The Film (5/5)
Avengers: Infinity War is the 19th film in Marvel Studios' Cinematic Universe. It is also seemingly the culmination of those first 18 films. I'll admit that I didn't watch the first few Marvel films as they were released, forgetting that Iron Man was never a huge character, and Thor getting his own movie should be considered a minor miracle. However, once I caught on to the MCU, I began to view it as an important experiment in mainstream cinema. I believe the comparison is valid, but the totality of the MCU is the big-budget comic book extravaganza version of what director's like Truffaut and Linklater were doing with their respective Antoine Doinel Cycles and Before Trilogy. As such I guess one could view Infinity War as the "Love on the Run" of action films, with characters, themes, and situations from prior films being brought into a modern MCU specific adaptation of the Infinity Gauntlet story line to bring 18 characters worth of films in a story that challenges the fate of the (Marvel) universe.
Infinity War is an adaptation of the 1991 story Infinity Gauntlet written by Jim Starlin. The film is not a 1:1 adaption of the book utilizing available characters from the current MCU to replace unavailable (owned by Fox/Sony) ones. However, the main beats of the story are largely the same with Thanos coming to the conclusion that the universe would be better off with half of the current population. Thanos goes about collecting the 6 Infinity Stones, which when utilized inside of the Infinity Gauntlet would make him the most powerful being in the universe able to shape it anyway he sees fit. The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and other heroes from Earth and beyond have to work in various capacities to try and prevent Thanos from assembling the stones, and doing irreparable damage to the universe.
Look, I can't say Infinity War is the best film in the MCU. However, it is quite possibly the most emotionally effective, due to all the build up from the prior films going into this one. It also could very well be "The Empire Strikes Back" for a new generation of film fans. The film effectively weaves together multiple storylines with different groups of heroes in all parts of the Earth and galaxy, and manages to bring them together with near seamless ability. The film runs 2.5 hours long, and I don't believe there is a boring moment, or a minute wasted. The cast who populate this film, bring their roles to effective life once again, and each seemingly share an amazing chemistry with one another. The direction by the Russo's keeps everything looking striking. The film is obviously not afraid to go to certain dark places, and it is exciting to consider how this version of the Infinity Gauntlet story will end.
You're shocked, right? Disney Marvel presents Infinity War in a 2:39:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving the OAR of the film. Everything here from colors, detail, and black levels look pitch perfect. This is a reference disc if there ever was one.
Audio is handled by a DTS-HD MA 7.1 track in English. Everything sounds great here, crisp, clear and well balanced.
Extras include an introduction by the directors, various featurettes detailing character background, and behind the scenes information, there is also a commentary, gag reel, and deleted scenes.
Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War, might be the blockbuster to which all blockbusters of this generation are compared to. It is a culmination of 10 years of cinema, and sticks the landing for the first half. The Blu-ray from Disney looks and sounds quite amazing, and has a decent slate of extras. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.