Has a blockbuster ever been met with higher expectations than Avengers: Infinity War? Hype for the newest super-powered supergroup movie has been building for the last decade, with Marvel building a universe packed with a seemingly endless collection of characters that would even make Star Wars jealous (if both weren’t owned by Disney). With the nineteenth MCU film slated to hit theaters Friday, reviews have begun rolling in. So what are critics saying about Infinity War?
Given Marvel’s stellar track record – none of the films have a Rotten Tomatoes rating lower than 66 percent – it’s not exactly a surprise that critics have been (mostly) positive about Infinity War so far. Of the 122 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, only 17 have been categorized as negative, giving the third Avengers movie a solid 86 percent.
Positive reviews have praised the film’s ability to balance action and characters in a way that will leave audiences feeling entertained and satisfied. Britton Peele of Dallas Morning News called the film “the epitome of a summer blockbuster.”
“The explosive action is practically nonstop, breaking only occasionally for jokes and a touch of romance – though without ever breaking its grim, apocalyptic tone,” writes Peele.
Mark Daniell of the Toronto Sun agrees, saying Infinity War was “the ultimate payoff after an 18-film slate” and “the biggest, most ambitious piece of storytelling in the studio’s 10 years of existence.” He also praised Marvel’s machine-like ability to pump out multiple beloved blockbusters year after year, assuring viewers that “the minute you exit the theatre, you’ll be lining up at the box office to buy another ticket.”
Marvel movies are known for their epic battle sequences and critics agree that the massive showdown in Wakanda is guaranteed to be remembered as one of the greats. Cary Darling of the Houston Chronicle noted that just when it feels like Infinity Wars might be a disappointment, the film “comes roaring to life with a wake-’em-up battle on the fields of Wakanda and a quietly spectacular, sobering ending.”
Several other critics echo Darling’s sentiment, saying that the film’s major battle between Thanos and the titular Avengers is sure to satisfy casual and die-hard fans alike.
Reviews also praised the Russo brothers, who directed the film, for not letting the massive scale of Infinity War take away from the universe’s sweet and sappy heart that has made Marvel movies resonate with so many fans for so long. Peter Howell of the Toronto Star called it “a deeply satisfying tale of pathos,” while Stephen Whitty of the NY Daily News writes that Infinity War “isn’t afraid to go for truly dramatic moments or remind us that even superheroes can be mortal.”
But not everyone was blown away by Marvel’s latest film offering. While most critics have praised Marvel for its ability to fit so many beloved characters into one film, others feel the franchise may have bitten off more than it could chew. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, “There’s just too much of it. A victim of its own success, there are just too many appealing characters here to stuff into one story.”
Negative reviews have also noted Infinity Wars’ excessive runtime, as Slate’s Sam Adams noted that the 230-minute film is likely to leave audiences feeling “overstuffed and unsatisfied.”
Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune suggests that the success of Black Panther may cause audiences to feel underwhelmed by this run-of-the-mill Marvel movie, as the groundbreaking film set a new standard for the MCU.
“After Black Panther, does anyone care about that louche, narcissistic playboy Tony Stark as much as they used to?” Phillips asks. “Ten years ago this month, the Marvel universe was launched with the fresh, lively, relatively easygoing Iron Man. It seems more like 100.”
Still, these naysayers seem to be in the minority and ultimately, audiences will get to decide if Infinity War is another successful chapter in the Marvel catalog. And with the film currently projected to earn well over $200 million on its opening weekend, it’s hard to imagine any Marvel executives will lose too much sleep over a handful of bad reviews.