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Why you should see The Play That Goes Wrong in Hull this week

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By Amanda Ward
Theatre Reviewer for What’s On Hub

I have just had the best night out that I have had in yonks, after going to see the opening night of ‘The Play That Goes Wrong‘ at Hull New Theatre last night. I strongly recommend that if you have not already booked to see this show, that you go online and book a ticket NOW. I had tears of laughter rolling down my face all evening!

The play is about Cornley Polytechnic’s Drama Society’s latest production called “Murder at Haversham Manor”. As the title says, things go wrong. Ok, the whole play is a disaster but an hilarious disaster of failing scenery, props, fantastic acting and scrupulous timing.

As you sit in the auditorium, the production starts so get to your seat early and look out for ‘Winston’ the dog (poor thing has gone missing and is an important part of the play).

The cast include the audience in the pre-production set up which, yesterday evening, had the audience laughing and joining in even before the ‘scheduled’ start of the night. Without a doubt, this is a really talented company. Their gag timings and interaction with the audience were excellent. They had the audience eating out of their hands from the start and maintained that interest all evening.

I particularly enjoyed the audience interaction which continued throughout the show. The atmosphere was like that at a pantomime and if an audience member shouted out to the cast, then the cast member interacted with the audience much to the hilarity of the rest of us. By the interval I had no make up left on my face as my tears of laughter had washed it all off.

After the interval were more high jinks and hysterics. I couldn’t really pick out an outstanding cast member as they were all absolutely brilliant in their own way but Max Bennett playing the dual role of Cecil Haversham and Arthur the gardener had me in hysterics at his portrayal of the roles he took on tonight. He worked with the audience and his fellow cast members and was definitely my favourite.

There was not one minute without hilarity tonight. My sides physically ache from laughing so much and the whole audience left the auditorium with huge grins on their faces. That’s what I call a night out!

The Play That Goes Wrong is showing every night this week until Saturday (matinees on Thursday and Saturday) at Hull New Theatre. Tickets start at just £15 which for a play currently running in the West End right now too, I think is really good value.

Ladies, remember your waterproof mascara, some tissues and a pack of Tenas. Believe me, you’ll need them!

Former White Stripe Jack White Set for Hull on World Tour

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Grammy award-winning artist, Jack White, will be coming to Hull’s new 3,500 capacity concert venue later this year as part of his new world tour.

The former White Stripes and Raconteurs front-man will perform at Hull Venue on Thursday, 18 October. Tickets for the gig will go on sale at 10am this Friday (25 May).

When the White Stripes started in 1997 no one, least of all White, ever expected that a red, white and black two-piece band would take hold in the mainstream world. The band’s self-titled debut and sophomore effort De Stijl amassed critical acclaim and built a passionate underground following, but it was the release of 2001’s White Blood Cells that thrust the White Stripes onto magazine covers as they captivated larger audiences through worldwide touring. “Fell in Love With a Girl” served as the band’s breakthrough hit and its accompanying Michel Gondry Lego clip was chosen by Pitchfork as the #1 music video of the 2000s.

The release of Elephant in 2003 not only cemented the band’s reputation, but also offered the #1 hit single “Seven Nation Army,” which has since been appropriated as arguably the most popular chant in sports stadiums around the world.

White formed a “new band of old friends,” the Raconteurs, in 2006. Their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers featured the #1 hit single “Steady, As She Goes” and showed a markedly different side of White, one where songwriting, vocal and guitar duties were shared.

Jack White released his third solo album, Boarding House Reach (Third Man/XL Recordings), in March. The album, his first in four years, was produced by Jack White III and recorded at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN, Sear Sound in New York, NY, and Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, CA; it was mixed by Bill Skibbe, Joshua V. Smith, and White at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN.

Now back on tour, Jack will be performing at various venues throughout Europe, including London, Birmingham, Madrid, Barcelona and now Hull!

Tickets for Jack White at Hull Venue will go on sale Friday 10am via Ticketmaster
Tickets are priced £39 (standing) and £49 (seated). Booking fees apply.

Is Deadpool 2 a worthy sequel?

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Copyright: 20th Century Fox

By Adam Brannon
Film Reviewer from Movie Metropolis for What’s On Hub

Who would have thought we would get to this? I certainly didn’t. After the right royal mess 20th Century Fox made of everyone’s favourite anti-hero, Deadpool, in X-Men Origins: Wolverine all those years ago, it felt like a solo outing would never be possible, never mind a sequel.

Deadpool senior went on to gross nearly $800million worldwide, impressive for an R-rated (15 certification) flick, and was an undisputed king of comic-book hero movies. Like Guardians of the Galaxy was for Marvel Studios, Deadpool was a huge gamble that paid off massively thanks to Ryan Reynold’s brilliant comic-timing and an origins story that wasn’t done to death. Naturally, a sequel was always on the cards. But are we looking at a sequel of Empire quality or Speed 2: Cruise Control?

Copyright: 20th Century Fox

Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool (Reynolds) is back, and this time he decides to joins force with three mutants – Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) and Domino (Zazie Beets) – to protect a boy from the all-powerful Cable (Josh Brolin).

One-half of John Wick’s directing team, David Leitch, is thrust into the directing chair for Deadpool 2 after Tim Miller was unceremoniously dumped from the project due to creative differences with Ryan Reynolds (read into that what you will). Thankfully, he brings that trademark style that we again saw in Atomic Blonde to this sequel and with that comes plenty of stylised action and a neon/grey colour palate.

Surprisingly, that all works rather well for this film. Propped by another cracking performance from Ryan Reynolds who has really found his calling after years of mediocrity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he was absolutely born to play this role and his dry wit is given much more room to breathe this time around.

The rest of the cast are fine, if a little underdeveloped. Zazie Beets probably makes the most impact as mutant, Domino, but even she is a littler underpowered when compared to the brilliant work the MCU has done on its heroes over the years. Josh Brolin (who must be getting paid rather handsomely this year) is great as Cable, though it is difficult to hear his voice and not immediately think of Thanos.  T.J. Miller returns in a heavily reduced role as does Reynolds’ on-screen girlfriend Morena Baccarin who is criminally underused.

Story wise, it’s pretty much more of the same and that’s no bad thing. The fourth-wall breaking is as fresh as it felt two years ago and is cleverly used to hide the necessary exposition to bring the audience up-to-speed with what’s been happening in Deadpool-ville over the last couple of years.

The comedy hits more than it misses, though the constant quipps can be exhausting, and the action is filmed as confidently as you’d expect from the man who brought Keanu Reeves screaming into the 21st Century, but there is some incredibly poor CGI that is at odds with a movie costing over $100million. By incredibly poor, I don’t mean just a bit naff, I’m talking laughably bad.

The finale is vibrant, action-packed and as Deadpool himself says, CGI-filled, but it’s a little unoriginal and very much like its predecessor, though the inclusion of one particular character that I won’t spoil here is great fun to see.

There are also plenty of X-Men Easter eggs for fans to enjoy too. From characters showing up where you’d least expect them to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Stan Lee cameo, the film is full to the brim of in-references that only the most hardened of comic-book fans will notice on the first watch.

Thankfully, there is plenty of repeat-watch value in Deadpool 2, thanks mainly to the returning cast members. Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams (Wade Wilson’s blind roommate Al) and Karan Soni (taxi driver Dopinder) are welcome returnees and ensure the film has a little heart, though not too much. After all, that wouldn’t be the Deadpool way.

Overall, Deadpool 2 is a confident sequel to one of the best comic-book movies there is. What it does right, it does very well indeed. The comedy, performances and action are all spot on. Unfortunately, there are some very poor special effects over the course of the film and in an effort to make everything bigger and badder, it occasionally feels like a mass of scenes put together to make a film. A worthy sequel, but not an Empire or Spider-Man 2 in this instance.

Our score: ★★★★☆

Watch if you liked: Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool, Logan.

Deadpool 2 is showing now at Odeon Cinema, Hull

Check Cinema Times

Review: balletLORENT’s Rumpelstiltskin

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By Amanda Ward
Theatre Reviewer for What’s On Hub

I have just spent a delightful evening at Hull New Theatre captivated by Ballet LORENT’s latest production – Rumpelstiltskin. I was not sure what to expect to be honest, but being based on the Grimm’s fairy tale I knew to expect a great story.

Don’t go to this production expecting a classic ballet. Instead, expect to be treated to a stunning display of contemporary ballet from a company with a difference.

Ballet LORENT pride themselves on being “inter-generational”. The cast included the professional company supported by ‘graduates’ of their schools outreach programme, together with older local performers. Indeed the children who performed this evening were enchanting and a delight to watch.

I won’t go into the story, but if you see this production don’t expect the Ladybird books version. Ballet Lorent’s version has a dark side to contrast the glitter of the spun gold. Act One leaves you feeling so sad for the exiled Rumpelstiltskin; left to fend for himself and shunned by the adults, his plight really tore at the heart.

The story has been re-written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and a copy of the story is included in the programme in a font suitable for young children to read. There were many children in the audience all of whom were as captivated as the adults.

The calibre of the production team is impressive. BAFTA and Emmy-Winners for costume and established composers made for a fantastic production. The choreography was slick, clean and understandable. The scenery simple, effective and inspiring although my heart was in my mouth at some of the movement by the professional cast members who danced higher up on wobbly rigging – That took some skill.

The only downside to this excellent production is that it is a mid-week show. It’s for families and if this had been on at the weekend, I feel sure it would have almost sold out.

And there’s only been two showings at Hull New Theatre. The one last night, and one at 1:30pm today (Friday). But it’s going to Doncaster in October and I recommend taking a trip as you and any child you take along will be captivated.

How you can help the Ferens win Museum of the Year 2018

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Ferens Art Gallery is in the running to become Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018, the biggest museum and art gallery prize in the world. Now, the gallery is urging the residents and visitors to pledge their support.

Making the final five means it is one of the best museums in the country following a record breaking year in the spotlight when Hull celebrated being UK City of Culture. The Ferens was recognised for commissioning the UK’s largest naked art work with Spencer Tunick in 2016. His photographs, formed part of an internationally renowned exhibition SKIN and the Ferens also played host to the Turner Prize, one of the world’s most renowned arts prizes.

Simon Green, Director of Cultural Services at Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “We are immensely proud to have been shortlisted for this significant award. It is the world’s biggest prize in recognition of the best museum or art gallery and to win would be incredible for the city.

“We need to show the judges and the world that Ferens Art Gallery wants to win and deserves to win. We need everyone’s backing, highlighting how much the gallery means to the people of Hull and the wider region.”

To show your support visit the gallery, it is free, share your experiences, pictures and best memories within the gallery or on social media using the #museumoftheyear and #loveFerens

The Ferens’ bid to win the award is backed by several key figures within the Hull and UK Art community.

Councillor Stephen Brady OBE, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “This is great news for the city. The gallery played a major role in the art programme, achieving a record-breaking year with visitor numbers and a world-class programme. To be chosen as a finalist opens up more opportunities for the gallery and builds on the profile further.

“I have seen first-hand how art and culture can inspire and improve lives; the council is committed to ensuring the Ferens will continue to succeed and bring the very best art to Hull. The quality of the competition is extremely high but the time is right for Ferens Art Gallery to win and to continue to tell its story to the world.”

Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull and Admiral of the Humber, Councillor John Hewitt, said: “The gallery has shown its ability to successfully host major exhibitions, attracting huge visitor numbers. This is another moment for Hull to shine and for everyone in Hull to be proud of their art gallery and city.”

Katy Fuller, Creative Director and Joint CEO of the Culture Company, which delivered Hull’s transformative City of Culture 2017 programme, said: “We are delighted by this recognition of the phenomenal success of the Ferens Art Gallery and extended our congratulations to the staff who worked tirelessly to make 2017 a game changer. Working in partnership with Ferens and Tate to deliver events such as the Turner Prize, one of the world’s most high-profile art competitions, was one of the highlights of our year and enabled Ferens to build on its excellent reputation as one of the UK’s finest regional galleries.  As the only museum in the north to be shortlisted, this shows that Hull continues to remain firmly in the cultural spotlight as we all work together to build a strong legacy from 2017.”

Spencer Tunick, international artist commissioned for Sea of Hull, said: “The Ferens Art Gallery is such a deserving candidate for this award. Their ambition and boldness are contagious and it was wonderful to work with them on the Sea of Hull installation. I would like to wish them the very best of luck in winning this award.”

Hannah Scorer, Sea of Hull participant, said: “When I reflect back, participating in Sea of Hull was the moment I first really felt the gathering momentum of Hull’s year as City of Culture. Almost two years on, every time I go into Ferens I feel a little thrill that there is a piece of art hanging in there that I am part of. Recently I was there with my young daughter, showing her approximately where I stood. A visitor standing next to me gave us a little smile and said ‘that’s right near where I was’ – this shared, conspiratorial joy over feeling part of something special and unique is one of the legacies of the project for those of us who took part. I am very aware of how rare and privileged an experience it is to have the opportunity to be part of the creation of a piece of art in your own city, and to then be able to see that piece hanging in your local gallery. The legacy of participation extends into the way I interact with the city – I think it will always be a source of joy to be walking down a street busy with traffic, people and noise and remember seeing it silent and empty but for 3,000 naked, painted bodies lying on the concrete as dawn broke.”

Waldemar Januszczak, art critic, said: “There are a 1,000 good reasons to go to Hull. For me, the best of them is the Ferens Art Gallery. The collection is full of surprises, and the recent refit has transformed the spaces. The Turner Prize looked really good in there.”

Gareth Neame OBE, Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA award Producer of Downton Abbey, said: “What a huge delight it is to visit The Ferens – a real gem and without doubt one of the stand out small art galleries in the UK. And what a wonderful organisation the Art Fund is, having done such great work to promote and retain works of art in this country. In the year immediately following Hull’s successful innings as our latest City of Culture it is absolutely fitting that the Ferens has made the final shortlist and it so deserves to win. This is the only museum or gallery in the north of England to have made it onto the list this time and whether you live locally or from further afield across the country or abroad I urge you to make a plan to visit The Ferens.”

Tim Knox, Director of the Royal Collection, said: “This is a gallery with real treasures – from the sad-eyed Portrait of a Young Woman by Frans Hals, to a clutch of Edwardian tear-jerkers, such as Frederick William Elwell’s The First Born of 1913. Add to that a rich group of Modern British pictures, and some exciting new commissions from contemporary artists to celebrate last years’ hugely successful City of Culture. Completely rehung and relit, with spectacular loans from HM The Queen and innovative public programmes welcoming locals and visitors alike. In short, The Ferens, is one of the most exciting places to see and learn about art in Britain today.”

The Royal Collection’s Charles I Masterpiece by Van Dyck – currently on display at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull

Sir Jonathan Marsden, former Director, Royal Collection Trust, said: “It has been inspiring to take part in several collaborations with the Ferens in the last few years.  By any measure – the quality of the collection, the capabilities and ambition of the tiny staff, the extent, enthusiasm and engagement of local voluntary support, or the recent acquisitions, exhibitions and spectacular attendance figures – this is a truly outstanding Gallery at the top of its game.”

Cosey Fanni Tutti has also shown her support for the gallery in the Guardian.

The winner will be announced Thursday 5 July.

To show your support visit the gallery, it is free and share your experiences, photos and best memories within the gallery or on social media using the #MuseumoftheYear and #loveFerens

5 Reasons to Try New Menu at Whistling Goose

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By Dave Bushnell

A whopping 48oz steak is now on the menu in Hull as Flaming Grill bring in a new menu with fresh new indulging challenges.

Last week, we headed over to the Whistling Goose as they cooked off a load of samples and we were there to give it a try.

Flaming great steaks!

Ok sorry, couldn’t resist the cheesy pun there, but I do genuinely love the food here. We dine here regularly so when the news of the new menu broke, I quickly invited myself to take part in their preview night (never one to miss an opportunity!).

My pick of the night has to be the 48oz Hunter’s Pizza Steak. As much as I’d like to say I took on the challenge and beat it; it was just a sample (this time!) but the piece I had was thick, juicy and so so tasty! The flavours combined well with the BBQ marinade, melted cheese, bacon and onions. Seriously, it’s a really great steak, trust me!

There’s a huge choice on the menu

Fajitas are back on the menu! With them you get the choice of chicken, salmon or steak served with fried onions and peppers and a hot skillet. You get salad, salsa and sour cream with a fajita wrap too. A great option if you fancy something a little more balanced.

The Sports Platter is a great sharer, particularly if you’re watching the footy or rugby with some mates. It has a pot full of chips, topped with bacon popcorn and smothered in nacho cheese sauce. Very tasty. It comes with garlic ciabatta, iceberg lettuce topped with coleslaw and pulled pork in BBQ sauce. You get dips of sour cream and JD’s BBQ sauce.

Another great platter to share (even though it’s challenge!) is the new ‘Pub on a Platter’ which is a combo of a full rack of BBQ pork ribs, chicken wings, onion rings and an XL Cheese & Bacon Burger.

We also had a share of the 1KG Nachos Challenge – a full tray of crunchy nachos with salsa, sour cream and nacho cheese sauce! There was 2KG tray of BBQ Chicken wings. We didn’t dare try the Tabasco sauce which accompanies the challenge dish so we just enjoyed what were really tender chicken wings and tasty BBQ sauce.

One of the strangest-looking of the new dishes served on the night was the Campfire Combo which is a bit like a mini-mixed-grill. It was an 8oz rump steak, served with fried onions, mushrooms and grilled tomato, but the strange part is the chicken bites it came with which were charcoal coloured. Tasted great but it’s a strange sensation expecting to bite into something burnt and then it’s not. Obviously that’s a good thing.

The Half-Rack of BBQ Pork Ribs is my bargain of the new menu though. At just £7.79, you get a half rack served with seasoned fries, corn on the cob, coleslaw and a side salad.

After the huge amount of dishes, they also brought out a range of the new desserts including the enormous Brain Freeze Challenge which had 14 scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream and a full piece of chocolate fudge cake. All topped with cream, pieces of brownie, cadbury crunchie pieces, crispy wafers and chocolate sauce. Once again, it’s part of the Challenges so if you think you can take it on all by yourself, go ahead.

 

First to beat challenges gets ’em free!

On the night, manager Carl also said they’re offering the first people to beat the challenges will not only get on the wall, but also get their meal free! As if you didn’t need any more incentive, hey?

It’s family friendly

One of the reasons we head to the Whistling Goose quite often is because it’s really family friendly. They have a huge car park making it easy to get the kids out of the car. There’s also a kids play area outside in the beer garden which once again, is huge. Perfect during the summer as you can eat outside too! The kids get to go play while you’re waiting for your order.

Prices and Exclusive Offer

Another reason we eat here is because prices are really pretty good too. There are plenty of dishes around the £6 mark and steaks range from £8 – £14 depending on the type and size. The Apocalypse Cow Burger Challenge is just £9.99. The 48oz Ultimate Hunters Pizza Steak is £24.99 but there’s a 24oz version for just £16.49.

But we’ve now got a 20% discount offer for What’s On Hub Premium members. It’s a good discount to start – as it includes food and drinks – but what’s great about this offer is that you can combine it with their existing offers too! For example, Mondays – Fridays they do 2 mains for £9.99, on Thursdays they do 2-for-1 burgers. On Fridays they offer a free beer when you buy any steak. With all these, you can still get 20% discount! Full offer details are here.

 

Why you MUST see Avengers: Infinity War at Hull Cinemas this week

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Copyright: Marvel

By Adam Brannon
Film Reviewer from Movie Metropolis for What’s On Hub

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been delighting fans of the comics and thrilling moviegoers since 2008 when Iron Man steamrolled itself onto the big screen in an epic fashion. From the special effects to the casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, it was the complete package.

Since then Marvel hasn’t really had a blip, ignoring Thor: The Dark World and to a lesser extent, Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The culmination of all those films through Phase One, Phase Two and Three has come to a head in this, Avengers: Infinity War. It promises to be the biggest, baddest and most epic Marvel movie to date, but is it actually any good?

Copyright: Marvel

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet – the evil and monstrous Thanos (Josh Brolin). On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artefacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

Directed by Antony and Joe Russo, the masterminds behind the fantastic Captain America sequels, Infinity War picks up just after the end of Thor: Ragnarok. This starting place seems fitting and not jumping too far ahead of the finale of that film is perfect to reintroduce our beloved heroes.

And it’s befitting of mentioning Captain America: Civil War in particular as if you enjoyed the airport scene of that film, Avengers: Infinity War is definitely the movie for you. Filled to the brim with stunning action scenes, Infinity War plays out like a highlights reel of some of Marvel’s best bits.

The cast form one of the best ensembles ever put to screen, though from each of their solo outings, this is really no surprise. Seeing Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America et al come back together is frankly, a joy and the film works best when there are as many heroes on screen together as possible.

A highlight in this instance is Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange – prepare to jump on the Steven Strange bandwagon. After a relatively lacklustre solo outing, his character pops on the screen and really benefits from the Russo brothers zingy direction.

As is the case with many films involving such a large cast, much of the 149 minute runtime is spent following a few of them at once, each going about their own mission in relation to stopping Thanos and his possession of the Infinity stones. If I count correctly, there are 3 quests going on at once, but only two are really successful.

The third, which I’m not going to spoil here involves Thor and despite Chris Hemsworth’s usual charisma, it’s a disappointing side quest that has a whiff of the Casino planet saga in Star Wars: The Last Jedi about it.

Special effects wise, this is a $400million movie, so you know what to expect. For the most part, the CGI from Industrial Light & Magic is seamless and really rather beautiful. The motion capture work done on Josh Brolin to turn him into Thanos is exquisite and the end result is a truly menacing villain. Elsewhere however, there are a few corners cut if you look closely enough, but I’ll leave it down to you to try and spot them.

Focussing on Thanos himself, he proves to be a fitting villain for a film this gargantuan in scale. His towering presence and almost demonic sense of entitlement completely does away with the stereotypical Marvel bad-guy problem that the MCU has been suffering with. Obviously helped massively by Brolin’s incredible performance, Thanos is up there with Loki in terms of sheer entertainment value.

Nevertheless, Avengers: Infinity War is not a perfect film and it would be wrong of me to pretend it was. Despite its massive length, elements do feel rushed from time-to-time and cramming 20+ characters into a film was never going to be a slam dunk. Some moments that should have deep resonance really don’t reach the emotion they were clearly intended to do, and that’s because of the film’s need to tie up as much of the plot as possible. Thankfully, from a tonal perspective, the Russo brothers manage to keep the balance almost perfect and it’s a vast improvement over Joss Whedon’s disjointed Age of Ultron. 

My biggest issue with the film however, is the ending. Avengers: Infinity War is not a film you come to the end of and applaud. In fact, the main response from the entire screening of the film I was watching was a collective groan as the end credits begin to roll. Despite the promise that Infinity War would work as a standalone movie; it just doesn’t. It’s very much a starting chapter for what comes next in Avengers 4. But we need to wait just over a year for the concluding chapter to arrive in UK cinemas, and that is incredibly infuriating.

Overall, Avengers: Infinity War is a culmination of everything Marvel has been working towards for a decade. In its favour are an incredible cast, that trademark MCU humour and some stunning action sequences but these are offset by an infuriating ending and a lack of emotional heft to the film’s inevitable darker moments.

This may definitely be the biggest movie in the MCU and it’s definitely the 2nd best Avengers movie, but it’s not quite up there with the very best.

Our score: ★★★★★

Watch if you liked: Avengers 1&2, Doctor Strange, Iron Man.

Avengers: Infinity War is showing now at Odeon Cinema, Hull

Check Cinema Times