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Review: Action packed Avengers Infinity War suffers from too many superheroes

PUBLISHED: 12:55 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:12 26 April 2018

Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong and Mark Ruffalo in Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel Studios/Chuck Zlotnick

Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong and Mark Ruffalo in Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel Studios/Chuck Zlotnick

Archant

It’s the beginning of the end for the series that began a decade ago with a next-to-last film that has all the CGI action sequences you’d expect but struggles to fit in all the characters from the sprawling Marvel franchises.

Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel Studios/Chuck ZlotnickAvengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel Studios/Chuck Zlotnick

Avengers: Infinity War (12A)

***

This is not the end, but it feels like the beginning of the end. This grand sequence of Marvel comic book adaptations began a decade ago with Iron Man and most of the old gang probably only have one more film left in them (next year’s conclusion of this story).

Tom Holland as Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel Studios/Chuck ZlotnickTom Holland as Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel Studios/Chuck Zlotnick

I will miss them. The sequence has grown and deepened and may become the work that this era of Hollywood filmmaking is primarily remembered and celebrated for.

Half a century ago, the people who moan about the number of superhero films in cinemas these days would have been rolling their eyes at all these cowboy films John Ford was churning out, complaining about how they were simplistic tales of good and evil that are all the same.

Still, you can have too much of a good thing. This isn’t called Infinity War for nothing. The cast goes on forever, the action sequences go on forever and at the end, the credit sequence goes on forever as you wait for the last little bit they tack on at the end.

Chris Evans as Captain America/Steve Rogers and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk in Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel Studios/Chuck ZlotnickChris Evans as Captain America/Steve Rogers and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk in Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel Studios/Chuck Zlotnick

This is a film that makes Age of Ultron look like a model of restraint. In it an infinite number of costumed heroes, perform an infinite number of CGI generated action sequences rendered by an infinite number of desk-chained mouse jockeys, to try and stop one bloke destroying the universe.

Josh Brolin is a very fine Thanos, though after all the build-up you’d expect him to be a bit bigger. Thanos is actually a kind of extreme eco-warrior concerned about overpopulation. He just gotta collect a bunch of stones and then he can kill off half the universe and bring balance.

Infinity War has all the traditional Marvel virtues. It is consistently funny and your affection for these performers and their interpretations of these roles means it is entertaining.

Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel StudiosJosh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Photo: Marvel Studios

But it is a disappointment, if only because it was so obvious that they were trying to cram in too much stuff for the film to really fly.

For the first half hour the film looks like it might be able to pull it all together into a cohesive storyline that is truly epic, rather than just very, very big but after that, it gets bogged down by the sheer number of people who have to be dropped in on.

The script is like a Christmas card list; you don’t dare miss anyone out.

Before the press screening Disney was hammering home their No Spoilers message handing out #Thanos Demands Your Silence badges and showing us a spoof trailer with the cast telling us not to blab its secrets. Which is fine by me but as things not to be spoilt start happening right from the beginning than I don’t have much wiggle room. Anyway, as there is another one coming out next year and this is a comic book movie, I suspect even the biggest shocks and surprises are open to negotiation.

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