Well, my dreams came true last night. After 11 years of nearly-daily Marvel speculation, discussion, reviewing, and day-dreaming, the final chapter of the Infinity Saga is here. Since I’m not a terrible person, this review will be 100% spoiler-free which is only bad for one reason: I can’t talk about anything. Because of that, any details of the movie that are required to discuss to explain my position on certain elements will be completely glossed over; even if you watch all of the trailers, you’ll still have no idea what to expect from the film and I’d like to keep it like that. So, here is my very vague and ambiguous review of the “end” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to this point…
First things first, this film is three hours. However, it did not feel like three hours. I checked my phone throughout simply to see when around the act breaks were (and how much left of the film since I was dreading it ending), but at no point did I wonder if it was almost over. I made sure to pee right before the movie started, but still was distracted by my need to do so during the last 90 or so minutes. If you can, treat this like a surgery and don’t consume any liquids for a good while before watching it; but it doesn’t feel as long as I’m making it sound.
As a matter of fact (yes, fact) for the last hour or so I literally (yes, literally) jumped out of my seat, cheered, fist-pumped, squealed, flailed, and just about hopped over the row of seats in front of me to get closer to the screen (yes, screen). I have never felt that way about any movie, ever. Even if I go through my entire Letterboxd film-watching history (username BCarsonElite, over 1900 films), I can’t find a single example to bring up that caused me to react with even a fraction of this intensity. It is, simply put, the greatest hour in cinema history.
As I said in my Letterboxd blurb-review: “I didn’t even know where to look on screen for the last hour. This is the Return of the King of the MCU, perfectly tying up everything you hoped it would and many things you would never have expected. Touching, beautiful, surprising, exciting, and astounding in every way.”
The reason I start with that is because I’m not quite as enthusiastic as the first hour, and even the second hour seemed to take it’s time during certain sections. Since I help manage a theater, I got to see it in a theater all by myself (hence the cheering and jumping) but when my assistant manager came in around 30 minutes into the film to ask how it was so far, I told him it was “pretty good.” It does have a fairly slow beginning, but since this takes place in the aftermath of Infinity War, having a fast-paced beginning would most certainly feel out of place in every way. So, I don’t complain about the first act but it’s not as thrilling as most first acts in Marvel films (especially the most recent Infinity War).
While the second act was much more thrilling, albeit with a few lulls still, there isn’t a single moment of this film that could have been scrapped. Every frame of this movie is totally necessary for the story of this film, and the conclusion of every other. When I say “conclusion of every other,” I do mean it. Endgame doesn’t just tie up the MCU in the absolute best way imaginable, but it also hearkens back to every previous Marvel movie to date, from Iron Man to Infinity War, not a single movie is ignored. I will not tell you what, how, why, or where these references take place, but seeing every previous movie is a worthwhile investment before watching this one.
This is when it starts to get extremely difficult to not talk about any details. I know that the internet is full of spoilers right now so avoiding them is nigh impossible, but I consider myself more your friend than your critic so I’d prefer to write a vague “review” that serves as a detriment to the quality of my writing than an in-depth review that serves as a detriment to the quality of your movie-going experience. This is a film that will lose a significant chunk of magic if you know what happens, when it happens, or how it happens and there are more than a dozen moments you’d want to be kept a secret from you. If at all possible, delete Twitter /Instagram /YouTube /Reddit /Letterboxd /Facebook and everything else from your phone until you watch the movie because you’ll be happy to remain as blind as possible.
I won’t give any details as to what I thought was amazing (just about everything), but some characters that I had different expectations with were Thor, Hulk, and Captain Marvel. They weren’t disappointing in the least, but their “job” in the film was something that I had to get used to and although it threw me off at first, I assume that going in for a second time tonight, and then a third time tomorrow, and then a fou-… that I’ll grow to understand, appreciate, and even enjoy those characters’ roles. But that’s all you’ll get out of me, I’m going to mention any details whatsoever.
All in all, Endgame is everything that I could have ever hoped it would be, and so much more. Not in my wildest dreams could I have thought of a conclusion to this absurdly epic saga that even remotely impresses as much as this did. Over the years, fans have speculated about this and that in an endless swarm of excitement; this movie listens and gives you want you want. I can’t express my love for this enough. I loved Infinity War a ridiculous amount when it was released and as I’ve watched it over and over to this point, it’s still just as exciting to me. The Wanda and Vision Scotland stuff got a little old after awhile and some of the humor has started to feel flat but I don’t see that happening much with this film. Sure, there are jokes that I’ve already begun to wish played a less-significant role but all in all, the humor is fed through the story and since the story is so powerful, the humor feels as though it simply belongs there.
I mentioned earlier that I didn’t know where to look for the last hour of the film, there was just so much going on. This is where repeat viewings will become very valuable to fans of the film; maybe it could have taken more time to show some of the things happening but slow-motion gets old after the second viewing and seeing something new every time you watch the movie is priceless. So, I can’t really fault the movie for that even if there was simply too much going on in some frames to make sense of it all. That Thanos/Ant-Man butt stuff was just too crazy to comprehend, ya know?
Maybe I can think of an equivalent to my excitement for this film: 2012’s The Avengers. Seeing those characters together for the very first time is something that I’ll never forget, and this movie trumps that moment with a dozen moments that are even more memorable. In every way shape and form, this feels like the payoff we’ve been waiting for; an epic finale to the greatest firework show of all time. You’re not going to want to miss this one.
5 out of 7
(That’s a joke…) As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!