Marvel fans assemble. The newly released “Avengers: Infinity War” estimated $39 million in its Thursday gross previews, the largest summation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and the fourth-highest of all time (Forbes), placing it as one of the most anticipated films since initial marketing efforts began in 2012.
“Infinity War” is the nineteenth movie produced by Marvel Studios that draws upon six previously released storylines to contribute to this culmination of never-ending action sequences and fast-paced camera work. MCU devotees can expect to see various familiar faces: Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Black Panther, the Avengers, Bucky Barnes and War Machine to name a few.
“Avengers: Infinity War” marks the 10-year anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first outing of this collective universe, “Iron Man,” followed by “The Incredible Hulk,” “Thor,” “Captain America,” and finally “The Avengers,” laid the foundation for a gradual movement from multiple individualistic narratives to a collective one as each team member experienced a shift in personal values towards a need for communal well-being and unification under a collective cause under a diverse range of leaders such as Nick Fury, Steve Rogers and T’Challa.
The culmination of these movies into a single, all-encompassing narrative is revolutionary and effectively done. Transitions and crossovers into neighboring dimensions of the Marvel universe are relatively seamless. Another unique aspect of the film is its emphasis on maintaining an overall lighthearted yet tension-filled atmosphere. Such consistency allows actors and actresses to stay true to their characters as they fully immerse themselves in this new project.
Similar to how the DC Comics universe sought to alter viewers’ perception of Superman from that of a god to a man in “Dawn of Justice,” Marvel seeks to highlight its protagonists’ flaws to reshape views that perceive them as worldly. The Avengers are a recruited group of vigilantes from all walks of life ranging from a Brooklyn boy to an Asgardian god. Whether it be living with PTSD following the events in New York from “The Avengers,” working with a colleague that has betrayed their trust as seen in “Civil War,” or managing the loss of a loved one, prominently displayed in “Thor: Ragnarok,” each team member showcases attributes associated with years of exposure to the world’s horrors.
Post-credit scenes have long indicated a broader plot pertaining to the introduction of the novel villain, Thanos, initially introduced at the close of the first Avengers movie. His quest for absolute power has led him on a prolonged expedition to locate the six Infinity Stones — mind, time, space, power, soul and reality. With each acquisition, his capabilities grow and, thus, contribute toward his overall purpose of universal balance by imposing his own terms and ideologies .
In spite of the unique compilation of heroes, various subplots, and internal conflicts apparent within the film, the plotline proves easy to follow without overwhelming audiences with excessive information from prior Marvel undertakings to comprehend the gravity of situations or enjoying several humorous occurrences. This is due in part by the separation of heroes into distinct parties as they travel to remote corners of the universe in search of the stones, while seeking to come to terms with their misfortunes. Such a method of production allows the viewer to empathize with characters on a more intimate level due to the increased vulnerability shown through leading players’ demeanors.
This signals potential concerns fans hold about the film haphazardly arranging characters to meet in diverse locations throughout the universe by means of intergalactic travel or a sudden appearance on earth. Yet avid movie-goers can lay these fears to rest as Marvel Studios has organically embedded such exchanges through both emotional appeals in times of loss and awkward, humorous banter that reduces the feelings of discomfort in unfamiliar settings.
“Avengers: Infinity War” is a film that I have waited months to see and from a personal standpoint, the film’s reviews have yet to do it justice. The amalgam of emotions experienced in theaters have left me anxious for its continuation following my unexpected pity for Thanos at its close.
The MCU has set the stage with an incredible plotline that encompasses multiple dimensions of the Marvel comic book world. Fans can expect an emotional, comedic, and jaw-dropping experience that surpasses previous Avengers movies, leaving viewers on the edge of their seat. Yet, this is only part one of a two-part series with an expected release date in 2019.