Standing between Thanons, and total ruin, are The Avengers, along with their allies, of near and far, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), T’Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman – Black Panther) and the armies of Wakanda, and Thor (Chris Hemsworth – Thor: Ragnarok, Ghostbusters). And not forgetting Heimdall (Idris Elba – Star Trek: Beyond, The Jungle Book), and Wong (Benedict Wong – The Martian, Kick-Ass 2), helper to Dr. Strange.
Rounding up the Avengers team are Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron), Bruce Banner / Hulk (Mark Ruffalo – Now You See Me), Same Wilson / Falcon (Anthony Mackie – Triple 9, The Night Before), James Rhodes / War Machine (Don Cheadle), and Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland – Spider-Man: Homecoming, Locke), with the team calling in the help of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans – Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man), and Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson – Ghost in the Shell, Sing), and seeking out Vision (Paul Bettany – Transcendence) and Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen – Godzilla). Of course, Loki (Tom Hiddleston – Kong: Skull Island, Crimson Peak) is there too.
The Guardians of the Galaxy lend their assistance, with Peter Quill / Star-Lord (Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Passengers), Gamora (Zoe Saldana ), Drax (Dave Bautista – Marauders), Rocket (Bradley Cooper – War Dogs, American Sniper), Groot (Vin Diesel – The Fate of the Furious, xXx: Return of Xander Cage), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff – ), and with the help of Nebula (Karen Gillan – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Circle).
And in this plethora of characters and stars, there are many brief cameos, with The Collector (Benicio Del Toro – Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and Eitri (Peter Dinklage – The Angry Birds Movie, Pixels) to name but a few.
Avengers: Infinity War brings together the culminations of ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). A story that began back in 2008 with Iron Man, with the first Avengers movie following in 2012. Bringing all the various characters from many movies, into one showdown. And while the greater a viewers knowledge of the universe as a whole, the more enjoyment and understanding one would garner from the current incarnation, it is not necessary to have seen all, or even most, of the previous films. A basic knowledge of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, would stand one in good stead as background to Infinity War.
As a film, Infinity War has an engrossing, thrilling, and adventurous story. The talented ensemble cast brings much character depth to each hero and villain. The cinematic settings provide eye-popping visual effects and scenery, to satisfy the senses.
With the film being a showdown, all bets are off, and anyone and everyone is at risk of death, a change in loyalty, or perhaps worse. And yet, as one waits for the post-credit scene, processing the events, and changes to the MCU, on also wonders how might the many burning questions one would have, be answered. Or even if they will be any time soon enough to satisfy the cinematic appetite.
One thing to consider when heading out for a fun night with friends or family, is to be sure to view Infinity War in a cinema that has both hardware and staff who are willing, and able, to actually screen the film correctly. Too many cinemas in South Africa lack this, meaning the audience are left with a screen that is far too dark, causing them to miss out on many finer details, if not entire story points, in darker scenes.
Avengers: Infinity War, a fun film, that has been long awaited, and a film that can be enjoyed by a vast audience, from all sectors of society, and walks of life.
Avengers: Infinity War opens 26 April 2018, in South African cinemas.