It’s all come down to this. After eleven years and twenty one films, the Marvel franchise as we now know it is coming to a close with Avengers: Endgame. It truly is the end of an era.
(don’t worry – this article is spoiler free)
Directed again by the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe and written by Chrisptoher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the general consensus is that it is near perfect. At the time of publishing, it’s rated 9.2/10 on IMDb and is certified fresh at a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
And let me tell you – It is nothing like you could have predicted.
My favourite description of the film yet has come from Marvel Studios poster designer Matt Ferguson, who had this to say:
You know in Jurassic Park when they first see the Brachiosaurus? And Sam Neill falls to the ground, everyone is dumbfounded and Goldblum says “You did it. You crazy son of a bitch, you did it.” … well the Brachiosaurus is Endgame.
In all fairness, I don’t know how to talk about this film in comparison to how I write about other films. Because everything was so utterly nail on the head, pure excellence. I was grinning ear to ear through every part of the film I wasn’t crying.
Now, let it be said that while I really enjoy Marvel films and have kept up to date with them all in the cinema; it’s been a while since I was massively emotionally invested in one. The last time that really happened in an MCU film in an all-consuming way for me was Avengers Assemble back in 2012, where my sister and I ended up squeezing each others foreheads we got so hyped up.
Even Infinity War failed to hit me in that emotional spot – it was brilliant, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t cry, and I was on a pretty mild level of hype (though it should be noted I saw it in a midnight screening after an eighteen hour day). I was not like that in Endgame. I was hooked from the first second,
In case you didn’t see on my twitter, here is my genuine reaction at the end of Endgame:
Quick tip: if you’re wearing makeup to see this film, make sure it’s waterproof. Do not take this advice lightly: this is the first time Charlotte Tilbury has ever failed me, so you know this shit is serious.
The most beautiful thing about Endgame is that it doesn’t appear to be trying. There isn’t one scene that doesn’t fit, which makes the three hour run time fly by. It resolves the events from the last film as well as the last eleven years of the franchise in one beautiful culmination that without a doubt is the best superhero film ever made – I’m sorry The Dark Knight, you’ve been de-throned.
It is brimming with passion and a pure love for these films. It’s made for the fans, by fans.
Everything that took place in Infinity War is resolved but in a way that totally subverts your expectations. There are so many curveballs where the story changes in a way you couldn’t have guessed, but in the best way possible. Any theories you had? Forget them for the most part, because it’s a totally different and infinitely better resolution.
It is the right amount of funny – obviously it’s in the aftermath of a tragedy and many people are mourning, but it’s witty and funny in a very natural way. There are one or two silly visual gags, but I don’t care – they’re part of it.
It’s very inclusive – it’s full of references the whole audience gets, from other Marvel films to general pop culture that gets everyone laughing. I’m talking everything from The Big Lebowski to Hot Tub Time Machine. There is magic in this film, that it unites a whole audience in the cinema screen. I was in a sold out theatre and we all laughed, cried and gasped together. It’s uniting.
Endgame has the strongest understanding of it’s characters in any Marvel film to date, I think. Not one character is left unused; and everyone gets their moment without it all feeling crammed in for the sake of it. Most importantly, every character gets a least one proper ‘Yes’ moment – as in, a moment that makes you punch the air and god YESS!!
The women particularly get some incredible moments. They will keep me going for a very long time.
Obviously in a cast as big as this, I can only pick at the highlights:
- Paul Rudd as Ant-Man (the only spoiler I will confirm is that he does not, in fact, shrink and climb inside Thanos’ ass. I am truly sorry to disappoint).
- Karen Gillian as Nebula is sensational. Truly took my breathe away – she’s the one to watch.
- Rocket pairs so well with other characters more than I ever thought possible (and I just extra love Bradley Cooper voicing him after A Star is Born).
- Brie Larson fits in so seamlessly with the ensemble that it’s weird she was never there before.
- Gwyneth Paltrow reminds us all why Tony Stark fell in love with character.
- Thanos is truly an excellent villain. If you thought differently before, let this film change that because he is indisputably the most easy villain to hate in any superhero film. He is genuinely scary, and genuinely infuriating. He’s a match for the Avengers, and that’s terrifying. I found my blood boiling with every appearance on screen. I had to hold myself back from booing him.
What I loved is that despite all the new character additions (and there are MANY), the characters that get the most time are the six original Avengers: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk. Each and every one of them has the strongest example yet of their character, each has so much potential, is shown to be multi-faceted yet consistent and admirable.
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo are some of the greatest casting choices ever made. And the time they’ve had to really get to know these characters, and do them justice does not go unnoticed. It shines through each and every one of their performances.
They’re the Avengers we know and love, finally shown at their ultimate best. And their ultimate COOLEST. My God what a bunch of badasses. I love them all so much. All my fourteen year old self-feelings are coming back to me.
I think what it is, is that it’s the perfect balance between the characters personal side and their superhero persona. The two sides live in harmony with every single character. All one billion of them.
The new character additions don’t overshadow the original six in any way, instead they work with them to boost the story and their characters further, knowing that they are the main ones. Their time is coming, this is the closure of the Avengers-lead franchise that we know and love.
The story is fantastic. Nothing is squeezed in, and no scene is wasted. It’s paced beautifully, and the three hours really do fly by. What is does above all, is bring justice: to each and every single character, regardless of how long they’ve been in the franchise.
There are so many stand out moments, and you will know when they happen because the entire room will react with you. Iconic moments that will be remembered for years to come, and so many of them all in this one film.
I went in, not expecting to be that emotionally invested at all. You know the feeling you got in that pan shot in the first Avengers Assemble, looking at all the originals finally standing together in the middle of New York? The entirety of Endgame gave me that feeling. You saw my mascara stains.
The only slight negative for me is the Stan Lee cameo; which is short and sweet but underwhelming. I had hoped for something really great for this film (I don’t think it ever got better than his Deadpool cameo as a strip club MC), especially with it being his last. But sadly, it was not to be. It’s very fitting, and touching that it was Lee’s last, though of course it couldn’t have been expected.
The costume and hair is on another level here. I said I didn’t think I’d like Black Widow’s hair but I’m now deciding if I could pull it off. The suits, the casual wear, the… everything. The white suits the team wears, as seen in the trailer, are gorgeous. Not one detail is missed.
Speaking of suits: the fight choreography is insanely good. It’s not too violent, it is effortlessly cool, and of course it incorporates so many characters into these sequences in a natural, awe-inspiring way that makes you feel like a little kid again.
The cinematography! It is so beautiful! Those long takes in the final hour are truly breathtaking. Many are like a more grounded take on the narration scenes from Thor: Ragnorak, and are just stunning. There are the big superhero moments, and the more intimate moments, all captured perfectly through the lens in a way that makes you feel included in it all.
I have so much more to say, but there is just too much to talk about. I stress again; it is three hours long, and there wasn’t a second I didn’t enjoy. It’s overwhelming.
Please, please, please, talk about this film with me. I need to relive it over and over and see how it touched everyone.
I’m going to wrap things up with a couple of questions:
Did it answer my questions?
Before seeing Endgame, I had published a list of questions I had left over from Infinity War. I’m happy to say that the film answered most of them in a satisfying enough way, but also that reading that back I clearly had no clue what I was getting myself in for.
SO where does this leave Marvel?
We’ll now be entering Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; which will be starting with June’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. There’s also a Black Panther sequel and a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the works. But it’s been the infinity stones that have guided the most part of the franchise to date: the first one appeared in a post credit scene in the original Thor back in 2011, and it’s been slowly building up to Endgame since then.
So what now?
Will we find another big bad? Will it be one villain per film? Won’t the entire bad guy community be less enthusiastic having seen a massive Avengers showdown? Only time will tell. Regardless of what happens next, Marvel has proved themselves without doubt that they have made the most successful continuous franchise of modern day, and pulled off the grand finish like no other. And I trust that they know where they’re going next.
Trust the hype. Endgame will go down in history.
It’s a more than worthy culmination of eleven years of cinema. It will touch every fan, and it deserves every single penny it makes for it.
I loved it 3000.
Avengers: Endgame is in cinemas now