"Never take off the mask."
"Never take off the mask."

Unmasked: “Avengers: Endgame”

Credits to ALASTØR for the amazing images that you will see in this review.

I’ve been thinking for quite a long time about the “end of an era” and how soon it actually is and how I will most likely be one of the first to write anything about the potential movie event of the year (it sounds a bit weird now, publishing the English version two years later, but everything written here is the same thing I felt right then when the movie came out). As I’ve mentioned before, for reasons unbeknownst to me, it looks like the Marvel-related reviews are sort of a taboo in my case and after each and every new two-hour portion of comic overdose I feel somewhat creatively exhausted and have no idea what to write to properly present my actual emotions.

This time, however, although a week later (and for the English-speaking audience that might be reading this now – again, this was written quite some time ago, so let’s say it was indeed a week and not two years later), maybe because we’re talking about, again, the end of an era (practically speaking, that is, theoretically the end is considered to be the second Spider-Man movie) not only in the comic book world but in the cinema world in general, or maybe just because it’s been enough time already (since I usually write down something the second I come out of the movie theater and this affects my opinion quite a lot at that moment, to be honest), I decided to involve myself in the tons of reviews/comments/thoughts that have been written about this and share with you my opinion not so much as a review, but rather as a pretty looong comment about what I’ve seen in the Avengers and whether the long wait was worth it after all.

I want to point out, though, that I’ll try to be as most spoiler-free as possible even though I’m pretty sure that every self-respecting fan of such movies has already watched “Endgame” (even a week after its release, not to mention two years later) and if for some unbelieveable reason you haven’t yet – then shame on you. The rest of the audience which wouldn’t care for this movie genre anyways will most likely not be interested in what’s written here and still – I’ll try to only hint the things that await you if you ever decide to spend 3 hours of your life without leaving your movie seat for whatever reason. But enough with the irrelevant information, let’s talk business.

11 years. 22 movies. Over 48 hours of pure screen time. 140+ actors in main and supporting roles. This is only a minimal and a pretty generalised part of the statistics when talking about the MCU, but is more than enough to show the scales and the influence of the universe which has pretty much defined the modern understanding for comic book movies (as much as Fox and DC have tried to say otherwise) and with which quite a big part of the current generation has grown up (me included). Here I’m supposed to talk about a single movie (which I’ll try to do, somehow) but in reality “Avengers: Endgame” is only the icing of the cake that has been built up and decorated in the last decade.

The main people “guilty” for the way the saga ends (and also for its main building blocks to start with) are the Russo brothers whose requests towards the audience were obviously not heard (i.e. #dont #spoil #the #endgame) and if I hadn’t watched the movie before its official premiere, a random Internet fan/troll would have most likely received a very “likeable” response from me towards their spoiling comments. Maybe because of that, actually, as I’ve recently learned, 7th May 2019 has been officially announced as the free-for-all day, i.e. the day after which you can spoil as much as you want and the creators won’t even be mad at you (or in other words, another reason to spare more details in this review). The truth is, though, no matter what anyone says, that Anthony and Joe have been doing an amazing job since 2014 (and even since before that) and completely deserve all the ovations, awards and, of course, income that they have already received or will receive with the release of this movie.

It’s fair to say, however, that there seems to be a part of the fans who are not content with how the movie turned out purely plot-wise (I also have some notes, especially for the ending, but more about that will be shared later) and this could be due to a couple of reasons: firstly, it must be that these viewers are not fans of the comic book cinema; secondly, these viewers are fans of this type of cinema but are simply haters as well;

thirdly, “Infinity War” was just sooo good that it raised the bar and the expectations towards the directing brothers and the real ending of the series quite high, so it was inevitable that they wouldn’t be able to surpass themselves and the effect that they achieved with last year’s blockbuster. I can name a couple of more reasons but one thing can’t be denied (I was thinking of leaving this for the end but I’ll come up with something else for that): “Avengers: Endgame” is definitely not the franchise’s best movie and could have probably been better but in its essence it’s maybe the most fitting and deserving final that we as fans could have received, so a job very well done, Mr. and Mr. Russo!

Now that I mentioned the plot, let’s say something about it as well. To be honest, in the end the way that has been used to defeat Thanos was just enough to look legit and not disappointing but nothing more, really. There wasn’t anything that impressive, I’ve never liked the time travel concept simply because it’s inevitable to create some plotholes and illogical moments, and I wouldn’t say I admired the ending of the epic itself as well and not because of how the battle ended but more because of the “doors” that Marvel left open for possible future movies in the same universe.

And yes, there definitely were cool moments (at one point we saw almost all of the main heroes that have ever appeared in the universe so far), the nostalgia hit hard a couple of times and those were probably some of the best parts in these 3 hours, the final battle was also pretty epic and very well shot.

And still, after two hours of build-up and characters being reborn and another hour of hard hitting, a fighting spectacle, a visual feast and lots of dramatical events, I was left with the feeling that something, as tiny as it is, is missing in order to make this movie the perfect ending of the franchise. And again, I have to say that ultimately this is what I saw in the movie and all of this comes from the expectations that I had about the storyline development in general.

If I judge by the people around me who were seeing the movie at the same time, however, then we’ve obviously watched different movies as there were more applauses in the end than when the Pope came to our capital for a visit and more crying than the one over the death of each main character in the last season of “Game of Thrones”. At one point during the movie I had the feeling that I was in one of those American sitcoms where they start the fake laughing as a kind of a reminder that this is actually supposed to be funny.

Well, this time it had more of a reverse effect – apologies, was I at a movie screening or at the circus?

And yes (I’m probably repeating myself already), “Avengers: Endgame” is a great ending but it’s great not because it’s something unique by itself but more because the movies before (especially the ones done by the Russos) were so good and managed to develop the main characters in such a way that it’s almost impossible not to like them and there’s just no way that the audience’s emotions after leaving the cinema could be ruined or affected. And by the way, since I mentioned the characters, to be completely honest, this movie has basically only two of them – Cap and Stark.

The rest of the original Avengers are also back to either revive some old relationships, prove that they’ve managed to bond with their alter ego or just drink beer and be a caricature of themselves until the moment when it’s even not funny anymore. I won’t even comment the rest of the heroes as, excluding Ant-Man and Spider-Man, all of them are there only because they’ve had solo movies or have appeared in other ones and particularly in the last battle I had the feeling that the studio has literally thought deeply about how to assign them to a whatever meaningless task they could do only to help them get at least some screen time. I didn’t really want to mention names but heroes like Black Panther and Captain Marvel were completely unnecessary, especially when bearing in mind how much the latter has appeared in the movie’s marketing campaign and how she looked like in “Endgame”, like we don’t already have enough LGBT characters to have to include her in that group as well.

And still, as critical as I may have sounded until now, the seeming to be secondary characters in the movie are still doing a fine job (which is clear even without the behind-the-scenes “spoilers” which Chris Pratt revealed to the world) in setting up the stage for the two main ones – Captain America and Iron Man (and Thor, to some extent). No matter what else we discuss, the fact that they are the only two heroes with more than two solo movies in the universe should be a proof enough. Steve and Tony’s character development reached its climax here and after everything they’ve been through, they absolutely deserved the maybe most honourable and heroic end they could have received in their quest (with a few notes, like I already mentioned, but they can be ignored). Whatever the guys from Marvel decide to do with the possible alternate universes which they are on the brink of creating after everything that’s happened here (it appears someone has watched too much “X-Men: Days of Future Past”), the lack of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans will surely be noticed and felt in the upcoming movies and only time will tell if a potential reboot of the story of whichever of the two is the right move towards improving the comic book cinema and maintaining the total Marvel domination in that genre.

After all the things that have been said so far, it started sounding to me as well that I might actually not have been left content with the movie, but that’s in fact not true. It is a fact, though, that it’s another movie with a pretty good sense of humour (I won’t even mention the visual and audio aspects of the movie – Marvel’s crew has proven quite a lot of times already that they know what they’re doing). It is a fact too that this might be the movie event of the year (or at least the most anticipated one). It is a fact that, as expected, the movie competely broke all box office records. And since Marvel closed a historical movie cycle by turning back time and with some nostalgic references, I’ll allow myself for yet another time to stress on what I said at the beginning of these writings: “Avengers: Endgame” might not be Marvel’s crown jewel (my personal best still is Waititi’s creation) but it is of utmost importance not only to the studio and to the comic book movie industry, but to the cinema in general. “Endgame” is also the endgame of an era, the resolution and the epilogue of a saga loved by millions of fans and I don’t really see any reason to give it any subjective scores so I’ll just sum up everything like this:

Thank you x3000, Marvel!

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