By Michael Carrell
Wow… just wow…
Those were the only words that my brain had the strength to muster once the credits started rolling for Avengers: Endgame. As I sat in the dimly lit theater afterwards, I just kept replaying different moments back in my mind over and over again. Key phrases and different lines of dialogue were running back through as if I kept hitting the repeat button on (insert preferred musical streaming platform here). The looks of certain characters in certain key moments of the film (and even from the more quiet moments) were burned into my memory like nothing ever before. I honestly left the theater feeling like my legs were made of jelly as I made my way back to my car, the nerves and emotions I felt truly hit me in a way that I wasn’t prepared for. Now the jelly explanation could be the fact that I sat and did not move for 3 hours, but I’m going to go ahead and say it was Endgame that left me, as the kids say, shook. I haven’t felt like that watching a movie since… well, since Avengers: Infinity War. When I left the theater back in April of last year, I spent the rest of the day just processing what I saw. I seriously went to Bed Rock City Comics just to walk around, that’s it! Didn’t buy anything, didn’t really look at anything, well I did look at stuff but my mind wasn’t even in the store really, it was back at the theater thinking about the impact of Thanos and his bejeweled gauntlet.
I left the theater back then saying,”They actually pulled off the snap!” Now fast forward to 2019 and I’m saying,”They did it, they actually brought the Infinity Saga to a perfect close!” From the Russo’s, to the cast, to the crew, and the countless others who worked on this film, they all delivered tremendously. They were able to give audiences an incredibly well developed and balanced story of how different types of people (well super powered people) balance grief and how you can bounce back or let it control you. Whether it’s a sad sulky mess of a hero or a vengeful one they nailed the different aspects of handling loss and defeat. The Russo’s and the rest of the team behind the film were also able to find the right balance of action, emotion, and humor which complimented the stories of loss perfectly.
Right off the bat the film sets the somber mood and tone beautifully, they just got snapped by Thanos so I mean of course they’re going to be sad! From there, it truly is an emotional roller coaster ride that doesn’t let up, with moment after moment of sadness punctuated excellently with nice, pallet cleansing moments of levity. Which this movie flies by due to that great balance. I mean this brings me to the running time thing, so much was made about it leading into the film that you might think no one had ever heard of a 3 hour movie before! Oh no, it’s 3 hours what are we going to do!?! You’re going to sit in your seat through the whole 3 hours, that’s what you’re going to do. The time is not an issue, as the film moves at a nice briskly pace. You’ll probably go to the ticket booth afterwards to try to see about getting more tickets because there’s so much to see in this film.
Yet again the Russo’s prove they are pretty good at what they do by providing just the right amount of great solo characters moments in a film packed to the brim with star power. Then you mix that with some amazing character interactions and surprising pairings for some truly interesting moments. All of our favorite heroes seem to have some sort of nice scene stealing moment or great back and forth between their fellow heavy hitting costars. If I’m Marvel Studios, I’m doing everything in my power to get the Russo’s back for another film (Secret Wars anyone?) because what they did with this one is simply amazing. The pacing never dragged for me, it kept me engaged throughout. Could some jokes and certain scenes been cut down a little? Maybe, but I’m not going to make that call, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy.
Now if you’ve watched all of the Marvel films up to this point then let me say this about Avengers: Endgame, it is a love letter to MCU fans all over the world. It’s also the perfect swan song for the original six Avengers, but you know Marvel is gonna Marvel so they’re still able to lay some great ground work here for some really interesting future stories all at the same time with ease. This film really is a monumental feat of film making and a huge pop culture event that will send reverberations through Hollywood for years to come. And man does it change the game for the MCU moving forward. For so long the Battle of New York was the big reference point for so many of the MCU properties but now it has to be the events of Endgame.
Where this universe goes from now, who knows. All I know is we’re in the Endgame now, and holy crap is it amazing.