Tag Archives: The Avengers

Avengers: Infinity War. REVIEW (non-spoiler)

Marvel has been building this Cinematic Universe for a decade now and we have very much seen the culmination of an 19-movie arc result in possibly the grandest film spectacle of all time!

With this film following on from Thor: Ragnarok, Captain America: Civil War and several other previous releases, we are immediately thrown into the action as Thanos immediately makes his presence known after finding the Asgardian refugee ship in 2017’s Ragnarok! Without giving too much away, this interaction is then what helps connect The Avengers to the other MCU characters who have yet to come together.

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Back on earth, we catch up with our heroes who are just going through everyday life. The threat of Thanos and his hunt for the Infinity Stones is enough to rally earth’s mightiest heroes to protect the planet and prepare for a climactic showdown. In a film which has SO MANY CHARACTERS, there is never a moment where a presence or personality is out of place or not required.

The cast is rich with MCU favourites, and when you see Doctor Strange and Iron Man in one quadrant and Thor kicking it with the Guardians Of The Galaxy in another, I just straight away thought this is the first true COMIC BOOK film. Watching this movie not only flits between these difference characters with ease like in a comic, but the tone and look are all perfectly complimented for each character and the image we represent them with.

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Looking at the newer cast members, we are introduced to the Black Order or “Children Of Thanos” in Infinity War. While we probably don’t get to learn a lot about them, they are all formidable fighters and more than a challenge for the heroes. If I could point out a particular favourite, it would possibly be Ebony Maw who specialises in telepathy and telekinesis. This character also makes himself sound like a preacher who is happy to honour his “god” Thanos and do all he can to fulfil his plans.

The pace of the film is consistent throughout its 2-and-a-half-hour runtime, we are constantly on GO and there is never a dull moment. At the same time, there is almost no opportunity to reflect on what happened 10 minutes previously as you feel like you are living through this film. When I reached the end, there was this weird feeling of joy and delight mixed with frustration and upset, but that’s what you needed when you got to this point. The ending rallies up a number of emotions and I can honestly say I have never experienced a film like this before. Because of the MCU and its rich history over the last decade, that is why I felt this mix of emotion. Can I just say, this was the perfect ending for the movie and perfectly sets up what is to come in the next 12 months.

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While writing up this review, I really wanted to say which character I thought was the best performed or the highlight of the movie. I would probably have to say Thanos is the star and actor Josh Brolin makes the mad titan one of the more satisfying villains in comic book movie history. While Kilmonger in Black Panther made the audience sympathetic and Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming saw a family man doing all he can, Thanos is doing what he honestly believes is the best for all of existence.

In a film with such a bloated cast, there is very little to complain about in terms of characterisation and enjoyment. Everybody plays their part and no single cast member is wasted. Some characters do get more screen time than others, but maybe this will be balanced out in Avengers 4 next year. The special effects are all top-notch and every little detail is presented perfectly. The BIGGEST congratulations though must go to directors Anthony and Joe Russo who took the reigns from Joss Whedon and have created The Avengers film that we needed. There isn’t a lot of films that can take pre-established characters and throw them together into a situation with worldwide implications, but Avengers: Infinity War shows the stakes are at their highest as every corner of the MCU is pulled into this adventure which will forever alter the cinematic Universe that we have come to know.

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The humour is still fantastic throughout, the laughs do still come in great supply and it never throws us off on the emotional scenes and no death is ever underplayed! The action is unparalleled and breath-taking. Plus, how many films will you see Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy…you get the point! As long as you know some background knowledge on the film franchise, you can enjoy this film thoroughly. If you have been with the Marvel Cinematic Universe since day one, I will give you an air high five as we celebrate what is definitely the pay-off for ten years of dedication to this cultural phenomenon we have lived through.

Well done to The Russo Brothers, THIS was the comic book film to beat them all!

So we still have a year to wait for Avengers 4? I may need to watch Infinity War a few more times before that…and so will you!

Final rating: 10/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Look out for my future article where I discuss in detail more plot points and theories for the next film!

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron. “Right, don’t mention puny Banner…”

Well, Hulk vs Iron Man provides this line, but there is more!

Age Of Ultron gives us twins with powers, a synthetic android, the six heroes who saved New York from the Chitauri and a bat-s**t crazy AI whom is bent on destroying all mankind for not wanting to change. The Avengers are back and the action is almost instantly flying at you. Viewers of Captain America: The Winter Soldier will know that Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) are on their way. This gives a huge set piece which only leads to an even grander scale situation when we first meet “Ultron”. An AI worked on by Tony Stark to help The Avengers and protect the world. Using technology not of this world, the villainous robot is born and Ultron takes little time to assemble himself and look to destroy his enemy The Avengers. The action is huge, taking in many locations around the world. We get a more global adventure than in the 2012 Avengers. But, do make sure you know details from the previous movies as a few times you may be a bit stuck with what is happening.

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Unlike many villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you almost feel for Ultron, even though he desires nothing more than to destroy all humans (sounding like Bender from Futurama, though with more actual killing). He seems to only want to do what he feels is right, he wants the world to be safe and move on to a new stage of evolution. While we see Ultron look to perfect himself, we see The Avengers deteriorate before our eyes as friction between the team grows. Iron Man and Captain America show some animosity between each other, which will only fuel 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Thor goes on his own side quest, but all becomes clear when he returns to make a necessary assist (and possibly tease Ragnarok). Black Widow and Hulk seem to be a bit more than friends in this movie, am I the only one who remembers Betty Ross? You know, the woman that Bruce Banner apparently was so in love with that he was willing to take on her vindictive father? Just me then! All these characters seem troubled and fragile, especially when they get to see what fear is within them. Though I must say Hawkeye is probably getting out in the best condition on the team, luckily he is kept with his own mind this time throughout. The story is not the strongest, though the quips and character portrayals certainly are gripping and entertaining. We get an almost full circle with the film beginning and almost ending in the same place, though the actual end gives a lot to look forward to going ahead to Phase Three of the MCU.

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So, let’s have an analysis. This film has loads of characters, so many named characters old and new. Think Game Of Thrones blended with superheroes. Highlight characters include Hawkeye, whom Jeremy Renner seems to really make good use of and even at times makes joking references to his character’s portrayal in the first film and gets some of the funnier lines. Scarlett Johansson gets to reveal more about the past of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow as we find out more about how she became the assassin we know. Mark Ruffalo laps up the screen effortlessly with every appearance, either with his brooding and haunting gaze as Dr Banner and when he is tearing up a city as The Hulk. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen shine as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, though I must say that Scarlet Witch is the one who is probably a more revolutionary character and the one to look out for in the future. Paul Bettany gets to bring two characters out to Avengers: Age Of Ultron and does so brilliantly. With J.A.R.V.I.S. he continues to be the obedient AI for his creator Tony Stark, but as The Vision he really gets to have a life of his own and glows as this new creation. Finally, James Spader did a superb job as Ultron. Clearly the best villain of Phase Two, he offers a very grounded and brutal performance which only has so far been matched by Jeff Bridges Obadiah Stane and topped by Tom Hiddleston’s  Loki. A villain who you will hate, but not as much as you should.

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You will find yourself laugh at one time or another because of all of the characters. The humour and wit you recognise Joss Whedon for is still here. Where the first time it seemed almost unexpected, this movie you are guaranteed some laughs at some of the least likely areas of the two hour plus running time. This is a great movie; you will be hard pressed to find a dull moment. Though, the saturation of so many characters (though most of them we know) is a bit of a stretch to get in with such little time for them all. Maybe one or two could have been dropped, but we must anticipate a similar situation when Captain America: Civil War arrives (check out who is supposed to be in this one, you will see what I mean). Great lines, top action and a filling experience for all but maybe far too many set-ups for Phase Three of the MCU and too much going on. It shall be difficult to find many comic book films that can top movie. You can’t stop The Avengers!

Final Rating: 8.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove