This film has been ten years in the making. This review… roughly 12 hours.

Avengers: Infinity War is the multi-franchise, colossal-budget, box-office assault that everyone from your sister to your grandma is excited for. It acts as a sequel to the first Avengers, Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok and is the culmination of all the MCU has done to date. The plot, as covered before, involves galaxy-smashing mega-baddie Thanos rampaging across the universe in search of the six infinity stones in a quest to attain unlimited power. The Avengers, teaming up with their new pals, the Guardians of the Galaxy, have to stop him.

So, what did I think of the movie? I think it was an incredibly satisfying gourmet meal for a Marvel fan and possibly the single most impressive franchise blockbuster I’ve ever seen. As far as sheer balance goes, at least. The ludicrous number of characters, plots and payoffs this movie juggles is simply beyond credibility. And, for the most part, it absolutely succeeds. I used to give Joss Whedon’s original Avengers enormous credit for being able to balance all those characters so expertly. Now? Only six heroes Joss? That’s chump change mate.

What I will say is: if you follow the Marvel films closely, as I do, you’ll really enjoy this film. If you’re new to the Marvel universe or you’ve only seen a few of them, you’ll be totally lost. The Russo brothers usually do a great job of making their films accessible to non-fanboys. In this instance though, I think it was far too much to ask.

As for everything else, it’s mostly great. I wish one character, in particular, had had a bit more screen time but that’s my only nitpick. The classic Marvel stuff is as it always is. Funny quips, great action etc. In this one though, they’ve thrown in some actual stakes and dark, affecting, emotional moments too. And these get time to breathe rather than deflated with a joke a la Guardians or Ragnarok.

Admittedly, I was never going to dislike this movie. I’m in too deep. But it’s a rare film that can make me audibly gasp with a reveal like this one did. Especially considering I was sat tired and grumpy in a midnight screening between two loudly chomping idiots.