Avengers: Infinity War 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Believe the hype. After eighteen films, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR intensifies the stakes in an all out Marvel extravaganza. Masterfully utilizing every one of our favorite superheroes, with the exception of Ant-Man and Hawkeye (now we know why they weren’t on the poster), INFINITY WAR pulls off an emotional, action-packed ride that delivers chills and thrills.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is truly an ensemble piece. Previously directing CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER and CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, directors Anthony and Joe Russo return to craft a complex film with lots of characters to choreograph. Seriously, read the cast list. In fact, I would say that properly balancing story and character with so many characters in one film would be impossible. INFINITY WAR proves me wrong. Everyone is a vital piece to the excitement and tension that’s ramped up tenfold in the darkest Marvel movie yet.
The action and emotion is extreme right out of the gate. The opening scene grabs the audience in a way to help us understand and prepare for the magnitude of danger where no one feels safe. However, even with the danger, the film still manages to find humor, which has always been my favorite aspect within the Marvel universe. We also get plenty of hero moments that will raise your body hair like Spider-Man and emotional beats that will send chills down your spine. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Spidey (Tom Holland) join forces with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) while Thor (Chris Hemsworth) teams up with The Guardians of the Galaxy (my personal favorite grouping). Captain America (Chris Evans) assembles most of the other gang (again, read the cast list) on earth, but that’s not to say any of these groupings don’t get jumbled a bit more at times.
It’s all been leading up to the big baddie Thanos (Josh Brolin) who was first seen in a post credit cameo in THE AVENGERS. In order to rule the universe, Thanos is after all six of the Infinity Stones that have carefully been introduced throughout the prior eighteen films within the MCU. While we have seen some of these powerful stones trade hands and put in different places, we know that Doctor Strange and Vision (Paul Bettany) each possess one.
Obviously, in order to follow along, it’s helpful if you’ve seen the previous films. Not every character gets a whole lot of individual screen time. Hopefully you understand that going in. In fact, Thanos, a bad guy we know little about within the movies, is probably on screen more than any one of our known superheroes. Thankfully, Thanos is a compelling villain with a surprising amount of heart or rather personality. Don’t get me wrong, he’s definitely an evil dude, but he doesn’t fit into that one-note villainy role that so many have done before.
I’m not pretending this is a flawless film. Some of the characters’ actions are questionable at best. But these are usually forgivable or at least can be overlooked due to minor discrepancies. Bottom line, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR delivers. Disney and Marvel have miraculously created a superhero film with far too many stars to possibly think a coherent storyline is possible. This is a very dark turn in the MCU that might split some fans. I loved every moment of the two and a half hour runtime that seemed to breeze by. I laughed, I cried, and I got super giddy over simple introductions of some of my favorite characters. That’s saying quite a bit from someone who has suffered from superhero fatigue.
Note: the 4K portion of the review was written by Brad Sturdivant
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: I think AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR might end up being a hotly debated 4K transfer among film enthusiasts. When compared to the Blu-ray, there is some noticeable uptick in details and color definition. The film looks more natural in 4K with the skin tones and backgrounds getting more depth to them. But the 4K presentation also appears darker at times, which I feel is going to throw off some of the more casual fans. I wouldn’t say it’s distracting because at the end of the day the 4K is still clearer, but the UHD and HDR upgrade have level-set some of the colors and brightness of the film. Film enthusiasts always prefer the natural, intended appearance of a film and I think most will be pleased with the way Infinity War is presented.
Audio: The Dolby Atmos track is a nice addition, but be warned; you’re going to want to crank this to get the full effect. I remember seeing Infinity War in the theater and was impressed by how the surround channels enveloped the listener. I didn’t feel that in the 4K, even if there were a few moments that rocked the walls.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does come with a Blu-ray, which has the following special features:
Commentary with Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely: More than any other Marvel film, INFINITY WAR has sparked much debate and this commentary is like having four intelligent friends talk about the film with you, assuming you didn’t want to say anything. But seriously, this is a great commentary track and I recommend it for anyone that felt like they wanted more answers after watching the movie.
Intro (1:30): Anthony and Joe Russo welcome you to the movie.
Deleted Scenes (10:13): Four deleted scenes, all of which are worth the time.
Strange Alchemy (5:05): The idea of uniting all of the different Marvel characters gets its own featurette.
The Mad Titan (6:35): The villain gets his own featurette as they follow him through the years, along with discussions on Josh Brolin’s performance.
Beyond the Battle: Titan (9:35): This feels like a combination of the previous two featurettes and talks about the team coming together and a little bit about Thanos. The title is a bit misleading since not much time is spent on Titan.
Beyond the Battle: Wakanda (11:00): The actual Wakanda is in Georgia and this featurette looks at the location as well as the big battle on Wakanda.