Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War is infinitely entertaining

Last updated on April 27th, 2018 at 04:06 pm

Charging into battle are (l-r on the ground) Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner / Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and T’Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), with Col. James Rhodes / War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Sam Wilson / Falcon (Anthony Mackie), flying above the Wakandan army in Infinity War.

An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.

The Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes is that Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions. Here’s what three top critics have to say about the new film:

“A deeply satisfying tale of pathos and wit that manages to credibly link dozens of characters, multiple narrative threads and innumerable arguments, stretching from the first Iron Man a decade ago to Black Panther mere weeks ago,” says Peter Howell, Toronto Star.

“It’s not perfect, but it goes to a place most tentpole movies wouldn’t dream of, while retaining the scale, excitement, and humour you’ve come to demand from an MCU movie,” says Matt Maytum, Total Film.

“The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest entry is its biggest, most ambitious piece of storytelling in the studio’s 10 years of existence and the minute you exit the theatre, you’ll be lining up at the box office to buy another ticket. It’s that good,” says Mark Daniell, Toronto Sun

As I watched it, I was amazed by the complexity of the various characters coming together and their often comic (no pun intended) interactions, set in spectacular locales throughout the galaxy. The battle scenes are beyond epic in scope, and the climax will ….. well, you will just have to see it to believe it! I am still stunned as I write this hours later.

The action and adventure, science fiction and fantasy film runs 156 minutes and has earned a rating of PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references. It was directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and opened in theaters officially on Apr 27, 2018 with sold-out screenings across the country on Thursday, April 26, establishing new records for ticket pre-sales. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is a sequel to 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and is the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), begun in 2008 by Jon Favreau’s Iron Man starring Robert Downey, Jr.

Avengers: Infinity War has a huge ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt. In Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop Thanos from amassing the all-powerful Infinity Stones.

The script for the film drew inspiration from Jim Starlin’s 1991 “The Infinity Gauntlet” comic and Jonathan Hickman’s 2013 “Infinity” comic. Filming began in January 2017 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, and lasted until July 2017, shooting back-to-back with a direct sequel which is scheduled to hit theaters on May 3, 2019. Additional filming took place in Scotland, England, the Downtown Atlanta area and New York City. With an estimated budget between $300–400 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made, and the most costly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The basic premise of the film is that two years after the Avengers were torn apart during the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Thanos arrives on Earth to complete his collection of the six Infinity Stones in a gauntlet that will allow him to bend reality to his will and allow him to enact his plan to wipe out half the living sentient beings in the universe. The Avengers, along with Dr. Strange and Spider-Man, must join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to attempt to stop him before his onslaught of destruction puts an end to half the universe.

The cast is led by Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man: The leader and benefactor of the Avengers who is a self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with electromechanical suits of armor of his own making. Chris Hemsworth as Thor: An Avenger and the king of Asgard based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name. Thor now wields a mystical hammer-axe known as Stormbreaker, after the destruction of his hammer Mjolnir in Ragnarok. Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk: An Avenger and a genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or agitated. Banner spends the film trying to reintegrate with the Avengers, and also tries to “impress upon everybody how dangerous [Thanos] is. Chris Evans as Steve Rogers: The fugitive superhero formerly known as Captain America, leader of a faction of Avengers. A World War II veteran, he was enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum and frozen in suspended animation before waking up in the modern world. The character receives new vibranium gauntlets from Shuri to replace his traditional shield. Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow: A highly trained spy, and former Avenger and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange: A former neurosurgeon who, after a car accident that led to a journey of healing, discovered the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions and became a Master of the Mystic Arts. Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine: A former officer in the U.S. Air Force who operates the War Machine armor and is an Avenger. Following his paralysis during the events of Civil War, Rhodes is given an apparatus by Stark to walk again. Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man: A teenager and Stark’s protegé who received spider-like abilities after being bitten by a genetically-modified spider. Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther: The king of the African nation of Wakanda, who gained his enhanced strength by ingesting the Heart-Shaped Herb. Paul Bettany as Vision: An android and Avenger created using the artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. and the Mind Stone. Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch: A member of Rogers’ faction of Avengers, who can harness magic and engage in hypnosis and telekinesis. Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon: A member of Rogers’ faction of Avengers and former pararescueman trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack. Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes / White Wolf: An enhanced assassin and Rogers’ ally and best friend, who reemerged brainwashed after being thought killed in action during World War II. Barnes, who formerly went by Winter Soldier, is given the name White Wolf by the people of Wakanda who helped remove his Hydra programming. Tom Hiddleston as Loki: Thor’s adoptive brother based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name. Idris Elba as Heimdall: The all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian former sentry of the Bifröst Bridge, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name. Peter Dinklage is a weapons maker, who creates Thor’s new hammer-axe. Benedict Wong as Wong: One of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, tasked with protecting some of Kamar-Taj’s most valuable relics and books. Pom Klementieff as Mantis: A member of the Guardians of the Galaxy with empathic powers. Karen Gillan as Nebula: An adopted daughter of Thanos who was raised with Gamora as siblings. Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer: A member of the Guardians and warrior in search of vengeance against Thanos for killing his family. Zoe Saldana as Gamora: A member of the Guardians who is an orphan from an alien world who seeks redemption for her past crimes. She was raised by Thanos. Vin Diesel as Groot: A member of the Guardians who is a tree-like humanoid, still an adolescent in the film, in the same state of growth seen in one of the post-credit scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Bradley Cooper as Rocket: A member of the Guardians who is a genetically-engineered raccoon-based bounty hunter and mercenary, and is a master of weapons and battle tactics. Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts: Stark’s fianceé and the CEO of Stark Industries. enicio del Toro as Taneleer Tivan / The Collector: One of the Elders of the Universe who is an obsessive keeper of the largest collection of interstellar fauna, relics, and species of all manner in the galaxy. Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord: The half-human, half-Celestial leader of the Guardians who was abducted from Earth as a child and raised by a group of alien thieves and smugglers called the Ravagers.

Josh Brolin as Thanos: An intergalactic despot from Titan who longs to collect all of the Infinity Stones in order to impose his will on all of reality, wanting to “re-balance the universe”. Producer Kevin Feige added that Thanos believes the universe is becoming over-populated, which led to the destruction of his home planet Titan and is something he vowed not to let happen again, and also said “you could almost go so far as to say he is the main character of” the film. Thanos’ henchmen, known collectively in the comics as the Black Order, appear in the film as the “Children of Thanos”: Terry Notary as Cull Obsidian, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Ebony Maw, Carrie Coon as Proxima Midnight, and Michael James Shaw as Corvus Glaive.

Avengers co-creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance in the film. Several other actors reprise their roles from previous MCU films in Infinity War: Danai Gurira as Okoye, the head of the Dora Milaje; Letitia Wright as T’Challa’s sister Shuri; Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, the former deputy director of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Winston Duke as M’Baku, the leader of Wakanda’s mountain tribe the Jabari; and William Hurt as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, a former general in the U.S. Army who has since become the Secretary of State.

The first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War debuted on Good Morning America on November 29, 2017. The trailer (“designed to explain what’s about to happen, teasing it out with additional background”) heavily featured Black Panther and Wakanda. The first trailer was viewed nearly 500,000 times in its first 15 minutes after it was posted on YouTube, and was viewed 230 million times in its first 24 hours. A commercial for Infinity War aired during Super Bowl LII generated the most social media buzz out of all the films advertised during the Super Bowl. A second trailer, released on March 16, 2018, earned over 1 million views on YouTube in less than three hours after it was released, and was viewed 179 million times in the first 24 hours, becoming the biggest release for a second trailer.

In December 2017, a survey from Fandango indicated that Infinity War was the most anticipated film of 2018. In March 2018, early box office projections had Infinity War grossing between $200–235 million in its opening weekend in the United States and Canada and between $490–590 million for its total domestic gross. Fandango reported that Infinity War achieved the largest initial 24-hour ticket pre-sales for a superhero film in just six hours, surpassing the record from Black Panther. Atom Tickets also reported that Infinity War sold more tickets in its first pre-sales day than Black Panther sold in its first month. Two weeks before its release, Fandango revealed that advance ticket sales for Infinity War were outpacing the last seven MCU films combined in the same timeframe, and had become the company’s top April release. It was also on pace to become the top superhero film, with Fandango’s Erik Davis noting, “Infinity War has built up such unprecedented anticipation that it’s pacing to break records, the likes of which we have never seen before for a superhero movie.” By mid-April, box office projections for the film revised upwards to a $235–255 million opening and $600 million for its domestic total. A week before the film released, The Wall Street Journal noted the film had sold more than $50 million worth of advance tickets, behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with Fandango reporting that more than 1,000 showtimes had already sold out.

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