You've probably heard of Avengers: Infinity War. The latest under the hugely successful Marvel brand (Cinematic Universe to the fans), the film brings together most of the heroes cultivated in the last ten years to take on a threat of cosmic proportions: Thanos. Teased at the end of the very first Avengers, and a presence felt in several films since, the film revolves around the heroes trying to stop Thanos from collecting the Infinity Stones, which if brought together will give the villain phenomenal cosmic power.
The film in traditional terms is a mess. There are approximately 15 plot strands, with the film lacking a beginning or a middle (there's an end in there, which is a deliciously dark one - no spoilers here). There are too many characters for there to be any major development, and instead the film settles for the occasional satisfying character beat. It is exhaustingly busy, and yet much of the middle feels like business (go to A to retrieve B to take to C to insert into D to turn E on). A braver film would have cut a third of this film out and made it a tighter, more propulsive experience.
And yet the film understands its audience. For the fans there is rich brio here, moments and interactions that have been craved since the cinematic brand launched ten years ago with
Fair warning. If you're only an occasional Marvel viewer, do not watch Infinity War. You'll spend much of the film baffled as to what is going on. And if you are a particular fan of Thor: Ragnarok or Black Panther, you will probably feel short-changed with how this film follows those two. But for those who have been dedicated and true to the brand, this is the film they've been waiting for. By the time Infinity War reaches its climax I'd found myself won over and curious as to just how Marvel will follow up this film without short-changing proceedings.