Avengers Infinity War
World Cinema

“Avengers: Infinity War”… An overlong space epic where the villain leads the pack!

A magnum opus that contains several of the MCU heroes, complete with overpowering visuals. A villain with an identity and rock solid stakes. The brief for Avengers: Infinity War would be tempting for a screenwriter. How do we include them all and still mete justice to each? Not to mention their fans. Directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo take up the gargantuan task and herein the story is headlined by the toxic villain Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin) who poses a mighty threat which the superheroes unite to overturn. With a runtime of about two-and-half hours, the big question is whether it delivers or is it just an ordeal to sit through…

Avengers: Infinity War wastes no time in setting the context. Thanos is on the lookout for five infinity stones which will aid his plans in balancing the universe. From what sounds dangerous to the Marvel guardians, the writers spin a mega union where a bevy of them show up. While some are timely (Black Panther), some functional (Guardians of the Galaxy) and a few tremendously forced (Spider-Man). The writers tend to give precedence to the original Avengers and it is unfair to the others when they disappear for very long stretches.

One character who walks away with significant screen time, presence and impact is the antagonist, Thanos. Not only does he make the heroes appear powerless, but his menace is also very well-communicated. Even in his weak moments, Thanos tends to sustain his villainy to the hilt. Moreover, the cause behind the entire episode, too, is largely well-articulated and helps maintain the film’s pace and intrigue levels. None of the superheroes come close to Thanos, in terms of strategy, persona and even with the lines that they get to mouth.

A visual triumph, Avengers: Infinity War does fail in forging an emotional bond with the viewers. While the superheroes fall short of screen-time before their interpersonal status quos could fly, the brief side-track between Thanos and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) appears undercooked. That way, the film ends up showcasing more sound and fury than a profound ‘Good vs Evil’ tale. Even with the way Avengers: Infinity War chooses to end, the writing concentrates more on setting the tone to a thumping sequel rather than offering an experience that is individually fulfilling.

Among the bits that I liked the most in the film, the pre-climactic war sequence in Wakanda takes the cake. One where most of the superheroes get to showcase their bits and wits, this overlong yet riveting portion makes way for the climax, which underwhelms marginally. For the rest, the film ends up a technical marvel which gives the actors minimal scope to dazzle. Not that they will be complaining as the film is minting big bucks world over.

Rating: ★★★

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