Avengers: Infinity War is the latest in a long chain of films comprising the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Those films have tended to follow the same simple formula: Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, humour, unremarkable music (bar the Avengers Theme song), overly masculinised heroes and a power-giving object the villain is trying to obtain. Simple though the formula may be, it equals money and lots of it – the Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated the box-office since Iron Man in 2008.
Marvel’s films usually have little, if any, deeper meaning and in many ways can be seen as shallow action flicks (which does not stop me loving them).
Though Avengers: Infinity War still follows the above formula, Marvel have added a spoonful of philosophy and a sprinkle of emotion into the mix. Those tweaks are the reason why I left the cinema even more excited than when I went in.
As is always the way with Marvel, the film has a colossal cast. Among them was Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange. This Avengers line-up also benefits from Chris Pratt’s star power (no pun intended) as the Guardians of the Galaxy’s Star Lord.
Without revealing too much detail, the film’s plot centres around its villain, Thanos, played by Josh Brolin. The Avengers must prevent Thanos from collecting all of the infinity stones for his gauntlet, because doing so would make him the most powerful being in existence. It is a foreseeable premise, though Marvel adds some extra interest by giving Thanos an unexpected reason behind his desire to collect the infinity stones. He believes that global overpopulation is placing humankind at risk of famine and destruction, and that the only way to ease the pressure on the world’s resources is to kill half of the population at random.
The character of Thanos is beautifully complex, unlike many other villains in the Universe (except for a few, such as Michael B Jordan’s character, Erik Killmonger, in Black Panther). Thanos was not evil purely for the sake of it; he had his reasons for being the antagonist in the story. Thanos’ backstory leaves the audience wondering if he might have a point (albeit an extreme one).
Avengers: Infinity War has made history as a box-office record breaker, and I can see why. I very much enjoyed the film’s storyline and customary high-octane action and would recommend it to anyone – even those who have been put off of Marvel films by past instalments.