Originally from Michigan but educated in the south by the Savannah College of Art and Design, Jacob Ethington is a playwright and screenwriter who's always willing to relocate if necessary. Excerpts of his work are available to read on this site along with blog posts about media that he loves.

"The Avengers: Infinity War" (2018) Review

"The Avengers: Infinity War" (2018) Review

Ten years is a long time for anyone.

It's been a pretty long time for me at least. Ten years is a little less than half the time I've been alive, and ten years ago, I was in 7th grade. I remember watching a lot of my trailers on the Apple website, looking for what films looked the best. I was definitely looking forward to The Dark Knight in those days, but one trailer earlier in the year caught my eye more than any other.

Iron Man.

I had no idea what was going to unfold in the ten years that followed Iron Man's release, that it would take a Hollywood actor who was seen as an ex-alcoholic burnout and turn him into one of the biggest movie stars in the world. That it would conceive of characters as weird as Norse gods and talking raccoons. But most of all, the idea that these movies all existed at once and could cross over at any moment was one of those things I couldn't wrap my head around.

Things have changed. A lot.

The crossovers are commonplace as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken over the blockbuster conversation. Competitors rush to get their own cinematic universes started, whether it's with superheroes or movie monsters. The cinematic universe is king, and Marvel made it happen. So, how can the crossover still feel special at this point, ten years in?

The answer is The Avengers: Infinity War.

There are weird structural issues with the story here, but they literally feel secondary in a scenario like this. Nearly every single character that has ever appeared in the Marvel universe that's still alive makes an appearance in this film. It all feels epic in scope in a way that none of the previous Marvel films ever have. The stakes are higher than ever, and while I'll refrain from outright spoilers, I will tell you that this film has consequences.

This is one of those "gonna keep it short because I'm not sure what to talk about without spoiling stuff" reviews because I'm really in awe of the risks that have been taken here. I think a lot of people will be able to reasonably guess some twists and turns, but most are not going to see the full scope of it coming and just how powerful those turns are in execution. I haven't felt as attached to the Marvel movies lately and even I found myself moved by several parts in this movie (though, I'm not going to lie, the biggest reactions I had to this movie are in the form of a surprise actor showing up and a cameo that was so out of nowhere and crazy that my jaw was almost on the ground).

I can say that just like previous Marvel crossovers, the interactions between new characters meeting each other is always fantastic, and that continues in spades here. The biggest surprise in terms of characters though is Thanos, the big villain that the MCU has only let lurk around the background of other films. Not only does he have a fleshed out backstory, he's a fully realized character that's truly fascinating. Part of that is due to the writing, but most of it is Josh Brolin's performance, which feels restrained and emotional in ways that are definitely going to catch people off guard.

The action scenes are as cool as you'd expect, but the biggest shock is how raw they feel. More than any Marvel movie before this, the characters feel like they're in complete danger. You will fear for everyone's life for basically every single scene.

That's really all I can say. I'm tiptoeing around the best parts of the movie, but I'll close by saying that The Avengers: Infinity War is the most ambitious Marvel movie to date. It's a total miracle that this movie doesn't collapse under its own weight, and the fact that it actually has the guts to end where it does is truly something to respect and be stunned by simultaneously. Don't let anyone spoil this for you, I'm going to see this at least one more time in IMAX (if not more times than that).


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