Avengers: Infinity War ★★★★

80

The Peak of the Marvel brand. The mountain will never rise as high as this ever again. An economical filmic version of their press conferences where they reveal their lineup of the next three years of product. Avengers: Infinity War is a pop-culture construction, and yet, it's wholly satisfying beyond the typical measures of commercial success and iconography. This is built in all those ways, yes, but it carries a sinister sense of mortality along with its heroes. It's also really great that Marvel realized hardly any of these characters can support narratives on their own, so why not throw them all together and battle a complex, harrowing villain (who is, on first glance, one of the best in recent movie history) for once? And actually offer consequences? By being everything haters typically loath about Marvel junk, Infinity War transcends itself and becomes a euphoria of soap-opera drama and splash-panel imagery - a film utilizing non-structure for the purpose of endless surface and disruptive tragedy. The MCU, built piece by piece, will never be the same, precisely because what once worked and flourished is now outdated, aged, and tired. If anything, the Russo Brothers are commenting on the standardized MCU form just as much as the vanilla setting and lack of risk. This massive adventure odyssey (which explodes with color) takes the viewer across the cosmos, checking the boxes as usual and running on schedule, and then it drops the kicker. Spoiler alert: we're all going to die one day. But the sun still shines. Pain and beauty, together in a blockbuster.