Long before Marvel's 'Infinity War' sent moviegoers scurrying home to seek comfort in the arms of their loved ones (pizza counts a 'loved one', right?), there were endless warnings from the directors, writers, and yes, even the actors themselves that this latest addition in the MCU would be one of the most memorable to date.
And indeed it was. The action leaves you on the edge of your seat, the music is robust and intense, the acting is on point, and to once again see the faces of Marvel's beloved heroes on the big screen fills you with the same excitement of seeing an old friend for the first time in a long while.
It's a hard reach for anything to top the sheer life given to millions left glowing in the wake of Black Panther; which is a special type of irony, given the looming and suffocating theme of Infinity War is death.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, just hear me out. I said there were no spoilers, and there aren't.
That is unless your idea of of a "spoiler" is finding out that Thanos' name is literally derived from 'Thanatos', aka, the Greek god and personification of death itself.
Another not-a-spoiler is that Marvel themselves have been hinting at the death of a major character since production of Infinity War began.
Forewarned with that knowledge while viewing the movie for the first time leaves a good deal of room to discuss just how seamlessly Marvel & Co. wove together particular events in Infinity War that were teased for almost half a decade.
The MCU is enormous. It's constantly expanding, and utterly limitless in the number of fictional worlds, races, cultures, characters and beyond in such a way that is so unfathomable, it almost seems like a fool's errand to even try to study, comprehend, and understand every. last. nuance. of it.
And once you add the challenge of bringing past nostalgia and structure to meet the here and now while still producing original and unique content, it practically screams there is no way a concept such as this would be worth the effort off the pages of the comic.
It more or less follows the same faultline of explanation as to why certain amazing video games and anime franchises translate poorly into god-awful live-actions.
It's also one of the reasons why Justice League bombed.
That's the beauty of Marvel, however: where those particular categories may fall short, Marvel is almost guaranteed to deliver when it matters the most. And deliver they have and did, all while using that very same structure for the last nineteen films.
That's not counting the thirteen they presently have in production, either, but here's a few of them if you're curious.
And if you had the the time to sit through all nineteen movies thus far, then when you go to see Infinity War, you'll understand what I mean when I say sitting through it is like sitting through a mid-term you've spent ten years studying and subsequently slacking off for:
You have but the vaguest of an idea of what's going to be on test because everyone in class (aka, the audience. It's a metaphor. Work with me here.) has been talking about it.
And it's not just the class either. It's the teachers. It's the staff. It's the dean. It's the Board of Trustees.
You couldn't be more prepared for this test of intellectual endurance.
I can do this, you think. I have the knowledge. I am prepared.
This moment belongs to you alone. Screw everyone else in the class. This is your moment.
Then you show up for the test and you find yourself totally blindsided. So's everyone else.
This is why doves cry.
You leave the theater with an inexplicable sense of joyful melancholy hanging over you as you go home to jump online/watch Netflix/read the comics and review everything that should have prepared you for this moment.
Small wonder why the company is called Marvel; because every magician knows the secret to pulling off a successful trick is to make the audience forget what they already know.