After a decade of build-up and expectation, the grandaddy of all tie-in movies has arrived. Avengers: Infinity War is here. Before we get to a review, let's briefly recap how we got here in the first place.
Ever since 2008's Iron Man, that title character has been working with S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury to recruit superheroes like Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, and others to create a team called the Avengers.
Sounds like a good idea, though as we discovered in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, keeping the team together isn't as easy as it sounds. By the end of that movie, Iron Man and Captain America weren't speaking anymore, split on how to deal with the fact that every time the Avengers tried to help someone, they left a ton of destruction in their wake. Oops.
Thanos is coming
As all of this was happening, there was a threat growing in the distance: Thanos. Known as the Mad Titan, this guy is the baddest of the bad; a super-powerful being who wants to collect six gems called the Infinity Stones that will allow him to control the fate of all life in the universe with a snap of his fingers. Literally.
Throughout several of the Marvel movies, Thanos sent various armies and bad guys to do his bidding. (He is also the adoptive dad of half-sisters Gamora and Nebula from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, by the way.) But by this film, he's tired of waiting for results. This time, he's taking care of business himself.
And so the Infinity War begins! (Yay, we're all caught up!)
The gang is all here
Given that this is the biggest threat that the Avengers have ever faced, it makes sense that basically everyone in the Marvel universe is here. That means Vision, Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange, Spiderman, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther ... you name it (okay, we didn't see Ant-Man, but maybe he was just super-small?) Even when many of these characters are not exactly sure who one another is (something that makes for some funny moments), they somehow manage to get together to challenge Thanos and his seemingly endless army of nasty generals and freaky reptilian beasts. It's the battle that we've all been waiting for—let's do this!
Funny and fast-paced, but definitely dark
Since this is a Marvel film, you already know a lot of what to expect. It looks jaw-droppingly great, the action is almost non-stop, the superpowers and gadgets are crazy, and there are one-liners and jokes absolutely everywhere. But ...
This is easily the darkest Marvel movie yet. Picking up right after the end of Thor: Ragnarok (which was already about the end of the world), Thanos proves quickly that he is one tough hombre. As he gets closer to collecting all six stones, his arrival truly threatens the lives of not just those on Earth, but our heroes themselves.
Of course, this is only the first of two movies—an untitled sequel is slated to come out May 2019. So the film's shocking ending isn't necessarily the end of the tale. But either way, Avengers: Infinity War makes one thing clear: It's not going to be an easy ride.
Watch the trailer below.