The time has finally arrived for the hotly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War from the team at Marvel Studios. The culmination of all of the films that have spanned the decade by bringing together all of the favourites from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The team must move past their differences to hold off the nemesis that has been primarily relegated to the final credits Easter eggs, Thanos (Josh Brolin). Can the directing team of Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: Civil War) successfully bring this massive cast together in a film that makes any sense and is the square-jawed planet destroyer a formidable foe? Read through this spoiler-free review to find your answer.
For all who have been keeping up with the saga of The Avengers over the years, the one thing that has been consistent in most films is the ominous presence of Thanos. He has made cameos in numerous movies and shown his face in the prophetic vignettes at the conclusion of many of the chapters of the graphic novel inspired stories. His primary goal is to collect the six Infinity Stones for his gauntlet which will give him power over all of the populations of the world. This ominous foe to all planets is now aware of each stone and is on a mission to retrieve them and destroy anyone or anything that gets in his way.
The primary deterrents to the purple menace achieving his horrific goal are the divided team of superheroes known as The Avengers. This ultimate evil has one unifying effect on this band of warriors, the salvation of the populations of the inhabitants of not just earth, but every populated world of the universe. As Thanos journeys through space to unearth these jewels of destruction, the gravitational force pulls together the storylines and all of the characters from time and space. Everyone from Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to Ironman (Robert Downey, Jr) to The Guardians of the Galaxy is made aware of one another and must quickly realise the fate of the universe is at stake and they are the only thing that could defeat the potential horror that is about to be unleashed.
Credit must go to the Russo brothers and the writing team of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely who wrote all of the Captain America scripts for managing to bring all of these characters together successfully. Proving that a formidable villain has the power to draw out every aspect of this team for the sake of meeting the goal of saving not merely New York or the planet, but the population of the whole universe. Keeping in mind that Infinity War is just the set up for the conclusion that will arrive in 2019, this is proving to be a masterful display of creative writing that makes this comic book world accessible and believable.
What the production and writing teams have going for them is the backing of the most influential and cash-rich film studio in the world with some of the best characters in modern film history. Outstanding visual and sound effects complement the script and proves that whole cinematic universes can be created stunningly. Then to capitalise on the appealing characters that were created by Stan Lee and the Marvel teams, almost everyone with some notable exceptions makes an appearance in the battle for the universe. Each character manages to fulfil a specific role on screen, which leads to the inevitable cliffhanger that will cause frustration and awe for fans around the world.
The change of the guard within the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been rife throughout the media leading up to this film and some big changes do occur. Thanos does prove to be a dominant force that the heroes must reckon with on a massive scale, but it will remain to be seen who survives the final purging. For Avengers: Infinity War to make sense, it is essential to have seen the majority of films that preceded this Revelation-type conclusion. This first chapter is a film for both fans of this universe and for anyone who is just joining the journey of these well-known heroes but this movie will require multiple viewings to answer the multitude of questions that it opens for audiences.
REEL DIALOGUE: What is true mercy?
Mercy: compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
One element of the motivation for Thanos throughout the film is to ‘mercifully’ eradicate populations for the benefit of the whole. Providing a balance to worlds and societies by eliminating large portions of the individuals who inhabit each world he invades. Despite the righteous intentions of his purposes, his methods of achieving these acts of mercy are evil.
What is real mercy? At its core, mercy is forgiveness. What we can understand from the Bible is that it is a gift from God that is offered to all of us through the actions of Jesus on the cross. A means of rectifying our sins by offering a solution to how we can have a relationship with God. The Bible does relate mercy to other qualities beyond love and forgiveness, which leads to mankind showing mercy to others. Yet, at the core of this concept, the face of mercy can only be seen in Jesus on the cross.
Passages on mercy: Psalm 103, Matthew 5:7, 9:13, James 2:13