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Avengers: Infinity War Early Reviews - A (Mostly) Successful Experiment

Avengers before Infinity War

The wait is over, as the first reviews for Avengers: Infinity War are now online. As Marvel Studios prepares to wrap up 10 years of the MCU and launch its next Phase of films, audiences around the world are anticipating the release of Avengers 3 this week. Though there's a certain amount of risk involved in combining so many franchises and characters, Marvel has certainly earned enough goodwill for fans to assume the best.

The first round of social media reactions to Avengers: Infinity War arrived late last night, and so far things are looking fairly positive. As expected, the noted downsides are a heavy focus on action at the expense of smaller moments, but this is hardly surprising given what the film is trying to accomplish. Mostly, however, the critics who saw the film were over the moon and praised the performances, humor, and sequences. Those posts were only a surface level response, though, and now a fuller picture of the film's critical successes (and failures) has emerged.

RELATED: Marvel Studios Is Holding Back Phase 4 Titles Until Avengers 4

The review embargo for Avengers: Infinity War has lifted, and we can finally learn what critics thought of the epic Marvel movie - read our Avengers: Infinity War review here. Below is a selection of SPOILER-FREE excerpts, along with links to the full reviews.

Variety – Owen Gleiberman – No score

So is the movie a jumbled, top-heavy mess of cynical franchise overkill? Sort of like the bloated and chaotic “Avengers: Age of Ultron” taken to the second power? Far from it. It’s a sleekly witty action opera that’s at once overstuffed and bedazzling...“Infinity War” is a brashly entertaining jamboree, structured to show off each hero or heroine and give them just enough to do, and to update their mythologies without making it all feel like homework. At the same time, you may begin to lose hold of what made each of these characters, you know, special.

CBR – Meg Downey – No score

The movie does an admirable job of trying to maintain a cohesive story as it’s spread across multiple planets, multiple teams and multiple heroes all meeting each other for the first time. There are clear winners in terms of screen time — and clear focuses as far as narrative is concerned — but, by and large, the balance could have been a lot worse than the finished product. (Thanos would be proud.)

IGN – Scott Collura – 9.0

Using the strength of its powerful and interesting villain to set the stakes higher than ever, Avengers: Infinity War successfully brings together the past 10 years of Marvel movies into a largely effective cocktail of super-heroic dramatics. The fact that it manages to give nearly every member of its admittedly overstuffed cast at least a moment to shine is its greatest feat.

Mashable – Angie Han – No score

As you might expect from a film that promises to bring together franchises as disparate as Guardians of the Galaxy and Black PantherInfinity War lacks the individual styles and focused themes that have made its most recent entries feel so unique. Here, the special-ness comes from the pleasure of seeing all these larger-than-life personalities smashed together into one supersized adventure.

Polygon – Susana Polo – No score

Avengers: Infinity War is full of narrative challenges that would make a stand-alone film buckle. It groans under the weight of its cast, strains with the tension of holding four central plots aloft in nearly a dozen locations, flexes mightily between tones to fit the moods we associate with different Marvel subfranchises. Its strength is that we already know these characters, and that the movie is surrounded by a hype machine that has kept its central story — Thanos, the Infinity Stones, the Avengers — fresh in the audience’s minds. Infinity War was never intended to function outside the web of a franchise, so there’s little value in judging it separately.

EW – Chris Nashawaty – B

Let’s be clear, Infinity War is a movie for the fans. Especially those who’ve spent any time wondering what it would be like to witness Chris Hemsworth’s Thor wisecracking with Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, or tagging along with some of the Avengers as they hightail it to Wakanda (the arrival there got a rousing wave of applause at my screening). It’s the Marvel equivalent of watching the old “We Are the World” video (Hey, it’s Bob Dylan singing between to Cyndi Lauper and Huey Lewis!). And for the most part, this super-sized mash-up works better than you’d expect.

Empire – Helen O'hara – 5 stars

The film dances nimbly across the cosmos from one group to the next, turning the screws on each group, shattering them and pulling them back together in new combinations. With all these different strands, you might expect to see the gears move to keep this intricate plot humming, as in Age Of Ultron and Civil War. But this time the Russos achieve the impossible. Not only did they bring all these disparate characters and stories together, but they made it look effortless.

THR – Todd McCarthy – No score

This grand, bursting-at-the-seams wrap-up to one crowded realm of the Marvel superhero universe starts out as three parts jokes, two parts dramatic juggling act and one part deterministic action, an equation that's been completely reversed by the time of the film's startling climax. Huge is the operative word here —for budget, scope and size of the global audience.

Like the social media reactions, the early reviews for Avengers 3 indicate it mostly succeeds at what's quite an audacious task. Though there are flaws, many critics seem to think they're no worse than you'd expect from a movie attempting to do as much as Infinity War. And despite any shortcomings, all seem to agree the film is plenty entertaining. Regardless of what critics are saying, however, it's clear the film will be a smash success. Ticket pre-sales show Avengers: Infinity War outselling the past seven Marvel films combined, no small feat given all the records Black Panther broke earlier this year.

Fans may be worried about what happens if Avengers 3 is bad, given how much has gone into building up the film and the fact that Avengers 4 will surely follow directly after it in terms of story. Luckily, the reviews seem to paint a mostly positive picture and the team that brought us Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War don't seem to have lost their touch. While everyone's mileage may vary, it looks as if audiences will at least enjoy themselves when Avengers: Infinity War lands in theaters this weekend.

MORE: Avengers: Infinity War Has Only One Post-Credits Scene

Source: Various (see links)

Key Release Dates
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
  • Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
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