What if you had a party….and EVERYONE showed up?
That’s the deliriously delightful predicament superhero fans find themselves in with the comic book character smorgasbord called ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. It took ten years, 18 films and about thirty spandex-clad good guys/bad guys to build this baby – and the wait to get the entire band together was worth it.
As much a sequel to ‘Captain America: Civil War’ to a culmination of different Marvel stories (yes, it picks up right after the events of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, but owes much of its gas to the big scrap that closed out Cap’s flick), ‘Infinity War’ has Stan Lee’s roster teaming up to do battle with the biggest, nastiest villain of them all. Oh, there’s more TO the story than that – which we will expand on a wee bit, to be sure – but suffice to say, this is the most epic, grandiose entry so far in this particular cinematic universe. It’s layered, it’s bloated….but man, is it fun.
There are a few sub-plots at work in ‘Infinity War’, all building towards a massive showdown between the Marvel heroes and Thanos (Josh Brolin), all in an effort to stop the gigantic purple thug from collecting the six infinity stones and wipe out half the universe. The first thread has Hulk/Dr. Banner (Mark Ruffalo) returning to earth from his space adventure with Thor, warning Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) that Thanos is on his way to our planet, and he’s pissed. Shortly after some of the antagonist’s posse arrive, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Spiderman (Tom Holland) stow away on a ship, which eventually has them rubbing elbows with the Guardians of the Galaxy. But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself…
Meanwhile, Thor, Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel’s pipes), jet off to replace the big guy’s hammer with another powerful weapon, a tool that will obviously come in handy in a war against someone so huge, powerful and ugly (honestly, Thanos is awful – looks kinda like a grape Shrek). Back on earth, Vision (Paul Bettany) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) are attacked in Scotland by more of Thanos’ peeps, receiving a little assistance from Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Falcon (Anthony Mackie). From there, it’s on to Wakanda, where the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and his buddies are always up for a rumble…and yes, in this case, the battleground IS in the jungle.
Too elaborate? Surprisingly, no. Marvel has done such a stupendous job in connecting its audience with these characters via solo films that it’s not really bothersome that they’re all jam-packed (or, should I say ‘Hulk’-packed) together in one flick. In fact, the really cool aspect is having some of these individuals trade lines, even barbs, for the first time. True, some get the bulk of the best material (Drax, this movie really is your shining moment), while others don’t get a ton to do (My own personal suggestion for ‘Avengers 4’? More Hulk. And Black Widow. And Groot….geez, I love Groot..), but overall, the directing duo of Russo brothers should be applauded for keeping the wheels on the superhero cart with ‘Infinity War’ – after all, it’s one big vehicle.
I realize the questions are numerous. Who survives? Who perishes? Where is ‘Ant Man’?? Hey, I ain’t gonna be no spoiler…..