Avengers: Infinity War  is what every comic nerd and science-fiction cinephile has been patiently waiting for over the last decade of build up. Anthony and Joe Russo again helm the film as a dynamic duo of direction. Screenwriting credits belong primarily to Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who have been right there in the MCU with several writing credits). Then there are the faces of the heroes and villains that have graced the silver screen for all these years. And there are a lot of these people. As the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe assemble to combat the Mad Titan Thanos from destroying all known in existence; audiences are treated to action, horror, love, and an absurd amount of sadness.
Perfectly Placed: A major concern for this film is it is supposed to be what over 10 films have led up to, was the ability to pack so many characters into a film that was under 3 hours. With a combination of high level directing and careful screenwriting, there is not a moment in Infinity War that feels too long or too short, or do we ever feel we have been cheated out of a great moment from one of our favorite characters. Screen time is shared with a strategic approach between this ensemble of blockbuster names. For a film starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Ruffalo, Chadwick Boseman, Scarlett Johansson, and Josh Brolin to still provide efficient and quality screen presence is an absolute wonder. Not only was the screen time used perfectly, but each character had a major purpose in the film with a stellar performance from each actor or actress in the role. It was almost as if everyone in the film knew of the importance and they approached it with a professional bravado.
Well-Focused: As previously stated this film is perfectly placed in the aforementioned aspects. But this is still a superhero movie about weird comic book characters in a life or death battle with a seemingly unstoppable force. So how does Infinity War feel like so much more? It is even slightly based off of a source material comic for the story! The answer is simple but one that very few of these films have ever focused their story on the antagonist. Fans have waited for Josh Brolin to be full-on Thanos for a while now and he did not disappoint. It helps that largely the film is focused on Thanos and a string of well-acted dialogues. It is no surprise that Brolin based his approach on Thanos and the character’s attitude in this film to that of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now.
Big Risks: Infinity War put a checkmark next to several boxes that most films never dare consider. Among these is the runtime which at two hours and twenty-nine minutes feels horribly short. Not in recent memory have I begged for five more minutes of a film once the credits began to roll. But indeed this 149-minute film is a lot to handle for a casual audience member and it was a risk that was pulled off flawlessly by Anthony and Joe Russo. The next risk was putting so much talent into the film. Only Paul Rudd and Jeremy Renner were forgotten in the film and yet the abundance of cast members paid off more than most ensemble cast films. But of course the main risk of Infinity War is what will solidify it as possibly the best superhero film at least in the MCU if not of all time; the third act, more specifically, the final 10 minutes of the film. Well crafted. Brilliantly acted. Devastatingly enjoyable.