This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a whole bunch of friends from work teaming up to prevent a powerful madman from bedazzling his glove (Avengers: Infinity War, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans). What are the critics saying?
All of which to say that there’s an awful lot going on here — in terms of the galaxy-spanning storyline as well as the sheer logistics of wrangling the array of nested franchises that support the MCU — and there’s a lot on the line for Marvel, including Infinity War‘s eye-watering budget and the blockbuster reputation the whole saga has earned thus far. Expectations are incredibly high, and anything other than one of the year’s biggest hits is bound to be seen as a disappointment. It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Avengers (or whatever’s left of them at the end of the next movie) are destined to beat Thanos, but can they live up to their own hype?
The answer, according to critics, is “yeah, more or less.” While the reviews for Infinity War don’t rank among the most rapturous write-ups earned by an MCU outing, it’s still Certified Fresh in the high 80s — an impressive feat in and of itself for a movie that needs 156 minutes and an incredibly crowded canvas just to get viewers to the precipice of the main event. A number of reviews describe the sheer spectacle of it all as too much of a good thing, while others — as is pretty much par for the course with Marvel movies — point to the slick efficiency of the storytelling as further evidence that this is a cinematic universe built on formula instead of soul.
While those quibbles are worth noting, they’re minority objections among a critical consensus that presents Avengers: Infinity War as yet another solidly satisfying entry in a series of films that’s drawn on decades of comics history to build a cinematic empire unrivaled in its interconnected scope. All empires crumble eventually, and at some point, the MCU’s incredible hot streak is bound to cool. It isn’t happening this weekend, though — your local cineplex is going to be stuffed full of people out to see Avengers: Infinity War, and it’ll be taking its shiny Certified Fresh credentials all the way to the top of the box office.
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