Avengers: Infinity War is a cinematic masterpiece, and while its newfound reverence within the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is probably without question, by the time the dust has settled, Anthony and Joe Russo's film will be hailed as a defining event in the superhero genre, and possibly even as the finest comic book movie ever made.
What the third Avengers film actually achieves is something truly spectacular. Having utilised over a decade's worth of stories, spin-offs and performances to add to its emotional impact, Infinity War has transcended the boundaries of what franchise films could typically achieve. That grants the MCU's latest feature a powerful kind of salience, and while it's somewhat inaccessible to the uninitiated, for those who have taken part in the Marvel Studios experiment, Infinity War is something else entirely.
Seminal moments are no stranger to the superhero genre; Christopher Nolan pioneered the use of sub-genres in his part crime thriller, part drama The Dark Knight in 2008, and the film that launched a thousand others - 2008's Iron Man - sewed the seeds of the cinematic universe franchises today are desperate to imitate.
The latest Avengers can count itself among those films as well, and while the benchmark for the MCU's quality has long been considered Civil War, the Russos' latest effort succeeds their last on almost every account.