After some sterling endorsement from those who attended the US premiere of Avengers: Infinity War in Los Angeles yesterday, the reviews have landed.
And it would seem that Marvel has – in the most part – done it again.
The ambitious third movie in the Avengers series – and the 19th in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far – has more superheroes than any of the Marvel movies so far, making this something of a risk for the studio and directors the Russo brothers to try and hang together.
But as the New York Post reckons: “All the past decade’s Marvel movies have been heading toward this showdown. Turns out the payoff was worth the wait.”
Per the Radio Times: “Trust me – if you’ve enjoyed any aspect of the last 10 years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Infinity War will have something for you, and a lot of that is down to how it manages its stable of superheroes.”
Adds Peter Travers in Rolling Stone: “The Russo brothers have clearly never learned the concept that less is more. They’ve used the premise of an Avengers reunion to put on a fireworks explosion of action and laughs (those roguish Guardians!) that won’t quit.”
In Empire, Helen O’Hara hails new villain Thanos in a full five-star notice.
“Marvel has solved their third-act problem and villain problem and then some. However prepared you feel, you are not ready for Thanos. But then, neither are our heroes,” she writes.
“’It’s not overselling it to say that the fate of the universe is at stake,’ says one character, early on in Infinity War. If the universe he meant was the Marvel one, there’s no need to worry. We couldn’t tear ourselves away now if we wanted to.”
Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, offering up four-stars, also found himself enjoying it more than he thought he should, writing: “It’s just a supremely watchable film, utterly confident in its self-created malleable mythology. And confident also in the note of apocalyptic darkness. I know it’s silly. And yet I can’t help looking forward to the next supersized episode of mayhem.”
There are those less keen, of course.
Michael Phillips at the Chicago Tribune writes: “Ten years ago this month, the Marvel universe was launched with the fresh, lively, relatively easygoing Iron Man. It seems more like 100.”
“Not even the threat of universal annihilation, it seems, will keep this assembly line from chugging ahead with its signature polished, mechanized efficiency,” adds Justin Chang in Variety.
Digital Spy also found itself slightly let down.
“Never boring, visually impressive, but ultimately rather depressing and unsatisfying, Infinity War will leave you wanting more. But not necessarily in the best way,” it writes.
A.O. Scott in the New York Times adds: “The noisy, bloated spectacles of combat were surely the most expensive parts of the movie, but the money seems less like an imaginative tool than a substitute for genuine imagination.”
Perhaps the takeaway from the critical reception – though it’s currently rated 86% ‘fresh’ by Rotten Tomatoes, there’s an abundance of three-star reviews – is that if you’re still unconvinced about Marvel movies, this perhaps won’t be the movie to change your mind.
But if you’re already on board, you’re in for quite a ride.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt, it’s out across the UK from tomorrow.