Avengers: Endgame Reaction and Review

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

How do you end something that is more than 10 years in the making? Avengers: Endgame is how. This world, the MCU, is the epitome of storytelling. We've been so invested in these people it's hard not to have high expectations for this, the final installment.

I tip my hat to Directors the Russo's for creating such an eloquent farewell. They, along with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley and Producer Kevin Feige have done what Disney does best: put the customer experience first. This movie is for the the fans.

Even though we've been exposed to the idea that good guys always win (Game of Thrones, anyone?), it's still disconcerting when things go as horribly wrong as they did in Infinity War. When we last saw earth's defenders, some had been, literally, beaten. Some were presumed lost in space and many others floated away as a result of Thanos' creation of the Infinity Gauntlet and making good on his promise to wipe out half of Earth's population. They hadn't yet met Captain Marvel. 

Endgame picks up in the past, but doesn't stay there for long, at least initially. The movies' use of time and time jumps is masterful. This is where having a refresher on the history of the Infinity Stones* and where (and when) we last saw them prior to The Snap will be helpful. 

Despite being three hours long, there were no silly gimmicks. The movie didn't feel stuffed. Every scene felt like it belonged. Avengers: Endgame feels very familiar, but still manages to be something I've never seen before. I was expecting to be surprised, I was not expecting to be shocked.

Even though every major cast member makes an appearance, there's nothing gratuitous about their scenes (there are actually characters I would have liked to see more of). Each time someone new appears on screen, there's a distinct shift. For instance, we get the snappy dialogue and one-liners from Iron Man and the playfulness and fun music of Guardians of the Galaxy.

We know there are other movies in the works, so some of the moments in the film feel like nods towards things to come. Others feel like acknowledgements of the journey and just how much these people have been through. This movie a three-hour emotional roller coaster. I got goosebumps about 30 seconds in. The audience gasped more than once, lost its collective sh*t more than once and cheered more times than I can count. 

It hit so many notes: redemption, reconciliation, forgiveness, love, what it means to be a family and #GirlPower. It's a cliche, but Avengers: Endgame will make you laugh and cry. Doctor Strange saw 14 million variations on how the Endgame would play out, and he told Iron Man only one would work. He was right. For me, this movie played out the only way it could and still satisfy the franchise, fans and the arc of storytelling. 

Things to know before seeing Avengers: Endgame

Should I re-watch any of the movies beforehand?

I certainly don't think you need to watch all of them, but if you're fuzzy on some of the chronology, this guide breaks down which MCU movies to see in their entirety and which you can fast forward through before Endgame. If you only need a refresher on who survived The Snap and who didn't, re-watch Infinity War (or just go to Entertainment Weekly). 

Is there a good time to go to the restroom?

No. Snack with caution. 
(But CNET has some ideas. When we see the film again this weekend I might rescind my 'no'.)

Will I want to bring my kids?

Definitely. If your kids are the same age as mine, they've grown up with the Avengers. They need to see how it all wraps up. Younger kids may not like how long the movie is and you may not want to take any bathroom/snack breaks. See above.

Will I want to see Avengers: Endgame more than once?

I think so. I'm glad we're going again because I missed a little bit of dialogue. There are also times where there is so much happening it's overwhelming (in a good way).

*This is a super detailed chronology. There are so many awesome links there including an interactive map of MCU locations!

Connect with Marvel on social media:
Website and Mobile site: https://www.marvel.com/movies/avengers-endgame
Facebook: @MarvelStudios
Twitter: @MarvelStudios
Instagram: @MarvelStudios

Disclosure: See Avengers: Endgame in theaters starting April 29th. Photos and videos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Studios. I was gifted tickets to see the media preview. This post may contain affiliate links.

6 Things to Know Before Seeing Avengers: Infinity War

Friday, April 27, 2018

I will admit one of the reasons I've been hesitant to write about movies, especially blockbusters, is because of spoilers. How can we really talk about something if we can’t really talk about it? 

If I have to avoid every major and minor plot and subplot, can I still call this a review? Also, in this day and age, what defines a spoiler? When we are discussing something that has already been a book or a comic book, are we actually spoiling anything? The comics have been out for decades (the first Captain America is from 1941!) so many people have had an idea where the Marvel movies have been heading.  

L-R: Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Drax, Peter Quill, Mantis
Is there a statute of limitations on how long we should wait to talk about something as high profile as the Avengers? What's an appropriate wait time? Opening weekend? The following Tuesday? A full week? Social media makes it hard to avoid discussion, but should the early birds be forced to contain their excitement or move to secret rooms and private messages so as not to inconvenience everyone else? 

For instance, there’s a moment in the film that’s really personal for me. It has nothing to do with the plot. It’s more about the relationship between two of the characters. But, if I mention it, will I be giving what amounts to an unexpectedly tender moment away? Or, because it’s personal to me, will anybody else even notice it? Aren't the post-credit scenes kind of spoilers, in a way? I'm not a die-hard fan, but we've been waiting 10 years for this to come together. Secrets are going to be hard to keep.

With that in mind, I’ll give the standard read this at your own risk disclaimer. Thanos demands silence so I have no intention of giving anything away, but your definition of a spoiler might be different than mine. 

Drink At Your Own Peril 

At 2 hours and 29 minutes, this is a long movie. You might want to think carefully about your beverage consumption. I’ve been trying to think of a point in the movie where it might be appropriate to take a potty break, but I can’t really think of one. I asked my husband and he couldn’t think of anything either. Geek Dad has an idea that seems pretty safe. If you choose to go with this recommended moment, I think you should still handle your business quickly (same spoiler warning applies). Drink responsibly or be prepared to hold it. 

Binge Watch to Get Current 

If you’re one of the people who has not caught up on the Marvel Universe, or has only seen select films, this movie isn’t for you. Infinity War brings many plot lines together and if you don’t know the cast of characters you will be lost. CNet put out a thorough guide to watching all the Marvel properties (including TV shows), and in what order, to be current before seeing Infinity War. WaPo also had a really good Marvel movie timeline, broken down by character. 

You Won't Get Lost

L-R: Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Wong
There are so. many. people. in this movie. I thought it would be confusing, or feel like the actors were jockeying for screen time, but it's fine. One of the screenwriters, Christopher Markus, said Infinity War is "not one long scene with thirty-five people in it." I agree. Maybe precisely because it's a long movie, I didn't feel any of the dialogue was forced.

Wakanda Forever 

While it’s really cool to see the different worlds collide and characters meet for the first time, I think I was most excited about being back in Wakanda. Leticia Wright's Shuri has, in my opinion, one of the best lines in the movie. Black Panther was so deep, I'm still totally in my feelings about it. The film bounces around to lots of locations, but I like Wakanda the best.

Buy Your Second Showing Now 

As with a few of the other 18 movies in this franchise, Infinity War is a bit of a roller coaster. We missed some of the dialogue in the film due to crowd reaction. We’ve already decided we need to see it again. Mostly because it's a good movie but hopefully to catch what we missed. 

Take Your Kids, Or Don't

One thing I read in a lot of comment sections and Facebook threads is parents asking, "can I take my kids?" Honestly? I have no idea. Now that I have a teenager, I'm no longer a good judge as to what is kid appropriate. I see children of all ages at these movies, despite the PG-13 rating. If your kids have seen all the others in the Marvel franchise, have seen Star Wars films (the new ones), read and watched everything Harry Potter; I'd say this is fine. But, you know your kid best.

Overall, Infinity War is a good movie. It lives up to the hype and it's a good addition to the franchise. Come back here after you've seen it. I really want to to talk about it! 

Disclosure: I was gifted with tickets to see the movie prior to its public release. All opinions are my own. Photo credit to Marvel Studios. Avengers: Infinity War opens Friday, April 27th. This post may contain affiliate links.
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