For both casual and hardcore fans of superhero movies, it was something of a game to wonder how Marvel would figure out how to fit all of our favorites into one film. But the result of mixing Iron Man and his protege, Spider-Man, with the remaining Avengers, throwing in the snarky Peter Quill and his Guardians of the Galaxy, adding Wakanda’s Black Panther and pitting them all against a villain determined to wipe out a large part of life as it exists… is the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Yes, better than “Captain America: Civil War.” Better than the first two Avengers films. Even better than this year’s box office hit “Black Panther.” At more than 2 hours and 40 minutes, “Avengers: Infinity War” manages to be tense from start to finish, with humor never being misplaced. The most daunting challenge? Tying each character into the movie at the right time. Yet, the writers pull it off brilliantly. The transition from one group of characters to another never feels cheesy, and the film’s subplots are creatively woven together so that none lack importance. However, what makes the film better than other Marvel films is the antagonist’s complexity. Often, we have seen villains solely concerned with ruthless destruction.
These characters lack a real motive to their rampage, and as such lack any real internal conflict. Played by Josh Brolin, Thanos believes his quest to eliminate a chunk of the universe is doing it a favor. However, he struggles with the things he is forced to give up in order to do so. It is this struggle that sees him with a noteworthy amount of screen time, among the most in the film. Marvel uses this time to develop the character, providing a view of his motives, his origin, and just why he makes such a formidable foe in a movie riddled with surprises.
Though nearly three hours, the film grabs our attention, and never lets go. With the sequel set for next May, one can only hope that it comes close to the bar that this one has set.