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Avengers Infinity War review: What’s missing from this 2.5-hour romp? Hope

Enlarge / “Infinite war. Infinite war never changes.” (That’s not a quote from the film, and thank goodness.)
Marvel Studios
Warning: Avengers Infinity War is a particularly spoilable film. We have taken great care to tiptoe around plot beats in justifying our compliments and criticisms and have even avoided mentioning certain aspects already revealed in film trailers.

As the lights turned on and the credits began to roll, I blankly recalled the wreckage—figurative and literal—that had just whizzed by during Avengers Infinity War. The biggest Marvel superhero film to date leaves a ton of stuff for its viewers to unpack, and fans of Marvel’s recent high-quality output may assume that’s great news.

It is definitely not a spoiler to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is significantly changed by this film. Infinity War has long been touted as the face-off to end all superhero face-offs. Forget Superman dying to Doomsday’s spiky hands in the ’90s comic book pages; we’re talking about every Avenger-affiliated movie star combining forces to face a single, long-teased foe. Thanks to satisfying action sequences, location variety, and cross-franchise pollination, the film earns its “Avengers 3” status (a feat that the second film, Age of Ultron, fell short of).