Thanos is already in possession of the first of six all powerful Infinity Stones, having secured the Power Stone already. He knows that someone on board the stricken ship has the Tesseract, which holds the Space Stone, and he is determined to get his hands on it. Thanos kills Heimdall but not before the revered sentry of Asgard summons the Bifrost sending Hulk back to Earth.
At this Loki tries to bargain with Thanos giving up the Tesseract in exchange for sparing Thor's life, but ultimately the Titan crushes Loki's throat with a single hand, squeezing all life from him, watched on by a helpless Thor. Thanos now armed with two Infinity Stones departs the stricken ship with his children, destroying it in the process.
Nebula is able to effect her escape from the clutches of Thanos, and establish contact with the remaining Guardians asking them to rendezvous with her on the now destroyed home planet of Thanos, Titan. Meanwhile Stark and Strange are are able to over power Maw with the help of Spider-Man and eject him out of the ship floating to his death in infinite space. They crash land the now stricken ship on Titan where they meet Quill, Drax and Mantis. After the initial introductions are dispensed with, they hatch a plan to relieve Thanos of his Infinity Gauntlet.
Thanos arrives, and at Vision's insistence Maximoff destroys his Mind Stone shattering it into a thousand fragments, preventing Thanos from securing the final Infinity Stone to complete the full set of brightly coloured all powerful gems. With the Avengers scattered having failed in their attempts to overpower Thanos, the Titan shows empathy towards Maximoff before activating the Time Stone and reversing her most recent actions to the time just a few minutes before. Vision lives, with the Mind Stone in tact, which Thanos plucks from his forehead, killing Vision in the process once and for all. At that Thor appears and impales Thanos with his Stormbreaker Axe. Just when you thought you could breathe a sigh of relief Thanos activates the now complete Infinity Gauntlet and is teleported off this little blue planet.
Thanos plans for the universe are thrown into motion with a click of his fingers as life begins to disintegrate quickly. Those first to disappear like ash in the wind are the likes of Strange and Parker, and Drax, Quill and Mantis still on Titan, then T'Challa, Barnes, Groot, Maximoff and Wilson in Wakanda. Stark and Nebula remain intact on Titan, as do Banner, Rogers, Thor, Okoye (Danai Gurira), Rhodes, Rocket and Romanoff on the battlefield of Wakanda. Meanwhile, Thanos has arrived on his home planet, walks into his mountain top home from home and watches a sun setting on another day as he recovers from his injury.
In the post credit sequence, we see Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) driving through a busy street when a car in front spins randomly out of control and collides with theirs. Getting out to investigate Hill sees that the car is driverless, just as a helicopter flying overhead spins recklessly out of control smashing into an office tower. Looking on, Hill begins to disintegrate, and as Fury sends a distress signal so he too begins to disintegrate.
The 'Avengers : Infinity War' is a movie of epic proportions and it certainly helps if you have sat through the previous instalments of the MCU that feature those characters portrayed in this film. This is not intended to be a standalone instalment, but rather a continuation and a culmination of the previous ten years, eighteen films and several MCU tie-ins and cross-overs. Directors the Russo brothers under the watchful gaze of Marvel Studios Producer Kevin Feige, have crafted a film that delivers on many levels - the action set pieces, of which there are plenty, are delivered effectively and expertly on a grand scale, there are moments of emotion and there are laugh out loud one liners too. Never does the ego of one Superhero get in the way of another, and each character is given sufficient latitude and screen time to advance their story arc just a little further without it being repetitive. Josh Brolin as Thanos gives a convincing performance as a giant of a man whose universe crushing outwardly persona gives way on more than one occasion to inner emotion and a level of thinking that reveal more than a cardboard cut out of an intergalactic arch villain. As for the rest of the cast, they too can be hardly faulted - after all we know them all well and have seen them conquer Earth based enemies and otherworldly foe too, but this time, have they met their match - it sure looks like it! As the closing credits says 'Thanos will be back' - one year from now. This fact of course may disappoint some viewers expecting closure, as will the death of several of their favoured characters, the omission of some others (most notably Hawkeye, Ant-Man or Valkyrie), the fact that every otherworldly planet visited has a breathable atmosphere and appears to have a temperate climate, and the elongated running time may be too big an ask for some. My advice however, if you are a follower of the MCU, then watch this film on the biggest screen and be prepared to sit through two and a half hours of solid Marvel movie entertainment at its biggest, boldest and brashest - you won't be disappointed.
-Steve, at Odeon Online-