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‘Avengers: Endgame’—confusing but spectacular

‘Avengers: Endgame’—confusing but spectacular

by Sebastian James | April 30, 2019

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Avengers: Endgame      
Directed by
Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Josh Brolin. Length 181 minutes.

WARNING: contains spoilers. The Avengers: Endgame is one of the most watched and profitable films of all time. Even if you’ve been living on another planet, you would have heard about this and know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the opening weekend alone Endgame madeUS $1.2 billion dollars at the box office. It’s already breaking records.

Right now on IMDb the film has a 9.1/10 and on Rotten Tomatoes it’s 96% fresh.

Endgame is a big deal because it gives closure to 22 Marvel films.

What!?

Endgame is the last of 22 films. The first was Iron Man, which was released in 2008. Over ten years these films have been woven together into the “Infinity Saga”. All 22 are connected by the Infinity Stones – six jewels that if brought together and attached to a gauntlet (a glove) give the wearer ultimate power. At the end of the Instalment 21, Avengers: Infinity Wars, the villain Thanos finally acquires all six stones and with a snap of his fingers, annihilates half the world’s population, including a number of the super-heroes

This is not a good outcome in anyone’s book. So Endgame sets about reversing it. Th first idea of the surviving Avengers is to force Thanos to give up the Infinity Stones. No go; he has destroyed them.

The key is time travel. This is always a confusing device and Endgame is no exception. Some of the team zip back a few years, retrieve the stones and revive deceased super-heroes. But time travel is a trick that two can play and Thanos is revived, too. The scene is set for the Mother of all Super-hero Battles.

Did I say “confusing”? I should have added “spectacular”.

Reactions have been mixed in my exit poll: “Disappointed ... It was great! ... Waste of time ... Amazing! What did I just watch? A must see! ... Mindless entertainment. Well worth it.”

To enjoy watching Endgame you must not pick apart the lack of narrative coherence. To make all 22 films click together like a Lego toy is an impossible feat. Just relax and let the story wash over you. Doubts and discussion about this final chapter can wait till after the film.

Those who watched only a few or none of the previous films from the Infinity Saga but watched Endgame told me they didn’t have an overwhelmingly positive viewing experience.

If you fit this bill you may enjoy some of the action sequences, or the comedy or the character development but at some point in the three-hour epic you may begin to ask whether you consumed your popcorn too quickly. That’s because there are some slower scenes that are interesting only if you’ve watched at least some of the other films.

I would recommend at the very least watching or knowing a bit about the Avengers: Infinity Wars, Dr Strange, Thor: Ragnarok, and Ant-man and the Wasp. Or just watch a video that briefly summarises all the major plot points leading into Endgame.

If you’re like me and have watched many but not all of the Marvel films then I think you’ll enjoy Endgame. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it more than any of the previous films! This film does reveal some interesting angles and traits to some of the main characters and gives their stories closure – any good story needs an ending and this film provides it. As one of my brothers commented “Endgame without the other films is like cake without the icing”. Wise words but I’d say “like icing without the cake”.

If you’re a Marvel Cinematic Universe junkie you’ll absolutely love it!

3.5 stars for me.

Parents should be know that there is mild violence, swearing, some excessive drinking and a quick reference to a homosexual relationship.

Sebastian James is a Sydney journalist.  

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