Bangs, thrills and drama Marvel-ous

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE -

they re­ally won’t be com­ing back.

The plot is one we know well. Some­where out there in the galaxy is a bad­die so bad that maybe even the com­bined might and will of all our heroes won’t be enough to stop him. It’s ac­tu­ally not a million miles away from the story that un­der­pinned the rival Jus­tice League movie late last year.

But un­like that noisy and su­per­fi­cial – mostly – mess, Infinity War takes the time to set up its themes, es­tab­lish ex­actly how high the stakes are and then to draw out in­di­vid­ual char­ac­ter arcs that are far more com­plex and well thought through than the in­ter­change­able de­fault we as­so­ciate with the genre.

Th­ese span­dex war­riors might not quite be the stuff of great drama yet, but they are stand­alone in­di­vid­u­als with quite dis­cernible per­son­al­i­ties. For a film in which char­ac­ters can use whole moons to punch each other, that’s quite a feat.

The bad­die – Thanos (played by Josh Brolin, with sup­port from many ki­los of pros­thetic putty and sev­eral bil­lion pix­els) – is a failed leader on a quest to save the uni­verse from it­self in his own unique way. By killing ex­actly one half of the pop­u­la­tion of ev­ery planet in it. To do this, he needs to find all six ‘‘Infinity Stones’’. Two of which are on Earth.

Put like that, I’ll grant you that Infinity War re­ally does sound like ex­actly the re­heated pile of non­sense it could have been. But put to­gether with care, some truly in­spired cast­ing and a script that is about a thou­sand times bet­ter than it needed to be, this film just works on ev­ery level it swings at.

Love or loathe the genre, when I see a film this am­bi­tious ac­tu­ally hit­ting its tar­gets and man­ag­ing to stay hu­man and ac­ces­si­ble, I can’t help but be ex­traor­di­nar­ily im­pressed.

The over­whelm­ingly dark and mourn­ful tone of many of the film’s best scenes are leav­ened by some well-de­liv­ered laughs, to be sure. But this is a film that re­mem­bers and re­spects that it ac­tu­ally is a war film, with fear and loss al­ways present.

In the leads, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruf­falo, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Robert Downey Jr, El­iz­a­beth Olsen and Chad­wick Bose­man are all just as watch­able as ever. There are other names I can’t men­tion for fear of spoil­ing some sur­prises.

But a late cameo from Peter Din­klage ( Game of Thrones) re­ally does bring the house down.

Avengers: Infinity War is pretty much as good a su­per­hero movie as I have ever seen.

It raises the bar for spec­ta­cle – we ex­pect that now – but it also makes us care. I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing it again.

– Graeme Tuck­ett

Avengers: Infinity War has been put to­gether with care, in­spired cast­ing and a fab­u­lous script.

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