Movie review: Avengers: Endgame boldly, brilliantly caps an era
There are many questions surrounding Avengers: Endgame.
The biggest – considering it is a three-hour film – is when is the best time to go for that toilet break.
On the strength of one viewing, my message is: Go before you go.
There may be some quieter moments every so often, but then something happens onscreen that would give any bladder-pressured fan severe FOMO.
So forgo the waste bin-sized soft drink.
Now the difficult bit. Without any spoilers, how do I describe the film?
Here goes... Endgame is packed to the rafters.
To call it epic is an understatement. So much happens that you’ll try to recall the start of the film like it's a long-lost memory.
It’s big, bold and throws down a huge gauntlet to any and all other franchises.
The message? Beat that!
After 11 years, the Marvel masterplan, the envy of every movie studio, has come to fruition. And like Thanos, they are here to lay waste to all competition.
If other studios looked at last year's Avengers: Infinity War and thought that they had their work cut out, they’ll feel like shutting shop after seeing this. For them, this will really feel like endgame.
The movie is pretty full on from the off, with surprises at every turn. There are events in here that turn various innocuous scenes from the past decade of movies into cunning long-game pay-offs. And some of these pay-off to huge effect.
Whatever you think you know, you probably don’t. Not fully.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, have lied/bent the truth in trailers before and this film is no exception.
Seeing how the previously released scenes play out within context will get audiences gasping.
As for the plot (spoiler free, of course).
The effects of Infinity War run deep. This film is more than happy to emphasise that our heroes lost and it has hit them hard.
No amount of pep talks are going to put things right.
And this is the darkest the Marvel films have been. Hawkeye, in particular has become more killer than Avenger. An angel of death for the unjust who survived Thanos.
Of course it’s not three-hours of wallowing.
Marvel films have always excelled at cutting through their serious moments with a laser-sharp, precision-timed quip.
After all, the series is founded on the template set by Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man back in 2008.
For the heroes, there is a job to be done. Some regrouping, some changes in character, some changes physically.
Every actor brings their A+ game with special shouts going to Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. The heart and soul, respectively of this entire Marvel endeavour.
If Marvel were to close up shop tomorrow, they’d have done it having put a 24-carat, gleaming cap on the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And let's face it, there's still much more to come.
You could call some moments fan-service, but this works at a standing ovation level.
There are some minor issues – some CGI really doesn't work and there are some contrivances that raise an eyebrow. But they are minor.
When Iron Man came out, I was already a cynical adult and yet the whole experience of watching Avengers: Endgame got me emotional.
Heaven knows what it will do to the young adults who grew up with these movies.
If you leave this film not once having felt your eyes heat up, or having your vision distort as a tear wells in your eye, you might just be Thanos.