Spoiler-Free Capsule Review of Avengers: Infinity War

by Eric Melin on April 26, 2018

in Print Reviews,Reviews

avengers_infinity_war_poster_2018[Rating: Solid Rock Fist Up]

Back in 2014, when Marvel Studios announced phase three of its numerous interconnected superhero movies, there was an Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and a Part 2.

Since then, that two-part division has been dropped, and now we know why.

Yes, Avengers: Infinity War ends with a huge cliffhanger. And, sure, all 19 movies over the last 10 years have been leading up to this, with character-building and a breadcrumb plot trail (in a general sense and for those who hunt Easter eggs). But, for the most part, Avengers: Infinity War is a surprisingly emotionally resonant and self-contained drama.

One of the primary reasons Avengers: Infinity War succeeds as a stand-alone is the origin story it brings. Despite the fact that we’ve glimpsed giant space lord Thanos (Josh Brolin) in several Marvel films up to this point, and despite the fact that Brolin’s character appears alongside 20 other costumed heroes eating up valuable screen time, directors Joe and Anthony Russo deliberately develop our interest in Thanos.

And that’s a daring decision. After all, the directors could have assumed that a good portion of the audience would go into the move simply to see the stable of characters doing the same things (if on a larger scale) they’ve come to expect throughout this unprecedented decade of serial storytelling.

But, let’s be honest: Fatigue has set in. Or it could easily have.

By focusing on Thanos and his vision of a righteous crusade, this film moves beyond simply questioning the idea of superheroes (something Marvel has done since Age of Ultron). Infinity War interrogates this notion to an insane and satisfying degree as many of the heroes we’ve come to love let their emotions get the best of them and find they aren’t able to live up to their rigid moral codes after all.

Thanks to Thanos, Infinity War is much more than a two-part blockbuster, and for the first time in a long time, we can’t easily anticipate more of the same, because the road ahead for superheroes is murky, complicated, and terrifying.

This review is part of Eric Melin’s “LM Screen” column that appears in the summer 2018 edition of Lawrence Magazine.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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