“Avengers: Endgame” is a fitting – and LONG – tribute to the last 10 years of the MCU

[editor’s note: this is the kind of review you get when Publish is hit while writing, rather than Draft. Still, I avoided spoilers. Go me.]

“Oh. This is nice.”

This movie is long. This movie feels long. And it’s 100% worth it.

Expect ALL THE MEMES from this one. In-between moments of real emotional heft, the jokes come fast and furious. I’m sure a lot of folks will be joking about [REDACTED] and [CENSORED], not to mention the moment when [CUT FOR SPOILERS] . Okay, just trust me. Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely do an incredible job blending emotional punches, from knee-slapping humor to shut-up-you’re-tearing-up, and everything in-between.

There’s also a lot of moments that feel like we’re spying on these characters, moments that are private and give glimpses of the day-to-day, after-the-boom life of superheroes. I loved ’em. I think I can avoid spoilers and still say the first scene of the film is a quiet one that builds to a helluva moment. It’s a perfect way to introduce the film to fans and n00bs alike. Because this film is definitely for the fans…but curious newcomers will find a lot to enjoy as well.

Yes there’s the inevitable fan service stuff littered throughout. Heck, it’s been ten years of the MCU, almost everything ties to something that’s come previously. But you don’t need to know every character, every moment, or even the basics of prior films to enjoy the ride. The Avengers are a group of flawed characters that step up to do what’s right no matter what the personal cost. That type of selflessness provides an anchor for the climactic scenes to hang their hats on, and the gravity of the overall situation is obvious even if you don’t know Tony from Steve.

Okay, a few thoughts I hope won’t spoil things:

  • This movie clocks in at a hair over THREE HOURS. Plan your concessions accordingly. And go before you sit down, even if you don’t have to. You’re welcome.
  • Its three hour length echoes the epic blockbuster-ness of this film. It does a great job toasting the last ten years, and there’s lots of spectacle to be had.
  • There’s a Girl Power moment that is absolutely awesome and absolutely feels like something added in. Yeah we’ve got a lot of great female superheroes now. But while I fist-pumped and cheered, I also felt a bit…catered to. That said, any asshat who goes off on a “FEMINATZI AGENDA!!!111!!” is, in fact, an asshat.
  • Stan Lee does have a cameo. And it’s great, though goes by in a flash. Spoiler for folks who want to make sure you don’t miss him: look for a light sky-blue car with ‘Nuff Said on the bumper. He’s driving it.
  • Lots of loose ends get tied up in Endgame. Lots of them don’t. And there are questions that emerge from the goings-on of the film. I can’t wait to chew things over with my fellow nerdlings.
  • Love the way PTSD is handled in this film; it’s not one size fits all, and not everyone is “fixed” by the end credits.
  • Oh, and hello Hemsworth! He shows that not only can he do serious and funny, he can do ’em in mere heartbeats from each other. Kudos to the rest of the cast, of course, for…oh wait. Spoilers. Yeah. But trust, they all bring their A Game. And their love for this universe shines through.
  • There’s no post-credits scene, or mid-credits scene. So go to the bathroom already. Well… There’s a very brief sound but I don’t think anyone has the faintest clue what that means (if anything.) Nobody I saw the screening with had an idea, though I’m sure it’ll be hashed out over and over again. So go search “Endgame Post Credits Sound” after you see the movie if you’ve gotta go. This info brought to you by my bladder. Taking the hit so you don’t have to.

Grade: A-

Yes, it’s great and I enjoyed it. But there’s a moment or two that drag a bit. I’d chalk that up to strange editing choices rather than a lack of plot structure or padding. They’re barely noticeable…but the fact that I did? I’ve gotta call it.

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