Goes to Infinity War
– and Beyond
By Mikhail Lecaros
While it may be tempting to write about Infinity War loaded with spoilers, we know there are quite a lot of you who have not seen it yet. We realize there are those who want to see the line thin out before heading to theaters. Congratulations for holding out this far!
We’ll reward you with some essentials you need to know before getting your mind blown. Spoiler-free, of course.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Despite the best efforts of seemingly every major studio in Hollywood, none of them has come close to duplicating the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This is the 19th entry in the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that began with 2008’s Iron Man. Combining the casts of every entry since then, the film represents what could very well be the biggest, most anticipated movie event of all time.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: Civil War) the film is being touted as the finale to the MCU as we know it, with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes going toe to toe with galactic warlord Thanos (Josh Brolin, Deadpool 2). Introduced at the end of The Avengers back in 2012, Thanos is a madman bent on collecting all six Infinity Stones: gems of limitless power that, when combined, would make him invincible.
As the film opens, the Stones of Power, Reality Space, Time, Mind, and Soul are scattered across the galaxy. This puts every living thing in Creation in the line of fire, as Thanos will stop at nothing to collect the six and accomplish his goal of wiping out half the population of the universe.
When the film opens, the Avengers are in a state of disunity, largely estranged from each other following the events of Civil War. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans, Snowpiercer) and his team, consisting of Vision (Paul Bettany, Wimbledon), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen, Godzilla), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson, Her), and Falcon (Anthonie Mackie, The Hurt Locker) are on the run from the authorities, while Tony Stark is happily back together with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow, Cruisin) following a brief separation. Meanwhile, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Wong (Benedict Wong) protect reality from their sanctum in Greenwich Village, while the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman, Draft Day) protects his home of nation of Wakanda while his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright, of TV’s Black Mirror) tends to the Winter Soldier’s (Sebastian Stan, The Martian ) recuperation.
Halfway across the universe, the Asgardian survivors of Ragnarok, including Thor (Chris Hemsworth, Heart of the Sea), Loki (Tom Hiddleston, Midnight in Paris), and Heimdall (Idris Elba, Pacific Rim), and Thor’s friend from work, human Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight) have a disastrous first encounter with Thanos, learning firsthand the dangers of going head to head with the Mad Titan.
Finally, even further out into space, the ever-lovable Guardians of the Galaxy, consisting of Chris Pratt, Gamora (Zoe Saldana, Star Trek), Drax (Dave Bautista, Blade Runner 2049), Mantis (Pom Klementieff, Oldboy), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper, American Sniper), and a regenerated Groot (voiced by Riddick’s Vin Diesel) are minding their own mercenary business when they run into trouble.
THE MAD TITAN
As Thanos, Brolin delivers one of the best performances of his career, imbuing the motion-captured character with welcome pathos that his comic book origin was sorely lacking in. Having read the Infinity Gauntlet comics when they were first released, this writer can safely say that he never in a million years thought he would be able to care for Thanos, yet here we are.
While the character’s design caused undue concern in the months preceding the film, Brolin’s portrayal negates any doubt in the artistic direction through a provocative mixture of self-confidence and menace, with more than a touch of sociopathy. Indeed, in Brolin’s hands, Thanos ranks alongside Hiddleston’s Loki and Michael B. Jordan’s (Creed) Killmonger as ranking among the MCU’s best.