Avengers: Infinity War gives Marvel the daunting task of making not just a great superhero film, but one that, while populated with every iconic character that has appeared in its cinematic universe, still makes sense narratively.
At The Heels Of 'Black Panther'
Not to mention that it follows Black Panther, a wildly successful Marvel entry that implemented the most used superhero tropes but somehow found a way to make the end product fresh and appealing even to those who've gotten used to the "saving the world" narrative.
Joe and Anthony Russo directed the superhero bonanza that is Infinity War, veteran filmmakers of the Captain America series. Do they manage to pull it off? Well, for the most part, maybe they do. Several critics are calling the film "ambitious" and a "total knockout," while some regard its overpopulation of heroes as one of its various faults.
Below are excerpts from critic reviews for the film.
Avengers: Infinity War Review Roundup
The Verge: "The film can't spread around its camera time in equal measure, but it does give all the characters an equal shot at despair. A decade of films have led up to Thanos, and Avengers: Infinity War delivers on that threat with a film that upends the entire fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. No character is safe from the far-reaching implications of his actions, and it's impressive to see just how dark Marvel is willing to go for this story. Even the biggest fan favorites are truly vulnerable, and the movie reinforces that idea — relentlessly, at times — as it sprints toward its final stunning moments. By the time the credits roll, audiences will no doubt be aghast at just how far the Avengers have fallen."
Vox: "Avengers: Infinity War feels like a Marvel movie on bath salts. Trying to describe any part of it alone will make you sound like you've lost your mind; trying to describe it all kind of makes it sound like it's lost its mind. And it's all the more confounding for how closely it mirrors its decade of movie predecessors only to end up shattering that mirror: Infinity War moves, sounds, and acts like a typical Marvel movie, but then unmasks itself as a creature distinctly its own."
RogerEbert.com: "If only the film were better modulated, or perhaps longer, or more elegantly shaped, or ... well, it's hard to say exactly what's wrong here. But something's not up to snuff. This is, as many have pointed out, one half of a story broken in two, but it feels like less than half somehow."
Nerdist: "You'll be shocked how well they pull it off."
Slate: "The Marvel movies have spent the better part of a decade building Thanos up to be the ultimate big bad. But as Infinity War flits from one group of heroes to the next, ping-ponging around the galaxy in a strained quest to give its more than three-dozen regulars something of import to do, you may start to wonder if the movie's mauve madman has a point about overpopulation. Sitting through its 2 hours and 30 minutes is like gorging on tapas: You wind up both overstuffed and unsatisfied."
Den of Geek: "The studio has been accused of making formulaic movies and sticking to a shopworn script, and — like any creative enterprise — it does sometimes fall into that trap. But more often than not, Marvel doesn't get credit for the chances it takes, and it's taking a hell of a huge one this time. Where things go from here is anyone's guess, but after 10 years and two-and-a-half hours of calamity and battle, Avengers: Infinity War's strangely peaceful closing shot makes a kind of beautiful sense."
Rolling Stone: "Infinity War is all over the place, straining to give everyone a seat at the table. There are 30 lead roles, each actor getting his or her pass at the camera — clocking in at over two hours and 29 minutes, you'll have Avengers coming out of your ears."
GamesRadar: "The Avengers latest stand feels well worth the wait. It's not perfect, but it goes to a place most tentpole movies wouldn't dream of, while retaining the scale, excitement, and humour you've come to demand from an MCU movie."
Time: There's no pacing in Avengers: Infinity War. It's all sensation and no pulse. Everything is big, all of the time. Tucked amid the story's numerous operatic sacrifices — barely a moment goes by when a character doesn't almost die, or actually die, or temporarily die — there are jokes folded in, lots of them: Muttered gags having to do with Ben and Jerry's flavors, jaunty references to the fact that two Marvel heroes are actually insects, knowing asides uttered by wisecracking raccoons. The Marvel Universe is not all serious infinity stones and stuff. It also wants us to laugh — but it will decide when it's OK to poke fun, not you."
IndieWire: "Infinity War moves so fast and runs so long (over two and a half hours) it seems intent on exhausting even the most committed of viewers. But even as the movie forces audiences to submit to so many cataclysmic events, the directors manage to direct the cascading mayhem to a unique kind of cliffhanger."