Avengers: Infinity War ★★★★

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In most respects, this gigantic blockbuster plays like the season finale to a very popular television series. It’s the kind of thing where, if it’s your party, you’ll be having a great time. 

But the MCU at this point, and with very few exceptions, has been preaching to the converted. So that’s it and that’s all. To the faithful, this is a barn busting revival of the highest order. All others need not apply.

This franchise has really perfected the art of bringing comic books to life on the big screen. And so you have a big time adventure that is part space opera and part apocalyptic fantasy. 

And I’ll give them extra points for following through and actually having the balls to go as dark as these movies have ever gone. Nothing too extreme, mind you. Or, at least, never sacrificing the playfulness that has kept these movies so infectious. But, sure, for the little ones...there are a couple of things here that might be downright traumatizing.

Fair warning.

In any case, it is still all in good fun. And some of that portent passes serviceably for profundity. 

The film’s biggest surprise might be Josh Brolin as a giant purple cartoon character named Thanos, who actually turns out to be a great villain. There are layers to him. He’s interesting, complex... But he’s also really, really bad on the level that you truly root for the heroes to triumph over him. The film achieves the sense of genuine emotional investment you need for a major, four quadrant blockbuster such as this.

And there you have it - the movie is a loaded package: it has a huge cast with most of the characters you’ve come to love...most of them given at least one big moment, some get more than that. It’s a movie chock full of big, colorful action and imaginative spectacle. And even though it runs two and a half hours, it goes by in a flash.

You get what you pay for. And it ends on just the right note - allowing you to anticipate the next ride with bated breath.