Avengers: Endgame will undoubtedly be one of the biggest movies of all-time. You’re going to have people who watch this to connect with the characters they’ve followed for years while also wanting to see what’s in store for the future. Both of those things are probably exciting, but you always have to be able to enjoy the actual movie. I’m pretty sure most will love what they get here, but you also shouldn’t just overlook the obvious issues that exist either.
After the devastating events seen in Infinity War, humanity is still trying to pull itself together. And while most struggle to move on from the deeds of Thanos (Josh Brolin), only the remaining Avengers feel they can do anything about it. To do this, they’re going to have to track down the murderous titan and take one last stand against him. In doing so, they also hope to devise a plan that will allow them to restore humanity to its former self.
Beforehand, I was worried about the runtime since I knew it was about three hours long. I’ve seen, liked and loved movies this long before but rarely does any film need to have the amount of subject matter the would deem this a necessity. The only time a movie should get anywhere near this length is when it absolutely has to. When you elongate a film for no reason, you’re likely to hurt the viewing experience for at least some people watching.
Endgame finds itself in the position to some extent since three hours simply isn’t required to tell this story. I say “to some extent” because we all know most fans of these movies will like anything that comes from MCU at this point. I imagine they stretched this whole thing out just to make this feel more epic than anything that’s come before it. They may have accomplished it to some degree, but there were times where I found myself hoping that they would just hurry things up since they were clearly just wasting time at certain points.
This is mostly a problem within the first couple of hours though. It doesn’t feel like an issue when the movie opens up since this kind of setup is what you may anticipate from an opening act to a sequel of this magnitude. I didn’t mind it in the beginning, because it seemed like there was a genuine attempt to turn this into an actual film rather than just a gigantic comic book movie. The problems for me came when this style and tone kept going even when it wasn’t warranted.
This approach really allows you to feel the length of the movie while watching it. If they used more stuff to fill in the runtime, this may not have been the case as things would have moved more fluidly. If that happened, I could have gotten into it a lot more. But as I’ll essentially say again, while this is a weakness in the film for me, I’m sure most hardcore MCU fans will love sitting around in this world for as long as possible.
Another thing about the first two hours is that there isn’t a whole lot of a great deal of action. Before I knew Endgame would be slightly over three hours, I kind of figured there would be more action and a faster pace than there actually is. Once I found out how long it was, my expectations changed. Instead of giving us more of that stuff, they chose to focus more on “world-building” and creating comedic moments. Some of this stuff is actually good and prevented me from disliking these segments.
The primary strength of the first couple of acts comes in the form of the personality that is put on display by many of the characters who stick around through the vast majority of the movie. Since much of this is slow, it’s important that these guys are able to keep you entertained to some degree. Of course, they do this by using comedy, but they also do so by highlighting the chemistry that’s been developed over the course of multiple films.
Once we get to the final hour, things begin to move at a much faster pace. This section of Endgame is typical Marvel in a multitude of ways. At this point, you’ll feel right at home with most of what they’re throwing at you since you’ve already seen this style of filmmaking before from them multiple times by now. I guess this could serve as a disappointment for some, but I was just happy that some speed and consistent action finally showed up.
Of course, this also means that there are plot holes and things that won’t make any sense regardless of how hard you try, but that’s kind of expected too at this point from the MCU. These are a bit bigger than usual, but I don’t think any will take away from the enjoyment of the vast majority of fans. Most are going to watch this for the moments and the characters. Asking questions that won’t add up will be something the plenty of people may make fun of later on, but none of that will really matter to those who will hail this as a “masterpiece.”
As far as what the twists, turns, and surprises sprinkled throughout, there are a few things that happen that you will expect that are able to fit nicely with things that you won’t see coming. As we move through the movie, these events, moments and character developments help in keeping you intrigued since it’s not always predictable. Although I’m speaking of a lot of different things that take place, I’m also speaking about who remains on the team and those who are seeing their tenures come to a permanent end.
When viewers see it for themselves, I’m sure there will be a few tears shed for the fans who will be forced to say goodbye to some of the characters they’ve been riding with for such a long period of time now. For them, this will add weight to the overall proceedings and create a long lasting attachment to the film. When thinking about how they decided how to end the run of certain characters, I think they did well for the most part.
Based on where Endgame finishes up and how it gets there, it doesn’t all make sense but it mostly feels right. I’m left wondering about the direction they’re heading in now with all that has taken place within this film and the MCU as a whole. There are changes being made, but it seems like there will also need to be time to build the future.
With that being the case, I’m expecting for them to take somewhat of a hiatus from these big team-ups as they work on figuring all of that out. If done correctly, the future could be quite interesting for the franchise. Even with some of the exits, they have tons of heroes and villains to bring into this universe. You just hope they do it properly and are able to make quality films that are truly worth all the hype they’ll continue to receive for the foreseeable future.
In spite of my legitimate complaints, I ended up having fun with some of what we get from Endgame. It’s a flawed movie that’s a bit too long and requires you to ignore some things in order for it to get to where it needs to be, but there are some positive aspects that will ultimately satisfy most. If you aren’t a hardcore MCU fan, watching it once may be enough. If you are, I can see you wanting to see this in theaters as many times as possible after.
Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
Robert Downey Jr.
Samuel L. Jackson
Film Length: 182 minutes
Release Date: April 26, 2019
- Score - 6.5/106.5/10