It's all been leading to this... sort of.
Marvel are certainly marketing this as a cinematic event a decade in the making, and, depending upon your point-of-view, the wait for Avengers: Infinity War has been somewhere between 4-10 years long.
It was 2014 that the movie, then known as Part 1 & Part 2, was announced, while two years previous The Avengers ended with a tease of the overarching Big Bad, Thanos. Before even that, though, a cinematic universe on a scale never before attempted was being born with Iron Man. Infinity War, then, is the culmination - or at least the beginning of the end - for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That period has seen the continued rise of superhero movies as a massively bankable genre, and it means Infinity War arrives with an almost unprecedented level of hype to try and live up to. The only comparable film of this decade is the admittedly even bigger The Force Awakens, which had the advantage of being the first Star Wars episode in a decade.
Avengers 3 brings its own baggage, as it has the pressure of bringing together - and topping - 18 different movies. That it'll make a f**kload of money isn't in question - with it having a good chance of becoming the highest-grossing comic book movie of all time - but living up to the hype is, because it's not something most movies could actually accomplish. Even The Force Awakens, while good, was more along the lines of a 4* welcome back ride than a truly transcendent entry into the saga.
Avengers: Infinity War, however, is not most movies.
If you're a fan of Marvel comics and/or the MCU, it's really hard to imagine how much more you could want from this movie. It's not flawless by any means (but what film is?), but when it comes to all the things that have been hyped up through the marketing or purely through the years, it delivers. Thanos is a brutal, menacing, yet slightly sad villain who proves to be worth the six-year wait and the whole movie is, by turns, funny, poignant, thrilling, smart, epic, shocking, and pure blockbuster cinema magic.
There are years of expectations, theories, character developments, and plot threads that this movie, with just a few misses, could've buckled under the weight of. Instead, it manages to soar on the back of them, delivering one of the most satisfying MCU experiences to date. Given the ridiculous, universe-destroying levels of hype surrounding it, they really have done the impossible.
Next Page: The OTHER Way It Does The Impossible...