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Marvel Studios “INFINITY WAR” has been hailed as the Cinematic experience of a lifetime; they have also stated it’s their version of “Empire Strikes Back”.

10 years since the release of “Iron Man”, the film that started it all, nearly the entire roster of the Marvel Cinematic Universe come together in “Infinity War”. Their goal? To defeat the evil Thanos.

The plot, plays like a heist: Thanos wants to acquire all 6 Infinity Stones. Once he does that he can simply snap his fingers and kill ½ of the Universe too save the other ½. So members of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and the latest Marvel phenomenon character, Black Panther, join forces.

Ant-Man was not present; the writers had to keep him alive for his sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp” which came out a couple months later. Hawkeye was also absent apparently due to the accords being too rough on his family. But everyone else is fair game and many do not survive this battle.

Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Civil War” return behind the camera for “Infinity War”. They also directed Part 2 of this saga (which title rumored to be “END GAME”) which will be out next year. They do an amazing job juggling this massive array of characters, giving everyone a fair amount of screen time, along with balancing the dynamics of a fairly detailed script. A budding bromance between Thor and Rocket Raccoon is a highlight. Doctor Strange and Iron Man have oddly become frenemies which makes for flamboyant dialogue.

As always there is quite a bit of humor placed among heavy action and effective drama, but thanks to the reliable cast, “Infinity War” is, hands down, one of the most engaging MCU installments. The visuals are absolutely stunning. By the climax, we’re watching three major action scenes simultaneously all are very well done. This one thanks mostly to Doctor Strange’s scenes and the other action set pieces really make the 3D format pop.

There are quite a few surprises, topped-off by the final scene, which really works and sets the stage for what Marvel will likely call, “The Second Half of the Cinematic Event of a Lifetime”. Or their version of “Return of the Jedi”

Now Streaming, Bluray out next week

Filtering through ClearPlay

I give it an A-

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