The latest Marvel film installment, “Avengers: Infinity War,” is a complex tour de force, packed with heroes and action.
Bruce Banner, aka The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) is defeated and unable to transform into the green monster anymore, Thor and Loki (Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston) are captured. The hunt is on for the Tesseract stones which have unlimited power. Loki offers to help Thanos (Josh Brolin) retrieve it from Earth.
“Do you consider failure experience?” Thanos asks condescendingly.
“I consider experience, experience,” Loki replies.
Cut to New York City, Greenwich Village, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Infinity Stones control essential aspects of existence: Space, reality, power, soul, mind and time.
“He can destroy life in the universe hitherto undreamt,” Dr. Strange says.
“The Avengers broke up,” Tony says.
“Like a band? Like The Beatles?” Bruce says.
New Nanotechnology allows the Iron Man armor to form around Tony Instantaneously.
Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in a new armored suit, courtesy of Stark Industries, joins the battle over Tony’s protests. “You can’t be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man if there’s no neighborhood,” he tells Tony.
Cut to The Guardians of the Galaxy, Starlord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Racoon and Groot (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel) who respond to a distress signal. They rescue Thor. It turns out that Gamora is Thanos’ stepdaughter.
“We need to get to The Avengers. The Earth’s mightiest heroes,” Thor says.
“Like Kevin Bacon?” asks Mantis (Pom Klementieff).
In Scotland, Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are pursuing their romance, when Thanos attacks. Enter Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), Sam Wilson aka The Falcon and Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Jim Rhodes, aka War Machine (Don Cheadle).
“You have some nerve,” General Ross (William Hurt) says.
“You can use some of that,” Black Widow replies.
“The world is on fire, and you think all is forgiven.”
“I’m not looking for forgiveness. But I’m way past asking for permission,” Captain America says.
Cut to the domed African Kingdom of Wakanda, where Prince T’Challa, aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) joins the fight.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo as the first half of the final part of this series, there is a blending of disparate heroic characters and comedic styles and tones. At times, the film feels like an Irwin Allen 1970’s blockbuster both in scope and the feeling that your favorite actors are not getting enough screen time, more cameos than performances. More of a superhero telethon than a superhero movie. Less would definitely have been more.