Avengers: Endgame ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
After the cataclysmic events of Avengers: Infinity War, the remaining 50% of the Marvel cinematic universe – including all the “original” Avengers namely Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – are left with the unavoidable truth: they lost. Thanos won, and they lost. It’s all been for nought… or has it? Is there a way of undoing what’s been done, of making things right?
Note: Even though the whole film is basically a three-hour spoiler grenade, ready to blow, I vow to not say a single spoiler here in this review.
Again, no spoilers below.
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- This film is all of the big adjectives. “Huge”, “epic”, “amazing”, “incredible”, “jaw-dropping”… the list goes on and on. If you’re a die-hard Marvel fan, you will also be “delighted” and, perhaps most importantly, “satisfied”. Kevin Feige and the rest of the unseen super-powered producers at Marvel Studios have delivered an extraordinary thing: a movie that ties together 21 movies into a giant piece of pop culture entertainment that will most likely never be rivaled. There is truly nothing like Endgame, and if you’re on board, it’s just astonishing. There is so much movie in this movie. Yes, it’s three hours long, but it’s so dense and full of detail that you’ll be thinking about it for days, most likely planning your next trip to the cinema to see it again. It’s truly spectacular: serious, funny, dark, light, everything all at once.
- Things HAPPEN in this film. Grand, impactful events litter the movie’s runtime, so make sure you’ve gone to the loo just before kick-off and packed enough (quiet) snacks for the whole duration. You get this delightful feeling that Marvel have been getting all their toys in a row for the longest time, and now we are all on board, it’s time to smash them up. After Endgame you fully realise how Infinity War was the trailer for this film, a movie that connects all the dots, hits you with all the fan-service – and there really is a lot of that, I can promise you – and leaves you stumbling out the cinema, teary-eyed and reeling. In a good way, of course. On that note, you may also want to bring some tissues, because your eyes may end up leaking at some point. Why, I can’t say, but just… just pack tissues, okay?
- After all these films, you don’t need me to tell you what to expect in terms of the action, and character beats, and all the stuff Marvel seems to do in its sleep. But what really impressed me is that somehow the comedy is still there, and when it works, it really works. There are a lot of serious stretches where things occur but there are also lots of laughs to be had, and the lion’s share of the praise there has to go to Paul Rudd (as Ant-Man) and Chris Hemsworth (as Thor). You’ll laugh, you’ll probably cry.
- To fully enjoy this “film” – and there’s an argument to be made that it’s less of a film and more of an end of an era writ large on the big screen, but I’ll leave this slice of media studies to the academics for now – you must be prepared. Do your homework. If you watch the occasional Marvel movie – an Iron Man, a Thor, a Guardians or two – that may not be enough to properly get this film. Unlike Infinity War, Endgame makes no real allowances for newcomers. My advice is that if you’re not clued up, bring a geeky pal or watch an MCU recap video YouTube. Maybe twice. More in-the-know fans are going to be whooping and hollering and you may be scratching your head as to why. If you have the time, watch the movies themselves – particularly Infinity War and Thor Ragnarok – but chances are you may not have three solid days to see them all. Honestly, there are so many fan-pleasing moments that I truly worry about how it will land with casual non-nerdy moviegoers. It stands as a towering testament to the power of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a monument that marks what’s come before in the many marvellous stories so far. Indulgent? Yes, absolutely, but in a way that will delight and enthral the converted and perhaps leave the less fanatic more bemused than blown away. It is amazing, but it will divide people in its own unique way.
- Without saying too much, Endgame takes a while to get going. And even though I like to think of myself as one of the biggest Marvel fans out there, there are undeniably some repetitive, stodgy moments early on, as well as some jolting tonal shifts that leave the audience jumping from one mood to another at an alarming speed. Endgame is an amazing experience, an incredible event, but there’s a good chance time will not be too kind on it, especially in comparison to Infinity War. It’s just a little bit messy at times, requiring a lot from its audience (and giving a lot back to those who are worthy, admittedly), but it’s not as direct, as polished, as focussed as the previous highlights of the MCU such as, say, The Winter Soldier.
- Did I mention it was three hours long? Because it really is three hours long. That’s both a good thing – more, please, more, we’re loving it! – and also just, well, a bit too long for a movie this dense, served up without an intermission.