So, I thought long and hard about whether to go to the midnight screening at my local Cineworld last night. In the end, the child in me won out and I duly crept off in the middle of the night to see the conclusion to over 10 years of world-building in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I knew that the generous 3 hour runtime of the film would mean that I would not get to bed until 3:15am and would then be roused at 6:40 by the alarm for work but something in me just wanted to be one of the first to experience this. I did the same for Infinity War and wasn’t disappointed so I was optimistic that it would be worth it.
I promise no spoilers in this brief review, which is more a collection of my initial observations, probably poorly organised because of sleep deprivation. If you want to know nothing at all about tone or structure, probably best to stop reading just in case.
I have to say that I was blown away by Endgame. It really is a fitting way to close out some of the character arcs that have been building up over such a long period of time. It mixes action, humour, thrills and emotional moments almost perfectly, meaning that there is very rarely a time when you feel like something has been misjudged. There was perhaps one scene that I thought was a little too much but it was brief and didn’t detract in any way from the overall experience.
The film has a very strong opening which serves as a reminder of how the previous film ended, and it builds up to a great middle section with lots of nice touches as the team splits off into some new and more familiar partnerships. We see new details that we might have missed before and the central group get plenty of screen time in which to take centre stage. It has to be said that the central group of protagonists have formed themselves into a very strong ensemble who work incredibly well together. The chemistry on screen is very well developed and never fails to engage. The cast list at the end is immense and a veritable who’s who of Hollywood talent. If Kevin Bacon had featured, it would have rendered the ‘six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ game completely redundant. Too bad he’s in a different Marvel franchise.
The action builds to a massive crescendo as you can probably guess, which feels all the more exciting because of the high stakes and relationships we have built with the characters over the years. There are some hugely satisfying moments to look forward to along the way, some real pathos and I did tear up on two occasions (the parent in me did, anyway).
I don’t want to give anything away so I should probably wind this up. The special effects are phenomenal. Alan Silvestri’s score didn’t come through to me as strongly as it did in Infinity War, but sometimes it takes a couple of watches before little details like this come to the fore. As I said before, the action, drama and comedy are played very well in concert, with one never feeling out of place next to another. Some will say there is too much fan service, but it really is the most glorious, well thought out fan service.
I look forward to seeing where the MCU goes next. If nothing else, it’s been a fantastic ride for all these years and we’ve had all the superhero movies that I thought would never happen as a child. The superhero genre seems destined to be with us for a while longer; I know some people are fed up to their back teeth with it but as far as entertainment and spectacle go, the MCU has really perfected their formula. Whilst I look forward to more character-driven pieces like the upcoming Joaquin Phoenix interpretation of Joker, I will always look fondly on the MCU and look forward to a time when I can start introducing the kids to these wildly entertaining films. The boy’s already watched a bit of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which he enjoyed. Vulture got a bit too scary for him, though, so we shelved it for a while.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I’m looking forward to a proper night’s sleep tonight.
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