“The cinematic movie event of the year.” Often said, rarely merited. When it comes to AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, I would take it a step further to commemorate 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and say: 

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is the cinematic movie event of the decade.

Little did we know with the launch of IRON-MAN in 2008 that we’d be here 10 years later with far reaches of a fully-fledged universe culminating to a boiling point with this first of two parts of an epic superhero finale. But we’re here and the ride has definitely been worth it. There’s so much to say about the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but to do it with NO SPOILERS AHEAD is a most especially daunting task so here go…

Stakes are high. Very high. This fact is made clear within the first five minutes setting the pace that the next 2 hours and 40 minutes are a free-for-all where NOBODY is safe. NOBODY. It was a brilliant move on the part of the directing Russo brothers to really set the tone that this movie is going to be dark. It’s going to be unexpected. And NOTHING you think you know is valid. When you don’t have expectation of “safe” characters you instantly raise the stakes as every single interaction you see with a character… could very well be their last. And in many cases… this unfortunately IS the case.

But we’re already leaning too far into spoiler zone for my tastes so let’s course-correct this ship.

Josh Brolin as Thanos is a rare cinematic treat. A most bad-ass foe with some real weight both physically and figuratively. His believability as a character is important; obviously, because he’s entirely a CG creation but also because we have to fear this guy — and he does so in spades. His very presence belies power and he’s got the stones on him to do and act as he pleases.

Thanos has a band of cronies — the Children of Thanos — who are wickedly disgusting, evil, creatures hell-bent on carrying out his dirty work. They carry very little depth on their own but they don’t need it. All we know is that when they are around, death and destruction are also in tow. Of particularly special note is a standout performance by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as the supremely vile and magically-inclined Ebony Maw.

The rest of the film carries out a characteristically “Marvel” consistency of delivering the laughs and the drama in equal doses. There just happens to be A LOT more drama here but it’s counter balanced by probably some of the best zingers and jokes so far.

The character interactions throughout are also absolutely perfect. It’s crazy to consider that several of the supers in this universe don’t actually know each other yet and many of their introductions are absolutely stellar. Shout-outs include Tony Stark squaring off in a battle of words with Doctor Strange, Thor meeting all of the Guardians of the Galaxy (and particularly Star Lord), and Dora Milaje Okoye learning of the Scarlet Witch and her abilities.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is a cinematic adventure. It’s one you HAVE to take and you should take it early as this is one movie that you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT SPOILED.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is now playing in theaters.