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The following article contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.

Over the weekend, the world got it’s first real look at Thanos, the man who spent the last six years orchestrating a galactic chess match in an effort to achieve his endgame. Though we’ve seen Thanos pop up before (at the end of Avengers, and, most notably, for one scene in Guardians of the Galaxy), Avengers: Infinity War lets the mad titan step into the spotlight as he strides toward his endgame.

It’s a big moment for the MCU faithful, and to say that there was some pressure on Thanos to perform is a massive understatement. For all that pressure, however, the man who portrays Thanos, Josh Brolin, is more than ready to live up to those unfairly high expectations.

Avenger: Infinity War is unequivocally Thanos’ movie. He is the protagonist, the film’s biggest enigma, and the character with the most agency. That goodness, then, that CGI-tech has finally hit the point where it can capture the impact of Brolin’s powerful, but stoic performance. Time and again, film’s that rely on a villain who is CGI, the result can be cartoonish and underwhelming (just ask poor Justice League).

That isn’t the case with Thanos. The tech underneath Avengers: Infinity War finds the perfect marriage of Thanos’ alien features and Brolin’s classically Hollywood mug. The result is an animated creature who feels as real as Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. That technological feat allows Brolin’s performance as Thanos to shine through naturally.

The actor is allowed to lend his talent to the part rather than be buried underneath millions of dollars in computer-generated effects. And man does that guy bring it.

Avengers: Infinity War is only the opening act for Josh Brolin’s huge 2018; The actor will be seen again in just a few weeks when Deadpool 2 hits theaters on May 18.

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