Way back when Samuel L Jackson appeared in an eye patch at the end of Iron Man, no-one could have known it would come this far. A gazillion A-Listers, portraying Marvel’s most iconic heroes (and villains) squeezed into one super sized blockbuster colossus. Is it successful?
For the most part, yes. The director duo of Joe & Anthony Russo manage a balancing act of epic proportions with a deft touch. There is a good balance of story telling (Thanos makes his move to collect the Infinity Stones) and action (Thanos fucks up the Avengers with ease). There are moments of tragedy (SPOILERS: PEOPLE DIE) which have a big impact on the audience and characters alike. Some characters don’t get enough screen time (Black Panther, Captain America) but that’s to be expected when the only way to realistically give everyone enough screen time is to make a 24hr long movie!
I’m sure the Empire Strikes Back comparison has been made before but it’s accurate. This is quite a bleak film by the end and there is a sense of helplessness and hopelessness that reminded me of that feeling Empire gave me. How the fuck do the good guys win now!?
I rather liked the way that they didn’t just go down the crowd pleasing, predictable, Thanos shows up, gains a few small wins then gets his ass kicked and his plans crumble. They actually give us a taste of failure, of desperation and of loss. It can at times feel a slog but it’s worth it.
With all that being said, it’s not a film that lacks comic relief. There are some touching reunions and some first meetings that are laugh out loud funny. As with all Marvel films, the events in this film will have an impact on the upcoming films but if before you had some idea of where it was all going, this film lobs in a hand grenade, blows everything up and Feige only knows where it’ll all end up.
A few MVP performances should be talked about too. Tony Stark and Doctor Strange don’t exactly get off to the best start but their relationship is a real highlight and some of the quips and barbs that they exchange are razor sharp. Tom Holland continues to smash it out the park as the best film incarnation of Spider-Man and his father & son style relationship with Tony is sweet and impactful when all is said and done. Also, a final mention to Cap’s beard which is, quite frankly, magnificent.
Overall, this is a worthy addition to the MCU and keeps the audience guessing as to what’s going to happen next. One thing is for sure, we’ll be first in line to see what happens next. Also, Cap must keep the beard!