Avengers: Infinity War faces a high bar coming of the heels of the critically acclaimed and wildly successful Black Panther. The latest outing from Marvel Studios includes more superheroes per square inch than cinema has ever seen, and promises to tie together ten years of storytelling.

Do directors Joe and Anthony Russo manage to pull it off? The reviews for the third Avengers movie are out, and the answer seems to be… maybe…?

“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,” writes The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy. “Without giving anything away, the climax is startling in its gravity and no Marvel fan will leave before the long final credits scroll gives way to the traditional kicker tease at the very end, which amplifies the ending by serving up even more questions, not answers.”

If anything, Empire’s Helen O’Hara is even more enthusiastic. “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,” she writes. “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. And the ending laughs in the face of carbonite when it comes to raising the stakes for next time.”

Writing in the Washington Post, Michael O’Sullivan sounds a note of caution, however. He is initially enthusiastic about the movie, writing “The entertainment media has made much of so-called Avengers Fatigue, from Marvel exhausting its storytelling capabilities — as well as our attention span. But brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, who return as co-directors after Civil War and its predecessor, Winter Soldier, keep things moving briskly and with frequent levity, as heroes from various Marvel franchises keep throwing things — sometimes literally — at Thanos, and as the scene of the action shifts from the Guardians of the Galaxy team’s spaceship to Black Panther’s African homeland of Wakanda to, at one point, Scotland.” But he he ends on a more downbeat note. “Infinity War is big, blustery and brave, taking viewers to places that they may not be used to going. Whether Thanos ends up getting everything he wants is one thing. But audiences should be warned that they probably won’t.”

(Excerpt) Read More in: The Hollywood Reporter

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ — What the Critics Are Saying

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