Superheroes amass to stop intergalactic sociopath Thanos from acquiring a full set of Infinity Stones and wiping out half of all life in the universe.
The universe’s mightiest heroes find themselves on the same side of a battle that has massive implications: Thanos, a madman with the worst kind of hero complex, is out to get rid of 50% of the sentient beings in the universe, thinking it’ll make the universe a better place.
In some cases together for the very first time, the main characters* of most of Marvel’s superhero movies—yes, all of them—must figure out a way to keep Thanos from getting the Infinity Stones, powerful elements from the dawn of time, and using them to form an all-powerful gauntlet that will do anything Thanos wants it to.
*Minus a couple of people …
Ten years into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), there are probably very few people in this movie who I need to remind you about. (And there are A LOT of people in this movie.) However, there are a couple of folk new or newish to the MCU:
Josh Brolin as Thanos
Josh Brolin’s lent his voice to Beefed Up Grimace previous to Avengers: Infinity War, but this is this first time we truly get to see him in all his megalomaniacal glory. Brolin lends a gravitas to Thanos, while at the same time making him an almost sympathetic character. If Thanos didn’t believe so strongly that what he was doing was right, he’d be a far less impactful villain, and Brolin only rarely veers into mustache twirl, stereotype territory.
Peter Dinklage as Eitri
Dinklage’s turn as Eitri the “dwarf” was a surprise and delight for anyone who didn’t spoil themselves about his role before viewing the movie for the first time. Eitri’s character was used to excellent effect in upsetting expectations, and Dinklage—natch—was wonderful at playing him. Shades of Tyrion Lannister, but with less machinations and more space fun.
Carrie Coon as Proxima Midnight
I’m not familiar with Coon, nor is it terribly obvious that she’s the person behind the CG/makeup. But if you’re a fan of Fargo (the series), you might know her better as Gloria Burgle? (According to her IMDB, she’s also involved in an upcoming Ghostbusters project, which, exciting.)
Michael James Shaw as Corvus Glaive
Am I the only one who watched Limitless? I loved Shaw as Agent Mike. (And I had no idea he was the man behind the CG/makeup until I started working on this post.)
Couch-Sharing Capability: (Avengers) Assemble
With so many—so many—superheroes shoved into one film, you might think that it would be hard to stay on track and not get thrown out of the story every time a new face appears on screen. But if there’s one thing Marvel Studios is really good at, it’s creating a cohesive movie that shines because of its predecessors. Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t waste too much time on rehashing what came before; it’s assumed that you’ve seen at least a few of the other MCU movies before you dove into this one. (And if you didn’t, I want to know what you think!) And really, if they can make more than 20 characters with literal super egos work together well, I think you can make a large viewing party work, too.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Dull the Pain
Although you might not think so going into the movie, Avengers: Infinity War is a tearjerker, particularly if you have a favorite (or favorites) among the MCU crew. It’s been a year, so I think the embargo on spoilers has long since run out, but for those of you who might still not know what happens … drinking heavily to keep the tears at bay might be necessary.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Prep Work
I didn’t do a rewatch of every MCU movie before Avengers: Endgame—which I am seeing at, no joke, 1:30 a.m. tomorrow morning—but I know a lot of people who did. And the fact that many of the movies are available via streaming had to have made it all that much easier to breeze through 20 movies (minus the latest, Captain Marvel). If you’re like me and didn’t plan far enough ahead to watch them all, Avengers: Infinity War is the one you might want to revisit before heading to the theater, if only to prep your tear ducts for the inevitable onslaught to come. (I’M NOT READY.)