There’s no avoiding the machine that is Marvel. I knew I was a goner back in 2008 when Iron Man resurrected Robert Downey Jr.’s career and sparked a resurgence of superhero movies. Since then, I’ve become personally invested in the fictional lives of Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and so on…and on. Of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is not immune to making a bad movie. I don’t think even the most diehard Marvel fan would re-watch Avengers: Age of Ultron. Still, there’s a special kind of energy that surrounds a movie touting the Marvel brand, and Avengers: Infinity War is no different. I don’t recall another movie in recent months – or even years, really – that’s generated equal amounts of excitement and dread. Fortunately for fans, this third installment does not disappoint. Infinity War gives fans the action-packed scenes and brotherly banter they’ve come to expect while also making room to tell new stories.

Usually, I would provide a brief summation of the plot while rattling off the main characters. However, outlining Infinity War’s plot would lead me to reveal spoilers so I will do my best to spare you. I will tell you that Thanos makes more than just a guest appearance in the movie and that this results in a slew of new superhero pairings including Iron Man and Doctor Strange and Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy. These pairings, along with a departure from the typical New York City backdrop, liven things up.

Unlike the previous Avengers movies, Infinity War mostly takes place in space and follows multiple storylines involving multiple characters as they work to achieve one goal: to stop Thanos from acquiring all six infinity stones so that he can eliminate half of the universe’s population. While I enjoyed the new pairings and the change of scenery, at times the movie felt discombobulated. I sometimes lost track of what was happening and who was with whom. There are also a few emotional touchstones that I had trouble connecting to because the movie didn’t dedicate enough screen time to those moments. Side note: I wish I could delve deeper into the emotional touchstones, but you know, spoilers.

Despite the fact that I thought Infinity War was all over the place, I still really, really liked it. Considering it’s a two and a half hour movie, Infinity War moves along at a steady pace up until the final showdown, which riled up the entire audience and had me on the edge of my seat. There are also some good jokes that will make you smile long after the credits have ended. Speaking of an end, Infinity War’s ending will leave you eager for the next installment, which is slated to be released a year from now. Until then, don’t try too hard to predict the future of the Avengers, and even more so, the future of Marvel. One thing is certain – the Marvel Cinematic Universe is never-ending.

 

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