After 10 years of anticipation and endless movies, the big one is finally here, with so much to talk about, we’ve broken down our *(Spoiler -Free!) review into the key points, enjoy 🙂
The MCU has had a horrid track record for villains, barring Loki, the string of antagonists in several movies such as GotG, all 3 Ironman movies, Thor: The Dark World, all suffered from being a lousy foil. Though as of late, things have started to look far better. The Vulture (Spiderman Homecoming) and especially Killmonger (Black Panther) were great bad guys. Thanos has had very little screen time, apart from a few minutes now and again, or an end credit scene. But here, Thanos not only possesses the power to destroy pretty much any one of our heroes at will, he also has a clear plan in his head. As crazy as he may be, he believes what he is doing is for the greater good, and not just doing it for the cliche world combination etc. This is very much a Thanos movie, and Josh Brolin does an immense job bring such gravitas to a CGI villain! He also throws a moon as a weapon……..
It’s what fans have been waiting for, how awesome it would be to finally see all their favourite heroes from across all the movies finally getting together. The results, are as hilarious as you would expect, from a franchise that delivers fantastic humour. Ironman & Doctor Strange, both sarcastic, and confident of themselves, deliver excellent wit, as they constantly exchange one liners. Thor meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy, comedy gold! Rocket & Thor have a surprisingly endearing relationship, which you would not have guessed at the start. All out heroes get their moment to shine, but Drax, Mantis & Banner offer the best when it comes to the comic relief. There are so many memorable lines from various characters, that they will be quoted for a long time!
Without spoiling too much, the action delivers. Considering the sheer number of participants, it could have got very shambolic. The stand out scenes include the showdown on Titan, the surprise late night train station entrance to make the save, and the obvious Wakada battle Basically, anytime the now legendary Avengers music kicks in! As immense as the Wakada war is, it does get a bit too much at times, with the sheer number of disposable alien fodder being used to overwhelm the heroes.
The Black Order
Or the ‘Children of Thanos’, as they are also called, are the henchmen that support the Mad Titan on his quest. They are supposed to act as some sort of viable opponents to the Avengers, as they work in the shadows to help Thanos gather all the stones. But unfortunately, we don’t really know much of them, and barely even bother to remember all their names (Proxima Midnight sounds cool, but like, that’s about it). Ebony Maw, out evil sorcerer is actually one of the more interesting of the clan, as worthy rival to Doctor Strange, but the rest? Thoroughly underused, and utterly forgettable.
Essentially we have 4 story arcs that are woven together overly this huge run time. Credit has to go to the Russo Brothers for together such an epic tale. You have the ‘Space’ team out on the home planet of Thanos, Titan. The ‘Wakanda’ team, who hold the battle lines down on Earth. Thanos himself has an intriguing storyline as we follow his journey, and finally Thor head out into the depths of Space, for his own agenda. It is a lot, but that’s to be expected, it’s also a great way to isolate the gigantic cast into smaller teams, rather than throwing all 40+ cast members onto the screen. Though this also means some characters don’t have as much screen time as you would think, Captain America is no way near as prominent as you would think here. But the story does deliver, and sure packs a lot of emotional hits. As the plots slowly start to merge towards the end, it all pays off, speaking of…..
Well……..didn’t see that coming. And I’ll leave it at just that!
Overall, Infinity War is a tribute to the legacy of the MCU, after 10 years and 18 movies. This is a film that fans will adore, the plus 2hr runtime will breeze by, as you are caught up in all the drama. But the film isn’t for everyone, casual fans may still be able to enjoy it, but it will for sure drag on.
2016 has been another busy year for movies, in no particular order, here are some of the films that stood out for me this last calendar year! Just a note, these are films that I managed to watch myself, so some films may have been left out! If there is something you think deserves a shout out, do leave a comment 🙂
10 Cloverfield Lane
10 Cloverfield Lane was a film that could have worked without the Cloverfield name, as it’s a vastly different film from the 2008 monster movie. What we got a spectacularly intense thriller. The film is essentially set entirely in one location, as we follow Michelle, who happens to be held captive in an underground bunker by stranger. He says that he saved her, and the world outside has been attacked. Is he telling the truth? Or is he just a madman with issues? John Goodman steals the show with his intimidating performance as the captor. It’s a game of cat and mouse, can she trust him, and should she make a run for it? Is it really dangerous outside? A fantastic movie!
Zootropolis / Zootopia
This was released here in the UK, around the same time as the nostalgic The Jungle Book, but the sheer originality of this movie just edges it in front! Following the adventure of a buddy cop duo, Disney once again delivers gold. Zootropolis is a film that both kids and adults can enjoy. Yes, it has all the usual Disney charm, bright colours, fun characters and vivid locations. The film also discusses deeper issues, such as racism & prejudice, something that really did surprise me when I watched it. The lead duo share great chemistry, and the film is filled with jokes (for both children and grownups!). A must watch!
Moana is a film that most certainly deserved a lot more attention and marketing that it got. Seemingly forgotten in the late November/early December box office, and eclipsed by Rogue One, it was a curious decision to release it at that time. Personally, Moana is one of Disney’s finest animated films. It breaks away from the traditional princess storyline, instead focussing on saving the world. The ocean theme worked beautifully, the animation for the water is simply magnificent. The characters are very charismatic, Moana is a determined, driven protagonist, and Dwayne Johnson does a stellar job as the wise cracking demi-god Maui. They play well off one another, and their interactions are great to see. Finally, the music is of course on point, especially the recurring main theme.
Kubo and the Two Strings
It was a strong year for animated movies, as this list shows! What made Kubo stand out was the animation. The stop motion animation gave it a unique charm that combined well with its story. As one review online mentioned, it is pretty much The Legend of Zelda, if it was made into a film! Following the adventure of a young hero, to obtain the legendary items, and save the world from evil! The casting was excellent for this, featuring the likes of Ralph Feinnes, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey & George Takei. It should be a strong contender for the Oscar for Best Animated Film; though it would do well to fight off the challenges from the Disney juggernauts.
Captain America: Civil War
Well this was bound to be on here!! The biggest blockbuster of the year delivered after all the hype. Where Dawn of Justice failed, Civil War succeeded. The MCU has been building up over several years, and it all culminated here. It could have been easy to turn this movie into a complicated mess, considering the number of heroes involved, but they managed to blend them all in with the right quantity. The action scenes were amazing, the humour was typical Marvel, and the storyline was just as intriguing. The marketing for the film was based of choosing a side, but the film actually does very well to display both sides of the fight. Also, the introduction of Black Panther and Spiderman was a win!
It’s been a sensational year for horror fans, 2016 has seen several outstanding scares arrive at the big screen. Conjuring 2, Origins of Evil & Don’t Breathe were all great, but if I could only choose one, it would have to be Lights Out. Not only did it have a unique concept (spoilers alert, keep the lights on!) but it was one of the few films that didn’t fall into the trap of the usual horror film cliches! Shall I run back inside alone? Or get some help? We know how it works with most horror films, but they change it up here! Yes the backstory behind the ‘ghost’ was abit of a mess, but that shouldn’t take away from a well-made scare. Whereas Don’t Breathe & Conjuring 2 got slightly ridiculous near its finale, this film manages to stay on course.
What’s left to be said about Rogue One? It’s our latest review, so feel free to check out our in-depth analysis elsewhere on our site! To keep it straight-forward for this, all I can say is that Rogue One has a high bar to clear after The Force Awakens, and it cleared it with ease! Yes it has its flaws, as does every film, it’s not perfect. It is however, a story that is essential to the Star Wars universe, with a fine ensemble cast, and a movie that is dramatically different to the other films in the franchise. The more mature and dark tone to the film really makes it stand out from the rest, and a cameo from a certain Star Wars legend is a treat for every fan!
A film that snuck under the radar during the Summer box office rush, but The Shallows was a highly enjoyable shark film! Films such as the Sharknado series have really taken the shine of Shark films, becoming more of a joke, than a serious threat. The Shallows takes the genre back to its roots, such as Jaws. The film follows a surfer stranded off the coast of a beach, being stalked by a vengeful shark! It’s a battle of wits, yes, the shark is a tad over the top, but it’s not Sharknado levels of ridicule. It’s also a beautiful film to look at; the location is stunning and the surfing shots are majestically executed. It may not have been the biggest movie this year, but one I most certainly enjoyed.
This was an Alien invasion movie like no other. What we got with Arrival was a smart, cerebral drama, as opposed to the typical alien attack films that we get. Director Denis Villeneuve captures the movie is such a way, the invasion almost feels like a mystical experience, rather than an apocalyptic event. The key here is Language, and how powerful it is. It’s about the science, and not the shooting! It makes a nice change, and an interesting twist on the Alien genre. Amy Adams delivers a powerful performance here, which should see her rewarded with at least an Oscar nomination come the New Year! It’s that good!
Ever since ‘Avengers Assemble’ released back in 2012, the cracks in the relationship between Tony Stark’s Ironman & Steve Rodger’s Captain American were starting to appear. It all finally comes down to an explosive conclusion in one of Marvel’s finest films so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
A film containing so many different superheroes could have become a complicated mess. But the Russo Brothers once again served up a right treat for fans and critics alike. After their stellar work in creating the superb ‘Winter Soldier’, they have proved that they are capable of handling the upcoming Avengers movies.
Following the destruction in previous films caused by members of the Avengers across several previous films. The world has decided to reign in the action of the Avengers with the introduction of the ‘Sokovia Accords’. Which would mean the United Nations would have control of what the Avengers do. Simply put, Ironman is for it, Captain is against it.
This all eventually leads to two sides being formed, which has been the main angle the marketing team for the film have used to stir up the crowd. What works well here is that all the players in the ‘Civil War’ get their moment to shine. Even the minor characters such as Falcon & Vision get their moment in the spotlight. The usual Marvel humour is there as always, though they know when to use it, the final act is virtually devoid of any humour. The new additions also hit the right spot. Chadwick Boseman does a great job as the fearless Black Panther, his no nonsense attitude makes a refreshing change from the usual Avengers banter and quipping. Tom Holland’s portrayal of a young Spiderman steals the show in his brief appearances, and has everyone looking forward to his solo adventure! The Russo Bros. did a fantastic job in managing to fit everyone in, and making it work so fluently.
The films centerpiece is the showdown at the airport, where the 2 sides finally get down to trading blows. In what some will say is one of the greatest action scenes ever filmed, the set piece is filled with cameos, humour and action. The build up to this does not disappoint. It’s pretty obvious the heroes are pulling their punches during the scene, as they don’t really want to hurt one another. The final showdown at the end of the film between Ironman, Captain & The Winter Soldier is the polar opposite. The showdown is dramatic, and filled with tension. Which served as a nice treat, not the usual ‘end of the world’ scenario. This film is very much about Captain America, not the Avengers. Chris Evans & Downey Jr put in probably their best performances so far in all of the MCU outings so far.
The film though isn’t perfect. On the plus side of 2 hours, the film is stretched out a lot. The first hour or so is key in setting up the showcase battle, but it feels like some scenes could have been shortened or even cut to speed up the pacing. The 3rd act is a brutal fight, but it feels a bit of a let down after the epic airport scene. The films ”antagonist” was once again one of its weak points. Not since Loki have Marvel been able to produce an enticing villain. This is somewhat put on the side, as the feud between Tony & Steve is what really drives the film, the villain feels like somewhat of an after-thought. If he was removed entirely, it really wouldn’t have made much of a difference.
After the underwhelming critical response to Dawn of Justice, Marvel once again proved that they are the kings of the comic book big screen experience. The hype to the film has most certainly been justified, and it will interesting to see if they can top this in Infinity Wars.