Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

ANTHONY RUSSO, JOE RUSSO

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 2018.  Screenplay by , , based on the Marvel comics by , , and characters created by , , , , , , , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by . Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

The merry band of gifted heroes were split up in a Civil War that now sees them scattered across the globe, which is a real shame considering that another megalomaniac is about to destroy planet Earth with a magical trinket.  Thanos of the planet Titan (voiced by ) is out to gain a collection of sacred stones that possess all the powers of the universe (and come with a handy glove for maximum display), which inspires the good guys to put aside their differences and help prevent the annihilation of life as we know it:  the multi-strand plot involves the wisecracking Guardians of the Galaxy, a compromised Thor (), the emotionally frustrated Hulk (), the always exasperated Iron Man () and his protege Spider-Man (), a sulking Captain America ( in a bad wig), the newly celebrated Black Panther (), and the romantically blissful Scarlet Witch () and her handsome bicentennial man Vision ().

The combo packs that Marvel offers in these adventures threaten to become more ridiculous and unwieldy the more they make them, but energetic direction and a tight script keep this one on track and in fine form throughout.  Despite disappointing us with an overall plot that resembles many that came before it (bad guy wants a toy, good guys have to topple buildings and cause environmental destruction in the name of the greater good), it only ever has two or three stories going simultaneously, overwhelmed with personalities but never with narratives.   As a result the film never feels messy, and despite the fact that its characters rarely have more than two modes of expression (sassy jokes or lock’n’load) the dazzling cast have great fun playing roles that they have, at this point, taken complete ownership of and the pleasure shows.  The emphasis on a great deal of action happening in space means there are plenty of gorgeous visuals, and stands out from the rest as Gamora, the galaxy guardian whose personal tie to the villain makes for the most involving plot element.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Visual Effects

Critics Choice Award Nominations: Best Visual Effects; Best Action Movie

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination:  Best Stunt Ensemble

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