Avengers: Infinity War

This is a film setting box office records for a reason, so try to see it at an IMAX theater and experience the reasons for its enormous success.

Avengers Infinity WarWith Avengers: Infinity War, Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have brought us a classic film that will wrap up the longstanding Avengers series. The second part of this wonderful finale will hit the theaters next May, and it serves as a creative memorial to the previous 18 films.

What Marvel has done is bring us a film involving nearly all of the Avenger characters who are called upon to fight an enemy stronger than them. Set aside any doubts that you may have that such a film has to be overstuffed with stars to have any chance of working, as it will leave you nearly as enthralled as when Director Peter Jackson brought us the last two Lord of the Rings films. On top of that, humor finds a way to permeate much of the film, and you will seldom experience a super hero movie that leaves the audience repeatedly laughing.

All of your favorite characters have a role to play, ranging from Robert Downey, Jr. as Ironman, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow, Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlet Witch, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange, Tom Holland as Spiderman and Chadwick Boseman as The Black Panther. Though the size of the cast causes the film to drag a bit at times, it quickly recovers its momentum at every turn.

Ironically, it is the Guardian of the Galaxy characters who serve as the heart and soul of the film. Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista are at their sarcastic best as Star Lord and Drax, while Zoe Saldana steals your heart in her return as Gamora, a woman with a dark secret that will cause her to dance on the edge of death.

I also must note that it is the Guardian’s interaction with Thor that involves some great comedic scenes. Wait until you see the reaction of Rocket, the raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper, when Thor continually dismisses him as a meaningless rabbit.

However, what elevates great science fiction films to an emotional peak is when heroes die. While you are left guessing on that issue until the final film comes out in 2019, it is wise to remember the deaths of Wolverine and Charles Xavier in last year’s wonderful Logan. While most of you know that I cry easily, even you hard-nosed cynics should be prepared.

In addition, what makes this film a magnificent cinematic joyride is the fact that it is dominated by a villain known as Thanos, a character so powerful that all of the Avengers lack the strength to conquer him. Played by Josh Brolin, Thanos is an unimaginably despicable force trying to collect all six Infinity Stones so that he can perfect his desire to eliminate life in the universe. Watch for his unexpected family ties to Gamora and you end up fighting a small feeling of sympathy for a Nazi-like character devoid of any concern for others.

At the end of the Lord of the Rings series, your heart broke when old friends like Frodo and Bilbo were forced to part company forever. I suspect that we are likely to experience that same emotion when the second part of this series is released next year.