Let me preface this by saying this movie is NOT the end of the MCU… in the immortal words of then prince, King T’Challa “it’s a stepping off point” for the entire franchise. This review will be filled to the brim with spoilers so if you’re not one for it, navigate away right now before you shoot yourself in the foot past the protective layer of a single image.
And just in case that image is not loaded by this time…
Spoilers in 20.
The entire timeline of the infinity war happens within just a few days. This should be the case due to the fact that along the timeline, both Iron Man and Spider Man had nothing to eat whilst traveling in the ‘space donut’ they’d commandeered from Thanos’ second-in-command. Here is a basic rundown of what transpires during this movie:
Thanos gets the second infinity stone (space) from Loki after completely decimating the refugee ship we saw towards the end of Thor : Ragnarok.
Stone tally – Power, Space. Hulk gets jettisoned back into Earth into the London Sanctum.
Loki (apparently) dies in this act.
Thoughts: There was great acting in this part of the film and extreme emotion too, I mean Thor, being the Asgardian that he is, doesn’t lose all that much but here we’re presented with an OP crew that frankly they didn’t stand a chance against. It was cool to hear Loki utter the words “we’ve got a Hulk” which was used against him during the first Avengers film by Tony. But the futility of his attempt on Thanos’ life and his eventual demise would’ve made teary-eyed many of the viewers… and it hadn’t even been 20 minutes into the film. There’s strong stuff here.
Tony and Pepper are seen jogging around and were talking about babies when Dr. Strange enters (stage left a)long with Bruce to get Tony to listen to what is about to transpire.
Once everything is explained in the sanctum, and just when Tony was about to call Cap, some tremors and a soft wind is felt beckoning the arrival of two henchmen from the Children of Thanos (CoT) – they came seeking the Time Gem within Strange’s amulet.
Battle ensues and here the audience finds out that the Hulk has performance issues and won’t come out. It is also the first appearance of Tony’s new nano-tech armor which works just like Black Panther’s suit does enveloping his body on command… and also changing to adapt to the requirement of the battle. Spiderman comes along because he felt his spider sense go off while en route to MoMA on a field trip and the spaceship just happens to be “nearby” – this is one of the most iconic entrances of Spiderman to date.
In the end, Strange gets beamed up the spaceship and Spiderman gets caught in the process. Tony follows and calls on FRIDAY to “unlock 17A” which is the Iron Spider Suit that catches Spiderman just as he was running out of oxygen due to their elevation.
Tony had programmed it to bring Spidey back down but that doesn’t happen and we see Tony, Peter, and Stephen on the ship headed towards Thanos’ homeworld Titan where they’d pre-schedule to meet… him and his lackey. Banner finally uses the flip phone to call Cap and let him know of the situation off camera.
Thoughts: Plenty of innuendos were thrown around in this part of the film and it was refreshing to hear. That as well as the obvious machismo that Tony was exhibiting towards an oblivious Dr. Strange which leads to very well orchestrated battle choreography even though it felt like the CoT were using cheats – especially that telekenetic one with absolute control over inorganics up to a certain size (superpower speculation right here). This part gave justice to Spiderman as I stated above, and they even expounded on the character of the Cloak of Levitation which we all know has a mind of its own. They also timed it so well that there still had been no contact between Cap and Tony which means technically that the Civil War is still on.
From here on out, we are on two timelines that are simultaneously occurring – one in Space (TS) and one in Earth (TE)
TSa (following Iron Man)
TSb (following the Guardians)
TE (following Cap and Vision)
(TE) After the “successful” retrieval of the Time Gem, Thanos’ lackeys have come upon Vision and Wanda who were just on the brink of confessing their feelings for each other… for all we know, something happened (in bed) that made Vision more human thus exhibiting less of his former strength apparent during the Avengers : Age of Ultron… I mean, Vision gets pinned down twice with the Mind Gem almost pried out from his forehead… talk about an extreme power difference. The two struggle against the pursuers until Cap finally appears alongside Black Widow and Falcon to lay the beatdown on these intruders. It was a true Avengers moment if there ever was one in the entire film. They manage to fatally wound one of the CoT and they beam out of the train station. They regroup at the Avengers HQ where we see a recuperated Rhodes talking to the defense secretary about the Accords – they end the conversation, there’s some awkwardness between Nat and Bruce’s reunion, dialogue about the Mind Gem and, with nowhere else to turn to Wakanda gets re-introduced into the film.
(TSa) Henchman A (didn’t quite catch the name of this baddie) is torturing Strange to make him give up the Time Gem locked away with a “simple spell” which burns you once you touch it.
There was an obvious power gap between Henchman A and Iron Man but with Spiderman’s “movie-based” approach, they were able to one shot this dude into oblivion and save Strange in the process. Tony decides to bring the space donut to Titan instead of back to Earth to prevent even more casualties. Strange agrees and Spidey gets “knighted” into avenging.
(TSb) The Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) are seen responding to a distress signal (the audio at the very beginning of the film) with their usual banter and a teenage Groot being all angsty.
They pick up Thor, wake him up and the group is split into two – one to head to Knowhere (Draxx, Gamora, Starlord, Mantis) to intercept Thanos’ retrieval of the Reality Gem and the other towards Nidavellir (Thor, Captain Rocket and Teen Groot) to get Thor a new hammer – the Thanos-killing kind.
Thoughts: The way that they introduced Cap once again here is very much like how they did it in the end credits of Civil War and they made it even more badass when he caught the spear thrown directly towards him as if it were a toy. From the get-go however the audience is made to realize just how truly powerful Wanda is – something non-readers would be unaware of. Scenes between Tony and Peter brings back the father-son component that was there in the Spiderman : Homecoming movie and how familiar technique were upcycled into this latest Avengers film is done very tastefully. Speaking of which, the Guardians with all the unspoken dialogue and antics were intact throughout the multiple interactions and somehow it still works and this sets off a good and steady vibe that this movie is going to be great.
(TE) With another impending attempt at the Mind Gem, the audience is taken back to Wakanda where we find the king bringing a piece of equipment to Bucky – a vibranium arm.
The Avengers eventually come in through quinjet and Vision is placed on the table to be examined by little sister tech whiz where she proposes a solution that will allow for the removal of the Mind Gem safely so that Vision need not be destroyed with it.
An onslaught comes from the sky in the form of several carriers with waves of mobs just waiting to be called into battle.
(TSb-Knowhere) The motley crew stumble upon a scene where Thanos was questioning the collector for the location of the Reality Gem.
Gamora and Draxx, both consumed by a desire to get rid of Thanos, wouldn’t listen to Starlord and Gamora eventually gets to confront Thanos, stabs him in the chest, and kills the mad titan. Turns out, it was merely an illusion created by the Reality Gem and the scene ends with Thanos’ abduction of Gamora. Stone tally – Power, Space, Reality
(TSb-Nidavellir) The three find a barren forge with a dying star at it’s center.
It was revealed that Tyrion err- Peter Dinklage’s character had created the gauntlet in the hope that Thanos would spare all the other smiths within Nidavellir… he goes back on his word of course, kills all except the gauntlet-smith but destroys his hands before leaving. A mold for Stormbreaker is presented to Thor and his crew and they needed to restart the forge in order to create the King’s Weapon – one that would have greater power than the gauntlet as well as the power of the BiFrost.
(TSa) The auto-piloted craft arrives at Titan and crash-lands.
Not long after, Iron Man, Spidey, and Strange are attacked by Draxx, and Starlord. They eventually gain their composure and develop a strategy against Thanos with the help of Dr. Strange’s foresight after watching over 14 million battle scenarios with the help of the Time Gem.
(Thanos) Gamora is seen at the feet of Thanos’ throne where an exchange happens and Nebula is revealed to be under torture because of treason. Thanos manages to eke out the information regarding the Soul Gem from Gamora and they go to Planet V (I can’t recall the name at the moment) to retrieve it. Gamora gets “sacrificed” as the one thing that Thanos loves the most and he wakes up in a pool of water with the Soul Gem in his hand. Stone tally – Power, Space, Reality, Soul
Thoughts: At this point, all the preparation leading up to final battle is being completed and all the viewers would be at the edge of their seats waiting for the tipping point when the War will actually begin. All the explanations are fleshed out, all the obvious ones they’d like us to know at least, and most of the movie now makes sense. There was a part here that insinuated Tony and Bruce’s lack of imagination towards solving a certain problem with the development of Vision and this should be understandable because of the experience difference working with Vibranium… it was fun to watch to say the least.
(TSb-Nidavellir) Thor uses the pod that Rocket was piloting to act as a “winder” successfully restarting the forge. It stopped however because of some problem with the mechanism and Thor steps in to manually channel the power of the star straight through him causing extreme star-burn over the entirety of his body.
The hammer had been completed but without a handle, Thor couldn’t use it; moved by the courage of Thor, Teen Groot acts quickly making a part of itself into a handle bringing the two pieces of Stormbreaker together. Thus began the rehabilitation of Thor.
(TSa) Having acquired the Soul Gem, Thanos makes his way to Titan to get the Time Gem.
He‘s greeted by a relaxed Dr. Strange and learns that Henchman A has perished – he’s a little sad because he lost two important people already. After a short discussion the ambush begins with the objective of separating Thanos from the gauntlet. This was one of the better fight scenes within the movie because we see even more tricks of the fancy new armor on both Peter and Tony. It went quite well, almost succeeded even, until they pinned him down and Starlord began questioning Thanos – it was revealed that Gamora had been sacrificed and Starlord couldn’t control himself.
It all went downhill from there and Dr. Strange had to give up the Time Gem to exchange for Tony’s life.
It is a suggestion that the winning scenario is this particular one when Strange utters – “We’re in the endgame now.” Stone tally – Power, Space, Reality, Soul, Time
(TE) All the Avengers besides Wanda and Vision head off to face off with the CoT contingent – their mission : to delay the onslaught just long enough so that rewiring Vision can be completed so that the Mind Gem can be extracted and destroyed once and for all.
This is the epic Wakanda battle scene that we’ve been seeing in trailers and in terms of scale, it truly was.
King T’Challa was forced to open the gate so that the focus of the assault would remain in front of them. It was manageable until the enemy released several smaller space donuts with fangs that sliced through the battlefield from under the ground. This prompted Wanda to join the battle and that left Vision practically unguarded which the enemy had been waiting for – one of the CoT had reached the area where Vision was being operated on. In short, the operation didn’t finish (maybe) and everything was turning to sh*t until a familiar rainbow bridgeway comes from the sky and the Stormbreaker gets hurled onto the enemies – Thor, Rocket, and a reformed Groot had come as backup. Earth’s final line of defense had been completed and the last of the CoT had been taken care of by Banner, Wanda, and Vision (with the help of others).
Thanos comes in (this is basically right after he got the Time Gem installed) and he lands fairly close to Cap who’s acting as guardian to Wanda and Vision (basically all of the Avengers are); He walks calmly straight towards the direction of Vision, Avengers coming in left and right, each one being deflected by the powers in his gauntlet until he gets to Cap and he tries to put him down and Cap stays Thanos’ hand for a bit.
(This was a part of the trailers where people constantly cheer because Thanos appears to be having a “difficult” time… but in the movie, Thanos just uses his other hand and punches Cap to the ground… it was nothing after all) Wanda had already begun to energize the Mind Gem with her own powers and seeing Cap down she used her other hand to stop Thanos’ advance. It works, the Mind Gem shatters and a huge wave of energy is dispersed. Thanos appears unfazed, uses the Time Gem to restore Vision and plucks out the reconstituted Mind Gem from his body essentially killing him. Stone tally – Power, Space, Reality, Soul, Time, Mind. The Infinity Gauntlet is completed now, and just as it happens Thor is seen breaking through the ranks and hurling the Stormbreaker towards the Mad Titan who confidently shoots it with energy from the Infinity Gauntlet… it was futile! The Stormbreaker hits Thanos square in the chest and Thor gets to his level to pushes the hammer in a little bit more for better torture, this was payback for Loki after all… and then, just when we thought they’d won it Thanos utters a few words – “You should’ve gone for the head”, snaps his fingers and erases half of the lives in the multiverse. We see a glimmer of a damaged gauntlet right before Thanos uses the Space Gem to exit the battlefield.
The erased characters include Wanda, King T’Challa, Spiderman, Draxx, Strange, Falcon, Starlord, Bucky, Groot, Mantis, Nebula… plenty of characters surely but not all of them.
Yes true believer, that is how this chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ends – with Thanos’ victory.
The end credits actually show just how fast things transpired with Fury and Hill driving along somewhere downtown when a massive energy reading gets detected and suddenly a car careens towards their front. No driver there as Hill examines and she slowly fades away as well. Fury too, but he was able to send out a distress signal through an upgraded pager to none other than Ms Marvel before he snuffed out.
Final thoughts: IMHO this movie leaves a very big “what happens now?” in all the viewers minds and it sucks. It’s kind of like opening a lot of plot holes and filling some of them but not all of them especially when you piece all the snippets of the other movies together especially those directed towards the Infinity War specifically – like Adam Warlock. I could only imagine an MCU future where they might just bring them all back for something like a reunion but at this point, its highly unlikely. Watching Infinity War would make one think which works for the franchise but maybe not for the non-fan.
Do try to enjoy your screening and keep an open mind going into the film if you’re a brave soul who hadn’t watched it yet but reached up to this part.
Till the next screening!