Our favourite cinema had all eight screens set up for the first showing of Avengers: Endgame; the cinema foyer was a sea of costumes, branded t-shirts and face paint. Over 900 people, all happy to brave the 03:30am finish, ready to see the culmination of a story eleven years and twenty-two films in the making. It is fair to say that my excitement levels were pretty high, as were my expectations.
Unfortunately, though, for me this film just did not deliver in the way that I have come to expect from the MCU. I though that, perhaps, I was a little tired and that I would enjoy it more the second time round. My second viewing, however, was even less enjoyable than the first (although that may be because we watched it straight after GoT’s episode 3, which was EPIC!).
Now, I am just one person, and judging by some of the reviews and comments out there; there are a lot of people who really enjoyed this one, so please, take my opinion with a pinch of salt, go out there and see it for yourselves :).
Still reeling from the events of Infinity War, not used to failing, our heroes are desperate to correct their mistakes and bring back their loved-ones, and the other half of the universe of course. They head off on a last-ditch effort, along with new arrival Captain Marvel, to win back the stones from Thanos and the world to rights once again. Unfortunately for them, not only has Thanos achieved his goal but he has also ensured that his actions cannot be undone.
Five years later, the surviving Avengers are still trying to adjust to their new world but the surprise return of an old friend gives them a new purpose, and a spark of hope is reignited…
Whilst I had no qualms about the 3-hour runtime, I did find the pacing to be a little off. For me, the first two hours dragged on for far too long and could’ve easily been condensed into an hour, an hour-and-a-half tops. This would’ve then opened up the final act, which, when you take into consideration the scale of the battle in Infinity War, felt watered down and rushed.
This would’ve also allowed more time and focus to be spent on some of our favourite characters, some of which had an offensively minimal amount of screen time. *Minor spoiler* but it felt as though some of our favourite characters, like Drax, Groot, Bucky and Nick Fury, had been relegated to the role of extras, tiny cameos instead of standing front and centre with the others.
Obviously, I understand that when you have as many main characters as the MCU, it is extremely difficult to give everybody the screen time they deserve, although they managed it quite well in Infinity War. And I also understand that this film is predominantly centred around the original Avengers and the closing of their story arcs, but that doesn’t mean that the others should be pushed aside.
This ‘end of an era’ ethos also translated into the general gist of the main storyline, which took us on a trip down memory lane, to some of our favourite MCU moments. Now while I originally interpreted it as lazy writing and a lack or originality, looking back, I’ll admit that it was a nice way to close out the first three phases.
It was great for us, and our heroes, to look back and see things from a slightly different perspective and it did provide us with some genuinely funny moments. Whilst I am not his biggest fan, and without spoiling too much, Cap had some of the best scenes with a throwback to the elevator scene in Winter Soldier, and his exasperated “Yeah, I know” was one of my favourite lines.
Rather surprisingly, this film was quite humour-heavy, which was fun but, at times, a little inappropriate. This is the end of an era, I want to be emotional, God damn it!! That being said, I did cry for a solid 10 minutes towards the end. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know why.
As I’ve already mentioned, the cast list for Endgame is massive and there were some strong, solid acting throughout, but for me the two that stood out the most were Robert Downey Jr and, rather surprisingly, Paul Rudd. Both of whom gave some career best performances, offering the perfect balance between humour and emotion that the rest of the film gets so wrong.
Overall, this film left me feeling a little underwhelmed. Yes, there are positives but this is no way, shape or form in the top ten films of the MCU. But as long you don’t expect too much from it, then it is a pleasant watch. But as always, don’t take my word for it, check it out and see for yourself.