‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (Film)

‘AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR’

Please feel free to comment on the review.

Thanos Arrives
By Tim Bradley, Timelord007, Whiskeybrewer and Wolfie

Tim Bradley:
Thanos can’t fight the Avengers twice, can he? 😀

Wolfie:
Ah, but why would any fellow need to win, twice? ‘Infinity War’ may have the answer!

Timelord007:
LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

Whiskeybrewer:
This is the real gladiatorial sh*t! Just the way I like it!

Tim Bradley:
I saw ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ film series at the cinema on the 8th of May 2018 (my birthday). At the time, this was the biggest 10th anniversary celebration of the superhero film series. If that’s not the best Marvel celebration I’ve seen, then I don’t know what is.

It’s incredible to think that a Marvel superhero film series like the ‘MCU’ lasted for 10 years by then and featured so many Marvel superheroes fighting together to battle one powerful villain ready to destroy half the universe. Not even ‘Doctor Who’ can top up on something as massive a celebration.

Wolfie:
Yet! 😉 Though it’s certainly got close! Much like ‘Doctor Who’, the Marvel universe hasn’t been afraid to dabble in different genres, but the amazing thing is that most (if not all) of it is science fiction. Many of the major mythological elements of it rely heavily on sci-fi tropes and, initially, on prominent names in sci-fi media like Joss Whedon.

The past decade has been an extended stretch of Marvelmania catapulting the superhero from a fringe interest to the breakout equivalent of ‘Double Indemnity’, ‘Goldfinger’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Jaws’, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘Die Hard’ and more. Films that have defined their genres and subgenres! The film noir, the spy thriller, the space adventure, the suspense killer, the archaeological action-adventure, ‘Die Hard’ on an X…and now, the superhero film!

Timelord007:
I watched ‘Infinity War’ on the day of its release with my cousin Richard. I remember the excitement brewing within me as the BBFC logo faded and the Marvel Studios logo appeared. 10 years build up! All those post credit teases lead up to this moment and now the final battle was to begin! (Pause) Well, ‘Part 1’ anyway.

Whiskeybrewer:
I saw it at a midnight opening screening as well. All of it in glorious IMAX 3D! Now that was an experience. A baying crowd of fans all joining together, like the Avengers themselves, to see the culmination of one of the biggest true single screen universes. Everyone was counting down, making sure that they’d all been to the toilet, because nobody wanted to get up during the film and miss anything. Of course, as the lights went down, one guy got up and ran out to use the toilet. He got a huge cheer and a laugh for that bravery.

But definitely, everyone was there for one thing. Now you could have been a history major; a chav; a gambler or just there with a fan girl so you could get laid afterwards. But no matter! What you were seeing was something that would never come round like this again. Not with the same on-screen virgin territory to it anyway.

Tim Bradley:
I’d been looking forward to seeing this film especially for my birthday in May 2018. What did I first make of it? I thought it was very good! Yeah, there is a lot to take in especially with so many characters from previous ‘MCU’ films making an appearance. But overall, ‘Infinity War’ is pretty epic!

Whiskeybrewer:
I was utterly blown away by this film. It’s not often that a big studio film has this much blood, sweat and tears put into it. And that was the just the opening 10 minutes! So much to take it, but that’s why it deserved to be seen over and over again.

Timelord007:
‘Infinity War’ does have its flaws, which we’ll get to later. But overall, this movie gets more right than it does wrong. I don’t envy the Russo brothers directing this movie, as they try giving every character a standout moment, which for the most part they pull off with great aplomb. The action sequences are HUGE, but at the film’s core are a good story and a multi-layered villain

Wolfie:
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ mark the culmination of all the love and attention for many characters. The summit that put Marvel into the same auteur circle as Alfred Hitchcock or Christopher Nolan! Enough that the local modern art gallery at home had an extended exhibition showing off all the mise en scène of the films! I’ve never seen it so full of people. Families, the families you’d see attending mainstream Disney or Pixar films, in particular. It’s been groundbreaking. In the truest sense you can apply to films.

Tim Bradley:
I didn’t purchase ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ when it came out on DVD/Blu-ray at around August in 2018 after it was shown at cinemas in April/May that year. I had it given to me by my parents as part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Three: Part Two’ Blu-ray box set around Christmas 2019!

The film was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who previously directed ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War’. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ features the likes of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk/Bruce Banner, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Anthony Mackie as Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Groot and Josh Brolin as Thanos. (takes a couple of deep breaths) Have I missed anyone out from the list? I’m sure I have. 😀

Whiskeybrewer:
You probably did. This is one of the biggest casts around!

Tim Bradley:
Yeah, you’re right. The cast is mega huge!

Whiskeybrewer:
So many shared screen-time! I’m surprised the producer Kevin Feige didn’t try and put himself in it. I would have. But then again, I’m a huge nerd who’s hungry for fame.

Wolfie:
The film does a great job of giving everyone at least one moment in the spotlight. One of the screenplay’s greatest strengths, from a writing perspective, is how it’s prepared to throw together thematic counterparts rather than polar opposites. The latter would be easier, but the former gives us a good sense of just how diverse the ‘MCU’ truly is in its approaches. Even among characters that share the same background or ideology. Rogers’ team and the Wakandans both have their focus on honourable duty. Dr. Strange and Stark have their Byronic egos and personal tragedies. And Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy are like a match made in nebulae. United in thought, if not means! It’s all come a long, long way since its beginnings.

Timelord007:
It’s the old good vs. evil story with a touch of Greek tragedy thrown in for good measure, but performed on a much bigger canvas. To take a quote from the ‘Jerry Maguire’ movie and add another word to it – “SHOW ME THE MONEY-SHOTS!”

Tim Bradley:
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ was inspired by the 1991 comic book called ‘The Infinity Gauntlet’ by Jim Starlin as well as the 2013 comic book called ‘Infinity’ by Jonathan Hickman. I’m not well-versed in the comics’ version of the ‘Infinity War’ saga, so I can’t tell you how it was adapted it into the movie.

(goes crazy) But I can tell you one thing! Everyone dies in this!!! All of the Marvel superheroes we know and love die in this movie!!!

Wolfie:
Tim! Tim, calm down! Remember your blood pressure!

Tim Bradley:
(goes nuts) EVERYONE DIES IN THIS MOVIE!!!

Whiskeybrewer throws Thor’s hammer at Tim’s head, knocking him out for a bit.

Whiskeybrewer:
Spoilers, sweetie! Glad I went for the head. Probably should have used something sharper though. But hey, when you’re worthy, you’re worthy.

Timelord007:
Nice spoiler there, Tim! Well, that’s that then! We can all go home now! Thanos turns up; clicks his fingers; half the population dies; the end! Tim’s just spoiled the ending of this movie despite Whiskeybrewer’s excellent hammer throwing skills.

Tim remains knocked out until Wolfie checks him on the floor.

Wolfie:
(to Timelord007; Whiskeybrewer) Good news! He has a pulse! Bad news is; I can feel it in his forehead. (Pause) I’m sure he’s fine!

Eventually, Tim gets up from the floor and recovers.

Tim Bradley:
Where were we? Oh yes! (clears throat) But I kid. Not everyone dies in this movie! Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and some of the other superheroes still remain alive by the end. But how did half the universe get wiped out by Thanos with a click of his fingers and an Infinity Gauntlet? Let’s find out! 🙂

The film begins with the spaceship that carried Asgard’s survivors, following the events of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, recently attacked by Thanos and his lieutenants. Thanos is on the hunt for the six Infinity Stones. Most of the Asgardians that survived Asgard’s destruction are dead. That is a huge shame. 😦

Whiskeybrewer:
Now this was a huge shocker after the ending of ‘Ragnorok’, but it worked in its favour in truly setting up Thanos’ threat. Just a litany of dead bodies who had survived the destruction of their home, but we know some survived. It’s one of those kinds of films where if the death isn’t on screen or you don’t see a body, it hasn’t happened. This whole sequence set out its stall for the movie. No one was safe. One Easter Egg I did love here was that the voice of the distress call was that of Kenneth Branagh, director of the first ‘Thor’ movie and the man who thought it would be a great idea for Chris Hemsworth to dye his eyebrows blonde. Once seen, it cannot be unseen.

Timelord007:
Then ‘we have a Hulk’, so let battle commence. 2 minutes later…well, I hope you enjoyed that Hulk fight scene, because that’s your lot. The Hulk doesn’t appear again. This is one of my gripes in the opening to this movie. I would’ve liked to have seen the actual attack on Thor’s ship. Not start with the aftermath. Thor had his butt handed to him by Thanos whilst Loki and Heimdall featured in cameos and get killed off easily. IT’S SHOCKING!!!

I understand why this happened as it shows just how much of a threat Thanos is in that he can easily overpower our heroes with his strength and intellect. But Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba deserved much better material for their characters’ fate than what they’re given here.

Wolfie:
Meanwhile, in what I believe is Central Park in New York, Tony and Pepper are discussing Stark’s dream that they’re expecting. A short, sweet scene that sets up Iron Man’s personal connections for the film and re-emphasises the stakes for the upcoming battle! Dr. Strange and Bruce summon him via a portal to the Sanctum Sanctorum to compare notes on the Infinity Stones and Thanos.

Good timing, as it turns out one of Thanos’ generals, Maw, has his spaceship arrive in the city to recover the Time Stone from Strange’s possession. Iron Man, Banner, Strange and Wong mobilise in response – with the ship’s landing noticed by Peter Parker on a school bus. In the ensuing fire-fight, Strange is abducted by Maw, who departs from Earth with an equally persistent Iron Man and Spider-Man in tow.

Tim Bradley:
Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, Wanda and Vision have been together since the events of ‘Civil War’. They get attacked by two of Thanos’ minions before they’re saved by Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff and Sam Wilson who take them to the Avengers’ compound where they meet ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes and Bruce Banner there! The group soon set off for Wakanda to sort out the Mind Stone in Vision’s head.

Elsewhere, Thor meets up with the Guardians of the Galaxy in outer space. It’s quite a shock for the Guardians when Thor lands on their car…oh I’m sorry…spaceship window. I can imagine that a lot of people would have that same reaction to people falling onto their car windows. 😀

Timelord007:
Thor and the Guardians work well together because of the chemistry between the characters, specifically the two Chris’ – Pratt and Hemsworth. Their verbal sparring injects some much needed comic relief to the film after that very doom laden opening.

Wolfie:
That levity is vital, I think. A lot of the quieter scenes between the Guardians – particularly between Peter and Gamora – deal with some considerably difficult conversations. About family, about trust, about promises! The team arrives in Knowhere to recover the Reality Stone before Gamora’s adoptive father, Thanos, has the opportunity. Unfortunately, they’ve been led into a trap. Knowhere is not a thriving station, but an open funeral pyre.

When the veil is lifted and we see the devastation for what it truly is, that’s got to be one of the most chilling parts of the film. It’s our first face-to-face confrontation with Thanos in the film after the Asgardian prologue and it’s not easy. The dynamic between the Guardians often reminds me of the crew of Moya from ‘Farscape’. They considered themselves cursed. Hard to fault the same assessment of the Guardians! Peter tries to honour the promise he made to Gamora back on their ship, but the decision is taken away from him. She’s stolen away with Thanos’ last words to him being, “I like you.”

Whiskeybrewer:
Which leads on to one of many heartbreaking sequences in the film – Thanos and Gamora’s search for the Soul Stone, which is guarded by a returning Red Skull! Now who the hell saw that coming? If you say you did, I’ll fight you and call you a massive liar! From there everything leads into the two biggest cross-cutting action sequences.

Cap has to lead his merry band of secret Avengers to Wakanda in the hopes of removing the Mind Stone from Vision’s head, so they can save his life and allow Scarlet Witch to get rid of it. This involves a huge Wakandan army taking on Thanos’ hordes in an ‘all you can eat’ buffet of violence and epic fights. Alongside that, we have Tony and his friends being joined by the Guardians, plus Nebula on Titan, in an effort to stop Thanos, who had a prior appointment there for the Eye of Agamotto. Two big sequences here and each a dichotomy of the other! In Wakanda are two overwhelming forces battling over the life of one being. On Titan, it’s a small band of heroes fighting for the fate of the universe because they know what’s going to happen once Thanos has all the Infinity Stones. And it’s not all cut and dried. Who will be left standing at the end of it, that’s the thing?

Tim Bradley:
Okay, I think it’s fair that we need to clarify what the Infinity Stones are all about, just in case some of you who watched this film got confused the first time you saw it either on the big screen or on DVD/Blu-ray. As I stated, there are six Infinity Stones – Space, Reality, Power, Soul, Mind and Time. 🙂 It does make think of the Key to Time quest from ‘Doctor Who’ with the Infinity Stones and Gauntlet.

The blue Space stone was used in the Tesseract which was seen in the first ‘Avengers’ film. The yellow Mind stone is in Vision’s head, as established in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. There’s also the red Reality stone; the purple Power stone; the green Time stone kept by Dr. Strange in the Eye of Agamaooto (as Whiskeybrewer said) and the orange Soul stone. All of these stones can fit into Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet. He wants to use it in order to destroy half the population in the universe. 😦

Timelord007:
Ah, the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet! Good idea, great concept, but I must admit to forgetting where each stone was found and what power its purpose had. I must be getting old.

Wolfie:
I do like a good quest. I wonder if the identity of each individual Infinity Stone was sketched out from the very beginning or if it was something that shifted and changed with each phase of the ‘MCU’. The latter seems more likely than the former. They have that mishmash feel of being organic without feeling forced, but also simultaneously strategically placed as well. They serve really well as focal points for heightening personal drama – Vision’s decision, Thanos’s ‘fathering’ of Gamora, et al.

Whiskeybrewer:
I like the idea that everything shifted as it went along. There’s no straight line but the road turns into wondrous places, some not found on the original map. If this had been planned all the way from the start, then a lot of the fun would have been lost along the way. Also, we would have gotten a ‘Black Widow’ movie earlier as everyone but one man wanted it. But it’s the small personal beats that play out on the grand scale of the Infinity Saga. The gems are everything, but without the small beats, they just become maguffins. With those bits, the gems mean everything.

Tim Bradley:
The scale of this movie is huge! And that’s not just in terms of the movie being effects-heavy, although they are impressive. The entirety of the universe is at stake and we see that in jumping from one location to the next. That’s not just on Earth. We go from planet to planet as well as any space place including Knowhere, Nidavellir and Titan. It did put me in mind of ‘Rogue One’ in some way. 😀

Wolfie:
“Bigger than ‘Ben Hur'” is a phrase that often gets thrown around film and television. Not so with ‘Infinity War’. It’s incredible that so many properties can be drawn together all at once, synthesised and yet everyone still has that vital spirit, so to speak, of their respective films.

Whiskeybrewer:
Everything just gels so well. So many different pieces moving but it’s all so smoothly done. You would think that if a visionary director like David Lean has these budgets and characters, he would do something amazing. Imagine ‘Laurence of Arabia’ being made on a Marvel budget.

Timelord007:
You can’t fault the scale and the locations of this movie which are beautifully shot. The movie’s scale and the locations from New York to Knowhere, Nidavellir and Titan! The Russos have created a huge universe with new planets to explore.

Tim Bradley:
I think there is a sense that if you haven’t seen the previous ‘MCU’ movies before this one, you’ll have no idea what’s going on. You’d have to be really versed in the Marvel comics as well as the ‘MCU’ films themselves to understand what’s going on. For a casual viewer, it could be rather tricky.

Whiskeybrewer:
That’s very true, Tim. There’s so much here, that to get everything you have to have seen everything. But also I think enough is seeded that you can enjoy it on its own merits as a nonstop movie rollercoaster.

Timelord007:
I doubt there aren’t many moviegoers who haven’t seen at least one Marvel movie and these films are catered for the comic book fan base. But if you are new to the ‘MCU’, my advice is to start at the beginning with ‘Iron Man’.

Wolfie:
The screenplay feels fairly forgiving to newcomers, even ones arriving this late into the proceedings. Some of its audiences would’ve picked up on by cultural osmosis, but I think on some level they anticipated that there’d be a few films overlooked (or just plain forgotten) over the course of the decade. Anything essential to the framework of ‘Infinity War’ is rekindled here.

It’s actually a really good showing of how to do continuity. It’s Schrödinger’s completionist, almost. Drawing the audience into its universe, rather than locking them out at the door. The only film that I’d say is required viewing outside of the mainline ‘Avengers’ films might be ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ to explain the change in Asgard’s status quo. Then again, that’s more or less recapped later in the film, so even that’s not necessarily a hurdle to understanding the plot.

Tim Bradley:
Anyway, let’s talk about each of the characters featured in this movie. There’s of course Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, who has been with us in the ‘MCU’ right from the beginning with ‘Iron Man’. We see him first with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts since they’re both together.

Tony is considering his new life with Pepper and the possibility of having a kid together. Tony gets caught up with the Infinity War itself when meeting up with Dr. Strange, Wong and Bruce Banner. He knows quite a bit about Thanos and the Infinity Stone from his experience in the first ‘Avengers’ film.

Timelord007:
Each Marvel movie varies in quality, including ‘The Avengers’ (or ‘Avengers Assemble’). But one constant that has always stood out is Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Never once has this amazingly charming and charismatic actor phoned in a performance. And to think studio executives were reluctant to cast Robert in the role initially due to his past endeavours with drugs. But what I find exhilarating is how Robert has turned his life around and has now become a role model and an inspiration to young people as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

Whiskeybrewer:
It’s because of the growth of Tony’s character that RDJ was able to place so much of himself in that role that he’s condensed his own personal journey into this on-screen character. A character mind you, before the ‘MCU’ was seen by many as not top rung. Yet Robert pushed him up above many others.

Wolfie:
It’s interesting that so much of the ‘MCU’ has orbited around Tony Stark because, by all accounts, Stark is a deeply flawed human being. His story arc has been one of maturation from his role as flippant, irresponsible playboy to arguably the central heroic figure of these films. I think that was incredibly brave. His Byronesque tendencies aren’t excused. They actually cause quite a significant degree of conflict themselves, but he’s always striving to be better and do better. Trying to overcome the worst aspects of his own nature (and, as the films go on, traumas). That’s a pretty commendable thing to do with your throughline anti-hero/hero.

Tim Bradley:
The next big Avenger in the line-up is Chris Hemsworth as Thor. It was fun to see Thor in this movie! This is of course following from ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ where Thor has his own personal battle with Thanos, especially after the survivors of Asgard got killed by him and this included Loki and Heimdall.

It was amazing when Thor met the Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time.

Thor: “Who the hell are you, guys?”

Tim Bradley:
Harsh words after they just saved his life, but whatever. 😀 It was funny to see the competition between Thor and Peter Quill in their scenes and it’s nice that Thor and Rocket got on well with each other. Thor gets a new eye to replace his lost one and even gets a new axe which looks impressive. 🙂

Whiskeybrewer:
This is why it was perfect that they changed the character of Thor so well with ‘Ragnorok’. Dour Thor from ‘Thor: The Dark World’ wouldn’t have worked in ‘Infinity War’. But that little sprinkling of dour with this jokey turn just makes him so much more believable to me, even if he is meant to be a god. There is a theory out there though. I do like that the comedic take of ‘Ragnorok’ is how Thor chooses to tell the story after the events of ‘Infinity War’. He can’t tell this dark story about losing everything without some fun. It would hurt him too much.

Timelord007:
I’m going to be a grumpy git here and say that I didn’t care for the ‘Thor’ sequels as both felt too comedic, omitting the drama of the excellent first ‘Thor’ movie. So it was a refreshing change to see the character return to a more serious tone. I would go far to say this is Chris Hemsworth’s best performance as the character. He brings the grit and determination of the character as seen in the original movie. His appearance during the climactic battle literally gave me goosebumps.

Wolfie:
The interpretation of Thor here is a great synthesis of the character between when we first encountered him and now. He’s a bit less staid, a bit more relaxed, but just as capable of sincerity when required. We’ve come a long way storytelling-wise in the film medium when some of the most heartfelt scenes of the film (and there are a lot of them) are between a fallen thunder god and a hyper-intelligent raccoon. There’s an emotional resonance to Thor here that we couldn’t really have had a decade ago before the character was fleshed out. He’s much less a stand-in for Asgardian philosophies as he was in the first ‘Avengers’ film and now very much his own character.

Tim Bradley:
As Timelord007 said earlier, Mark Ruffalo doesn’t appear much as the Hulk in the movie. Likewise, this is a pretty big disappointment, especially when the poster seemed to promise a full appearance of the Hulk. We don’t even get the explanation for why Bruce was unable to change into the Hulk. In fact, when Bruce wants the Hulk to come out, even in the Hulkbuster armour, Hulk is refusing to do so.

Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner however is pretty good. Bruce warns Dr. Strange, Wong and Tony Stark about the incoming threat of Thanos to Earth after he’d just been sent by Heimdall to Earth. He’s shocked to hear the Avengers have split up and gets to fight in battle in the Hulkbuster armour.

Timelord007:
I was very disappointed by Hulk in this movie. For crying out loud, this is the first part of a two part finale and we get no HULK SMASH action because he’s afraid after Thanos beat him up. Utter nonsense! As for Bruce Banner, I found Mark Ruffalo’s performance bit lame. Banner always feared becoming the Hulk and losing control. But now he’s okay to HULK OUT but Hulk isn’t coming to play?

Instead we get Banner in the Hulkbuster armour. Marvel missed a trick here and I re-wrote a scene where Banner was being overwhelmed by Thanos’ minions and then have the Hulk burst out of the armour and kick butt. Marvel should hire me to rewrite their scripts as this would’ve been an epic scene had it appeared in the movie.

Wolfie:
More than any other character in this film, Banner feels like the casual audience surrogate. Negotiating the complexities of the ‘MCU’ and helping everyone to catch up on what they might’ve missed in the interim. He’s our Tekla from ‘Shadow Raiders’, warning us of the Beast Planet. A clarion call of the coming darkness and a validation of every worst fear the Avengers have had up to this point. Mark Ruffalo gives it gravitas without overstating Thanos’ power. I…don’t have much to say on the Hulk, unfortunately. Good character, being of few words. Dynamic between Banner and Hulk good. Hmm, Hulk ponder.

Whiskeybrewer:
Ruffalo was perfect as Banner. He was a great choice to replace Edward Norton. But there will always be a part of me that would’ve loved to have seen Norton’s take on Banner/Hulk in ‘Ragnorok’ and ‘Infinity War’. Maybe once this is over, I’ll hop to another universe and find that version.

Tim Bradley:
(to Whiskeybrewer) I think I might join you, Whiskeybrewer. 😀 (continues) Anyway, Chris Evans is back as Steve Rogers/Captain America. And yes, that is Chris Evans despite him having the beard. 😀 Steve Rogers comes when Bruce Banner phones for help using Tony’s mobile about Thanos’ attack on Earth. Steve Rogers does come across as a natural leader despite losing his Captain America shield. 🙂

I still wish Chris Evans had a topper billing in these ‘Avenger’ movies considering Captain America was the leader of the team. I enjoyed the interaction Captain America had with Thor once reuniting with him on Earth. Captain America notices Thor’s haircut and Thor says the Cap’s copying his beard.

Whiskeybrewer:
It’s that interplay I loved as well. It’s how they all care about each other. Cap is the soul of the team really. Evans just still somehow plays him with that childlike sense of right and wrong and how it has to be or at least should be. The friendships that he has with every Avenger are just amazing, but I somehow prefer that he doesn’t have top billing. This is a film where I don’t think anyone should have a top billing. It’s everyone or no one and Cap would agree with that.

Timelord007:
Captain America is my favourite Avenger and I think Chris Evans’ performances have been top notch. However, I felt Cap was sidelined a tad too much in this movie and didn’t get enough screen-time. I also think his relationship with Bucky was skimmed over. This is the first time he’d seen his friend free of the Winter Soldier brainwashing and yet very little story-time is given to this, which is a pity as I found their friendship one of the best arcs of the ‘MCU’.

Wolfie:
It’s difficult to write genuinely noble protagonists, but Steve Rogers has to be one of the best examples in these films. Like his peers, he’s come a long way since being recovered from the ice. It was nice to see that all the strength and determination inherent to the character came from Steve, not the shield. Evans does that nice balance of feeling lost, while simultaneously being the lynchpin for his renegade team. He’s adapted quite well to the contemporary day, but his presence as the man out of time never quite wavers. The nitty-gritty of the division between the Avengers (and thus a large part of Rogers’ character development) will be tapped into come ‘Endgame’.

Tim Bradley:
Scarlett Johansson returns as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow…or should it be White Widow considering she changed her hairstyle. No explanation is given as to why she had her hair dyed white from being a red head. Anyway, it was nice to see Natasha back and joining Captain America’s side. 🙂

Natasha joins in the battle on Wakanda against Thanos’ forces and even helps to save Scarlet Witch along with Okoye. Natasha does come across as a strong-willed woman, both in battle and when discussing tactics on how to defeat Thanos’ forces. I do like it when she’s in Captain America’s team.

Wolfie:
Good to see Natasha carrying on the tradition of the UK TV ‘Avengers’ girls like Cathy Gale, Emma Peel and Tara King. The best is yet to come with Black Widow, so I’ll save the majority of what I have to say for ‘Endgame’.

Whiskeybrewer:
Scarlett, you gorgeous minx! Another character that’s grown throughout these movies and she puts on a spot-on performance here. But as Wolfie says, what needs to be said about her deserves to be said in the ‘Endgame’ review

Timelord007:
Not liking the new Black Widow hairstyle, but barring that quibble, Scarlett Johansson returns as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and gives a good performance. It’s great to see how her character has evolved since ‘Iron Man 2’ and become an integral part of the Avengers.

Tim Bradley:
And there’s Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, I mean Smaug, I mean Howard Carter from the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘False Gods’ in ‘Forty Five’, I mean…Dr. Stephen Strange. Or is it Khan from ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’?

Khan: “My name is…KHAN…”

Timelord007:
(yells) NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Bradley:
(giggles) It’s still so funny when Timelord gets angry about Benedict Cumberbatch being cast as Khan in that ‘Star Trek’ film.

Wolfie:
He will leave you as he left me, left all audiences! Marooned at the centre of a puzzling reboot! Deeply conflicted… Deeply conflicted

Whiskeybrewer:
It’s just as funny whenever he gets angry about ‘The Last Jedi’. Or about Jim Carrey in ‘Batman Forever’! (laughs) Chinlord can’t control himself!

Timelord007:
(upset) You’re all monsters, all of you!!!

Tim Bradley:
(continues) Anyway, Dr. Strange sort-of becomes a victim in this movie, especially when he has the Time Infinity Stone on him, following his own ‘Doctor Strange’ film. I enjoyed the interaction he had with Tony Stark and Peter Parker and it was interesting to see his confrontation scenes with Thanos. Mind you, I think he could’ve used that Time Infinity Stone to reverse time and save a lot of trouble.

Whiskeybrewer:
Strange and Stark are just like two dads fighting. It works wonders. Also seeing the two modern day interpretations of ‘Sherlock’ sparing is wonderful! Benedict almost plays Strange as if he were possessed by Hugh Laurie channelling ‘House’ on some occasions. It’s these little references here and there. How he plays being kidnapped is nice as well. Never gives up under torture by Squidward.

Wolfie:
Strange is one of those characters who feels like they’re at their most interesting outside of their origin story, so it was nice to see him in his element here – kidnapped or no. Speaking of ‘Star Trek’, the decision he had to make here is a nice instance of the best outcome for the many stemming from what initially seems the worst possible choice for the few. An interesting riff on the concept!

Timelord007:
When I said I wanted Benedict Cumberbatch to become a doctor, I meant ‘Doctor Who’. (sighs) However, whilst not a fan of the ‘Doctor Strange’ movie, I did think the character was written far better here and the scenes between Dr. Strange and Tony Stark’s verbal sparring made for some great moments of drama and humour.

Tim Bradley:
Don Cheadle returns as ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes/War Machine in the movie.

Wolfie:
DOC…TOR…WHO…IS…RE…QUIRED!

Tim Bradley:
(interrupts) Not that War Machine, Wolfie.

Wolfie:
BRING…HIM…HERE… (realises; clears throat) Sorry. Touch of post-hypnotic suggestion. Comes on every winter!

Tim Bradley:
I liked it when Rhodey was defiant towards William Hurt as Thunderbolt Ross concerning the Avengers coming back together to fight Thanos despite the Soviet Accords which were established in ‘Civil War’. War Machine is there during the battle on Wakanda in the movie. His high-flying is still good. 🙂

Timelord007:
Not a lot to say about War Machine. Don Cheadle gives a good performance. Rhodey turns up and plays his part in the final battle. Enough said.

Whiskeybrewer:
He doesn’t have much to do, but what he does, he plays well. Again, another one where you need to save what you want to say until the ‘Endgame’ review. But with Cheadle, they certainly made the right choice in him taking over from Terrance Howard.

Wolfie:
A bit role, but an important one! Rhodey highlights the complex loyalties still evident after the Avengers’ civil war and the grey area of ‘the greater good’ when applied to issues like personal freedoms.

Tim Bradley:
(realises) Wait a minute! My Spider-Sense is going off!

Wolfie shields his eyes from the sun.

Wolfie:
These ‘Parkour’ chaps have really upped their game.

Whiskeybrewer:
(sing-song) Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig, Does whatever a Spider-Pig does.

Tim Bradley:
I’m sure Tom Holland is around here somewhere (sees him) There he is!

Timelord007:
(rolls eyes) Here we go. Get ready for the “But I’m not a fan of the spider suit.”

Tim Bradley:
It was great to see Tom Holland back as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the movie! His Iron Spider suit however… (sighs) I’m not a big fan of it since it makes him more like Iron Man than Spider-Man and he should just be Spider-Man in my opinion. Mind you, it’s very good it protected him in outer space.

Timelord007:
Tom Holland is excellent as Spider-Man/Peter Parker. Possibly the best actor to play the role, but sadly he hasn’t been in the best ‘Spider-Man’ movies or be surrounded by a good cast. Thankfully, Holland gets to play with the heavyweights in this movie and shares great chemistry with actors like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Pratt and Benedict (please cast him as ‘Doctor Who’) Cumberbatch.

Wolfie:
I like the mentor-mentee dynamic that’s been developed between Peter and Stark. Tom Holland has this rather nice ability to bring forward Parker’s earnest nature and a sense of responsibility without diminishing the likeability of the character. While Pepper is on Earth, he represents what the Avengers strive to foster and preserve in their fight against Thanos. He’s inexperienced, but it’s balanced out by his skill, best exemplified by the rather creative trap that he helps to develop on Maw’s ship.

Whiskeybrewer:
Tom Holland plays him how I would have played him honestly. Or I would have played him just as me, with all the pop culture references; film lore and all that. This is the kind of film where a young actor has a chance to learn from a variety of different sources and take it out into, what I’m sure is going to be, a long and distinguished career.

Tim Bradley:
Chadwick Boseman is back as T’Challa/Black Panther in the movie. He’s there to lead the Wakandan forces against Thanos’ hordes on Earth. I like that Black Panther takes charge of the Wakandan forces on Earth to fight Thanos’ army. It’s clear he knows how serious the situation is with Thanos. 🙂

Whiskeybrewer:
This also works as part of a trilogy for Black Panther and Boseman plays it to perfection. It’s that growth that he’s imbued in the character from the reluctant next in line from ‘Civil War’ to the man who knows his destiny as king and will lead from the front when it comes to battle. There aren’t many actors anywhere that could do that very well and Chadwick Boseman does it more than well.

Wolfie:
Wakanda forever! T’Challa might just be my favourite character of the ‘MCU’. He was so captivating in ‘Civil War’ with the complex vendetta surrounding his father. I loved that the duel against Rogers was essentially two honourable men with conflicting goals. I really enjoyed ‘Black Panther’s blend of Bondian action-adventure and TV21-style political thriller with complex morals. It was good to see him again. I’m very excited for the sequel!

Timelord007:
Black Panther was criminally underused in ‘Infinity War’. I get there’s a lot of characters in this epic movie, but the climactic battle takes place on Wakanda and the character should’ve had more screen-time. Also because I loved the ‘Black Panther’ movie!

Tim Bradley:
Paul Bettany returns as Vision. It was interesting to see him have a relationship with Wanda Maximoff following the events of ‘Civil War’ and he does acquire a more human appearance, looking like…well, Paul Bettany really. 😀 He gets into trouble once Thanos wants the Mind Stone in his head.

Timelord007:
Vision has fallen in love with Wanda/Scarlett Witch, so that can mean only one thing. He dies! A shame as I thought their relationship to be genuinely believable and moving. There you go! Leaked a massive spoiler!

Tim, Whiskeybrewer and Wolfie become shocked whilst Timelord007 folds his arms, looking smug. Boo-hisses echo from the audience in the background.

Wolfie:
I have this irresistible urge to cry, “Oh, no, it isn’t!” (to audience) I’ll talk more about Vision when we get to Wanda.

Whiskeybrewer:
Never knew we needed a panto dame for this review, but I guess we have one.

Tim Bradley:
Elizabeth Olsen returns as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in the film. A lot has changed for Wanda since the events of ‘Age of Ultron’ and ‘Civil War’. It’s very interesting to see that she’s become a strong woman here in terms of her fighting skills, though she has to make a dreadful sacrifice in this.

Wolfie:
Wanda and Vision both act as the human heart of the thread on Earth. The pursuit for the Mind Stone feels more directly personal than the others as its presence is the key to the very existence of a unique Avenger character. Their bond and blossoming romance isn’t what’s going to be lost, but what is actively being lost in the Infinity War. They play out in miniature the ultimate result of Thanos’ success on a galactic scale and it’s deeply heartfelt. Olsen and Bettany play their roles beautifully, right down to “It’s okay…”

Whiskeybrewer:
It’s the subtleties in the Wanda/Vision relationship that make it work. This is the most human of relationships that is the microcosm for everything going on around them. It’s this relationship that’s at the heart of the battle of Wakanda, like I mentioned earlier, and not a lot of blockbusters would do that and with so much heart.

Timelord007:
One of the positives about this movie is how it brings the secondary characters to the forefront. Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch really stood out for me in this movie. Her scenes where she witnesses Vision dying twice were heartbreaking and utterly convincing. You genuinely felt Wanda’s heart break at her loss, thanks to Olsen’s exceptional acting.

Tim Bradley:
Anthony Mackie returns as Sam Wilson/Falcon in the movie. He’s there when he, Steve Rogers and Natasha rescue Wanda and Vision from Thanos’ minions. He’s also there when the heroic forces on Earth fight against Thanos’ army on the battlefields of Wakanda. Nice that he high-flies in this too. 🙂

Whiskeybrewer:
Anthony Mackie turned himself into the perfect foil for Evans. Another small part, but weaved through with such skill that it could fall apart without him. Or without any of them for that matter!

Timelord007:
Good performance and he features in some cool action sequences. Job done!

Wolfie:
Ditto! Aerial combat is so difficult to choreograph, so props to the production team for continuing to find inventive ways to use Falcon’s abilities to their full.

Tim Bradley:
Sebastian Stan is back as Bucky Barnes and is called the White Wolf in Wakanda – not Winter Soldier anymore. He gets the metal arm he had from ‘Civil War’ back and helps out to fight during the battle against Thanos’ forces with Captain America and such. He should keep his arm away from Rocket. 😀

Timelord007:
Sebastian Stan’s performance is great as Bucky, but the character’s arc is criminally overlooked. The brainwashing arc to stop Bucky becoming the Winter Soldier is glossed over. Basically he’s cured, but it would’ve been good to have had flashback scenes and to see how this was achieved. Also his brotherly friendship arc with Cap was underwritten. It deserved far more scenes and screen-time.

Wolfie:
(whispers; to Whiskeybrewer) I’m getting a feeling Timelord won’t like what happens with Bucky Barnes in ‘Endgame’.

Whiskeybrewer:
(whispers: to Wolfie) Me too.

Tim Bradley:
Danai Gurira returns as Okoye, the head of the Dora Milaje and Black Panther’s right-hand woman in the film. Okoye is willing to fight to the death for Wakanda as Thanos’ forces come to attack Earth. She and Black Widow help Scarlet Witch once she’s being attacked by one of Thanos’ generals. 🙂

Whiskeybrewer:
Okoye was, for me, the surprise hit of ‘Black Panther’. So I was very happy that she was front and centre in Wakanda. It’s the perfect amount of snark that’s needed. And I love that the fans stood up and demanded justice when Danai’s name was left off the poster. Wakanda forever, bitches!

Whiskeybrewer laughs hard and rolls about on the floor whilst Tim, Timelord007 and Wolfie give him funny looks.

Wolfie:
(ignores Whiskeybrewer; continues) We get a few nice winks to the ‘Black Panther’ film through Okoye and I like her quip about looking forward to ‘maybe even a Starbucks’ as part of Wakanda’s new open door policy. She and her warriors are a nice snapshot of what they can bring to the fight against Thanos and do so in copious quantities!

Timelord007:
Danai Gurira as Okoye is just perfect casting for this role. I love this character, who I thought stole the show in ‘Black Panther’ and she kicks butt in this movie. One of the best supporting characters in the ‘MCU’!

Tim Bradley:
There’s also Letitia Wright as Shuri, T’Challa/Black Panther’s sister in the film. I was expecting Shuri to be fighting in the battle against Thanos’ force on Wakanda in the film. She does help to try and remove the Mind Stone from Vision’s head with Wakandan technology before her lab gets attacked.

Wolfie:
Shuri is a great character to discuss when talking about the division between a fighter and a warrior. A lot of writers have this tendency to label anyone in combat as a soldier. I think Shuri’s a lot more a scientist than a classical warrior, though she’s fully capable of combat on her own. She gets to fight back in her own way and it’s strong to see that the surgeon herself is the last line of defence between the enemy and her patient. The dynamic with her brother reminds me a lot of someone…

Tim Bradley:
(ponders) Hmm. I wonder what Wolfie means by that.

Whiskeybrewer gets back up from the floor.

Whiskeybrewer:
(continues) I actually felt, bar a few moments, that Shuri was wasted here. She’s just there to do the same thing that she basically did in ‘Black Panther’. Bar that exchange with Banner, she may actually be the only replaceable part of the film, which does sadden me to say.

Timelord007:
Shuri is the ‘Q’ of the ‘MCU’! The tech genius who invents all the cool gadgets! Letitia shares wonderful chemistry with Chadwick Boseman that you genuinely do believe that the pair are a real-life brother and sister.

Tim Bradley:
The Guardians of the Galaxy are in this! I was thrilled to see them in an ‘Avengers’ film. It’s pretty unique to have that in an ‘Avengers’ film especially when the Guardians have so far become separate and away from the Avengers characters on Earth. It’s a nice coming together of these heroes. 🙂

Chris Pratt returns as Peter Quill/Star Lord. Chris Pratt is great and I enjoyed the performance he gives in this movie. Even I went “FLASH…AHH!!!” when he was referred to as Flash Gordon. 😀 Couldn’t resist that! But Peter Quill gets angry when he learns Thanos had killed Gamora. He lets out his anger during a critical moment. The thought occurs to me that the film’s end is all Star-Lord’s fault. 😐

Timelord007:
Star-Lord has a tantrum and because he threw his toys out the pram, he kills off half the universe’s population. All Star-Lord’s fault! Go and sit on the naughty step! No more sweets for you, buddy!

Whiskeybrewer:
No, no, no. It’s not his fault. Not at all! What would you do in that situation and heard that news? You’d lose your tiny little minds over it! Notice Nebula did nothing to try and stop him, especially as everyone else had their hands full. He’s lost the second most important woman in his life after his mother. It’s a gut punch of universal standards.

Wolfie:
Yeah I’m going to go out on a limb and agree with Whiskeybrewer. I dispute the ending is solely Peter’s fault. It feels a bit more complicated than that. The failure is a team effort and ironically comes from the two people. Gamora is considered the closest of family. With Peter, it’s a combination of a man in anguish over the loss of his love and the emotional aftermath of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2’.

Couple that emotional Molotov cocktail with Nebula’s blunt decision to break the news to him right during that moment and I can see why the balance tipped away from the Avengers. Pratt does a great job of portraying Quill who’s not dealing with his own emotional baggage. Much of it is still raw! His reaction in that moment isn’t the correct one, but it is very human.

Tim Bradley:
(thinks; to Wolfie; Whiskeybrewer) Yeah, from those perspectives, I get your points there. I suppose, like Whiskeybrewer, I was hoping for Nebula to knock Peter Quill out in order to prevent him lashing out.

(continues) Anyway, Zoe Saldana returns as Gamora in the film. It’s interesting to compare Gamora in the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies to where she is now since she didn’t really care much for Peter Quill. Now they’ve become an item in this film. It was very interesting to see how Gamora became more connected to Thanos, especially once he kidnapped her during the events of this film. Gamora is forced to choose either saving Nebula’s life or let her die as Thanos wants the Soul Stone.

Whiskeybrewer:
Just amazing work from Saldana! A massive stand out in a movie of massive stand outs! Her scenes with Brolin’s Thanos are performed as if they were on the stage and that works for the Shakespearian nature of the relationship the characters share.

Timelord007:
Amazing performance from Zoe Saldana as Gamora! There’s real character progression here, built up from the ‘Guardian of the Galaxy’ movies. So her demise at the hands of Thanos is, for me, the most heart-wrenching part of the movie.

Wolfie:
If there is a word we can bring to the development of the ‘MCU’ as a whole, I think it’s warmth. There’s an accessibility and care to Gamora here for her friends that’s hinted at in our first encounter with her, but never fully expressed until now. The dynamic between Gamora and Thanos is really well-written. She despises her father and everything he believes, but he still loves her unreservedly. Her discussion with Peter, how she makes him swear to kill her if things go wrong with her father, is still a very Gamora decision, but one tainted by resignation rather than coldness. A warmth she never expressed when working for her father.

Tim Bradley:
Dave Bautista returns as Drax the Destroyer in the film. Drax does have his comedic moments in the film. He can’t even stay out of Peter and Gamora’s way when they’re having a kissing scene together and he claims he’s invisible. Though Mantis can see him! 😀 Drax also has his vengeful moments, especially when he’s hell-bent on killing Thanos and he doesn’t listen to Peter Quill’s instructions. 😐

Wolfie:
Carrying on his role from the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films, Drax maintains his charm. Providing some sweet breathing space to ease off on the intensity of some scenes in ‘Infinity War’!

Whiskeybrewer:
Was he in this? I didn’t see him.

Tim Bradley:
(rolls eyes) Oh for goodness sake!

Timelord007:
Dave Bautista brings great comic relief as Drax, delivering some hilarious dialogue without ever cracking a joke. The “I’m invisible” scene had me in stitches.

Tim Bradley:
Bradley Cooper is back as Rocket the Racoon. Or is it ‘rabbit’ as Thor called him? (thinks) No, it’s definitely ‘racoon’.

Rocket: “Don’t call me a raccoon!”

Tim Bradley; Timelord007; Whiskeybrewer; Wolfie
(to Rocket) OH SHUT UP, ROCKET!!!!!

Whiskeybrewer:
Silly rabbit! Guns are for Americans!

Wolfie:
Actually, I’ve a great fondness for Rocket. He could have easily been a one-note gag, but he takes his captaincy seriously and tries to do right by both his friends and new acquaintances. He’s a rodent with heart, even if he tends to keep that to himself. Much praise for Bradley Cooper who seals the divide between the CGI Rocket and his peers almost solely through the emotional range of his voice. He almost feels like a more rounded, spiritual successor to characters like Daxter from the ‘Jak and Daxter’ games.

Timelord007:
A wisecracking racoon with a gun, I’d buy that for a dollar!

Tim Bradley:
“I am Groot.” Vin Diesel is back as Groot in this. “I am Groot.” Groot is a teenager now and spends a lot of time playing video games.

Timelord007:
“I am Groot.” Did you know Vin Diesel who voiced Groot starred with Dave Bautista in ‘Riddick’, the third in ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ saga? “I am Groot.” A bit of pointless movie trivia there!

Whiskeybrewer:
“I am Groot.” (to Timelord007) That’s my job, you S of a B! “I am Groot.” I could chin you for that! “I am Groot.” (to audience) Who doesn’t love a tree, eh? “I am Groot.” We know Steve Rogers does.

Wolfie:
“I am Groot.” What a nice place to take the character. “I am Groot.” It’s good to see him play such an integral role in the forging of Thor’s hammer. “I am Groot.” I wonder if he’ll be sticking around for the third ‘Guardians’ film. “I am Groot.”

Tim Bradley:
There’s also Pom Klementieff as Mantis, who’s become the newest member of the Guardians of the Galaxy team. I enjoyed Pom’s performance as Mantis and it was interesting to see her trying to tame Thanons on Titan, even when his mind’s very strong. She does get saved by Spider-Man in this film. 🙂

Wolfie:
Her role is comparatively small, but Mantis is a nice exemplar of when we say everyone gets a moment in the sun, we do mean everyone. She’s instrumental to the Titan team’s plan against Thanos and providing that crucial crisis point for Peter Quill.

Timelord007:
She’s okay in small doses.

Whiskeybrewer:
I did prefer her performance in ‘GOTG, Volume 2’. But that bit on Titan about ‘taking ass’ had me in stitches. She and Drax together are just amazing! To be honest, I could go on about the relationships and pairings in this film all day.

Tim Bradley:
And of course, how can we forget Karen Gillan (well-known for playing Amy Pond in ‘Doctor Who’) as Nebula in this film. 🙂

Whiskeybrewer:
This is what Amy Pond got up to after being left in New York.

Tim Bradley:
Yeah, I believe you’re right there, Whiskeybrewer. 😀

Wolfie:
Likewise, Nebula’s role in the film is comparatively minimal, but you get a good sense of her relentless determination. Even in pieces, she still finds a way to escape captivity.

Timelord007:
Karen Gillan, the future Mrs. Timelord. She wore that police uniform in ‘Doctor Who’ well, didn’t she?

Timelord007 drifts off in a daydream.

Tim Bradley:
Timelord?

Timelord007 still in a daydream.

Tim Bradley:
(shouts) Timelord, snap out of it!

Timelord007 snaps out of it with hot flushes.

Timelord007:
Um, where were we? Oh yes! Nebula! Again, what started out as a one dimensional villain character has become a fully fledged heroic character with her arc and tragic backstory! The ‘MCU‘ have written these supporting characters very strongly, giving them each their own backstory and progressive story arc.

Tim Bradley:
And of course, there’s the big star of the film – Josh Brolin as Thanos. Thanos is a combination of a motion capture performance and a real-life actor and…Yeah, I’ll just say it. Thanos is brilliant! He’s freaking brilliant! He’s definitely regarded as one of the best Marvel villains with a lot of complexity. I don’t know how he’s depicted in the comics, but I can imagine he’s pretty complex as in this movie.

Wolfie:
By the truckload! There’s a strong dichotomy cast between the sympathetic and unsympathetic villain, but I think there’s room enough there for a logical one too. One which has an unnerving sense of internal rationality to their schemes! One who audiences can understand, but not necessarily empathise with! Thanos considers himself as a hero! He considers what he’s doing and the means by which it will be achieved to be merciful. The autonomy of those affected by it is secondary. In many ways, he’s a reaction against the well-intended extremist popularised in the 2000s and 2010s, often as heroic figures. What separates him from his peers is that Thanos is true to his own characterisation and his goals. Memorably some of his own choices bring him to tears to accomplish then. He’s a villain through and through, but he’s just as willing to harm (or even destroy) himself in pursuit of his objectives as much as the others caught in his way. That brings an entirely new layer of danger to the character than would exist otherwise.

Whiskeybrewer:
This is how you make a villain work wonders. Brolin does with the role what the likes of Derek Jacobi and Patrick Stewart could’ve done with their roles on stage. A being who’s trying to do what is right or what he believes is right. You sympathise with him, especially when he has to sacrifice Gamora for the Soul Stone. Those damn CGI tears!

Timelord007:
Josh Brolin is phenomenal as Thanos. Not only does he voice the part, but he also motion captures the performance, Brolin injects the right amount of evilness to the character, never once hamming up the part as a moustache-twirling villain. He gives strong valid reasons for what he’s trying to achieve with the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet.

Thanos also doesn’t rely on his minions to do his dirty work. He gives the Hulk a good whooping and holds his own against all the Avengers in the climactic battle. The scene that stood out for me was Gamora’s death because he really loves her like a daughter. So sacrificing her for an Infinity Stone adds genuine emotional layers to the character.

Tim Bradley:
Like Timelord007 said, Tom Hiddleston as Loki is wasted in this movie. This is such a shame as Tom Hiddleston proved to be intimidating as a villain in both ‘Thor’ and ‘Avengers Assemble’ before he became less so in ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and ‘Thor: Ragnarok’. And he’s killed off too early in this. 😦

Timelord007:
If you thought Tom Hiddleston had a rough exit, it’s nothing compared to Idris Elba as Heimdall who is already at death’s door in the opening scene. This is a poor way for a well-known character to exit a movie and one of the film’s biggest flaws is not seeing that opening battle. At least it could’ve shown Heimdall fighting to save the Asgardians instead of what we got here.

Whiskeybrewer:
Oddly perfect casting with Peter Dinklage as Eitri, the dwarf weapons forger! And what a way to subvert it by making him bigger than anyone else! He does play it better when being serious though than with the few comedic lines that they give him in places. Those weren’t needed at all.

Wolfie:
Nice to see Benedict Wong as…Wong! A touch of character to his scenes and he gets the last word with one of Maw’s goons in New York. No ‘arm here! He does make a good impression.

Timelord007:
Benicio Del Toro also appears as the Collector. I don’t really have a lot to say about this character because he was so badly underused in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and he only features in a small cameo appearance here, so there’s little to go on to form a full opinion about the performance.

Whiskeybrewer:
Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts! Another day one-er here! And a character and an actress who has become better as the ‘MCU’ phases have gone on. And that final phone-call as Tony goes into space is a great performance by Paltrow. She and RDJ are an amazing pair. Love them together.

Tim Bradley:
The other cast members in the film are as follows. There’s Tony Stark’s A.I. F.R.I.D.A.Y. (voiced by Kerry Condon); Winston Duke as M’Baku (from ‘Black Panther’), who is the leader of Wakanda’s mountain tribe the Jabari; Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds (from ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’), who is Peter Parker’s best friend at school; the Red Skull (who isn’t played by Hugo Weaving from ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ which is a shame 😦 and is instead voiced by Ross Marquand with some stand-ins playing him) and of course how could we not have a cameo of Stan Lee in ‘Infinity War’? 😀

Whiskeybrewer:
As I said earlier, I just love the interplay between the battles on Titan and Wakanda. It’s the big and small switched expertly. An army is fighting for the life of Vision in Wakanda, while on Titan, only a few heroes stand against a madman who wants to take out half the universe! The special effects on both battles are amazing, apart from Ruffalo’s head in the Hulkbuster. That’s a bit off. But how the two battles weave through each other is just so…

Whiskeybrewer does the chef kissing fingers thing.

Wolfie:
You can tell a lot about an enemy by how they approach combat. The fighters for Earth with their focus on protecting one another, down to the last warrior, are in stark contrast to Thanos’ forces who are content to throw wave after wave of their own troops, suicidally, into Wakanda’s defences. It’s a great spectacle, but like a lot of these ‘The Lord of the Rings’-inspired battlefield charges, the more personal fight on Titan seems to have the greater edge. It’s the first time we see Thanos in undisputed battle and we get to find out just how true the hype has been. Oof! That’s going to leave a mark.

Timelord007:
The battles on Titan and Wakanda are both executed well, although Captain America and Black Panther should’ve featured far more in the Wakanda battle. Titan edges it for me. It’s such a tense and a dramatic fight scene where Thanos holds his own against the Avengers led by Tony Stark, which builds up to a gut punch climax.

Tim Bradley:
The film does end on a pretty downbeat ending with most of the superheroes erased from existence because of Thanos clicking his fingers with the Infinity Gauntlet. These heroes include Bucky Barnes; Black Panther; Groot; Scarlet Witch; Falcon; Mantis; Drax; Star-Lord; Dr. Strange; Spider-Man…HOW DARE YOU KILL OFF SPIDER-MAN, MARVEL STUDIOS?! HE WAS MY FAVOURITE MARVEL SUPERHERO AND YOU KILLED HIM IN THIS MOVIE! SHAME ON YOU, YOU MARVEL SUPERHERO MURDERERS!!!! SHAME!!!!!!!!

Timelord007 smacks Tim’s face, snapping him out of it.

Timelord007:
Focus, Tim! Focus! It’s a cliff-hanger ending to tease you for ‘Avengers: Endgame’! You didn’t expect a happy conclusion, did you?

Whiskeybrewer:
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect with the ending of this film, even with it being a ‘Part 1’. It could’ve had a musical number and I wouldn’t have been surprised. But damn, it was a brave ending.

Wolfie:
Glad they had ‘Endgame’ in the bag too. Could you imagine if they’d pulled an ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ and some behind-the-scenes gubbins had prevented a second film? It’s a very bold place to pause this particular story and that sense of injustice definitely feels as though it drew a lot of audience members back for ‘Endgame’. You could call it this decade’s ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ moment here.

Wolfie sees Tim distracted and snaps his fingers in front of his face.

Wolfie:
Tim?

Wolfie waves his hand in front of Tim’s face, but he’s still distracted.

Wolfie:
Oh, this can’t possibly be good for him.

Eventually, Tim snaps out of it and recovers.

Tim Bradley:
Oh! Um, where was I? (realises) Oh yes! (continues) Of course, this movie ends on a cliff-hanger as this is ‘Part 1’ of the two-part climactic story in the ‘Avengers’ series for Phase Three of the ‘MCU’. Many of us had to wait before the next film came out in 2019 to resolve the resolution. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. At that time, I wanted to know if Spider-Man would come back from the dead! Of course I should’ve known he would come back since Tom Holland signed up for two more ‘Spider-Man’ movies back then, didn’t he?

Mind you, I couldn’t help but feel that Peter Parker’s final line in this movie echoed someone else’s familiar final line.

Peter Parker: I don’t wanna go. I don’t wanna go. Sir please, please I don’t wanna go. I don’t wanna go.”

Tim Bradley:
(to Peter Parker) Stop thinking you’re David Tennant! You’re not David Tennant! Stop thinking you’re David Tennant!

Timelord007:
Tom Holland, I swear, is channelling the Tenth Doctor’s regeneration scene here as he says, “I don’t wanna go.” Well, it’s either that or he’s trying to out-do the Deadpool death scene in ‘Deadpool 2’ as the longest drawn-out death scene in a movie ever.

Wolfie:
Yeah, that’s part of the horror behind the Infinity Gauntlet, I feel. Thanos plays it off as being just a snap of the fingers. But as we see, everyone in that unlucky percentage is actively aware of their erasure from existence. Confusion, shock, disbelief! My head-canon is that the ash burning away on the wind is a metaphor for how much life they had left to live. In Peter Parker’s case…yeah, it makes sense it’d take that long. Poor kid really hung in there as long as he could.

Whiskeybrewer:
No drawn-out death scene could ever beat Paul Reuben’s in the original ‘Buffy’ film. But didn’t Tom Holland ad-lib some of that dusting scene? I could’ve sworn he did. It’s got to extend the epic run time somehow.

Tim Bradley:
The Blu-ray special features of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ are as follows. There’s the directors’ intro by Anthony and Joe Russo; ‘Strange Alchemy’; ‘The Mad Titan’; ‘Beyond the Battle: Titan’; ‘Beyond the Battle: Wakanda’; deleted scenes; a gag reel and an audio commentary with directors Anthony and Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Incidentally, on the digital copy for the movie, there’s this exclusive director’s roundtable where filmmakers like Jon Favreau; Ryan Coogler; James Gunn; Peyton Reed; Joss Whedon; Anthony and Joe Russo and Taika Waititi talk about their experiences of making the ‘MCU’ movie series overall. 🙂

Wolfie:
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ achieves on film what a decade ago would have been considered impossible in the medium. It tells an intelligent, heartfelt and well-executed tale encompassing more characters than ‘I, Claudius’ and with life-spans stretching as far back as 2008. At least, in our theatres! All without losing focus or becoming hamstrung by its own narrative along the way! Moreover, it doesn’t feel like it is dithering or padding out space for the film’s final act. With so many players at work in the narrative, they’ve used every scene to try and give everyone something important to do.

Whiskeybrewer:
This film, for the most part, was just firing on all cylinders. It threw everything in from what had come before and cooked up this epic meal that was wondrous to the senses. Every time I saw it, I didn’t get up to go to the toilet the whole time. Not many films can do that. It’s just sad that I will never be able to see this film again for the very first time. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy it. But it’s amazing every time. Marvel forever!

Timelord007:
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ had a lot to cram in for a 160 minute run time and for the most part, it achieves its goal. However there are a few issues I have which annoyed me, like the movie’s post-battle opening; a lack of Hulk; the skimmed over Captain America and Bucky arc; and Black Panther not playing a more prominent role. Surely by adding another 20 minutes to the film’s run time, it could’ve remedied these small quibbles.

However there is plenty to enjoy here! Great character arcs; a brilliant cast; superbly directed action scenes; a tense cliff-hanger ending and a script crammed with drama and emotion besides a multi-layered three dimensional villain. This movie sets up the ground work for what should be an epic finale to the ‘Avengers’ franchise and many characters arcs from the ‘MCU’.

Tim Bradley:
Yeah, on the whole, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ has been a great and exciting Marvel superhero movie to watch. There are plenty of Marvel superheroes to see in this film. That’s not just with the Avengers characters but also with the Guardians of the Galaxy too, which was pretty thrilling to see here.

There are quite a number of storylines happening in this film which made it so complicated and you would’ve had to have watched the previous eighteen films in order to get an idea of what’s going on with each of the characters. Even if many of the characters featured in this film do get quite underused. 😦

All in all, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ has been a worthwhile superhero film to see on my birthday. It’s fitting as a celebration for 10 years of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ and the action sequences are pretty good. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long for the next ‘Avengers’ film to come at cinemas.

In the film’s post-credits scene, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill see chaos happening in New York because of Thanos wiping out half the universe. They soon disappear, though Fury is able to transmit an emergency signal on a modified pager. Who will answer that signal? 😐

‘THANOS WILL RETURN’ Thanos isn’t a hero! He has a lot to answer for! I hope Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, War Machine, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Black Panther and others will return despite some of them now dead.

Whiskeybrewer:
I love that little ‘THANOS WILL RETURN’ tag. Just another little touch that makes me love the film more! The mother… (Pause; laughs) I really shouldn’t finish that.

Timelord007:
The post credit teaser suggests help is on the way, which is marvellous news

Timelord007 groans

Wolfie:
I understood that reference. I liked it. Smooth and subtle! Also, thank God for streamlining Nick Fury’s quick thinking into a button press. Space-time telegraph away!

Tim Bradley:
(to Timelord007; Whiskeybrewer; Wolfie) Well, thank you, you three, for helping me out with this review on ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.

Timelord007:
I enjoyed it! Thanks for inviting me!

Whiskeybrewer:
Glad I could help. Was great to be here with you all! Four epic nerds together!

Wolfie:
That was extraordinarily fun. Thanks for inviting us along!

Tim Bradley:
If you’ll each hand me your ratings for this movie, please! 🙂

Timelord007, Whiskeybrewer and Wolfie hand over their movie ratings for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ to Tim. Tim takes them away and stores them into the ‘Bradley’s Basement’ data bank.

Tim Bradley:
(happily) Time to bring on the ‘Folkestone Film, TV and Comic Con’ from May 2018 next, I think!

Wolfie:
Whew! That’s the end of that, I suppose. Way more tired than I expected.

Wolfie rubs his eyes.

Tim Bradley:
(puzzled; concerned) Wolfie, are you alright?

Wolfie:
(disorientated) I’ve got some…me…in my hands. This isn’t your garden-variety dandruff either. Tim? (fades) Tim…!

Wolfie crumbles away into dust in an instant.

Tim Bradley:
(shocked) Wolfie!!! What happened to him?!

Timelord007:
(shocked; realises) Oh no! It’s happening here too! (to Whiskeybrewer) Whiskeybrewer?

Whiskeybrewer slowly starts to turn to dust.

Whiskeybrewer:
Damn it! Quick! I need a pithe line! Something with pinache that I’ll be remembered for.

Whiskeybrewer clicks his remaining fingers.

Whiskeybrewer:
I got it! Gazpacho…!

Tim Bradley:
(cries) Whiskeybrewer!!!

Whiskeybrewer doesn’t finish as he crumbles away into dust in an instant as well. Tim Bradley and Timelord007 are left standing.

Tim Bradley:
(shocked) Did you see that, Timelord? Did you see that?! Did you?!!

Timelord007:
(panics) I…I…I don’t want to go. (Pause; realises) Wait a minute! How come you and I are still here and not crumbled into dust like Wolfie and Whiskeybrewer just did?

Tim Bradley:
(distressed) Where could they have gone? How come this happened? Our review can’t end on a note like this! (Pause) Can it?

TO BE CONTINUED…

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ rating by Tim Bradley – 9/10
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ rating by Timelord007 – 8/10
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ rating by Whiskeybrewer – 9/10
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ rating by Wolfie – 9/10


The previous story

For Iron Man was

For Thor was

For the Hulk was

For Captain America was

For Black Widow was

For Doctor Strange was

For War Machine was

For Spider-Man was

For Black Panther was

For Vision was

For Scarlet Witch was

For Falcon was

For Bucky Barnes was

For the Guardians of the Galaxy was

The next story

For Iron Man is

For Thor is

For the Hulk is

For Captain America is

For Black Widow is

For Doctor Strange is

For War Machine is

For Spider-Man is

For Black Panther is

For Scarlet Witch is

For Falcon is

For Bucky Barnes is

For the Guardians of the Galaxy is

Return to Marvel Cinematic Universe
Return to Spider-Man

2 thoughts on “‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (Film)

  1. Damn good review, it’s great reading 4 different perspectives discussing this movie, each bringing their own thoughts & opinions about what they enjoyed & what could have been improved upon.

    I seem the most critical of the four reviewers but it’s only because i love movies & want them to be the best they can be but overall this was for the most part a excellent entertaining Marvel movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed doing this review with me, Wolfie and Whiskeybrewer. I certainly enjoyed doing it with you three guys and I’m glad we were able to do it during this current time we’re living in. Many thanks to everyone involved.

      I’m glad there’s a variety of opinions being offered on this movie and it’s nice to have that balance of positive and negative throughout the review. I also like the jokes we put into this review to make it entertaining. Glad you rate ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ highly despite some issues.

      Once again, many thanks Simon for co-writing the review with me, Wolfie and Whiskeybrewer.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

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