I was going to hold off reviewing Avengers: Endgame for a while so I wouldn’t have to worry about spoilers. But I’ve been pondering the film for a day and a half and I’ve got so many thoughts that I feel compelled to get something out in the ether. I’m making a “no spoiler” pledge, but if you want to go into the film with as little influence as possible you may want to stop reading now.
And please don’t put spoilers in the comments.
The only film I can liken Endgame to is Return of the King. While MCU’s 1 offering doesn’t possess the sheer absurd artistry of ROTK, it has the same epic feel as the Middle Earth finale 2. Also, much like ROTK, Endgame feels like an ending. The Infinity Saga has now come to an end, and we won’t see anything like it for a long time.
I have collected the MCU films 3 almost as zealously as I collected comic books back in the day, and I can say Endgame’s payoff is more rewarding than anything I ever read in a comic’s panels. If you have any desire to see this film, do not wait. Just go.
Endgame is one of those films where anything specific can give away major plot points, so I’m going to be generic in the extreme to talk about things I liked. At the same time, there are also so many things I loved about this film I need to see it a few more times before I can nail down the particular features which I find attractive. Keeping those things in mind, here goes.
There are so many callbacks in this film it’s almost silly. And if you aren’t an avid MCU collector you probably won’t get the majority of them.
I loved them.
Not only are the callbacks peppered everywhere, they are done in a way that if you aren’t an MCU collector you probably won’t even notice their presence. They are brilliant, and helped create that sense of real closure for those who have been on the MCU journey.
The Comic Book Nods
There are many nods to the comics in Endgame, but there is one particular nod that made me want to cheer. If you’ve seen the film you probably know what that is.
Because the entire film felt like closure, the emotional impact of what happens throughout feels like it matters. It felt more real than the previous film because, for example, I knew Spider-Man would have to come back because more Spider-Man films had already been ordered. I love Infinity War, it’s probably the MCU film I’ve watched the most, but the stakes felt more real this time.
These are, let me emphasize, minor knocks on the film. Most people won’t care about them but it was part of my experience in seeing Endgame so I want to share some generic observations.
Nods To The Camera
There were two instances in the film where I felt the action should have stopped and Deadpool stepped in front of the film and said, “Hey, you see what we did there. Right? Am I right?”
The first one I doubt anyone in my wider circle of acquaintances would ever notice. It’s just something I tend to see in films which temporarily suspends disbelief for me. This particular instance in Endgame was so minor I didn’t even miss a line of dialog, but I did notice it so I feel compelled to bring it up.
The second instance was a moment in which Disney told the audience, “Here, this is what we want you sharing on social media.” I have no doubt it will be the talk in many circles once geekdom’s self-imposed spoiler embargo ends 4. We are all manipulated by imagery every day, and I understand that, I just want films to have the courtesy to not be obvious about it. But, the moment this happened was so impressive that I could forgive the cynical presentation almost immediately 5.
When you think about it, Endgame’s solution to Infinity War’s conclusion is probably worse the initial problem. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the film, and the climax is so epic the whole thing could have blown up and I wouldn’t have cared, but it’s there. Internally the solution doesn’t really impact Endgame 6, but Spider-Man: Far From Home is going to have to address the aftermath somehow in order to keep MCU continuity moving forward 7.
One part of Endgame’s resolution seems to break the film’s internal continuity. This confused me, but I’ve since seen an explanation which accounts for what’s seen in the film. So, in the end, this is even less of a deal than the other issues.
This film is so epic, so fulfilling, and so well executed it makes me very happy to be an MCU collector. I have a few insignificant quibbles with bits of execution, but the film is really that good. Do not miss it.
- MCU is “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” It’s the interconnected films which make up the overarching story arc. ↩
- We do not talk of The Hobbit films. ↩
- As experiences, if not outright possession. ↩
- I’m guessing this coming Tuesday, this movie is so huge we won’t be able to last a full week. ↩
- Unlike, say, Snoke’s final monologue in The Last Jedi. I still can’t watch that scene with out skipping forward in a huff. ↩
- Because the climax is what all film climaxes strive to be, and just come up a bit short. Like Deathly Hallows, Part 2 – what was with the running duel? ↩
- I hope Agents of Shield has to address it as well. Far From Home will accomplish this during the opening credits as there is no way they’d trust that knowledge to Tom Holland – he has notorious loose lips. ↩