In the opening moments of the new blockbuster AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, I noticed that the IO in Marvel Studios was now fashioned into a "10" denoting the tenth anniversary of the first Marvel film, "Ironman".
How far we've come from that first, smaller but hugely entertaining movie.
INFINITY WAR is a blast. A two and a half hour assault of superhero entertainment that's exciting, funny and surprisingly moving.
The big bad of the Marvel universe has finally arrived in Thanos (well voiced and acted by Josh Brolin) whose crusade to save the universe is based on the most dramatic population culling since the 1972 cult sci-fi hit ZPG (look it up film nerds!).
All of our favorite Marvel superheroes are reunited to battle Thanos and its a HUGE cast.
The Civil War between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Ironman (Robert Downey Jr) is quickly cast aside as all the good guys realize the only chance they have against Thanos is to pull together.
The power of the film is that you feel that they'll be consequences if they don't. Rather than another rote, loud, boring battle, we watch the pieces of the battle against Thanos's quest to collect all the Infinity Stones take place across the universe.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth at his best) meets and pairs up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Doctor Strange (the excellent Benedict Cumberbatch) and Tony Stark band their giant egos together.
By the time we all end up in Wakanda for a battle to end all battles, the film feels more like "Lord of the Rings" in size, scale and emotional weight than a Marvel movie.
Balancing the real life and death consequences of this fight for the universe with plenty of laugh out loud moments, directors Anthony and Joe Russo continue their winning streak, making 150 minutes feel like less than two hours.
Tom Holland's Spiderman is the heart of the movie. He's awesome, as is Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Brolin brings the most shades of madness to any villain in these movies in decades, which makes Thanos all the more terrifying.
The last twenty minutes of the film are jaw dropping. I never saw the conclusion coming and it took me a minute to realize exactly what was happening.
This is the "Empire Strikes Back" of the Avengers films, telling you half of a huge story and doing it brilliantly. Like that film, it leaves you satisfied but on the edge of your seat wanting more, a LOT more.
I have a lot of questions, my Grandson had plenty of questions, mostly dealing with "what happened?"
You know what buddy, I dont really know either, but I can't wait to find out.
Don't let anyone tell you too much about INFINITY WAR, see it for yourself.
It's about sacrifice and loyalty and the very existence of the universe. If that sounds pretty heavy....just wait until you see it.
AVENGERS INFINITY WAR kicks off Summer Movie Season 2018 with a big bang, the biggest box office opening of all time and an A+.
"More power, Rabbit!!!"