It’s here at last, folks. The big one. The end all. The mother of all superhero films. This past weekend, the bookend-accumulation-extravaganza of the Marvel Cinematic Universe hit theaters in the form of “Avengers: Infinity War.” The third installment of the ever-popular Avengers film series, “Infinity War” is the product of nearly a decade of buildup within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), making it perhaps the most widely-anticipated film ever.
The film is a cinematic milestone for several reasons, the most prominent being its scope. This is quite literally one of the biggest movies ever made, featuring characters that have appeared throughout 18 preceding films set in the same chronology. The Avengers themselves have existed since their comic inception in 1963, created by the legendary writer/artists duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby from several of their previously-created superheroes at Marvel Comics (formerly Timely Comics). Since then, aside from the films, the team has been featured in numerous different comic titles and storylines, most prominently in “West Coast Avengers,” as well as multiple cartoon television adaptations.
The star-studded cast is enormous, and includes original Avengers team members Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), as well as more recent recruits Falcon (Anthony Mackie), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and the Vision (Paul Bettany). Joining them are many additional heroes, including the web-slinging Spider-Man (Tom Holland), the mystical Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the mysterious Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the Guardians of the Galaxy, comprised of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Together, they must fight to stop the deranged interplanetary warlord Thanos (Josh Brolin) from obtaining the six Infinity Stones, objects of power which Thanos seeks to combine in order to wipe out half the known universe.
The film was directed by the brother duo of Joe and Anthony Russo, who formerly directed two previous MCU movies, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Captain America: Civil War.” The screenplay was written by longtime Marvel collaborators Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who wrote all three of the Captain America films as well as “Thor: The Dark World.” “Infinity War” is unique in that it is the first feature-length film to be shot entirely on IMAX cameras. Its budget was estimated to be between 300 and 400 million dollars, currently making it one of the most expensive movies ever produced.
Whether you’re a fan of the Marvel mainstays, superheroes in general, or just plain old cinematic excellence, be sure and hit the theater pronto to check out this Infinity gem. As the man always says, Excelsior!