Thursday night, April 25, 2019 was a truly monumental occasion for me; I actually saw Avengers: Endgame on opening night! I'm not the biggest fan of the 'Movie Theater Experience', and typically prefer to wait for most films to come out on home media so that I can watch them in the comfort of my own home. But as a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I just could not possibly wait even a few days from this particular theatrical debut.
Before I go any further, let me just state a few things right now:
First and foremost, this will NOT contain any spoilers. It also won't contain any real content or anything outside of vague, initial impressions.
Second, this is not a 'review'; even if I were a 'critic' I could not review this film with that first statement binding my words. It would be absolutely impossible for me to give any kind of review without revealing spoilers as, in my opinion, the entire movie is 3 hours of spoiler material, which is really a testament to the trailers.
So with that all in mind, I will say that overall I liked this movie. Unfortunately I did not love it. This movie contains what will probably remain my absolute favorite moments of the entire MCU (up to this point at least), but it also contained aspects that I just did not like or downright hated. It's a mixed bag, and an unfortunate turn of events for me given the history of not only the majority of the current MCU but of the current track record for the directors, the Russo Brothers as well.
The Russo's have previously helmed my two favorite MCU films, Winter Soldier and Infinity War, as well as an above average MCU film in Civil War (I loved Civil War, but I personally felt it had some fundamental flaws that kept it from being phenomenal). It's hard to say at the moment with just one viewing under my belt, but I think this is my least favorite 'Russo Brothers film' and will end up somewhere in between the middle and the top of a hypothetical list, were I to rank the entire MCU film by film.
I wish I could go into full details here, but as I really do not want to give even the slightest of spoilers so soon after its release, I just cannot do that.
Now, my opinions on the various MCU films have not matched up with the majority of other movie goers, so this probably means very little over all. For example, I absolutely hated Thor: Ragnarok. I thought that the vast majority of the jokes and humor in that film fell pathetically flat, and there is a bit of that style of humor in Endgame. If you enjoyed Ragnarok, which most likely you did, you will find bits of Endgame more enjoyable than I.
It was a weird experience for me, as the trailers really do a very good job of hiding the vast majority of this 3+ hour movie, and the entire time I was left with no idea as to where the plot was going, other than the most generic elements. This is neither a pro or a con, just something I found interesting. And even though I did try to temper my assumptions and expectations, it's nearly impossible to NOT have at least some going into the movie, as well as being led through the plot.
Endgame definitely did keep me guessing, at least on 'hows' if not also 'whats' in that regard.
However, even with the weird path I feel the movie took, and some decisions I either didn't like or flat out hated, I will say that what it does well, it does so phenomenally well that it's really hard to be anything other than left in awe and extremely satisfied ultimately. There are aspects of the ending, for example, that just didn't sit well with me. But the enjoyment I got from certain parts of the last half almost completely override most disappointments.
Ok, in terms of 'spoilers', here is a touch of one: this IS an 'Avengers' movie, so there IS a battle. It's near the end. And it is quite possibly the single most satisfyingly amazing battle of all Comic Book related films. Sorry for spoiling that...
The MCU, as of this posting, has been such a wild ride through 22 movies over the course of 11 years and if nothing else, I will say that for me, Avengers: Endgame IS a monumental moment in cinematic history that will be extremely difficult to ever top.
I will end this now by saying that though I did not love the movie as a whole, I did love many moments beyond any measurable scale and I do recognize this as a great sendoff to 11 years of blockbuster fun! I wish I could say more, but I just feel it's far too soon for me to be posting massive spoilers for what is in my opinion such a key moment in time. Maybe in a week or two I will do a full on spoiler filled dissection, and hopefully by then I will have also seen the movie a second time.