Director: The Russo Brothers
Review Author: Tony & Shaun
When a film this big and this anticipated comes along we here at Reel Time Flicks tend to come together for a joint review rather than fight to the death for the right to review. While we are bursting at the seams ready to break down and analyze every second of this movie, we have to respect those who have not yet borne witness to its glory so this review will be spoiler free.
While Infinity War felt like the culmination of all the intertwining threads of the MCU, then Endgame is certainly the conclusion. Nope, that is not a spoiler as one only has to look at the current lineup of future Marvel films to know that the MCU will march on but this is definitely the conclusion to the Infinity Stones and all the heartache they’ve caused our heroes over the years. It’s an incredible feat that this series has spanned over eleven years and across twenty-two films but this is the result of careful planning and studio execs listening to the fans and supporting their filmmaker’s vision. Sure, there are times when the series has felt formulaic, but it’s a minor criticism compared to the consistently high standard this franchise has retained.
During the last few weeks, I ducked and dodged all possible theories and potential leaks. I had a few ideas of how the film might play out or what might be the MacGuffin but I was pleasantly surprised by just how wrong I was. By pleasantly surprised I really mean shook and horrified at the bleak turn within the first 20 minutes, but it’s this subversion of expectations (sorry) that solidifies my opinion of the Russo brothers as some of the best writers in the game who can maintain fresh ideas and dish out new character arcs that feel tied to every event that has come before. The nods and callbacks to even the lesser films in the series show their care and attention to detail. Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom despite such a shocking conclusion in Infinity War, there’s a lot of fun to be had here and plenty of solid comedy that the series is known for.
There is a lot to be said for the sheer spectacle of Endgame with truly amazing scenes of a scale we have not seen before, but the heart of the film lies within its characters. Infinity War was about Thanos’ journey with the MCU roster clocking in as nearly secondary characters in their own film which was a genius tactic of making him almost sympathetic and at the same time fully displaying his sheer force of will and commitment to his objective. Endgame now puts the spotlight back on our heroes and how they deal with the magnitude of events that have befallen them; they’ve lost despite giving everything they had.
Make sure you bring tissues because tears will be shed, whether it tears of sadness or joy, Endgame is bound to pull on even the hardiest cinemagoers heartstrings. Again this falls to the writing and direction of the Russo Brothers who have raised the stakes and show the grief and turmoil these characters have and must face. Fans investment in these films are well rewarded here, and it’s a fitting conclusion to this arc and opens the door for a lot of new opportunities for the franchise to go in. Infinity War and Endgame feel less like films and more like cinematic events, and I’m happy to be a part of what will surely be seen as a milestone in cinematic history.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 glasses of fine brandy
For me, Endgame felt like two films, the latter of which is your traditional superhero genre combined with epic film elements. The first half is very character central often focusing on how the sorrowing events of Infinity War have affected their lives. I was relieved that it also branched out to a worldwide perspective, this is not a tunnel vision look into ‘The Snap’, it was a universal event and I’m glad that the film took the time to tell you pieces of information about how people have come to comprehend what happened. The second half is a very action-packed affair that includes the ever-improving quality of special effects. The fight sequences are entertaining. They have the most emotional weight to them of the entire MCU franchise thanks to the first act.
There were a lot of surprises and new character threads being sewn on. The two characters I was most surprised by were Hawkeye and Thor who both took equally unique and dramatic changes which I won’t spoil here. Even though you’ve been invested in these characters for a long time, Endgame has proven that the creative minds of the Russo brothers still have one or two tricks up their sleeves. The Russo’s exploration of grief is a blend of solemn wittiness, even in the film’s darkest moment it can still find a way to crack a joke for some levity. The lightness that has become more apparent in the MCU is used masterfully; you can clearly see why other superhero franchises want to replicate this.
So, it is at this point where I have to look at a plot device that I have a very strong 50/50 opinion on. This major plot device averages out in most films and it does so here, but one slip up, and the house comes crumbling down. As soon as the words were spoken, I was put on red alert because I was reminded of all the ways something like this can wreck a narrative, and having to come off the back of everything that had come before, the stakes to get this right was exceptionally high. I still believe that this plot device is quite lazy, but I could tell through its usage that the Russo’s have taken extreme precautions to assure that it is done with the utmost care. In a way, it tries to turn the disadvantages into advantages.
The MCU is going to continue, Endgame is an “end of an era” type ordeal. I was debating whether It was going to reach the point where they would pass the torch onto a new generation of MCU fans. It certainly gave that impression, but never followed through with it. Endgame is essentially a passionate love letter and thank you note to followers of the MCU and to those fans their passion and commitment to this film franchise will be handsomely rewarded. Fans and critics will have a big grin on their faces once the credits roll on this highly successful and profitable franchise.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 It’s a great pint of Guinness