A Fitting Sendoff;
Emotional And Epic;
Well, the Infinity Saga is over, and it was one hell of a ride. After the events of Infinity War, the world was eagerly awaiting an end to the saga that began more than ten years ago and seemed to gain momentum faster than an avalanche. And if the numbers and reviews for the first week are any indication, Marvel has hit another in a series of home runs, except this one carries with it the enormous weight of massive expectations.
Will this end up on my top ten at the end of the year? Probably not. But did it deliver in a huge way and give me a wonderful theater experience? By any metric, the answer is a resounding yes. Marvel formed a plan and never wavered, trusting their fans to follow a lot of different journeys and a few different timelines to arrive at this point. Their investment has netted a massive return, grabbing them the biggest opening weekend of all time, with most of those fans leaving the theater happy (and a bit sad).
One of the things the film does best is the handling of the quiet moments. This isn’t necessarily the massive-scale battle movie we expected, and, wisely, the script really lets us dig into what the remaining characters must be going through after Thanos famously snapped his fingers. We are treated to some honest, tender moments between characters we expect and those we don’t, and it really fits the tone of the world that was created in the wake of the mass extinction, and helps put the viewers into the mindset of our remaining heroes.
The other Marvel trademarks are here in full force as well. References to past films and events are front and center, and even little tidbits for those paying extra close attention. The sense of humor we’ve grown accustomed to is obviously present as well (one angle in particular, involving Thor, was wildly humorous and unexpected), without tipping the scales too much as some argued was the case in Thor: Ragnarok. But Marvel never forgets that the movies should be entertaining, and they have a fully-realized understanding of their audience and their saga and know how to handle both. And, naturally, we got our final flash of the great Stan Lee on camera, giving us one final cameo to remember him by. Thanks for everything, Stan.
The performances are exactly what you expect. The characters we are used to getting a bit more from are delved into a bit deeper than others (Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and a few others), while fringe characters may not have as much to do but are still crucial to the story and their players work to maximize their screen time in frames that are sometimes bursting with big names. Some of the most well-known arcs throughout the entire Infinity Saga are handled beautifully, giving characters great sendoffs and others whole new worlds to explore down the road.
Marvel deserves a ton of credit for what they accomplished here, tying together 21 preceding films into one massive, epic sprawl that manages to keep us engaged for an additional three hours while the book is being closed on this chapter (even though, yes, Endgame is not the end of this Phase of the MCU, as we will get that later this year with Spider-Man: Far From Home). The Russo Brothers and writers Markus and McFeely deliver a film that is never boring, and while it certainly has some moments of fan service and pandering, it is exactly what it needed to be. Surely, there are some fans who won’t be pleased, but these are times when I’m glad I’m a movie nerd and not a comic book one.
This was everything I wanted it to be, and, thanks to trailers that showed practically nothing, it managed to pack in a lot of surprises to boot. To use an old phrase, I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I applauded. It was a great time at the movies.
Have you seen Avengers: Endgame? What did you think? Drop a comment below and head over to our Facebook Community for much more discussion!