freddie_kayy’s review published on Letterboxd:
A cascading, goliathan nuclear bomb of a movie, Avengers: Infinity War is the greatest amalgamation of pop culture, colour and banter to grace the Marvel Extended Universe since Guardians Vol.2. But, in comparison to a 80s dazzled family piece set in space, we are both treated and harrowed with an assaulting iconography-epic that has now, and will forever, change audience's expectations as they walk through that cinema door into another 'dumb silly marvel film'. This, really is War.
Contrary to the norm, the most significant thing to happen in Infinity War actually happens before the film even starts. Marvel Stud10s is the first thing you will notice as the opening credits roll, a studio logo stamping its legacy into the forehead of the participant, a searing brand of their commitment, and the indication of a grand payoff from the plucky little start up named Iron Man back in 08'. We encounter our heroes all estranged, they are in different corners in the universe and are about to be brought together in the most unpleasant way possible, but to go into any further detail would be to ruin a weave of drama that never, never ends.
It is blaringly true that, whilst Infinity War is massive, it also feels very stratified. Joe and Anthony Russo have mapped out their vision whether you like it or not, and the ride of a first sequence is one of many. I don't really want to groan on and on about how amazing and beautiful the special effects are, because you already all know that, yet there is taste of bombasticness that this film carries unlike any other Marvel film before it. A spiralling, matrix-esque camera is the driving force within the set pieces at all times, and it is vital for balancing the scale and magnitude of a crashing planet with the simplicity and terror of a torture scene. I can only nominated pure and utter genius for how well they pulled off the whopping task of fitting all of these heroes into one continuous flow of consequence, humour, death and sacrifice.
The comedy, whilst sometimes forced in for sake, is still textured around characters and that *chuckles* does put a smile on my face. In between the interaction, we are also subject to a lot of confrontation, and not just to the mean purple guy with the magic golden glove. Our assortment of supers don't always keep their temper, and it gradually builds from general annoyance into full blown suffering. Finally, and it is rare that I give this type of flick the justice, but the soundtrack? Pretty damn solid.
Inevitably, this is an imperfect film and that does come from a few scattered moments of over-bloatedness and out of character decisions. Marvel still fail slightly at their 'show don't tell' curse and is reared in some scenes, whilst being completely abandoned in another. The likelihood of having ALL these properties, with such separate storylines butting heads, is too colossal to avoid. There isn't much of an excuse with tone though, which is disappointing considering how much content they nail with the cheering entertainment value, it could've been adjusted so much better in more emotional narrative points. That is, until the last 10 minutes, which is...oof...it's fucking incredible.
Infinity War has broken, and will break, a lot of things this week. Box office records, achievements in visual effects, achievements in pop culture...the works. And what surprised me the most? How it broke, well, me. I entered this film not preparing to cry amongst six of my closest friends, yet I sat in the harsh light of the theatre as the credits rolled, wiping away tears. Tears. Tears in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film. And to that, it must be said, is astounding. I just hope they know what makes a good sequel because, and this is coming from a critical perspective, I'm not sure I'd even have a clue where to start.