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  1. Published on: 26/04/2018 08:27 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: The Avengers and their allies must battle a powerful being that is set to destroy half of all live in the universe.

    Well, here we are. Ten years in the making for one of the biggest selling movie franchises of all-time.

    2008 saw the start of possibly the biggest project the film industry has ever seen, a cinematic universe. The first couple of films had the studio of Marvel not exactly sure if this would work, despite the successes of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. But once they made Thor and got a lot of praise from fans and critics, they knew that they were on to something.

    The culmination of their first phase ended with Avengers Assemble as it's known here in the UK. It was a rousing success and one of the most enjoyable films of the year (2012). After, the franchise has gone from strength to strength. This current phase has seen them make each film their own almost, and instead of a generic superhero film. They've made spy thrillers, high-school comedies, buddy comedies and even space opera's.

    Now this third installment of The Avengers has been labelled as the end of many major characters that were just about known in the mainstream before the films started being made. It could also be the start of the studio going into more obscure tangents by using many characters that are only well known with certain hardcore followers of the graphic novels.

    One thing is for sure, the hype and excitement is at fever pitch. This almost reminded of the build-up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

    I don't think you need me to tell you that watching a few films beforehand might help your investment in this new release, and also understand a fair amount of what is happening on screen. Plus, it kicks off straight into the action with a few nice surprises to give us a hint that they are not pulling any punches in this one.

    After that it is more and more highly entertaining set-pieces with many characters meeting for a first time that will just please the fans so much.

    This film is directed by the Russo brothers who did the last two Captain America films, and you can tell that it needs a duo to battle the amount of action that is taking place on several different worlds and galaxies. The pacing is absolutely spot on, and they know exactly when to hit you with certain actions characters make to keep you gripped for the 2hrs 30mins duration.

    As we get towards the end, the action is beginning to get tiresome. But then they hit you with an almighty amount of surprises that I think will be on an Empire Strikes Back reaction that people had on its initial release back in 1980. The screening I was in just had everyone in stunned silence by the time the credits rolled.

    With many characters within these mini-franchises within this cinematic universe being involved in this one film, there is a lot to get through from the performances. As with the first Avengers film, I was cautious that there would be just too many big names and not enough screen-time for everyone. Not only did this work brilliantly once again, they gave a fair amount of development to characters that I was not expecting to heavily feature in this story.

    If I have to give an MVP award, I would give surprisingly give it to Josh Brolin. Playing the villain has been a tough gig within this franchise, and only one or two have come out as being seen as memorable as its heroes. But Brolin did a great job as the villianous Thanos, and the large amount of development he was given, gave us enough to actually care for this character and feel genuine threat to his intentions. But the minor villains that are involved also felt frightening to me and were also given a good amount of screen-time. Particularly the one voiced by Tom Vaughn-Lawlor.

    Plaudits also have to go to Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen. They had many shining moments in this and had strong chemistry with many characters.

    As a Captain America fan, I was disappointed at the lack of contribution Chris Evans was given. But as he has had plenty of development, I think it was a good decision to give others the much needed time.

    My biggest strength was the genuine feel of threat to our heroes. The way the villain is portrayed just made me have so much fear for the Avengers, and that I feel that is what has been lacking for many of their films for me to give it an exceptional rating.

    There have not been many times where I was not sure who was coming out of this alive. In this one, I had no clue who was going to survive into the next phase of films.

    Another obvious positive is the action and fun elements that we expect from Marvel. The comedy is still there and the jokes for the most part were perfectly timed and made me laugh a lot.

    The action set-pieces are hugely entertaining, and they really play around with certain environments and characters strengths. Much like the first Avengers, it's like they are showing a kids imagination when playing with toy version of these characters and mixing them up with other characters you would never normally see mixing with.

    The vibe of it reminded more of Game Of Thrones and Heroes, which I was not expecting. I think maybe because both of those TV series have a large amount of characters and are jumping from place to place where they will eventually intertwine in some way.

    Amazingly, I don't really have any negatives to speak of. It's contained structure makes you feel less worried about what is going outside of this box. So that just gave me more time to just have fun.

    If you're a regular reader, then you may know that I don't often give superhero films exceptional ratings. Most of time, they are solid, good fun and entertaining. However, there are a few notables that for me had something extra to them. This is certainly one of them.

    The plot might be simple to follow. But the strength in its execution and timing of its action set-pieces as well as the surprise factor and genuine high stakes made this an absolute thrill-ride and a fitting culmination of a decade of superhero domination in the box office. For me, this is the Infinity War that we deserve and the Russo Brothers along with Marvel head honcho Kevin Fiege and his team have done a grand job for saving their best for last.

    A final note, there is of course a post credits scene. It's just the one. It's a pretty cool one, and could very well set us up for the next generation of Marvel films, or at least another fantastic Avengers film.

    Rating: 8/10
     

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