The most highly-anticipated movie event of the year was also the hottest ticket in town last night, as the UK had its first screening of Avengers: Infinity War.
Over ten years and 19 films in the making, the superhero movie is the culmination – so far, at least – of the comic book characters who appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The story, in a nutshell, sees our heroes joining forces to fight the cosmic, and seemingly indestructible, super villain Thanos.
Thanos has got his hands – well, one hand in particular – on a rather nifty glove adorned with a couple of shiny jewels... but once The Infinity Gauntlet has all six Infinity Stones (super powerful gems forged in the Big Bang) then the owner has control over the universe.
The movie picks up directly from the ending of Thor: Ragnarok. From there it’s destruction all the way – no, there’s no stopping to really explain who anyone is, or develop their characters – as a circular spaceship descends first upon New York. The Children of Thanos have come to Earth to find two of the Infinity Stones. One is under the care of Doctor Strange, the other in the forehead of The Vision.
In the two years since the events of Captain America: Civil War, The Avengers have disbanded and scattered. Two of them – Scarlet Witch and The Vision – have taken up residence in Edinburgh. Credited simply as “Scotland”, it is of course raining when we first catch up with the heroes.
Walking up Johnston Terrace, they see a news report of the destruction in America in the window of a chippy – which also has a poster, complete with Saltire, promising “we will deep fry your kebab”.
Before they have a chance to take this in (the destruction, not the chance of a deep-fried kebab) they are attacked by two of Thanos’ Children, an explosive battle ensuing across The Royal Mile.
Separated, the pair are smashed around the City Chambers, before engaging in combat on the roof – and ultimately inside St Giles’ Cathedral. Escaping, the couple take flight and end up crashing through the new glass ceiling of Waverley Station.
What’s interesting about the Edinburgh of the Avengers universe is it looks decidedly glossy, as well as being entirely empty. Not so much as a curtain twitching...
Winning the battle, there’s a brief shot of the Avengers Quinjet taking off over the city, and a view of the Castle from inside the ship... and that’s your lot.
It is, essentially, a sci-fi war movie with superheroes which will leave you breathless and wide-eyed. On a cinematic level, it’s unlikely you’ve ever seen something like this before.
And if you’re sticking around to watch the post-credits scene, keep an eye out for the last member of the epic cast to be credited: one Laura Miller as the Scottish News (STV) Reporter.