I've been unable to write this column for the past 50 hours since I watched Avengers: Infinity War for the first time. My brain has been trying to comprehend how incredible everything about this movie (and by extension, the franchise as a whole) is. In writing this, I hope to be able to move on a bit to what's next.
I'm not going to go on and on about this - but what Marvel has done with this franchise was the most impressive thing I've seen any company do in my lifetime. I am lucky to live in the era that I do. (Although being born in 2000 would have been cool. It would have been more acceptable for me to love these movies as much as I do, I'd be the same age as Spider-Man, and I'd have had a tablet to play with as a kid instead of an OG Gameboy.)
Avengers: Infinity War is not the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's not the capstone that sits atop the arch. That will come in a year with the release of the (as of now) untitled sequel followup to Infinity War. At that point, the universe won't be over... but it won't be what it is now. It will have to hit reset in some form or another. At that time I'll re-evaluate how much I want to retain my fandom going forward. Until that day, a Marvel Movie fan I will remain.
AND AS a Marvel movie fan - Avengers Infinity War was positively astounding. As a person - it was the best movie-going experience of my life - topping an experience I had previously written off as being "untoppable" when I watched The Avengers back in 2012.
Infinity War is a movie that's never been possible before. No other movie has had so much context set up for it... and literally 6+ years of hype built up. All of these disparate elements coming together - having 50+ characters that you already know and care about coming together, developing, meeting each other, working together to a common goal.
This movie showcased 30 characters, paid homage to at least a dozen previous movies, and introduced a new bad guy whose immediately got to be included in every "best bad guys of all time" conversation from this point forward:
Not to mention - Infinity War did all this while being funny, action-packed, emotional, and just downright entertaining. I've never been so thoroughly on the edge of my seat for 2 1/2 hours before. Never before have I seen a movie that felt so important. Only twice before have I ever felt so at awe about something I was watching - and both of those times took place in this same franchise. Never did I think that they'd be able to pull everything off thus far and have it all be so good.
I don't want to talk it up too much. I don't want to talk spoilers. I just wanted to say holy cow what a story thus far.
Now I just hope they don't trip over the finish line.
18. Iron Man 3
17. Iron Man 2
16. The Incredible Hulk
15. Doctor Strange
13. Ant Man - I love this movie, and the fact that there's a dozen above it in my mind is astounding
12. Captain America: The First Avengers
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
9. Iron Man
8. Black Panther
7. Guardians of the Galaxy - again, how could this be not in the top 5? BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY GREAT ONES
6. The Avengers
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
3. Thor: Ragnarok
2. Captain America: Civil War
1. Avengers: Infinity War