I’m sitting down to write this literally minutes after having walked out of Avengers: Endgame. Usually, when I do reviews, I say the non-spoiler things in the top, and then get into spoilers further down in the post. This is not going to be that kind of review. Endgame is the movie event of the decade if not the century so far, the culmination of 21 movies worth of buildup over a decade of movies. It would be wrong to spoil any bit of it. So instead, I’m going to give overall thoughts without any details whatsoever, and then in a few weeks or so do some spoiler talk.
Was it a good movie?
Absolutely, one hundred percent. Solid storytelling, solid action, awesome character work – the hallmarks of the MCU are on display in full force. One particular character I hadn’t been a huge fan of up until this point stole the spotlight and made me absolutely fall in love with them. There are callbacks to the previous movies in a good way, but also plenty of memorable moments in their own right. I can’t say much more here – so much of what makes this movie good are even slight spoilers I want to avoid.
So instead, I want to say this: I’ve laughed so hard during movies tears have come to my eyes. I’ve been so happy I’ve started to tear up. I’ve been so excited I’ve gotten goosebumps, and I’ve been so sad I’ve wept. I’ve never, ever done all four in a single movie. At least, I hadn’t, until Endgame. I left the movie feeling emotionally spent, but in a cathartic way that made it ultimately enjoyable. This movie perfectly balances sadness, hope, and humor with a precision that would make the primary antagonist proud.
Was it a perfect movie?
No. I won’t get into any details as to why not of course, to avoid spoilers, but in general terms – act one felt a bit rushed, and there are a few scenes in act two that could have been cut to make for a bit more room in the first act. Act three was virtually flawless in my opinion, although I know there are some scenes people will disagree with me on in that regard. I’d have loved a bit more time in act three, which is my only complaint there.
There are some nitpicky complaints I could make, and I will acknowledge a few I consider noteworthy in my full review, but overall…imagine you go on your dream vacation. A full week to the destination of your choice to have the time of your life. While you are there, you git bit by four mosquitos. Are those mosquitos going to ruin your enjoyment of the vacation? Are they even really worth mentioning? Of course not. That’s how the flaws in Endgame are – tiny little things that in no way disrupt the overall experience.
However, sometimes the movie feels a bit…manipulative. It’s going for those big, strong, emotional reactions I mentioned above, and it pursues them with a ruthless efficiency. Again, it’s not something that breaks the movie for me – I still love it, and still plan on seeing it at least twice more in theaters – but I think a lot of the emotional impact will be lost on repeat viewings.
Does it stand on its own as a sequel to Infinity War?
Mostly. There’s a huge chunk of act two that will have far more impact if you’ve been religiously following the MCU up to this point, but if you’ve only really seen Infinity War and somehow skipped every other Marvel movie, you can still enjoy Endgame. Just go in with the knowledge that some parts are going to go over your head, but the dialogue, action, and story will still hold together.
Is it as good as The Avengers?
Not quite, in my opinion. The Avengers was a bit more tightly scripted, stood on its own as a film more strongly than Endgame did, and felt just a teensy bit smoother overall. If I was grading these films like they were papers for a class, both films would earn an A, but The Avengers would be 96% and Endgame would be 95%.
What movies should I watch before I see Endgame?
Honestly, as the Russio Brothers said, you can get away with just having watched Infinity War and Civil War, but I’d suggest watching at least one movie from the main character’s franchises (So that’s Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America) as well as the original Avengers and the first Guardians of the Galaxy first. If you’ve somehow managed to escape being familiar with who these people are, you’re going to be missing out on some great character beats.
If you’re wondering about what movies to rewatch? I’d just brush up on whatever MCU movies you remember the least. Here are my thoughts on each of them!
That’s about all I can say without spoilers! What’d you think? Let me know in the comments below. And if you want something light to read to recuperate after watching Endgame, get your free book and give it a read.