Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Letitia Wright, Peter Dinklage, Idris Elba, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio del Toro, Sean Gunn, William Hurt, Ross Marquand.
Director: Joe Russo & Anthony Russo.
Screenplay: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.
It all leads to this. Guardians, Asgardians, Sorcerers, WWII heroes...Avengers. They have all been lead to this. This war to save half of the life in the entire universe. Now is the time to assemble when it feels as though there is no real hope.
We open on a distress signal, we open to total destruction of not just a ship but of an entire people. The Asgardians are slain by Thanos (Josh Brolin) and all Thor (Chris Hemsworth) can do is watch through his one eye. Once again his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) dies before his eyes, people actually die on screen in a way that feels permanent—at least for now. Ouch. Thanos is collecting the infinity stones and he is making a quick sport out of it, by the first scene it already feels that our Avengers are already too late.
There is real soul in this film, soul that is not always a given in Marvel films. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) holds a major portion of that soul while she feels responsible for the destruction of the universe. She has always known her adoptive father has sought the "balance" of the universe and he will stop at nothing to realise his plan. The soul comes from this decision that from his perspective is actually saving the universe from itself; cull half so life can continue. This misguided mission tears at the heart of his daughter who not only sees it tear him apart but also literally her sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan).
This film feels large, intense, impressive, glorious, so glorious that I want to cry. Most times I come out of a Marvel film and know that I really liked it. This time I have walked out knowing that I adored it. No matter the clunkiness of the first act, the next acts bring such gravitas to its universe. Every thread of the cinematic universe finally makes sense to me. Every small world that we have seen connects and weaves itself so effortlessly. It is a masterclass of interconnected storytelling that Marvel have not quite accomplished until this great piece of blockbuster magic.