Critics have seen Avengers: Infinity War and their reviews are in, which means only one thing: There is now a Rotten Tomatoes score. But is the 19th film from Marvel Studios “Fresh” or “Rotten”? Fans can rest easy: It’s fresh. It’s just not as “fresh” as the last few Marvel movies.
On Thursday, the first Rotten Tomatoes score averaged all the live reviews of Infinity War, the third Marvel movie from directors Joe and Anthony Russo. The current total came in at a very good 86 percent, earning the film a certified “Fresh” rating. Infinity War is now in league with other MCU films in the 80 percent range, including 2013’s Iron Man 3 (80 percent), 2015’s Ant-Man (82 percent), 2016’s Doctor Strange (89 percent), and 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (83 percent).
However, when considering the movies that preceded Infinity War, one can’t help but feel just a little disappointed the movie didn’t break through that holy 90 percent mark. The last three Marvel films did just that. Last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok both earned 92 percent, and this year’s Black Panther held an astonishing 100 percent until someone ruined it. Also, the last MCU film from the Russos, 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, scored 91 percent.
What happened here? Well, nothing. The movie is fine. But let’s reckon with the fact that the film alone is an achievement, as it proves the power of interconnected storytelling on a grand scale and extremely smart product branding. Now, the movie juggles like 200 costumed characters, which can be dizzying, especially for those who may have missed one or two films for the last, uh, ten years. That a movie this big isn’t just not a train wreck, but is actually very good, shouldn’t be dismissed by a seemingly okay score. And 86 percent is more than “okay”!
Here’s how the Rotten Tomatoes review summary describes Infinity War:
“Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.”
It’s important to remember Rotten Tomatoes is all about aggregation and giving numbers to people’s opinions. These numbers help inform moviegoers, but they’re hardly telling of how important, or even just how good, a movie will actually be.
Imagine if aggregate sites were around when Empire Strikes Back first hit theaters in 1980. It’s hard to imagine, but the second Star Wars movie actually received very lukewarm reviews. Today, it’s considered the pinnacle of the series and the gold standard in blockbuster moviemaking. Rotten Tomatoes scores are helpful, but they’re not the be all, end all. We don’t need an Infinity Stone to see that.
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27.