Avengers Endgame: Our Thoughts
As Doctor Strange so ominously informed us in last year’s Infinity War, we are indeed in the Endgame now, and since several of the WGN have been lucky enought to see the lastest Avengers caper in the first 24 hours of release, here are their thoughts:
For me infinity war ended with more of a fizzle than a bang, leaving me wanting something heavier, with more substance and a lot more bite. Well if bite is what you’re looking for; Endgame is about to know your bloody arm off. The movie is full to the brim with intensely dark moments, wonderful character building and plot out the wazoo. All of which is delivered at absolutely breakneck speed. If you want to be pernickety the movie is not without its flaws, yeah there are a few plot holes here and there and yes perhaps a little more time or even another film would have given them room to truly flesh out and explore some of the possibilities this new narrative brings up. But as someone who dislikes the majority of the films leading to this point, it’s hard to argue that Avengers Endgame is anything but an absolute masterwork of emotive Blockbuster Filmmaking.
Before I conclude though, I think it’s really important to mention how much attention the Russo brothers have paid to minuscule details in this film. There are resolutions in this film to plot holes that created themselves in the original Avengers movie. That’s nearly 10 years of detail and whilst lots of these moments are small, passing and won’t make much of a difference to the average viewer, it speaks to the calibre of filmmaking that the Russos have gone into here. The care and attention for these characters and the ones that came before them is truly incredible and if this really is the Russos last MCU film it’s a banger to go out on.
I came into Endgame as a person who has only someone interested in the ending and what happens I left it as somebody much more invested in the Avengers universe, I genuinely can’t wait to see what happens next. In short, Endgame is a giant achievement, an incredible piece of filmmaking and an absolute triumph for the teams, cast and crew who have made it happen over the last decade of films.
Greetings my Marvel Geeks!
Avengers Endgame is the culmination of 11 years of clever writing, smart stories and a hell of a lot of fan service. Infinity War gave the marvel universe its first real threat. It made us believe that no character was safe. Even though future Marvel movies and announcements told us that our favourite characters weren’t going to die.
Infinity War was great, it took our expectations and kept us guessing. Endgame continues that trend by drip feeding us a trailer that was said to be taken from the first 20 minutes. It worked as we got a film that caps off the first three phases of the Marvel universe. But it did it in a way that most weren’t expecting.
The film begins straight off the back of Infinity War and sees the Avengers become the Revengers. This is the only thing they can do after Thanos wiped out half the universe. Endgame takes us on an emotional rollercoaster as we see what Thanos’ attack has done to our heroes. From Stark being stranded in space to Thor regretting that he:
“should have gone for the head”.
Loose threads from other movies such as Civil War are addressed. Despite the trailers hinting at certain scenes, what we actually get are totally new. There is so much to get through in this movies extended 3-hour runtime still doesn’t seem enough. But, what it does do is close out the now title Infinity Saga extremely well.
Time plays a large part in this film. As onset photos suggested and because of this we get several set pieces that are excellently paced and full fan service. But that is not where the movie really excels. It’s the moments we see the Avengers struggling to come to terms with their loss. For the majority of the Marvel movies they have always won, but this time they lost hard and it affects the characters in different ways.
Compared to Infinity War, there are fewer action beats here but don’t worry there is enough of the runtime dedicated to superhero action. Endgame takes the time to give most of the characters time to grow. The majority of the character points are given to Iron Man and Captain America, and Thor but as they are the original three. As such, they had more beats to get through.
There are negatives, but they are few and far between, yet surrounded by such a stellar film that they are hardly worth mentioning. Thai film digs deep into the Marvel mythos that it’s difficult to discuss without spoiling parts.
The film has humour, which is not overly done and used at points when it feels right. The action is well paced allowing for everyone to have a moment, even if it is a short melee. But it’s the way they mix both action and humour which Marvel have become masters of that makes this film stand out.
There are Gasp Out Loud moments and call-backs to earlier films that take you in a different direction. There are heart-warming scenes that will bring a tear to your eye even from the outset. And then there’s that final Stan Lee Cameo.
Avengers Endgame is not perfect, but it perfectly ends a series of films that was started off with 2008’s Ironman. It ends The Infinity Saga and gives the fans what they have been wanting. It is a great follow up to the massive and successful Infinity War and doesn’t drop the ball at any point.
Go watch it (as if you haven’t already booked your tickets) and listen to our spoiler-filled discussion on the MAD Movie Podcast.
As someone who prides themselves as a considerate sort when flapping their tongue in public about movies, tv shows, books and videogames, giving JUST enough information to entice (or indeed discourage) a potential audience member to invest their time in something and garner that same level of enjoyment I did, Avengers Endgame is a film I feel ill-equipped to review. Even talking about the movie that precedes it feels dicey, due to the devastating narrative cliff it leaves us dangling from. On the other hand, why would anyone have come this far in life and pop their cherry by watching Endgame? It’d be like going into the final season of Game of Thrones completely stark. Nevertheless, I’ll try my best. And after all, Stan Lee did say that “Every comic book is someone’s first”.
So we pick up shortly after the events of Infinity War, the whole universe is in tatters, irrevocable physical and emotional damage looms large thanks to everyone’s least favourite purple people deleter, and the last remnants of our scrappy band of heroes are more than a tad bit miffed. So, they all climb aboard the Avenger Bus and set out to… well, I’ll just leave it there. This is not just because I’m a rabid, drooling spoilerphobe, and if you’ve made it this far without having vital information trickled out to you via the sheer minefield that is the information superhighway, then good on ya! No, it’s because I cannot stress enough that you will get the best experience going into Endgame knowing as little about it as possible. Heck, I haven’t even read the comics on which it’s based.
Walking home from the cinema at 3am I was still buzzing, and not just from the energy drink I’d chugged a few hours earlier, but letting the events of Endgame wash over every aspect of my soul. Here we are less than a day later and it’s still all I can think about. The same feeling I get when I’ve just started a really impressive videogame and I just can’t wait to get home and be able to play it.
The plates that the writers and directors manage to deftly spin for no less than three hours (a runtime which flies by, bee tee double-u), that incorrigible humour the MCU is famous for, and loads of little elements that I’d love to gush about, but can’t, because there are just so many surprises in store. Just trying to recollect them all makes me want to rush out tonight and do it all again. The ONLY thing that can possibly dent the movie in my opinion, is that, like Infinity War before it, it’s absolutely required that you see the movies that lead up to this point to glean the full level of payoff. If the MCU series is 21 sidequests, then Endgame is the epic final boss.
If Infinity War raised the bar for sheer comic book movie spectacle, Endgame leaps up on top of that bar and does a saucy jig. Then the curtains raise from behind the bar to reveal a hidden stage, a full orchestra, and the whole thing effortlessly escalates into a showstopping musical number, with seventy-six bloody trombones. It’s a breathless, emotionally intoxicating, dreamlike cinematic joyride that I fear will render all future superhero movies mediocre by comparison. People have agreed that Infinity War felt like the culmination of 22 films and 10 years of cinematic narrative, and while that was true, Endgame truly feels like the final, triumphant piece to the puzzle.
I will admit, I had a lot – and I mean a lot – of issues with Infinity War. I thought the story was shallow, Thanos’ plan was full of holes, most of the wonderful character depth of previous movies went out the window, and I was particularly upset with Gamora’s fridging (an entirely backwards plot trope, especially in 2018). Those issues dragged down an otherwise solid movie, that did admittedly have some triumphant moments (Thor’s entrance into Wakanda, Cap’s first appearance, the epic duel between Doctor Strange and Thanos on Titan). So, I was a little trepidatious about whether the Russo brothers could stick the landing…
Boy, was I wrong to doubt them. Not only did they stick the landing, they stuck a goddamn superhero landing. Is it perfect? No. It has some minor issues, as any project this gargantuan was bound to have. But is it a worthy culmination, finale, ending, capstone – whatever you want to call it – to this current version of a universe of rightfully beloved movies? F*ck yes it is.
I won’t bother giving you the details or the plot, as my colleagues up there have already done that, so you’re simply getting pure, unfiltered reactions from my good self, literally straight out of the cinema. This movie (is it right to even call a pop culture event of this size and importance as something as simple as a movie?) is basically everything you could want it to be: it’s an adventure. It’s funny. It’s emotional. It’s epic. It’s awe inspiring in several places. It’s genuinely jaw-dropping, and had me grinning like a loon so many times I lost count. I absolutely would not hesitate to call this the Return of the King of superhero movies, it’s that bloody good.
Everyone is on top of their (end)game here, but Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans are most prominent. Their characters are the heart and soul of the MCU, and Endgame wisely knows this. Without going into spoilers, they’re both treated exactly right. I can’t say anything more, you’ll just have to see why for yourself.
Those minor issues I mentioned? There’s probably a few plot holes here, and there’s a couple of story beats I would have done a little differently. Some scenes are also maybe a little too heavy on the self-congratulatory referencing of past movies, and could probably have been trimmed a little. There’s also a certain character development that happened largely offscreen, and I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to see it.
By and large though, Endgame confidently delivers what it needed to, and then some. And as I’m coming to the end of my thoughts on this movie, I will say one thing: the climactic battle tops literally everything else in the MCU, and everyone gets a moment to shine.
Finally, now that this chapter of the MCU is over – with the exception of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which actually closes out Phase 3 – I’m hugely looking forward to what comes next. Our lord and saviour Kevin Feige undoubtedly has plans for the next few years, but for now, him and Joe and Anthony Russo can finally rest, and watch the sun rise on a grateful universe.
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