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MOVIE REVIEW: Great superheroes battle terrific villain in new Avengers flick

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If you’re a fan of the old adage less is more, Avengers: Infinity War may not be for you.

Directed by Marvel aficionados and real life brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, the movie takes a definitive more-is-more stand. The good news: while it may not be subtle it delivers 160 minutes of action-packed, non-stop, Avengers-on-top-of-Avengers fun.

The film assembles every superhero from the Marvel galaxy you can name (with two exceptions – Hawk Eye and Ant Man) to fight the ultimate bad guy, Thanos.

If you know the Marvel universe, you’ve heard of Thanos – he’s haunted the visions of Tony Stark/Ironman’s since Avengers: Age of Ultron and he’s Gamora and Nebula’s (Guardians of the Galaxy) dad. Voiced by Josh Brolin, Thanos is one of the best villains the Marvel universe has ever had. He’s on a mission to complete his vision to rid the universe (not just Earth) of half its population to correct an imbalance that will ultimately lead to the destruction of the entire population.

He moves planet to planet, arbitrarily taking out half the residents, but decides he needs a faster way to complete his mission. Enter the infinity stones – each one powerful beyond belief and spread throughout the universe, Thanos has decided to collect all six and take out half the universe all at once.

As he collects each stone, he becomes stronger and stronger to the point of invincibility. He’s the first villain the Avengers may not be able to stop, no matter how many of them team up.

But team up they do, creating smaller super teams at different locations fighting Thanos and his army.

It’s a smart way to deal with the film’s overwhelming star power – there’s never a point at which all our heroes come together in one place, at least not yet. Pairing two mega egos, aka Tony Stark/Iron Man and Dr. Strange, together with the Guardians of the Galaxy makes for unexpectedly brilliant chemistry.

I’d never have guessed that Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy – who for the uninitiated is a tree who can only say “I am Groot” over and over) would find his perfect translator in Thor (turns out Groot’s language is an elective on Asgard). But he does, and along with Rocket (a racoon, also from Guardians of the Galaxy) they become possibly my favourite trio ever.

Watching Bruce Banner/The Hulk marvel over Shuri’s (Black Panther) brilliance in the lab, and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Okoye (Black Panther) team up with all the girl power in Wakanda, makes you feel like a kid who sits entranced screaming “This is AWESOME!”

To say more would give away the many incredible twists and turns. So I will say only this, reality and death become a malleable thing in Avengers: Infinity War, with what’s real and what’s illusion blending into one.

If it turns out death is real, then the Marvel universe has been forever changed. This film is really just part one of a two-part film. The ending will leave you gobsmacked and begging for answers that won’t be delivered until Avengers 4 (currently untitled).

Avengers: Infinity War is intense and dark as well as light-hearted and emotional – you will laugh, cry and gasp all in the same 2 minutes.

You will start counting down to the release date for Avengers 4 the moment the after-credits scene leaves you stunned – only 372 days left.


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