Greetings folks. Your Editor Overlord Julien here aka The Mad Trini Titan. And I am here to talk about what everybody is talking about. No, not Game of Thrones. The OTHER thing everybody is talking about, aka Avengers: Endgame.
Now there are probably as many reviews out there as there were scenarios Dr Strange saw with the Time Stone but you know what? I have assembled a few super friends of mine (sorry wrong franchise) for a one and only Trini Critics League collaboration multi-review! And if that’s not special I don’t know what is. So with a Giant Man-sized SPOILER ALERT here is the very massive Endgame and four not-so mini-reviews:
#1 Julien Neaves, Editor
If I were to compare Infinity War and Endgame to infinity stones the former would be the Power Stone and the latter the Soul Stone. So while IW gave us a grand action spectacle Endgame is a much more intimate, moving and affecting film. Sure there is some epic, unprecedented comic book superhero action that will have you convulsing with multiple nerdgasms. But the film will also have you drenching your 3D glasses with a torrent of tears as you say goodbye to your beloved heroes. And while The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson seemed to relish in defying fan expectations the Russos took care to fulfill them and exceed them. The film is truly a love letter to the fans made by directors who truly love these characters.
And while a wonderful, moving, action-packed spectacle with more callbacks than an insurance agents trying to make their quota it is not a perfect film nor the best MCU film; that honour still goes to the Russos’ first franchise entry The Winter Soldier. There are some plotholes including the time travel set up, the much-heralded Captain Marvel feeling almost superfluous and (Brie Larson’s flat and uninspired performance does the character no favours), and the pacing of some scenes could have been somewhat tighter. But despite these issues Endgame does live it to the planet-sized hype that preceded. And like Cap wielding Mjolnir (best scene EVER) it is worthy to thunder-strike Avatar into dust and sit upon the throne as the highest-grossing film of all time.
#2 Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Avengers: Endgame is the Russo brothers and Marvel Studios’ thank you letter to its dedicated fans. With a run time of three plus hours, the movie takes its time to say goodbye and good luck to the OG team of heroes, we’ve come to know and love. It features quiet moments, funny ones and emotional gut punches, that never feel forced or unearned. The score is sweeping and well timed, the actors are all giving three thousand percent wink wink and of course, that stunning action sequence in the third act, all leaving you cheering in your seats.
That said, the movie does suffer here and there, from an overuse of CGI and the “newer” characters (and even some of the original ensemble) don’t necessarily get the screen time we expected. Thanos is also not as emotionally evolved as I remembered and instead we get a straight up maniacal madman this time around, which was unexpected (yet, understandable when you consider the story that unfolds). The long and short of it is Avengers: Endgame is an amazing feat of cinema, which should’ve been near impossible to pull off. It manages to feel satisfying, flaws and all.
#3 Matthew Bailey, Guest Writer
Among the numerous challenges Avengers: Infinity War overcame in telling its grandiose story, the most impactful involved Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) brilliantly-executed plan to acquire the six Infinity Stones, resulting in his victory and the subsequent (and still emotionally scarring) removal of half of our favourite MCU characters. However, with its sequel Avengers: Endgame, directors Anthony and Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely faced their biggest challenge: bookend a cinematic saga that began 11 years ago with a little movie called Iron Man. And my goodness, did they succeed!
Of course, it’s not a flawless execution. Even with its 3-hour runtime, there’s only so much you can do with so many characters and so much time you can spend explaining logic that even in a comic book movie, can lean slightly towards implausibility. However, I was surprised by the amount of emotional closure given to certain characters and excited by the narrative seeds planted for others. Additionally, Endgame took some unexpected twists and turns with its story – some humourous, some tragic and all mind-blowing. Speaking of mind-blowing, the film even gives us a sequence so monumentally EPIC, it deserves consideration as one of the greatest cinematic moments of all time! Ultimately, Avengers: Endgame succeeds not only at being an emotionally satisfying conclusion to a story spanning 11 years and 22 movies, but as an ambitious and extravagant blockbuster for the ages. (Rating: Light 4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
#4 Wayne Rock, Guest Writer
What Endgame makes very clear is that the Russo brothers took a “one for them, one for us” approach to these movies. If Infinity War, with its fast pace and personal choices to serve the narrative the Russos were trying to create (even at the expense of angering some hardcore fans) was the “one for them,” Avengers Endgame is definitely the “one for us.” Us being the fans, because this movie is a comic-book movie fan’s dream. Every moment you could want in a movie that is essentially the culmination of twenty-two films over 11 years, is in this movie. It’s as if the directors scoured the internet looking for moments that fans wanted or felt were missed in previous movies and purposefully integrated them into the story. The overarching narrative doesn’t suffer for this though, because since Endgame is the first movie of its kind, the directors can take certain risks that another movie just can’t.
While Endgame is a follow-up to Infinity War, it doesn’t feel like a straight-up sequel. The ramifications of “the snap” are definitely felt but a good portion of the movie is dedicated to focusing on how those left behind are coping with loss and failure. Some bury themselves in their work, others try to help the only way they can and yet others are so irreparably broken that it seems impossible for them to come back. The focus of this film on the original six (plus a few stragglers) works to the film’s favour as there are copious character moments that give an emotional weight that made a few tears spring. The stakes have never felt so real and I literally sat on the edge of my seat through the entire film wondering what was going to happen next. All the characters get satisfying conclusions to their arcs and as a fan I couldn’t ask for more. It’s the perfect ending to the Infinity Saga. Of course the movie isn’t perfect. There are a few pacing issues, Captain Marvel feels shoehorned in and her very presence creates some internal logic problems and at times it feels like the film doesn’t obey its own rules, but none of that hurts the film at all. If you’ve been invested in these movies from the moment Tony Stark first said the words “I am Iron Man” in 2008, this movie is for you. And you will love it.
So that’s our reviews. And here is where you can find the members of the Trini Critics League:
*Wayne Rock is at RockLee Productions on YouTube
* Julien Neaves (Me) can also be found at Movieville on Facebook
And wondering how Endgame ranks among the best of the MCU? You can check out the ranking of the Top 10 MCU Movies here.