Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War ★★★★½

I’ll write a spoiler review later, but for now... this is a really fun film. Big ensemble events like this can be hard to pull off; there’s pressure to create an opportunity for each individual character to shine a bit. But Joe & Anthony Russo succeed both in making a film with lots of great standalone action and rewarding the die-hards with plenty of references to earlier Marvel outings. It’s kind of like listening to a greatest hits album from your favorite band — familiar, comfortable, confident. Also, like a lot of “greatest hits” albums, there’s often a new song included that the record label wants to push as a new single; sometimes that doesn’t always work, and I suppose a parallel or two could appply here. 
But for the most part, this is the epic story that Marvel has desired to tell over the preceding ten years and 18 movies, and it’s a lot of fun seeing old friends reunite and new friends join the cause. The Russo’s do an admirable job of keeping all the balls in the air, and we have an impressive villain in Thanos. Josh Brolin, even while buried under layers of CGI, manages to reveal a character whose motivations we understand. Also impressive: things that had no reason to work well — like integrating the Guardians — turn out to be assets of the film. Even more interesting, Doctor Strange might be the MVP of the movie.  
Can’t wait for next year!

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