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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ 4K Review: Marvel’s Biggest Blockbuster Yet Was Worth the Ten-Year Wait

August 14, 2018Ben Mk





FEATURE: 
Picking up in the aftermath of movies like Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok and Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War brings together nearly all of Marvel Studios' impressive roster of superheroes to fight for their lives — and for the lives of everyone in the universe. Now, after six years of teasing, the mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin, in all his purple and gold glory) and his army have finally come to collect.


What they're after, of course, is the complete set of Infinity Stones, those multicolored gems that have played the role of the McGuffin for many a Marvel film. Created in the same Big Bang that gave birth to the universe, these six precious jewels are more than just showpieces, however. Scattered across space shortly after their inception, each of the Infinity Stones allows the holder to wield one key aspect of existence: time, mind, reality, space, power and soul. And if Thanos gets his oversized hands on all six, he'll have the ability to erase half the universe from existence at literally the snap of his fingers.

And so, Infinity War's relatively straightforward plot is set into motion, setting the MCU's heroes on a collision course with destiny. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) crosses paths with the Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel). Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) form an alliance. And Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) team up with Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) and the Dora Milaje, as everyone races to stop Thanos and his minions (Carrie Coon, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Terry Notary and Michael James Shaw) from laying waste to the galaxy.

Suffice to say, it's a daunting task bringing all these characters together under the umbrella of Infinity War's sprawling narrative, and, for once, it's no exaggeration to say that the stakes have never been higher. Right from the get-go, directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely make it abundantly clear that no one (not even fan favorites) is safe, and that sense that any of these heroes can bite the dust at any given moment carries through all the way to the film's explosive finale, which will no doubt leave audiences wondering — "Did they really just do that?"

AUDIO & VISUALS: 
Avengers: Infinity War makes its grand entrance on Ultra HD boasting a 2160p video encode and Dolby Atmos sound mix, and suffice to say, the results are incredible. From the streets of New York City to the post-apocalyptic landscape of Titan and the grassy plains of Wakanda, 4K image clarity and HDR color fidelity are absolutely spectacular, with the standout sequence being the movie's extended climax — featuring Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy's battling Thanos on his home planet while the rest of the heroes face off against the Mad Titan's army on Black Panther's home turf — which immerses viewers in the thick of the chaos with its 360 degree sound design and non-stop action.


EXTRAS: 
Disney's two-disc 4K "Cinematic Universe Edition" includes an iTunes digital copy and a Blu-ray copy of the film. There are no special features on the 4K disc, but the following extras can be found on the Blu-ray:

  • Intro by Directors Joe and Anthony Russo (1:32) - The Russo brothers speak briefly about what Avengers: Infinity War means to them.
  • Strange Alchemy (5:08) - The filmmakers reflect on how Infinity War brings together the various characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • The Mad Titan (6:34) - A look at how Thanos' pursuit of the Infinity Stones has connected the various MCU movies thus far, Josh Brolin's portrayal of the character, and his endgame in Infinity War.
  • Beyond the Battle: Titan (9:36) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the heroes' battle with Thanos on Titan, from the on-set photography at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, to the visual effects, to the stunts.
  • Beyond the Battle: Wakanda (10:58) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the MCU's biggest battle scene ever, from filming on-location on a ranch in Georgia, to the fight choreography, to the weather challenges.
  • Deleted Scenes (10:13) - Four scenes ("Happy Knows Best," "Hunt for the Mind Stone," "The Guardians Get Their Groove Back" and "A Father's Choice").
  • Gag Reel (2:05)
  • Audio Commentary by Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely - The foursome discuss the evolution of the script, Josh Brolin's performance as Thanos, Thor's arc in the film, how the various characters are incorporated into the story and the actors' chemistry with one another, composer Alan Silvestri's score, the visual effects, the production design, the editing, the movie's ending and more.


Avengers: Infinity War is available from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment as of August 14th, 2018. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 2 hrs. 29 min.






* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on April 25th, 2018.



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