So Avengers: Endgame has been out in theaters for about a week and it looks as if most of the planets population has already seen it. The behemoth blockbuster did better than a Professor Hulk smashing a car (if you've seen the movie you get that joke). Speaking of which, if you have NOT had a chance to see this movie yet, do not read further. Seriously. I appreciate you wanting to read this review, but I'm telling you right now, you're going to be doing a disservice to yourself when you see it. So last warning... we're going to be not holding back any punches and will going into MAJOR spoiler territory in 3... 2... 1....
If you had a chance to read my spoiler-free review, you'll see that I gave it an initial 4/5 score. A week later, I still stand by that. I wanted to be able to give this a 5/5 so bad, but in good consciousness, I couldn't. There were several little things that irked me too hard. It was like riding on the most beautiful road, with the top down in a car that only Tony Stark would dream of, but then suddenly hitting the breaks every 20 or 30 minutes... just because.
So let's start out with some of the cons for me that thwarted my perfect score for this movie. For starters: fat, mopey Thor. I get it, he's sad because he lost his family and he didn't "go for the head." But he has New Asgard now and his pals Korg, Miek and even Valkyrie are there. The village... even the culture looks to be rebuilding.... with no thanks to our fallen hero. He's too busy trolling kids on video games. A funny moment for sure when he gives Rocket a big hug with his over done beer gut body suit... but the joke continues on.... for the entire movie. At least the look of fat Thor does. He's back in a wig and false beard and fat body suit as he fights Thanos with the rest of the Avengers, but he's moving and fighting like he was fine. He could have been a little more winded if they wanted to go along with the joke in the fight, but still.... it was a sad choice.
Speaking of that fight... it was amazing, it was tough and, did you notice, it was fought by the girls?Now, this isn't a complaint about getting the girls together to fight or a knock on Marvel showing love to their strong female characters. Its just I actually feel like Avengers: Infinity War pulled it off much better! This felt like overkill. The final battle with Thanos and his army was too massive on scale to focus on one shot that had all the women (even the timid Mantis was in the fray with everyone). It's like Marvel wanted to beat you over the head with the fact they have powerful female superheroes in that moment, and it sure worked. I think I still have the bruise. But on the other hand, if they were going to do it... there would have not been any other time to seize the opportunity. The moment will garner many more cheers than groans.
Speaking of powerful female superheroes... let's talk about the newest one. She had her debut movie just prior to Avengers: Endgame, but her role was reduced here to being a simple plot point, called "Deus ex machina." It's a classic phrase that literally means "God from the machine" and is to have some high powered outside force come in to save the day. You can see her be this in the opening of the movie, saving Tony Stark and Nebula. After the first death of Thanos, she retreats back into the cosmos to fight other threats, leaving the rest of the Avengers to work out their own things back on Earth. But without the use of Nick Fury's pager, she somehow was able to join the battle with everyone else. Say it with me, "Deus ex machina."
Finally there was only one other thing that seemed to get old for me was the running commentary on how wonderful Captain's rear-end looks. Like with Thor, one quick quip is funny and cute, but more than that just seemed gratuitous at times. Even when Captain looks at his own butt after he knocks himself out just took me out of the moment of one of my favorite parts of the movie.
Yes! The best part for me was not the big finale of everyone fighting each other, it was the smaller moments of this movie. When the team travels back in time to collect the infinity stones, Captain America comes into contact with himself from the past. The past Captain America believes it to be Loki, whom Loki seems to love to impersonate, and the fight ensues. This was such a fun surprise and yet so darn cool.
While Captain America was the real stand-out character who carried the film, we can't talk about Avengers films without Tony Stark. He presented an issue where he finally got everything he needed in his life, not what he used to think he wanted. He is humbled, married and a father! And a great father. Speaking of fathers, he even gets to have one last touching moment with his father that he had only ever dreamed of. Tony is the one who started it all, and at the post-credits "scene" is really just a sound of iron being hammered. The spirit of Iron Man will always be there after his passing. We will always love him, 3000.
I was pleasantly surprised by the new threat that Thanos had gained. He lost the stones when he destroyed them himself, and then died, all within the first 15 minutes of the movie. But when Thanos from the past discovers Nebula's connection to the future Nebula's memory banks, it gets real. It had me in a place of thinking, "What do you do when your enemy knows the future?" It's dangerous, and Thanos shows just how that can be far more dangerous than taking a sports almanac to the past and betting on the Cubs.
Other highlights was that we got to see Hawkeye and Ant-Man really shine. I think their characters got some much deserved (and well acted) love in an Avengers movie. Of course the ending of the film was a strong finish, much like closing the cover of a huge, hard-cover book. There's a complete sense of satisfaction and finality. True, we lost a few characters in this film, possibly forever. Tony, Natasha, Bruce Banner (well, he and Hulk worked out a seemingly permanent solution in becoming Professor Hulk) and... can't we fix Vision and put the stone back? What happened there, Captain? And when Captain went back to return the soul stone, what happened when he met up with a ghostly Red Skull?
Again, the cons for me are really nothing more than momentary nit-picks, but for me they stick out like a sore thumb. But this beautifully shot movie does truly take many viewings to be able to digest everything that is really going on. Maybe that's why it broke so many records in just the first weekend alone! It not only demands a second screening (mainly to watch the parts you missed when you had to go to the bathroom), but because this is a true cinematic event that needs to be seen on a big screen... and in a packed room. You won't feel that silly when you cheer and cry, because everyone else is doing the same thing.
Still a solid 4/5 stars.
Well, today is the day! Avengers: Endgame is out in theaters and audiences have already begun watching the culmination of 11 years and 22 films. It was a daunting task, to say the least, for the Russo brothers, who directed the film. But they did it! When you have to literally close the book and give closure to beloved characters and millions of fans, it would be like facing off with Thanos himself.
Was it a perfect movie? No. Was it a great movie, worthy of the expensive movie tickets and waiting in lines with throngs of sweaty nerds clamoring to get in? You bet! This is one of those movies you need to see in a sold-out theater and not wait for it to come out on Disney+. Movie theaters owners and managers are already extremely worried about the "small screen" killing their business, much like the entire motion picture industry struggled with the predominance of television in the 1950's. Back then, their solution was inventing "Cinemascope" and other anamorphic lenses to keep people coming to the theaters. Today's solution is showing movies like Avengers: Endgame.
This movie has moments where, if you have invested any bit of time or connection with the characters, will have you in tears. It will also have people rising to their feet and cheering! It will have moments of you audibly saying, "that is so cool!" I can't actually remember the last time I was taken out of the story because I thought what I was watching was just too awesome. That being said, there were some moments that took me out of the story for not so good reasons... one is a running gag that they carried throughout the movie... and that was a shame. There were other moments of pure convenience that left more to be desired.
That being said, some characters got great moments to really shine. The first two acts of the movie is all character building and getting ready for the inevitable third act. There were times when I was even questioning "Well, how are they going to get out of this one?" But in true heroic fashion, they fly through it all, while we stand on our feet and cheer them on.
The over all arc of the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe is epic is scale, which also wouldn't have happened without the trailblazing filmmakers behind the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series. Like those series, you may need to catch up on previous films if you don't want to be totally lost. However, you will cry and cheer right when the directors wants you to, which means you're going to be invested in the characters and the movie. This film isn't without it's flaws, but in terms of movie-going experiences, it's a top-notch adventure film which is worthy of a 3-hour popcorn filled adventure to the movie theater... maybe even twice.
Also, they say not to spoil the movie... and you don't want to after seeing it. This final Marvel gift needs to be unwrapped be each true fan in person.
I'm Daniel Lahr and I'm the Executive Director and Founder of the Central Coast Film Society. We're going to begin having a regular blog going on here where I'll be sharing my feelings on local events, news and movie events (ie. movie reviews)!
I hope you all enjoy and get to know us a little bit better as we continue to grow. This will also be a place where I'll share all of my recaps of events we have, give special thanks to people who help us out along the way, and maybe share some news here first with you!
That being said, the summer blockbuster movie season is just getting started this week with the arrival of Avengers: Endgame. I'll be seeing it on Thursday night and I couldn't be more excited! So I will follow up with our first review. That being said... there's many, many more movies coming out this year. What would you like to see me review?