The End Of An Era

It should be safe to post about this film by now, but please know that there may be spoilers ahead.  I wont intentionally spoil the big moments, and I will try to be vague about said moments, but please proceed with caution if you have yet to see the film.

img_3684The story so far…

I was a little disappointed with Avengers: Infinity War so I was in no hurry to see Endgame.  My fiancé saw it before me and told me to bring Kleenex as he was sure the film would make me cry.  I, however, felt little emotional connection to Infinity War and was certain I would have a similar experience with Endgame.  So we bet on it.  Loser pays for the next dinner-and-a-movie date night.  Bonus round:  since I went with my mother, who cries at everything, I would treat her to a movie if she didn’t cry.

And the winner?

Not me, that’s for sure.  I got a little misty during a few scenes, but it was one single tear that escaped the edges of my eyelashes that sealed my fate.  The scene that got me? When Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) sees his daughter for the first time in five years.  And, thanks to an over-enthusiastic couple who gave my mum a case of the giggles, the woman who cries at almost everything did not shed a single tear! So I owe a few movie nights now.

Thankfully, Endgame was much better than Infinity War.  On a personal note, I was disappointed that Infinity War was missing characters and moments I had been hoping to see from the comics, and that disappointment meant that I did not expect Endgame to follow that particular comic too closely.  I went into the film with low expectations, hoping that the sequel would exceed those expectations.  I think it also helped that I am no longer working outrageous hours and I knew that I would be able to survive the 3 hour film without getting cranky and tired.

But the pacing of this film was a lot better too.  It never felt like 3 hours, and the scenes flowed together better.  It wasn’t just one big messy fight scene.  Plus, it was obvious from the trailers that the Quantum Realm would be a pivotal component of the plot, but the moment I found out that it was the heart of a time-heist I was excited.  I automatically like anything that involves time travel.  And in setting up the story in this way, it allowed for the creative use of  what I can only assume was recycled film footage from previous MCU movies that never made it to the screen.

Honestly, with the hype surrounding this film, Marvel could have given us a train-wreck of a movie and people still would have paid to see it.  Thankfully, although this was not the best MCU film, it was still a good movie.  But for all of the good film making that went into this, there was the odd moment that made me cringe, specifically in the final fight.  As with Infinity War, Thanos’ henchmen are still my least favourite CG creations of any Marvel film, and some of the CG in the grand battle near the end of the film just seemed a little rushed to me.  There were also a few shots where the use of a green screen was painfully evident.  Luckily, that was the only point in the film where the visuals really bothered me.

One element that I was really looking forward to seeing was the integration of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) into the Avengers.  I had been really impressed with Captain Marvel so I had high hopes for her role in the franchise overall.  Although she was definitely the bad-ass hero I was expecting to see, her presence in the film was a little watered down; she was essentially a deus ex machina.  Her primary function in Endgame was to save the day.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved that she was a hero for the heroes, but there was no character development for her, and that’s what I wanted to see.  On that note: how awesome was the all ladies lineup in that final fight?!

As far as the overall plot and theme, I was actually really impressed with the way the aftermath of Infinity War was handled.  I have noticed that many of the more recent MCU films centre around family, and this latest installment in the MCU is no exception.  For this film, the theme of family fit in particularly well with the parallel theme of loss that was clearly a big part of Endgame.  Obviously, after the events of Infinity War all of the characters would be experiencing loss in some way, but there were additional, personal losses incurred throughout this film and it was handled in a very interesting manner.  This is a superhero film, so we are expecting the Avengers to save the day and for everything to end happily.  But when it comes to the loss of a loved one, there is not always a heroic fix available to make everything better.  Although the heroes are fighting to bring back those taken by Thanos (Josh Brolin), not everyone lost can be returned.  In a way, this grounded the film in reality because not everything can be fixed with just a snap of your fingers.

As an end to The Avengers as we know them, Endgame was about tying up loose ends and passing off the torch.  The stories of the original Avengers from the first film have all been wrapped up in their own unique ways, or those stories will evolve into new adventures that are drastically different from the early years of the MCU.  This paves the way for all of the more recent additions to the MCU to take centre stage.  With the entirety of the MCU building up to this point, I am curious to see what directions Marvel films will take going forward.

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