I went into the theater with the expectations of seeing some of my favorite superheroes crushed on screen; this was my only expectation about Infinity War. Thanos wasn’t as compelling of a villain for me, but I had to give him a chance. Recent superheroes like Guardians Of The Galaxy, Black Panther, Spider-Man (finally), and Doctor Strange would have an important role for this film.
When the credits started rolling, my uncertainty about the future couldn’t be worse. The film plays with your expectations from the very first minute to the end credits. Nothing prepares you for Infinity War, and this is a huge achievement after watching superheroes having huge stakes at hand and then winging it in the end. This isn’t the case and the Russo brothers take care of this masterfully.
In the first few minutes, Thanos as a character is well established. Not only do we understand its power, its merciless actions to find all of the Infinity stones, but its layers start peeling off as we comprehend its intentions. Similar to Killmonger in Black Panther, this is compelling, there dimensional villain. Many critics before the film wondered if this CG character could actually deliver the emotion behind all the digital wizardry, but Josh Brolin delivers a stunning performance for a Marvel villain.
The movie is very smart about introducing each character, working with small groups of three or four characters. This gives enough breathing room for each character, while slowly bringing them together at the same time. Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely juggled all of the characters without making it feel populated. Each characters has enough screen time to develop over the movie, with small arcs that contribute to the overall battle. Some characters like Black Panther could have more screen time, but I believe this is a compromise the screenwriters had to do in order to develop other well established character for their fatal ending.
The balance between comedy and tragic moments blend perfectly when different characters that just met are involved in funny situations. If you loved Thor: Ragnarok, be prepared for great bits of comedy in between tense scenes.
In the release of Black Panther, I was extremely worried about the quality of the CGI for the next Marvel films. Black Panther, with all of this greatness, has some really cheesy CG parts that made me cringe, especially the rhinos. Infinity War, being one of the most expensive films ever made, doesn’t have this problem. From the expressions of Thanos to the backgrounds, they all look great on the screen. Compared to the criticisms of some visual effects on Age of Ultron, it seems that Marvel has understood the importance of taking care of these aspects when there is so much emotional investment on these characters.
This movie is about sacrifice. From the very beginning, the movie plays with your expectations that some characters will endure a sad farewell in order to move forward. At the very end, you’re still as crushed and unprepared to see the current state of the universe for these characters.
Personally, I don’t consider myself a huge Marvel fan, and this is why the movie made such an impression of me. The Russo brothers made me care about these characters in such a way that I didn’t expect. If it made me care about these characters that I’ve been watching in the past few years, it really shows how much emotion there is in here.
Next year’s sequel will have to balance between giving a blank slate for new MCU characters to appear and giving a righteous farewell to other characters. Behind all of the armory, the CGI, the fighting, the visuals and the subtle character moments, Infinity War has an emotional fiber that makes the movie work. Now that Thanos is the most powerful villain of the MCU, this time the stakes are actually high for every single superhero.