It seemed crazy in 2008. A series of films based off of Marvel comic book characters that all exist within the same universe. It was a gamble.
It paid off.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made some of the most profitable and beloved superhero films in the decade, with films like Iron Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Black Panther, achieving high levels of financial and critical success.
The films have attracted big-name and independent directors such as Jon Favreau, Shane Black and Ryan Coogler to try their hands of helming a film, with most having massive success.
Avengers: Infinity War is the latest film in the MCU. Directed by Anthony and Joel Russo, the film takes place after the events of Civil War (also directed by the Russo brothers), where the Avengers are fragmented after differing morals and ideals from events prior.
To avoid spoilers, plot details will be brief. The film boils down to this: an intergalactic being known as Thanos (Josh Brolin) intends to wipe out half of the universe with the use of Infinity Stones. Now, it is up to several heroes from the Marvel Universe to stop him.
This film was positioned to be what the last 18 MCU movies has been leading up to. Thankfully, most of that hype is well met.
The film has its fair share of emotional heft. Characters die or go through some awful tragedy, heightening the tension above usual superhero fare.
Sure, the occasional bouts of that classic MCU humor are still present, for better or worse. While the humor is a good change of pace, it was a distracting element. The stakes are high here, why does Tony Stark feel the need to quip?
The film is also long. At 149 minutes, the length is definitely felt. Thankfully, the film is a marvel (no pun intended) to look at. The Russo Brothers made some interesting choices with typography, similar to Civil War.
The cinematography is also top notch, opting for a more dynamic series of camera angles. There are scenes with long continuous shots, including some well-choreographed fights. The past MCU movies have all had an element of sameness to them, so it is refreshing to see this one try some new things with its presentation
Infinity War is an excellent (and overstuffed) experience. If the MCU was a serialized television series, this film was the season finale, complete with a compelling cliffhanger.
It not only provides the big spectacle Marvel is known for, it also provides some real emotion, something other blockbusters should look to as inspiration.