Avengers Infinity War (Spoiler-free Review)

            Storytelling on steroids…the phrase best describing this third Avengers entry, released on the 10th anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Never has a movie had a cast of this size (consisting of over 20 superheroes from all of the Guardians of the Galaxy to the warriors of Wakanda), with a story this grand (uniting the storylines of 18 marvel movies), and covering such a large spectrum (battles and story arches ranging from Asgard to Knowhere to earth and well beyond).  To call this film ambitious and gutsy would be an immense understatement. 

            But does the film live up to all the hype?  Is it worth your time (it is 2.5 hours long) and hard-earned dollars (tickets are far from the affordability of the 1990s)?  The short answer:  YES (without hesitation). 

            The Russo Bros. (Anthony and Joe) wowed the world when they directed Captain America:  Winter Soldier; then outdid themselves with the infamous Captain America Civil War.  Lightning has struck a third time with Avengers:  Infinity War. 

            I want to avoid both spoilers as well as any hints of the storyline.  So, I will offer what I can regarding this film:  First, if you are not totally caught up on all the movies, there is a chance you can still enjoy Infinity War (IW).  The key recent movies to watch are Civil War and Thor Ragnarock.  If you have not seen these two films, I believe you will still enjoy IW, though you might have to play catch-up during the first half of the movie. 

            Second, IW is darker than any of the other Marvel offerings.  Make no mistake, the movie is hilarious (James Gunn was brought in to write the dialogue for the Guardians), and you will laugh a lot in this movie…but the film is also very dark.  People are tortured, people die, and there are a few plot-lines which earn the PG-13 rating all by themselves regardless of violence or language.  Call IW the perfect blend of Marvel and DC thematically. 

            Third, due to the darker content and nature of the film, be advised this is not like the other Marvel movies and truly earns (to the limit) its PG-13 rating.  Children under 10 might leave the film with some bad dreams and heavy hearts – depending upon their emotional development and comprehension. 

            Lastly, stay to the end of the credits as there is 1 post-credit scene.  However, if you are not a super-fan of the comics, you might have to google the ending to understand what it all means. 

            Avengers Infinity War is a very well made, well executed film.  It’s large, but avoids losing the audience.  Avengers 4 comes out next year in 2019…here’s hoping the year comes quick.