When Thor: Ragnarok came out, I wrote a review – which you can find here – and I pretty much said that it was thus far the greatest Marvel Cinematic Entry at the time (before everyone tells me that Black Panther is better, I sadly was recovering from illness and minor surgery at the time and missed it). However, I am pleased to say that the God of Thunder’s latest movie has been pushed down to second for me.

Image: Marvel Studios / Disney

After 10 years of Marvel cinematic magic – and 1 or 2 less magic entries – it has all come down to this. The fight for the universe. Everyone versus Thanos. Avengers: Infinity War has finally arrived in cinemas.

Starting off shortly after the end of Thor: Ragnarok, on the ship the Asgardians now reside on, the film doesn’t take long to reveal its big baddie, Thanos himself. Considering Thanos has been teased in post-movie clips and such since Avengers Assemble, it’s nice that they make it clear that he is a threat right from the get-go. And let’s face it – Thanos is by far the best MCU villain to date. He’s not like other villains. He doesn’t necessarily want power. Power is simply a means to his goal. He isn’t necessarily hating or uncaring either (you’ll understand what I mean when you watch the film). His entire motive is that he truly believes what he is doing is for the greater good, which makes him the biggest kind of threat possible (at least the movie version anyway – the comic version just wanted to impress Lady Death because he fancied her). He isn’t just another thug after money, or another megalomaniac after power and full control. He is doing what his somewhat tragic backstory affirms to him is right. You almost feel sorry for him at times.

Images: Marvel Studios / Disney

One of the key aspects of the MCU that makes me love the collection more than the DC films is its way of balancing humour and dark plots, and Infinity War is no different. In fact, it is by no uncertain terms the darkest MCU film to date, and yet still had me and my friends wailing with laughter in places. In particular, the character interaction had us laughing the most. Just like when Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, aka Iron Man and Captain America, first met Thor in Avengers Assemble, not everybody sees eye-to-eye at first. Star Lord (Chris Pratt) in particular repeatedly has personality clashes with other characters, leading to some of the funniest moments in the film. Even the post-credits scene is able to keep the balance between dark tragedy and humour, with its final cameo uttering a phrase that the actor is famous for using a lot.

One thing I love to see used in films is references to other films, both within and outside of the same series, and Infinity War does not disappoint with its numerous references to other MCU films, as well as popular films like Aliens. This isn’t just including plot devices, locations and such, but also the dialogue, which again leads to some good humour, including the very first joke of the film, with Loki stating, “We have a Hulk,” a line said to him previously in Avengers Assemble by Tony Stark. There are also many references to the comics, including the use of Iron Man’s Bleeding Edge armour, which can transform itself into different forms of weaponry and such. There is a reason that it is one of my personal favourites.

Image: Marvel Studios / Disney

I think for me, personally, the biggest worry about Infinity War before seeing it was that I thought they might struggle to keep all of the characters interesting and important to the film. With so many characters from the many franchises that Infinity War ties together, I felt like everyone’s respective scenes would feel rushed to fit more of another character in. However, the balance is done superbly well. No single character is over-saturated compared to anyone else, and they do this in a fantastic way. They make Thanos the main character. This is more like a super villain movie, with the main baddie being the protagonist, and it works greatly to this cinematic masterpiece’s favour.

Infinity War also gives a real sense of how big the universe is within the film, with it taking place across several different intergalactic locations, and it makes the audience have a real sense of just how much of a small part of the greater scheme of things we are, which is actually fairly important to the plot. The previously mentioned large cast of characters also helps expand this idea of just how big the MCU is, as well as its fantastic musical score, which always fits the mood and is loud and bombastic where it needs to be.

There is very little I can really complain about in this film. It looks fantastic, it sounds fantastic, the acting is fantastic… I only have 2 real issues with the film. The first slight negative I can think of is that if you have not seen the other MCU films, you will not understand what is going on here. The other is that it is a little predictable at times. However, Infinity War is full of twists, and has one of the darkest endings to a superhero movie I have ever seen, and I love that. With only Ant-Man and The Wasp and Captain Marvel to come before the concluding half of the Infinity War, you will have to wait until May 3rd 2019 to see how everything is resolved.

Verdict: 10/10

I cannot express how amazing this film is. Having seen it on release day, the entire film had me on the edge of my seat. This is how a superhero movie should be done. I truly see it as the The Empire Strikes Back of the MCU. Maybe DC could learn something from Infinity War for their future installments.

Avengers: Infinity War is in cinemas now, so check your local cinema for ticket prices and viewing times. Also, don’t forget to follow PixelTome over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.