In this review, I’m not going to go into detail about some of the major plot elements of the film, because 1. Spoilers, and 2. This film is best experienced knowing as little as possible! I generally am not a massive fan of Marvel movies. There are a select few that I really like, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy films, Civil War, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. For the most part, however, I find many Marvel movies to be formulaic, with bad villains, and generic plots. So, when I say that I absolutely loved Avengers: Infinity War, that’s saying something. Let’s talk about the scope. In a word, this movie is epic. It is the culmination of 10 years of Marvel movies, and the directors capitalized on the best aspects of each of the movies that came before this. The scale is truly grand and spans across many different planets and settings--from familiar locales to brand new galaxies that have never been shown before. The action in this movie is also leagues better than most superhero movies today. Traditionally, action scenes in Marvel movies are usually filmed in close quarters, with the editing being so rapid fire that you can barely see anything. That’s not the case in this film, which utilizes some awesome wide shots and much better editing than usual. The CGI on display is great, with certain moments where I literally found myself smiling until it hurt. There are several set pieces throughout the film which were visually stunning and creative, adding to the overall experience. One thing that really impressed me about this film was how well the directors were able to really nail the feel of each character that had been set up in their respective films. The Guardians of the Galaxy interact just the same as they would in their own films, and Tony Stark is the same wisecracking billionaire that we’ve come to know and love from his movies. Everyone in this admittedly massive cast gets a moment, and the movie never feels like it spends too much time with one group of characters over another. Another thing that I found highly enjoyable about this movie was the pacing. For a film that’s just shy of three hours long, the film never drags. Each scene feels perfectly balanced, and the story is easy enough to follow. Serious scenes get the appropriate weight and are peppered with humor throughout. Speaking of humor, this is one of the funnier movies I’ve seen in a very long time, with Drax being the notable standout. The timing and one-liners are often hilarious, and there are many quotable lines throughout. As far as acting goes, everyone does a really great job of portraying their respective characters, with the standouts being Star Lord, Thor, and my personal favorite, Thanos, who in my opinion, is the greatest strength of this movie. I firmly believe that Thanos is the best Marvel villain to date, as well as being one of the better villains in recent film history. His plan is simple: the universe is overpopulated, and therefore, to keep balance, he must obtain the six infinity stones to wipe out half of all life in every stretch of the galaxy in a random, unbiased way, with the snap of his fingers. While he certainly is presented as the main antagonist, he is also a very sympathetic character. In his mind, he is the hero of his own story, the only one with the resolve willing to carry out such a task. And that’s what makes him so special as a villain. He’s conflicted, he shows sympathy, and in his mind, all he wants is balance, fair and impartial. Josh Brolin’s motion capture performance as Thanos is incredible, showing a wide range of emotions in both his face and body language, creating a unique take on what could have been a one note monster. The movie is not perfect, however. For whatever odd reason, Scarlet Witch no longer has a Russian accent, which was an odd choice in terms of continuity. Additionally, certain serious moments are undercut by jokes, which I personally found unnecessary. Avengers: Infinity War is my new favorite Marvel film. It’s a movie that pays respect to not only the franchise, but the fans who are deeply invested in the series. The movie mixes humor and action phenomenally and is a certain crowd-pleaser. And while I won’t get into specifics regarding the ending of the film, I personally found it to be my absolute favorite aspect of the film. Marvel took risks with this film, and I believe those risks paid off infinitely. I give this film 4.5 stars out of 5. Written by Perry Cononge.