Movie review: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is a game-changer – Elebrity World

Movie review: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is a game-changer

#MINDBLOWN. That’s how you’ll feel watching the audacious “Avengers: Infinity War,” as the masterminds at Marvel culminate 10 years and 19 films of narrative foreplay into a single over-stuffed superhero orgy. Simply put, this “Avengers” is in full-on beast mode, with the filmmakers refusing to back off the gas for 156 thrill-packed minutes. Once you pick your jaw up from the floor, there’s much to process. Except, the vow of secrecy we critics must take before seeing advance screenings means I can’t reveal any plot twists, turns or secrets. I won’t. But, boy, do I want to. I really need to work through that staggering ending.

Directors — and brothers — Anthony and Joe Russo, who together helmed “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014) and “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), reunite with those films’ writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, to mash up more than 30 characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Star Lord (Chris Pratt) and his “Guardians of the Galaxy” gang; Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and his team; the Avengers proper, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans); and a few stand-alone heroes like Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland).

The action gets under way two years after the events in “Captain America: Civil War,” with our superheroes uniting to square off against the super-evil Thanos (Josh Brolin), a man, err, alien, on a mission to collect the six Infinity Stones, gems that control time, space, reality, etc. Once Thanos completes his jewelry scavenger hunt and inserts the stones into a bedazzled metal hand called the Infinity Gauntlet, he will possess ultimate power. Thanos intends to use that power to wipeout half the population in an attempt to ease overcrowding. Merciful or evil? You decide.

By and large, superhero movies are only as good as their villains. And in this case, Thanos is a formidable foe. It helps immensely that Brolin, playing the 9-foot tall alien via motion capture, is fantastic, terrifying and able to convey the Mad Titan’s emotional history. He’s an enemy with a weighted story. That kind of heft isn’t expected in these rock-em-sock-em movies. Marvel’s baddies are usually ham-fisted, a la Cate Blanchett in “Thor: Ragnarok,” or boring and predictable, a la Ultron (James Spader).

As fun as it is, “Infinity War” remains plagued by frustrations inherent in nearly all comic-book movies. The fight scenes are all overdone, shot too fast, too close up. Whiplash ensues just trying to keep up. For once, I’d like to see a director let a battle breathe. With a few dozen of our favorite characters to juggle, the script can’t help but short shrift most of them. The Guardians get the most screen time. Hemsworth’s beautiful biceps log a close second. T’Challa and his crew barely register. Stark, Spidey and Strange have a solid showing. Ditto for the triple-Chris threat (Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt). The script follows faithfully the Marvel formula: Exposition, bro-banter, battle. Rinse and repeat.

By this point, each character has been so well-defined that when brought together they just get better. The all-star character pairings are so amusing they forgive the film’s shortcomings. Iron Man (Downey) and Strange (Cumberbatch) are a double dose of swagger and fast-talking barbs. Thor and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) deserve their own spin-off. But the funniest part of the film is the first time the Guardians meet Thor. Pratt’s Star Lord is as green as Gamora (Zoe Saldana) with envy over the fuss that Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) make about the hunky Asgardian god whom they call “Pirate Angel.” You can say that again, Drax.

But back to more serious matters — the fate of the world is at stake. When isn’t it? “Infinity War” leaves a “Who shot J.R.”-sized cliffhanger in its game-changing wake. It’ll be another year before the answers will be revealed in the still untitled fourth “Avengers,” which, by the way, has already been filmed. A bonus scene after the credits teases “Captain Marvel,” due out next March. The wait will feel like infinity.

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