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Avengers Infinity War (2018)

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Screenplay: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely


Chris Evans: Captain America

Robert Downey Jr: Tony Stark/Iron Man

Scarlett Johansson: Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow

Mark Ruffalo: Bruce Banner/Hulk

Chris Hemsworth: Thor

Benedict Cumberbatch: Doctor Strange

Don Cheadle: James Rhodes/War Machine

Chadwich Boseman: T’Challa/Black Panther

Paul Bettany: Vision

Elisabeth Olson: Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch

Anthony Mackie: Sam Wilson/Falcon

Tom Hiddleston: Loki

Zoe Saldana: Gamora

Tom Holland: Peter Parker/Spiderman

Karen Gillan: Nebula

Dave Bautista: Drax

Pom Klementieff: Mantis

Bradley Cooper: Rocket (voice)

Vin Diesel: Groot (voice)

Josh Brolin: Thanos

Chris Pratt: Peter Quill/Star Lord

Idris Elba: Heimdall

Etc., etc., etc., etc………………….

Take this IMDb link for the rest of the production staff, cast, crew, etc. 

Avengers Infinity War took about $300 million to make, and by April 29 had already taken in more than $640 million and climbing.  As is obvious by the list of heroes and villain, pretty much everyone and their dog is in this movie, so character development is virtually nonexistent, although Captain America has long hair and a beard, rolls up his sleeves, has no shield and doesn’t wear a helmet. Bucky Barnes has—briefly—a new left arm. Thor solved his Cyclops problem with the help of a rabbit, the Scarlett Witch and Vision are—briefly—an item, and the galaxy just became a much smaller place.

The primary plot is simplicity itself: Thanos, who singlehandedly beats the snot out of the Hulk, is searching for the six Infinity Stones, with which he can bring his evil plot—which will make greenies, well, green with envy—to fruition.  Thanos, you see, has decided that the universe has finite resources, there are too many people drawing on them, and he’s going to fix that by killing half its population, randomly, of course, just to be fair.  All of the Infinity stones will let him accomplish that.

So the Avengers—most of them—and The Guardians Of The Galaxy—all of them—work together to try—that’s the operative word—try—to stop Thanos. After Avengers Civil War, the Avengers, disillusioned, have pretty much disbanded, and Hawkeye and Ant Man don’t show for this movie.

The film no doubt cost $300 million at least in part to pay the cast, and a cast of heroes so large ensures they all have relatively little screen time, hence the lack of plot development.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t some great moments in the movie. The dialogue, as usual in Marvel movies, is funny and occasionally, moving.  Scenes between Dr. Strange and Iron Man, Star Lord and Iron Man, Thor and Rocket and Iron Man and Spider Man are particularly good.

Some critics have argued that Thor Ragnarok helped establish Thor as a great comic book-ish character. I don’t share that view.  Having seen Ragnarok on DVD, I found it took Thor’s character in a more or less slapstick direction, diminishing him.  Infinity War, thankfully, did not continue in that tradition, allowing an appropriate amount of self-deprecating humor, but not over doing it.  I’m still so conflicted over Ragnarok, I haven’t written a critique, and probably won’t.  I’ll probably have to view it again just to be sure.


Gamora is Thanos’ adopted daughter, and despite his horrific villainy, the movie succeeds in making him almost sympathetic, as the comic versions of these characters sometimes do.  This has actually always been a strength of Marvel comics, and it works well here, particularly because Thanos, as the final credits tell us, will be back.

Infinity War has many of the characteristics of epic literature. There is the quest to save the galaxy, battles on a galactic scale on strange planets, and heroic derring do in profusion. The special effects do not blaze any new pathways, but are used to great effect.  The many battle scenes are truly stunning, and are thankfully not generally subject to the “shaky camera, out-of-focus” school of cinematography. One of the biggest problems with computer generated characters is it’s very difficult to get the eyes right. That does not seem to be the case with Thanos.  In closeups and distance shots, he appears convincingly alive.

All of the other aspects of movie making are beautifully balanced. Sets, props, costumes, makeup, sound, lighting, everything is professionally done to the highest professional standards.  And miracle of miracles, the music never over powers the dialogue, something common in contemporary movies.

Perhaps most remarkable is pulling this sprawling screenplay into a coherent whole.  It’s a two hour and thirty-six minute movie, but it feels shorter.  Though the argument that it’s essentially one fight scene after another stitched together is not inaccurate, it all works, and the more or less trademarked fighting styles of the characters are maintained. Blade Runner 2049, for example, ran two hours and 44 minutes, but felt much, much longer.

It’s easy to suspend disbelief.  The characters are compelling, and so is the action, but there are a number of issues that make little sense.  Fighting Thanos and his minions, a substantial number of the heroes don’t arm themselves, but try to take them out hand to hand.  Captain America, who in his origin movie used firearms, doesn’t here.  This is particularly bizarre in the final, epic battle scene in Wakanda pitting the heroes, many Wakandans and Black Panther against thousands of ravenous, quadrapedal monster-like minions of Thanos.  Charged by those thousands of extra terrestrial monsters, of the defenders, only Bucky Barnes uses a gun, which seems to work well.  The Wakandans have some of Earth’s most advanced technology, but don’t use even so much as an electrically driven Gatling gun, meeting the attack with bare hands and spears.  This doubtless makes their last stand more heroic.  It’s tactically incomprehensible, but that’s just me.  It’s apparent early on the Avengers may not be able to take Thanos as they usually take out bad guys, but no one says: We can’t stop this guy; let’s nuc him from orbit.  It’s the only way to be sure.

Captain Marvel
credit: comicalarm

What everyone but WWII Japanese soldiers still holed up in caves on remote islands in the Pacific has heard by now is a great many of the Avengers are turned to ash by Thanos, and so are Nick Fury and Maria Hill, but not before Fury summons—wait for it—Captain Marvel!  That’s the final in-the-credits scene.

Are all of those beloved characters really dead, as in dead, dead: Groot?  Spider Man?  Spider Man, just when we were really liking Tom Holland’s portrayal?  If Dr. Strange can somehow get the green infinity stone back, he can turn back time, but darn!  He’s ash too.

Captain Marvel—played by Brie Larson–will surely be in the sequel, but will have her own origin movie first.  I suspect this is so because of the success of the Wonder Woman origin movie.   Her costume will not, however, resemble her comics costume.

Considering the interest in this movie, it just may be possible the sequel could make more money, which would be an incredible accomplishment, but who doesn’t want to find out who lives and who die–really dies?  That’s part of the allure of the Marvel Universe.

Considering the scale of the action, Avengers Infinity War might be best seen on the big screen.  It is certainly worth buying on DVD.  There’s so much happening in virtually every scene, it will be fun to be able to see it over and over again.