Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler Free Review)

Avengers: Endgame is directed by Marvel Studio veterans, Anthony and Joe Russo. They previously directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. (In my opinion they have directed some of the best MCU films) They are currently the only directors who have directed 4 films in the MCU.

I honestly do not know where to begin, because I genuinely do not want to spoil anything about this film. On Wednesday April 24th I went for an early morning 3am advanced screening in Dolby Cinema of the film so that I can go in blind and avoid any kind of spoilers, and it worked brilliantly. I will be watching the film again on Saturday April 27th in IMAX, since it is the only film to be shot entirely (3 hours and 2 minutes) with IMAX cameras. I wish for all the fans to watch the film in the same way, go in totally blind and you will not be disappointed. This film works with surprise, shock and awe. One of the only other films that left the same impression on me was The Empire Strikes Back, which I believe is a film that the Russo Brothers highly admire, I mean who doesn’t.

Anyway, back to the MCU. I will not disclose any plot points of the film, I won’t even provide any captured frames of the film/trailer. I will however talk about the aesthetics and qualities of the film.
The pacing of the film fluctuates slightly, I mean it is just over three hours long, but a welcomed three hours. Some people might find it a little too long, especially the first act. The first act is definitely a slow burn, but it has to be because of what happened at the end of Infinity War. It needed to be sober and built up to the recuperation of what the heroes just went through, the heroes we have grown to love over the past decade. However the pacing picks up significantly with a surprising and perfectly enjoyable fun second act; and a climactic third act that is emotionally hard hitting.
The musical score isn’t groundbreaking but it does satiate the appetite of the visuals in the film. We have all heard and been pumped up by the Avengers theme, which this film uses a few times at key narrative points.

(front L-R) Danai Gurira, Jeremy Renner, Director Anthony Russo, Chris Evans, Director Joe Russo, Brie Larson and Mark Ruffalo, (back L-R) Karen Gillan, Paul Rudd, Scarlett Johansson, President of Marvel Studios/Producer Kevin Feige, Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle and Chris Hemsworth

What I love about the filmmaking of the Russo’s is their viceral style that also manages to feel grounded where the viewer feels like a part of what is happening. In all their MCU films I never felt like a man in the sky watching over what is happening on the ground with the characters. They manage to frame the action where it feels intense and emotional yet without having confused close ups or a “shaky cam” effect, which unfortunately many action films do nowadays.
The production design and sets of Endgame are amazing, with a mix of practical effects and CG set pieces striking a perfect balance like never before in the MCU. Without giving away anything, I will say I was extremely surprised with a lot of the set pieces and “things” and “stuff” that happened.
Sorry I really can’t go into any more detail than that. If you are a fan and have been following the MCU films, Endgame is something you will definitely enjoy and feel satisfied about. It manages to create “fan service” without compromising on quality or impact, be it emotionally or narratively.

If you haven’t watched most, if not all, of the previous 21 Marvel Studios films, then I have to say that this film will not impact you in the way that it is meant to. You cannot view Endgame as a solo self contained film. It is a culmination 3 phases and 21 films spanning 11 years. Yes each phase had an “end,” Phase One ended with The Avengers (2012), Phase Two ended with Avengers: Age of Ultron/Ant-Man (2015). But I would say those would be end of chapters, whereas Endgame isn’t just the end of Phase Three or a chapter, it is the end of a book, the end of the Infinity Saga, honestly the end of an era.

The entire MCU so far has been an overall success with a few films falling short in quality, Endgame brings it all to a satisfying close. The film takes risks and does a lot of unexpected things that I feel strengthen the film as a whole. It manages to somewhat breakaway from the formulaic superhero genre and manages to try and be something different. As Endgame climaxed, so did I and I honestly cannot wait to watch Endgame again on Saturday, this time in IMAX. It’s going to be a whole different experience to a film I think is near perfect.

Rating:
I am giving Avengers: Endgame a 9 out of 10.
Highly recommended to any and all Marvel fans and even the casual Marvel film goer. A gripping conclusion of a 21 film saga, I cannot wait to see what is the next step in the MCU. I am happy and thankful to Marvel Studios for making all these films and building this saga to a crescendo with Endgame. I laughed, I cried, I gasped, I was on the edge of my seat during this film. This whole three phase journey has been a wild ride, let’s hope their next phases can hit the mark again and perhaps take it further. Until Spider-Man: Far From Home (which Kevin Feige has said is the actual last film of Phase Three) is released in July, Marvel Studios has said they will not officially announce anything about their future plans for the MCU. So we will have to just wait until post July 2019. However Disney finalized acquiring the rights of 21st Century Fox this year, so we can expect the X-Men and Fantastic Four to join the MCU in the near future. Also Disney+ streaming service is launching towards the end of this year so we can expect to see a lot more original content being shot and produced, from smaller budget feature films to original series based in the MCU. What can I say except 2019 is a great year for Marvel and Disney overall.

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