If you take all of my excitement, all my energy, all my anticipation, combine that with my criticisms and nitpicks with this movie, then wrap it all up in a blanket of contentment, that would be how I feel about Avengers: Endgame.
I don’t remember another time that I’ve ever felt so satisfied with a film. Last year, Infinity War left me buzzing with excitement long afterwards. Coming out of Endgame the first time on Wednesday morning, I spent the rest of the day in a “zen-like” state. Had the same feeling of contentment when I saw it again with friends on the Thursday night too.
I urge anyone who is a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to see it as soon as they can. Even though I’ll do my best to have NO SPOILERS in this review, the trailers (as well as the photos I’m including) have shown you nothing of significance. But stop reading anyway and just go see it because it is that good!
A love letter to the fans
Previously I said that Infinity War was a celebration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and all it has achieved. Endgame is a wonderful love letter to all its fans.
I’ve seen it described as ‘Return of the King’ (which I would agree with but without the bloat LoTR is known for). I’ve also seen it described as a “perfect ending” and it really is a perfect way to cap off 11 years of big screen story telling, over a decade of growing and getting to know these characters. My sentiment of absolute contentment comes from catharsis of this long and fantastic journey.
Marvel films are known for their references, callbacks, and little geeky nods and it does it well by making them rewards for keen-eyed fans. Endgame is the best and most perfect example of fan service I have ever experienced. It’s not just references and callbacks this time, the filmmakers are aware and have been listening to you.
The Wednesday morning crowd were the most energetic crowd I have ever been in. Never in all my years of going to the cinema have I seen an Aussie audience react the way this lot did. And it was wonderful (keep in mind this was 7:30am). The Thursday night crowd were a tiny bit more subdued by comparison but the friends I saw it with were the most vocally emotional in the cinema.
Whatever it takes
Endgame handles and brings to conclusion a few character arcs and threads as well as deals with the overriding themes of the MCU, which began way back with the first Iron Man film. Regardless of how these characters have developed over these 20+ films (and they have) those themes have always remained and culminate in this film.
Everyone has brought their A-game to this one, there is not a single slouch. The newcomers, those with limited screen time, and especially the veterans give it their all to deliver performances that are emotional, meaningful, and heartfelt. Every choice, every line seems to make sense to where these characters are at this point in time.
The way it’s set out, Endgame does not feel like at 3-hour slog in the slightest. It breezes along effortlessly and is allowed to breathe and tell its story as a contrast to the much more jam-packed predecessor.
There’s an almost Thanos-like balance of drama and levity that works so well in this. Even though it has to deal with the aftermath of Infinity War, this film is not as dark. It appropriately pulls at the heartstrings, and the jokes land as they should. It’s disconcerting just how well they do work.
To go into what worked and didn’t work for me would spoil too much. Even as someone who personally doesn’t care about spoilers for myself (having it described is different to actually experiencing it), even I was glad to accidentally avoid anything substantial about this story. Although I made three predictions and got two and a half correct.
But I would advise anyone that does have a nitpick list like I do at the end of this film to be aware and capable of delineating what legitimately didn’t work and what you personally didn’t like. That’s important. Regardless of my minuscule issues, they are nothing compared to all the things this film got right that it really was a perfect ending.
And trust me on this: just stay to the end of the credits.
End of an Era
I’m really not sure what else to say that doesn’t give the game away. I absolutely loved this movie and have never felt such satisfaction with any film like I have with this one. This may be the first film I see more than twice at the cinema (I was ready to go for round three right after the second viewing).
This truly is the culmination of 11 years of story telling, a love letter to the fans, an emotional trip that even made me teary, and the end of the heroes journey worthy of such a crescendo.
Well done, Marvel Studios, and thank you for creating such a wonderful universe for us all to witness and experience.
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