After what feels like years of waiting, Avengers: Infinity War is complete, and has been seen by human eyes. Now the embargoes have lifted and the reviews for the biggest superhero movie ever created are in. Basically, it seems like an overstuffed classic. We all knew Infinity War was going to have the tall task of navigating through the stories of 30 superheroes, and now we know that it was pulled off. In fact, the negatives almost seem like positives to some: Too many heroes, too little time.
Let’s dive into the first round of reviews (with extremely minor spoilers):
UPROXX’s own Mike Ryan loved the grandiosity of it all, but admitted he knows that this is a two-part story, and there’s still much to come.
You know how a lot of superhero movies get lauded for being “grounded more in reality” or even “it’s less a superhero movie and more a movie about today”? Yeah, no one will ever say these things about Avengers: Infinity War. While watching, I was thinking about Peter Parker in last summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, this nervous high school student attending a homecoming dance. Now, a year later, here he is on an alien planet fighting space monsters.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy praised the deft handling of a movie that’s bursting at the seams with stars and plot:
“With so many ingredients to stir into this overflowing pot, you have to hand it to the two experienced teams of Marvel collaborators who had a feel for how to pull this magnum opus off. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote all three Captain America entries and have a deft, jokey, sometimes glib touch that spreads the humor around and prevents this long film from ever getting stodgy. Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo directed the last two Captain America features and have a breezy approach that prevents the action here from sagging in any serious ways.”
Peter Travers from Rolling Stone wrote that it wasn’t as focused as Marvel’s best — Black Panther:
“…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.”
Germain Lussier of i09 believes Infinity War lives up to the incomprehensible hype:
By the end of Avengers: Infinity War, it’s almost hard to get your mind around everything you’ve seen—to the point where you may start planning your next screening as you walk out of the theater. Marvel’s Phase Three isn’t over—it won’t be until Avengers 4 next year—but to say every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been leading up to Infinity War is absolutely true.
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman echoes the rest of the reviewers in saying that there’s so much and it’s so good it almost seems like a negative:
Avengers: Infinity War can, at times, make it feel like you’re at a birthday party where you got so many presents that you start to grow tired of opening them. But taken on its own piñata-of-fun terms, it’s sharp, fast-moving, and elegantly staged. It also has what any superhero movie worth its salt requires: a sense that there’s something at stake.
The Washington Post called it “stunningly dark” and praised Thanos as a bad guy with proper motivation.
Death and destruction, of course, is what Thanos has in mind. But unlike many cartoonish villains, his motives, as explained in flashbacks and speeches, are not those of universal domination. Rather, he wants to kill half of the universe’s population — which is threatened by overpopulation and dwindling resources — to save the other half. It’s a coldblooded calculation, not to mention a perversion of altruism, but the nuance with which the film present s this horrible argument for extermination is refreshing.
And finally, Vulture’s David Edelstein echoes Mike Ryan in a way, saying this movie knows who its for, and makes zero apologies:
As I write this I know so much that you don’t, and most of all, I know that Avengers: Infinity War is going to dazzle, stagger, and rile people up. It’s a scorched-earth movie — though not, of course, as visceral as its Fox cousin Logan which was scorched earth plus arterial spray. It can’t be judged as a stand-alone work since it doesn’t stand alone and isn’t — objectively speaking — even a very good piece of storytelling. As an exercise of studio might, however, it has no peer. Flagrantly, bombastically extravagant, it plays its audience like a hundred million fiddles.
Reading through all of the reviews, they all seem to be saying the same thing: this is the biggest, most extravagant superhero movie ever. One that will set the watermark for all to come. Maybe those disappointed are feeling that way because, except for Part 2, there’s no coming back from something this huge, right? How can it get bigger and better than this?