The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has taken over the world of movies in the last decade, with some of the highest grossing movies of all time under its belt. There has never been a series of movies that link together like this before, and I for one absolutely love it! The latest instalment, Avengers: Infinity War is where we see all of the individual stories come together in a chaotic extravaganza of action and emotion. Fans have been waiting a very long time to see how the story would play out, and it is finally here.
At the end of Thor Ragnarok we saw Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) leading what was left of Asgard toward Earth and that is where we begin in Avengers: Infinity War. There is a whole lot of plot in this movie, and it does incredibly well at moving between the different groups and keeping viewers entertained while it delivers it. I completely understand the decision to title the movie around the Avengers, however for me this movie was all about one character. Someone we have seen a handful of times over the last few years, someone that we have heard mentioned by multiple characters in a variety of contexts. That character is Thanos (Josh Brolin). The Mad Titan is well known by fans of Marvel Comic books but perhaps is still a mystery to those who are just into the MCU.
Thanos comes from the moon of Saturn, Titan, a once thriving planet and home to the Titanian Eternals. He was born with a mutation known as the Deviants gene, which makes his appearance differ from his own race, which almost led to him being killed by his mother at birth (we can start to understand what comes next). Thanos eventually left his homeland, becoming completely fascinated by the idea of nihilism and death. This is something that led to one path in the comics, and may yet come to fruition in the MCU. All we know about on-screen Thanos is that he believes resources are limited, and that he needs to eliminate half of the population of the Universe to ensure its survival. He does not see himself as evil, in fact quite the opposite, he believes what he is doing is a mercy.
Is Thanos really the bad guy? I mean genocide should never be the answer, or can Thanos see something that the rest of the universe is unable to? He certainly seems to think so. In order to fulfil his quest he has forced Eitri (Peter Dinklage) to create a gauntlet capable of harnessing the power of the six infinity stones. (Eitri is the dwarf king who created Thor’s hammer Mjolnir in case you were wondering) The infinity stones have been mentioned in previous MCU titles, simply put they were a product of the big bang and they pack a punch. All 6 of them together, and we are talking power that exceeds our imagination. Before the movie the known locations of the stones were:
- Power stone – Xandar, under the protection of the Nova Corps following the events of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 1.
- Space stone – The Tesseract was our first glimpse at an infinity stone back in Captain America: The First Avenger, since then the stone has been kept for safe keeping on Asgard; that is until Loki stole it at the end of Thor Ragnarok.
- Mind stone – Loki used to use the Mind stone in his sceptre to control the minds’ of his foe. Until it fell to the hands of the Avengers, who first used it to create Ultron (James Spader), whoops, then used it to create Vision (Paul Bettany) yaaay! The stone now is safe and sound stuck to Visions face.
- Reality stone – This stone appeared in the forgettable Thor: The Dark World (before Thor was funny) as Aether, a substance used to turn matter into dark matter, for evil and stuff. Then some Asgardians gave the stone to The Collector (Benicio Del Toro).
- Time stone – Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) wears the time stone as some kind of superhero bling in the Eye of Agomoto, he serves as it’s protector. The time stone is like a Marvel Bernard’s Watch without the cheesy 90’s feel.
- Soul stone – The whereabouts of this stone are unknown as we go in to the movie, the soul stone is known as one of the more dangerous things in the universe, but we will get back to this later.
Thanos had his work cut out for him in obtaining all of these stones. I was under the impression that he would maybe get a few of them and the rest in the sequel, or at a push the movie would end once he got them all. But no, Marvel had to completely shock everyone by doing what they did. The build-up of the movie was perfect; the writing was simply amazing with some stellar performances from a gigantic cast. No one character felt like they overshadowed another, it genuinely felt like a collaborative effort from all involved. Cross-overs that we have been waiting years to see finally happened. The Avengers meeting the Guardians could have been a movie of its own, as could Iron-man (Robert Downey Jr) and Dr Strange’s rivalry turned bromance. Thor and his new hairdo/sense of humour meeting Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper) was one of the standout meetings for me, and I would love to see more of their adventures together.
The acting throughout the movie was as you’d expect from such an all-star cast, special shout out to Spiderman (Tom Holland) who as the youngest of the cast had one of the most difficult tasks, but absolutely nailed the role of Peter Parker in both his humour and in his innocence. Josh Brolin is a superstar, Thanos was created completely from CGI with Brolin providing both voice and motion capture on set. Motion capture is something that has excelled incredibly over the last decades, with actors such as Andy Serkis becoming synonymous with the term. Serkis has a new challenger in Brolin and the team behind Thanos. The detail in emotion you could see in the face of Thanos caused me to almost empathise with him at times.
The movie was an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. With hard hitting losses from the opening until the end. We see Thanos’ true might at the end of the movie, once he has collected all 6 stones; completely unexpectedly he clicks his fingers, an action prophesised throughout the movie as the thing to end half of all life in the universe. AND HE ACTULLY DOES IT! People die, not just civilians in the street mind you, I mean people that we have grown to care about over the last 10 years, they turn to dust is some of the saddest footage I have seen in a cinema in a very long time. This is a spoiler review but I am not going to give away who gets killed, as I recommend anybody reading this to go and see the movie. Even if you have not seen a single Marvel movie in the past, this movie will still hold up. Better yet just watch all 4657837 of them. I’m man enough to admit that under my 3D glasses were tears at the end of this movie, especially at the performance of one of the actors as he began to realise his life was over, just thinking of it is causing onions to chop themselves under my eyes.
But what happens now? Half of the MCU are dead? Thanos is alive and well with a battered looking gauntlet and that sun-rise he so prominently desired. The end credits drop a big hint into what could happen next, with Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) about to make a call to a familiar logo when all hell breaks loose and people start disintegrating. This is the logo of Captain Marvel, which is currently in production and set for a 2019 release. Little is known, other than she will be played by Oscar winner Brie Larson and it will be set presumably waaaay before the events of Infinity War.
We also have Ant-man and the Wasp coming next year, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) was absent during Infinity War but he was mentioned to be working on a different project, as was Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Perhaps more will be revealed during these titles; if not then May 2019 is how long we will have to wait to see what happens. The soul gem is thought to have a ‘pocket universe’ inside, trapping the souls of those killed by its power. The time stone is still around and could be used. Dr Strange looked to the future and saw over 14 million outcomes with only one being successful, maybe what he saw involved the death of his comrades? I can’t wait to see what happens. Let us know your thoughts on the movie, and the state of the MCU below.