For Kevin Feige, having Wakanda play a big role in “Avengers: Infinity War” was a decision that was made long before the release of “Black Panther.” “With the success of ‘Black Panther,’ it seems obvious that a third of our biggest film would take place in Wakanda, but the truth is we were shooting this film at the same time we shot ‘Black Panther,’ says the producer of Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” a film which sees the comic book characters attempting to protect the world from Thanos, a dangerous menace who is on a quest for world domination.
An outcast and mutant, who has always been the least defeatable villain, Thanos (Josh Brolin), is a virtually indestructible character who’s stronger than the Hulk and had appeared very briefly in three other MCU films. The “Avengers: Infinity War” puts the master villain front and center in this pulse-pounding, high-octane film.
Thanos is on a quest to collect all six cosmically powered gems called the Infinity Stones, which once in his possession will give him unimaginable power over all of humanity. To defeat him, the Avengers summons up every ragtag bunch of rascals and rebel members from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The superheroes include Spiderman, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Star-Lord, Vision, Falcon, Black Widow and Black Panther, who plays an integral role having now opened the borders of Wakanda so that its assets and treasures can be shared with the rest of the world.
Although it can feel a tad crowded on screen, the characters are woven in the story in a particular way so it allows us to take smaller bites at telling the story as the superheroes dart from space to earth to thwart Thanos’ goal. There’s action, there’s humor, and plenty of camaraderie as the greatest ensemble of superhero characters — some who have never before interacted with each before are united for one common goal.
In a story that includes over 30 integral characters, directors Anthony and Joe Russo seamlessly integrate all of them together in a way that feels authentic by pitting the two egotistical superheroes Doctor Strange and Iron Man against each other and building on that mentor relationship between Spider-Man’s Peter Parker and Iron Man plus inciting a little jealousy in Star-Lord who finds himself taking a back seat when Thor comes into their midst.
It’s a brilliant film that encourages you to enjoy yourself even when you’re not quite sure what’s going on. In addition to the adventure it provides, the film is filled with a sense of fun as it brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time, which wraps in Wakanda as it affords the Avengers a safe place to develop new tech and armor and we get to see a glimpse of what Wakanda technology can bring to the Avengers team.
“Wakanda ended up making sense, not only because it’s the most advanced and powerful, but also because of the journey that T’Challa had been on in terms of recognizing the world as one tribe and trying to evolve his country to the point where that was their new world view. So, the idea that Wakanda would lead the Earth for its last stand against destruction just felt right on so many levels,” shares Anthony Russo.
“Avengers: Infinity War” releases in U.S. theaters.
Samantha Ofole-Prince is an entertainment industry specialist and contributes to Trendy Africa Magazine from Los Angeles.