The Convention Collective’s Dan Berry and Alanah C were very lucky to have been invited to a press preview screening of this, the latest and most epic chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film that ten years and twenty-two films have been leading up to – MARVEL’S AVENGERS: ENDGAME.
First off, this review has two sections. The first is Alanah and Dan’s general thoughts on the movie without spoilers. The second section – located after the film overview and movie poster – will contain spoilers.
Alanah’s spoiler-free thoughts:
Avengers: Endgame is a fantastic conclusion to the interwoven multitude of stories we began with, and an energizing display of tremendous filmmaking for those who appreciate stellar action, VFX, character-work, and drama.
Dan’s spoiler-free thoughts:
I have to agree with Alanah’s thoughts, the movie was a great culmination to all the hard work that has gone on in the MCU for the past 22 films. Great action, great pacing, great script.
If you haven’t seen it, why in the heck are you reading reviews? Stop it. Right now. No, stop. I SAID STOP. WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS? GO WATCH IT. NOW.
And that’s the vague portion of our review, done. Time to get to the meat of the piece – if you’ve already seen AVENGERS: ENDGAME, please proceed. if you haven’t, TURN AWAY NOW, bookmark this page and come back once you have.
All good? Ready for the ENDGAME? Then let’s proceed to #AVENGETHEFALLEN…
MARVEL’S AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Marvel Studios, 12A, 3hrs 1min)
- Directors: Joe & Anthony Russo
- Written by: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
- Based on the Comic Books by: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin
- Starring: Brie Larson, Scarlett Johansson, Karen Gillen, Tessa Thompson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Olson, Tom Holland, Josh Brolin…
Synopsis: “After the devastating events of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe…”
— SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT FORWARD —
Alanah’s thoughts, with spoilers:
I am sure I will never understand what it must be like to undertake the immensely difficult task that the Russo brothers have. If there is anything that I am more sure of than that, it is that I will never know what it means to execute a vision successfully in the way they (along with Feige, Gunn, and Favreau) done with this 181 minute masterpiece. This film is tight – it doesn’t drag on too long or rush through emotionally patient moments. You will be surprised at how easy it is to pass 3 hours fearing for the lives of every Marvel character you’ve seen on the screen – and I do mean every one. Time is never wasted in this movie – every shot is calculated, and necessary to the plot or development of a beloved character.
Moreover, this film is not concerned with limiting itself. The scale of the visual effects will leave you open-mouthed. In particular, there is a shot of Thanos’ ship emerging from clouds that is beautifully done, and the Big Battle in the third act cuts no corners. When it comes to character, there are also a lot of gutsy moves made by writers Marcus & McFeely.
Thor is handled so carefully in this by all parties, but kudos should be awarded to Hemsworth for being willing to play such an unflattering turn for the character with gusto and unexpected grace. Allowing Thor to react selfishly and unhealthily to the many hard hits he’s taken over the last decade was risky, but rings extremely authentic. It’s unreasonable to think that people – human or otherwise – can’t reach a breaking point, and it’s refreshing and cathartic to see our heroes experience it. Thor’s alcoholism and depression are shocking and, to the less keen viewer, can seem a bit silly. I would submit, however, that it was an inspired choice to give us a notoriously badass hero who simply can’t cope with the events of Infinity War. Even further, I think it’s incredible that we got a hero who managed to be fat and still have powerful, worthwhile, kickass moments. And Thor isn’t the only character in the film painted with bold and emotionally resonant strokes!
Scarlett Johannsson really must be commended for what I believe is her best work in the entire series, with this film. The command she has of her face and eyes is truly breathtaking, especially when Black Widow is delivering dialogue meant to divert focus from the way she truly feels. In my opinion, the entire peanut butter sandwich scene was expertly crafted, acted, and paced. It would be my favorite scene in the film if the Big Battle hadn’t blown every other scene in recent memory out of the water.
And even then, the pure joy felt during Steve and Peggy’s long-overdue dance might still be better than all of it.
I will say that, despite being a devout MCU apologist, I can see where some viewers will find things to nitpick. The logic of the time travel does become inconsistent, but this tends to be the case with all time travel film, and the film is aware enough of this that it does do good work trying to justify its time travel process. Beyond that, there are some loose ends regarding certain characters. Is Loki alive, in an alternate universe, since he stole the Tessaract? Can Vision be rebuilt? Both characters have title roles in upcoming Disney+ shows, so something must be afoot (and I can only assume that the Black Widow movie is a prequel).
It would be easy to go on and on about this film, but I think the best way to review it would be to confirm that yes, this is the greatest film event of our lifetime, and yes, it delivers in a satisfying and truly unique way. It won’t be easy, moving on without Tony, Steve, Natasha, or the Gamora we once knew. In a lot of ways, this movie is about how our heroes have learned from their failures, and while those failures can’t necessarily be erased, we can always find hope to be (and make) something better. Perhaps Frigga’s words are the best ones for crafting a thematic lens with which to view the film: everyone has failed at being who they’re supposed to be, but the measure of a person – of a hero – is in whether you succeed at being who you are.
I don’t know about you, but I am a fan, a story-lover, and so very grateful. And I am going to see this movie again as soon as possible.
Dan’s thoughts with spoilers:
The movie start to finish was terrific. From the opening scene showing Hawkeye’s family being wiped out in the snap, to the end when Steve and Peggy finally get their dance, the movie worked perfectly and didn’t feel like a drawn out 3 hour epic.
Seeing a conclusion to the Tony Stark story (having him go out saving the world), the Steve Rogers story (going back in time, living his life, and marrying Peggy) were great ways to end this chapter of the MCU.
Some of the highlights for me in the movie had to be Fat Thor (who is now my spirit animal), the final battle scene with all of Thanos’ minions vs all the heroes of earth, the ‘hot potato’ game with the Gauntlet, and many more that I’m sure I’m missing.
Oh, and of course the requisite cameo from Stan Lee is always a highlight to any movie.
Overall I loved the movie from the opening to the end of the credits, but shockingly there was no post (or mid) credit scene in the movie. But you should stay through the credits just because a lot of people worked so hard on the movie and deserve to see their names on the big screen.