Review: Avengers: Infinity War

As a nerdy/geeky father, one of the things that unites us all (or at least most of us) is the love of taking our smaller folk to see a good superhero movie. In our house, we’re pretty big Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans so we always get pretty hyped up when a new Marvel movie is on the horizon. Imagine then how excited we were all getting in the run up to the culmination of ten years of Marvel movies, Avengers: Infinity War.

Avengers: Infinity War is the bringing together of all the separate strands of the MCU into one massive all-or-nothing assault against the universe’s biggest baddie, Thanos. Perhaps unwittingly for many viewers of previous movies, the various spooky objects littered throughout their various plots have in fact harboured mystical infinity stones. Thanos, having operated in the shadows for all this time, has now come to the fore and is scampering around the galaxy with his entourage, hoovering up the infinity gems in a lunge to finally become the ultimate power in the cosmos.

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The first challenge for me was to dodge all the spoilers before we could get to see it. For what it’s worth, no matter how bad Twitter and Facebook may get with spoilers, Pinterest of all places is the worst for accidentally bumping into something you wish you’d never seen when it comes to new movies, especially particularly nerdy ones like this. Although that was mostly achieved, I knew ahead of time that people were coming out of this movie pretty shaken up so I knew something big was going to go down.

Infinity War, even moreso than it’s predecessors is an exercise in exploring the relationships between all the characters but this time we get to see them interact between their previously quite isolated settings. There’s always been nods and gestures to other portions of the MCU. Thor: Ragnarok was perhaps the greatest of these in recent memory but never before now have all these casts come crashing together in such numbers. Primary and secondary figures from Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Avengers, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy plotlines are all here and some of the funniest moments are when they get an opportunity to finally meet each other.

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Without giving too much away, this is perhaps the most mature Marvel movie that I’ve seen, bar the obviously adult-focused Deadpool series (it is a series, there’s another one coming out!). There’s nothing particularly gory but no-one is pulling their punches, not everyone gets out alive and not all of the on-screen deaths are quick and painless. This is perhaps why so many people have reported coming out of the screening somewhat shell-shocked.

Family friendly?

In terms of content this isn’t necessarily gorier or scarier than the previous films but it is a lot more to deal with emotionally. If you’re in the habit of taking younger children to see Marvel movies you may want to watch this without them first or risk some rather upset little ones. I saw it before my big guy did and still decided it was suitable but we certainly had to discuss it first, which is not usually necessary for MCU movies.

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Overall I was totally blown away by Avengers: Infinity War. Those of us who already know a fair amount of the backstory have been waiting a long time to see this finally come together. It certainly raises a lot of questions for the next movie (this was the first half, we get the rest next year) but that’s always part of the fun. The huge question for many will be interpreting the inevitable post-credits sequence. It’s not super-cryptic but sees the far-reaching consequences of the movie’s climax and a potential new player on the board.

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