I've just got out of seeing Avengers: Infinity War at the press screening in London's Leicester Square. I recorded a little first-thoughts video, which I will be attempting to attach below, and it does its best not to include spoilers. They were adamant about that. We got a special video from the cast, a badge, and a lecture from a Disney person about keeping secrets.
So I am. I hope I can talk about the general shape of things, though — because the biggest problem with this film is the overwhelming amount of leads from very different films crashing into each other. And the greatest success of this film is how it holds it all together, splits everyone up across the universe, and jumps between them all building a thread.
That the film has a very simple plot at heart (Thanos collecting the Infinity Stones to kill half the universe) really helps, and it allows everyone to spin around that in their own stories. The editing is top notch in that it manages to deal with all these contradictory places, sometimes contradictory within themselves, without losing an audience. And bringing it all back down to the ground.
So we jump from location to location, from New York to Knowhere, from dwarf stars to nighttime Edinburgh to Wakanda… and yes, there is a real thrill from the audience to return there. As there is putting certain people fighting together, like Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and Okoye teaming up against the Black Order. Or how Thor decides Rocket Racoon is a rabbit. Or even Captain America taking Groot completely straight.
So while there is real comedy with Peter Dinklage's appearance, that is kept well away from the Vision's agony. The Tony Stark/Peter Parker back and forth is kept from Spider-Man: Homecoming and Civil War without fouling up Captain America and the Winter Soldier's reunion. And there we some scenes, some characters, some clashes that are kept off the table completely.
Because, oh yes, Marvel lied. Marvel lied big time. There are scenes in the trailers that did not and could not have come from this movie. Remember how this was originally a Part One and they changed their minds? They did not change their minds.
And I have to say I loved it. And it utterly rewards people who have watched every film. There is one character in the way to the soul stone that silenced everyone in the cinema — no one was expecting that character's return. There were cheers for another character's first appearance, especially when they step out of the shadows, but for this one there was just shock.
And Thanos… you know how Killmonger really had a point in Black Panther? Thanos has a point, until you look at it from a human point of view. But he is not human. He is a complex, troubled, driven being who is acting altruistically in this movie, rather than the man courting death of the comics.
But be in no doubt, this is ripped utterly from the comics. This is Infinity Gauntlet — or at least part of it. And Jim Starlin gets a massive credit in the middle, along the lines of the producers wishing to recognise his enormous contribution to the film. The rest of the comic creators, from Dan Abnett to Roger Stern to Joe Quesada to George Perez to Brian Michael Bendis turn up later. And yes, there is a Stan Lee cameo, and it is… okay. His Avengers cameos are never that strong.
Talking of the credits, is there a post-credits scene? Yes, there is one, and it is at the very end of all the massive credits from all the locations they shot in. And you will want to wait for it — it is very substantial. And if you are not a big Marvel Comics fan, you may need one to explain.
Don't worry, odds are there will be one right there.
Oh and does your favourite character die? Well that would be a spoiler. But probably.