Review by J.T. Johnson
WARNING! I do try desperately to avoid spoilers in my reviews, but in order to give a more detailed review? Well, I have to talk about the movie to a certain extent. Therefore, while I try to hold off on anything major, let this serve as a SPOILER WARNING! If you want to go watch the film and come back here later, I completely understand. If you don’t care about spoilers or have already seen the film, then welcome and I hope you enjoy my review!
Over the past ten years, eighteen films have set up a massive Universe and have slowly built up the ultimate big bad for the series. With that much hype surrounding him, did the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) live up to the journey that got us here? You had better believe it!
From the start of the film, we pick up where “Thor: Ragnarok” left off with Thanos’ ship intercepting Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) craft. The events that transpire there show us just how much of a threat Thanos can be before we are back on Earth. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) literally crash lands into Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) Sanctum Sanctorum and informs them that Thanos is coming.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Doctor Strange, along with Spider-Man (Tom Holland), are on a mission to stop Thanos’ ship in space. Thor eventually runs into the Guardians of the Galaxy and they have their own plans. Finally, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and his band of rebels join the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) in attempt to protect Vision (Paul Bettany) so that Thanos won’t get the Mind Stone.
That’s just the setup for an extravaganza that features plenty of great action scenes, a few surprises and some genuinely funny and emotional moments that will satisfy long-time fans of the franchise. The thing that impressed me the most about this movie is that directors Anthony and Joe Russo once again manage to juggle their massive cast pretty flawlessly much in the same way that they did with “Captain America: Civil War”. Now, this does not mean that every character gets equal screen time.
What it means is that every character gets to add their own moments to the film. For example, Doctor Strange has the Time Stone so he has some insights on what’s going on around them while Tony is just trying to figure out what to do about this new supervillain that has tortured his mind ever since the aliens first dropped from the sky in “The Avengers”. Meanwhile, Rocket becomes the unexpected partner of Thor for a good chunk of the movie and what a pair they make.
Going back to the action sequences, all I can say is that I was blown away from just the first thirty minutes of the film. Again, we’ve had 18 films to get to this point, so the action starts early and doesn’t let up. The Battle of Wakanda, which has been featured in most of the promotional materials, does not disappoint and if you’ve seen the trailers, then you’ve only seen a small portion of what this sequence has to offer.
Finally, I want to talk about the true star of this film. Going into the movie, I initially thought that Thanos might come off as a bit of a two-dimensional villain. After all, the MCU films doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to well developed antagonist (“Thor” and “Black Panther” excluded). Thankfully, we learn more about Thanos’ intentions and, at least in his mind, they are not completely villainous.
Thanos does genuinely care about the Universe and it is tied into his own backstory which we learn throughout the film. Being that the film mostly revolves around his quest for the Infinity Stones, he is understandably the true star of the film and I enjoyed learning more about him. He has emotional conflicts yet he just won’t let them stand in the way of what he perceives to be his destiny. I left with the feeling that I can’t wait to see more of Thanos in the next “Avengers” film and that was a good feeling to have.
That being said, I will warn people that this film is the first part of a larger story. That story is set to conclude with the release of “Avengers 4” on May 3, 2019, meaning that this film does not resolve everything it sets up. In the meantime, the ultimate thing I can say is that you should definitely go in and enjoy what could be thought of as “The Empire Strikes Back” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I highly doubt you will be disappointed!