Greetings from the future!  Unless you are in Australia and New Zealand then we are just fashionably late.

With the highly-anticipated, ultimate team-up movie Avengers: Infinity War opening a day early in several Asian territories, we at Film Goblin knew we should be taking advantage of our global network to get the word out to you early.

This review will be guaranteed spoiler-free.

Our Man In Hue

The Imperial City on the banks of the Perfume River at the intersection of North and South Vietnam.  Home to the tombs of Emperors, a Forbidden Citadel and rather suspect imported beer from Laos.

And for the next three days, home to me!  I’m here on business and for a few glorious hours this morning it was the best kind of business: 100% Film Goblin business.

When my contacts pointed out that this movie opens here two days before the US and Europe, plus the local multiplex had a first screening at 9:05am then it seemed too good an opportunity to miss.

So after an early breakfast, a borderline dangerous taxi ride and braving an unbelievably busy theatre lobby, I was at the desk.  I handed over 60,000 dong (about £2 or around $2.80!), grabbed one of only 3 seats remaining among these industrious little Communists and waited.

That is a lot of dong, right eBob Junior?

We Don’t Need Your Life Story!  Is It Any Good?

Yes.  It’s very, very good.  It’s not perfect, but it’s about as close to perfect as a mass-market multiplex superhero CGI slugfest can get.

It has clearly been thought about.  It has clearly been made with a degree of love and care by people who were invested in their work.

Yo, Where The Black Panther At? Where Shuri???

After 10 years of interconnected movies and world building it really does feel like a pay-off.  It works hard to give the huge cast useful screen time.  In fact one of the most impressive feats is that the character team-ups and splitting into side missions feels organic.

In so many “team-up” movies the act of putting the actual teams together is laboured.  Not so here.  There are a couple of clunky moments where a character suddenly appears in the nick-of-time and you think “How did they know?”  but it’s mostly smooth sailing.

The gags land well, there are a lot of chuckles.  There were quite a few moments that made a usually reserved, Vietnamese audience clap/cheer/gasp and there were a few sobs at certain points.

In terms of viewing prep, it’s more important to have seen Thor: Ragnarok than Black Panther.  Indeed, a critical voiceover throws you straight from that movie into Infinity War even while the Marvel Studios logo is unfolding on the screen.

It is very long, but it zips along at such a pace I didn’t look at my watch once.

It does jump around a lot from location to location and there was one 15 minute section where this started to annoy me a little bit.  Many locations from previous Marvel entries appear, others are brand new.  Keep your eyes on the title cards or you might get lost.

Also forgo the bottomless bucket of Coke or pre-movie beers.  Your bladder could be your enemy in this movie as exposition is one and done; you might get back and wonder who is where and why?

What Is Bad?

Nothing is really bad.  Minor nitpicks are that Wakanda Super Science Girl remains annoying and unconvincing. It does devolve into CGI hordes destroying each other bloodlessly.  There are so many fights that if you aren’t into this type of thing you might get bored.

Yet there is so much in the good column that it doesn’t really matter.  Peter Dinklage’s cameo is very amusing for it’s own central gag.  Characters you weren’t expecting to see turn up.  It has a couple of surprisingly moving moments for this type of movie.

Too much botox, Miss Mantis

It’s no spoiler to tell you there are deaths.  More than one.  Many, many more than one! You will get a sense in the first eight minutes that this movie isn’t taking any prisoners.

The last half-hour have your emotions yoyoing from anxiety to relief back to anxiety every 5 minutes. It’s hack to say this but MCU fans will be edge-of-your-seat, wide-eyed and locked in as the heroes we’ve been following for ten years fight for their lives.

AND JESUS TITTYFUCKING CHRIST, THAT ENDING!

It’s probably the most fun I have had in a movie theatre just for pure entertainment and spectacle in a long, long time. Since Avengers, at least.

The theatre was rammed at 9am on a weekday and practically a fire hazard on the way out, with even more bodies cramming into subsequent screenings. Is this thing going all the way to #1?

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