Christopher John’s review published on Letterboxd:
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars <deep breath> Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Peter Dinklage, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, with Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, and Josh Brolin as Thanos. <exhale>
Thanos has finally arrived to claim all six Infinity Stones for himself, and to do so must face off against all the combined Avengers from the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy. The entire universe is at stake, so the war begins.
It’s all led to this really. 10 years of set-ups, sequels, reboots, spanning space and time and collecting together 50+ characters. So what does Avengers: Infinity War have to show for all the massive hype? Easily the biggest superhero movie of all time and possibly one of the most epic films I’ve ever seen.
The scope, the scale, the stakes, the effects, locations, characters, story, the new and bold filmmaking all on display is splendid, immersive and daunting. This is a 2 ½ hour film that moves quickly to establish where all these characters are across the universe, smartly slowing to get into new emotional ground for some heroes…and one villain.
The Russo brothers promised that Thanos would be the main character of Avengers: Infinity War and the ambitious directors delivered. Thanos isn’t in every scene, but his presence is felt in every minute, so much so that when we spend time with the heroes there’s a nagging thought of “can we go back and see what Thanos is doing?” Josh Brolin’s performance through motion capture is extraordinary and I would dare say that his Thanos is the most terrifying, most powerful, most cynical, smartest, and maybe the greatest MCU villain we’ve ever had.
With this mammoth cast packed into one movie, not everyone has their signature moment to shine. Characters played by Benedict Wong, Gwyneth Paltrow, Idris Elba and Letitia Wright get a few small scenes but nothing much. This is ok because we still get to delve deeper into characters like Iron Man (Downey Jr.), Thor (Hemsworth), Spider-Man (Holland), Rocket Raccoon (Cooper), Scarlet Witch (Olsen), Vision (Bettany), and surprisingly Gamora (Saldana). There are actually some truly heartbreaking moments from Spider-Man, Vision and Scarlet Witch because they are played by fantastic actors, and in the end we still feel devastated by what has transpired because some of it might be the actual end.
Aside from the characters who connect to each other in fun and dramatic ways (evenly balanced), Avengers: Infinity War is brilliantly constructed on a technical level. Alan Silvestri returns as composer and his music is once again soaring and affecting, erasing the more forgettable scores of the past. Trent Opaloch’s camerawork utilising new IMAX 2D cameras is incredible and even in heavy CGI scenes or massive battles, his camera glides and punches in to deliver a glorious and hyper-real experience. The CGI for Thanos, his Children, and the massive battles in the third act is perfected beyond a doubt, though some moments stick sorely out because the rest of it looks so damn great.
This is still the film that any Marvel fan has been waiting for. We have made it through the super-highs and lows of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to see all these amazing characters fight the ultimate battle against an ultra-powerful enemy, and with mindblowing awe and tremendous guts, the Russo brothers have delivered an experience for the ages. Avengers: Infinity War has done the impossible which makes it mighty, and will be a testament to the ultimate cinematic power of superheroes.