No wait, guys. Wait. Just… listen. Wait.
Okay, so look. Look. Our official Avengers: Endgame Review episode is THIS FRIDAY, May 3rd. Absolutely tune into that show where Andy, Chad, and I review Endgame in-depth and with sand-full of spoilers. The three of us are sure to have strong feelings all around, and we will go into great depth about all the most controversial scenes, most surprising moments, and hardest-hitting emotional punches. We will have a blast talking about… the biggest comic book movie of all-time? Is “biggest” even a relevant adjective? What does that mean? Is it more physically imposing than the other flicks? I don’t know. Is the Blu-Ray case going to be taller? It’s a null word. The MOST IMPORTANT comic book movie of all-time! Let’s go with that.
But I have an article due, and all I have done in the last 16 hours is watch Endgame, sleep, and eat (That is… almost not a joke. I went to dinner last night at 6, saw Endgame at 8:30, came home, went to bed, woke up, saw Endgame again at 10, ate some leftovers, treadmilled… and here I am).
AND DAMN IT, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.
There are two ways to look at Avengers: Endgame.
The first way–the wrong way–is to look at it in the context of its own movie. To take it as a cinematic outing with a story and acting and a plot, and to dissect what does or does not make sense. There are, admittedly, some plot faults and character discrepancies to Endgame that you can look at and go all “BUT WAIT ACTUALLY” over. It’s not a perfectly crafted, 100% airtight story with flawless characterization.
If you want to be a bad human being, feel free to look at it that way. I’m not saying it is a dumb movie that you shouldn’t think about, akin to a Fast or a Furious–Endgame is actually exceedingly well crafted–I’m just admitting it isn’t without some conflicting material.
The second way–I like to call it “obviously the right way, stupid”–is to look at Avengers: Endgame as the culmination of, and a love letter to, eleven years and twenty-one movies that came before it. Endgame isn’t just a blockbuster action film. It’s not even just a highly anticipated sequel to a pop culture phenomenon. It is, in truth, the good night kiss to both a fever dream of storytelling and a vision of unrivaled ambition.
And in that regard, it’s perfect.
If I imagine the absolute best I thought Endgame could be–if I look back at how much hope I had for it, and what I thought when I mused to myself “It would be amazing if Endgame was [x]…”–it still bested those high hope by a factor of ten. I spent the three+ hour runtime of this movie stunned at everything it did. The opening 15 minutes blew me away. The second act felt obvious and needed. The denouement was dramatic and potent.
OH MY GOD HOW DO PEOPLE DO SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS? There’s so much I want to say, but I just am not allowed.
The cast of Endgame feels smaller and more manageable than Infinity War’s because we aren’t dealing with nearly the entirety of the MCU, but rather, just the survivors of Thanos’ snap. So whereas Infinity War was essentially a Thanos movie co-starring a LOT of superheroes, Endgame feels more like the heroes’ tale of picking up the pieces. Pretty much everyone feels respected and looked-after, so that there is nothing that feels particularly like shoe-horning that I could tell. Each and every survivor has a moment or several to shine, and they are all dealing with the loss in their own ways. One character in particular gets a storyline that comes from way out in the bleachers of left field, and it clearly and admittedly is not for everyone. I thought it was fine, and on my second viewing I paid more attention to make sure the character got the nuance and depth they deserved, and I personally found it to be fulfilling. But early sentiment has been strong in both the positive and negative, so it may be your treat or your trash. It mostly gets played for one particular sentiment, but I think it’s a well-rounded device (pun! eh, you’ll get it when you see it).
If I have one concern now that Endgame has passed, it is that I don’t think I will ever see a movie this momentous and successful again in my life. This is truly a generational affair. I know it is referred to as the climax of Marvel’s Phase 3, but it feels more like the closing of the lengthy first chapter. It has locked the Marvel Cinematic Universe in as THE most powerful movie franchise of all time. Better than Bond or Potter or anything with Star in its name. It’s king now.
Ah, all right. That’s all I can do without getting into the bigger details because I am a baby who wants to blab. So, as I noted, stay tuned this Friday to our spoiler-filled podcast episode where we break down the end of all games.