In an earlier review of “Black Panther,” I said that Marvel had brought comic books into the mainstream by making movies that were so undeniably fantastic that people just had to watch them. “Avengers: Infinity War” is the epitome of that concept. This film is absolutely amazing; the action, the visuals, the music, the characters, everything is magnificently done. I clarify this early on because this is a comic book movie, and it is impossible to talk about anything specific without massive spoilers. Normally, this would not stop me because I am of the opinion that most movies worth watching are still worth watching even if you know what’s going to happen, but Infinity War is a rare case that requires complete confidentiality. Thus, this will be a spoiler-free review as far as I can make it one.
As I said, this is a comic book movie, and like any movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it requires a bit of a comic book mindset. First of all, if you are just coming into the MCU, this is not a good introductory movie. If this was your first Marvel film, at the very least you’d need to have done some serious studying on the wikis, because without knowledge of the plots of the previous films, this movie would be almost incomprehensible. Normally, this would be a detraction, but as I said, Marvel is a special case as they are allowed to assume you know the background going in because they make movies in the same way they make comic books. Furthermore, Infinity War receives special-case status because the MCU is a pop culture phenomenon and the only way you don’t know at least some of the film’s details is to have been hiding under a rock for the last decade. As I said, if you haven’t seen the previous Marvel films, go binge-watch them, then see this movie. You wouldn’t start reading a comic series on issue 16 so you don’t start the MCU at the arguable climax of the series.
The other concept that must be discussed, and I feel is going to be the most controversial part of the film, is the ending. I am a martial artist, thus, I have had the unique experience of taking a perfectly-executed sidekick full-on to the stomach from a fifth degree black belt. That is the closest experience I can find to the ending of Infinity War. There are a lot of people who will probably scream “sequel-baiting,” as there were when I left the theater. To those people, I say once again, this is a comic book movie, and they started working on the next issue before they put this one out. I can, however, certainly understand the issue. Personally, I can’t decide whether to applaud the nerve it took and the artistic integrity it required to end on that note, or scream in anger. It’s hard to classify the ending because it’s certainly not bad, but at the same time, it’s definitely not what I wanted. When the scene faded to black and the credits began to roll, it took a few seconds to register what had just happened, after which I screamed an expletive, I was not alone, take of that what you will. Seriously though, go see this movie, it’s required viewing, that’s all that can be said.
Five out of Five Stars.