action Sequence
As is with every Avengers film there has to be a battle where a group of heroes faces off against a seemingly endless army of creatures. This battle takes place in Wakanda and where it is a very good action sequence I don’t think it’s the best of the three which is a little disappointing. Personally I like the sequence where the Avengers are fighting off Ultron’s drones in Age of Ultron better. I don’t know what it is but something about this army of creatures didn’t really grab me like the others, but I still enjoyed the sequence overall.
Thor and Stormbreaker
Thor spends most of this film travelling the galaxy in order to get himself a new weapon to fight off Thanos now that his trusty Mjolnir is destroyed. And going along this journey is well worth it because when he shows up in that climactic action sequence with Stormbreaker it is one of the more awesome kick-ass moments of the movie. The God of Thunder almost single handedly wipes out the entirety of Thanos’ army before almost wiping out the man himself. He was the highlight of that massive war sequence and that scene further cemented the fact that Thor is absolutely the strongest Avenger. He very almost killed Thanos and could have if he only went for the damn head.
WHO DIED? (Killed)
So depending on how you look at it anywhere between 4 and a shitload of our heroes died at the end of this film. I’m going to seperate discussing the deaths of out heroes into two groups; the ones who I think are dead for good and those who will almost certainly be coming back. So firstly, who actually got killed during the course of the film? Right in the opening scene as I’ve covered Heimdall and Loki both succumb to the wrath of Thanos as as much as I’ve loved both characters it’s unfortunately the last we’re going to see of them. Next up is Gamora who was thrown off a cliff in order for Thanos to get his hands on the soul stone. And lastly Vision (Paul Bettany) dies not once, but twice, once in an emotional scene at the hands of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and then a second time by Thanos who just straight up rips the mind stone out of his head. I don’t think we’ll be seeing any of these characters ever again in the MCU, if there was the chance that one of them could be bought back the most likely would be Gamora but I still think she’s very dead.
WHO ELSE DIED? (Most of the Avengers)
Right at the end of the film the Russo brothers pull off a ‘The Walking Dead Season 6 Finale’ sized cliffhanger that leaves us in the dark about the fate of some of our favourite superheroes. With the snap of his fingers Thanos managed to wipe out half of the entire population of the universe including most of our heroes. Here are all those who died in one of the most emotional scenes in the MCU to date: Black Panther, Dr Strange, Spider-Man, Drax, Groot (Vin Diesel), Star-Lord, Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Bucky, Mantis, and Scarlet Witch. Now as emotional as this final sequence was I think something is going to happen in next year’s Avengers film that will result in all of these heroes being bought back to life. Now who knows… some of these heroes after being bought back to life could end up still dying but the fact of the matter is I don’t believe these characters will all be dead for long.
After Credits Scene
Avengers: Infinity War has opted to have only one after credits scene and where I would have liked two it’s still much better than five… I assumed the scene would be a tease for Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) who is set to make her MCU debut next year and I was right. In the scene we see the effects of Thanos’ click of the fingers in the city where we catch up with both Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). Both of them quickly begin to turn to ash but not before Fury can send a distress signal to who may be the only person who can help right now; Captain Marvel.
And there we have it, all of the spoiler filled moments that I picked out and wanted to go through from the superhero epic that is Avengers: Infinity War. If you want to know what score I gave the film check out my non-spoiler review here.