Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, is part one of the epic culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s decade-long series of interconnected movies.  The all-star cast includes some of the biggest names in Hollywood, and although it includes quite a few, it never seems too convoluted or forced. The action starts right at the beginning of the film, and doesn’t stop throughout the two and a half hour film.

The film begins with the survivors of the obliteration of Asgard, Thor’s home planet, aboard a ship.  When Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his henchman attack the ship in order to obtain the Space Stone, one of the Infinity Stones that can give the person who possesses them infinite power over the living, a battle between Thanos and his men, and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Loki, and Heimdall sets the stage for the action, surprise, and suspense that comes for the rest of the movie.

On Earth, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Steve Rodgers/Captain America (Chris Evans) are still not on speaking terms as a result of their dispute in the previous film.  When Bruce Banner/Hulk is transported back to Earth, he relays the message of the impending threat of Thanos coming to destroy everything. When this happens, Iron Man must get the Avengers from the previous outings, along with some other heroes like T’Challa/ Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and the Guardians of the Galaxy, to thwart the imminent takeover by the Mad Titan Thanos.

The film is a success in almost every possible way.  The action sequences are on point, highlighted by one epic battle scene in Wakanda.  Different settings for different elements of the film bring the feeling of a space opera, and each of the planets visited give different backgrounds for the constant action.  The high-flying fun that is customary of the MCU films is evident throughout, and it keeps the audience wanting more. Most of the actors in the film have demonstrated their comedic chops in other films, and the Russos utilize this to the fullest.  Downey’s Stark is sarcastic and energetic, and steals most of the scenes that he is in. Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, brings his charisma and devil may care attitude that make the Guardians franchise so successful.

The greatest part of the movie is Brolin’s performance as Thanos.  The god-like titan steals the show from beginning to end. Hell-bent on obtaining the Infinity Stones so that he can halve the world’s population, he is truly committed to his mission, citing the fact that the universe’s land and resources are being consumed by a population that is outgrowing its space.  Although his beliefs are madness, he is extremely resigned to carrying out his mission on a grand scale. As a villain, Thanos is easily the best in the Marvel Universe thus far. His menacing presence and personality dwarfs other villains of the MCU. His performance multi-leveled bad guy with his mid set on setting the world back to balance makes for great fun and entertainment.   

Infinity War is the best Marvel film to date.  Mixing the action, emotion, comedy, and suspense that sets these films apart from the DC films, Infinity War makes the most of its star-studded cast.  Rife with events that would surprise even the biggest fans of the franchise, it makes for an edge-of-your-seat tour de force that does a great job setting the stage for the ultimate battle in the next installment of the film.  As always, wait for the post credits scene for insight into what is to come.