Postmortem: Endgame (100% spoiler-free)

Avengers Endgame poster

Just got home from the movie theater half an hour ago, so it’s all still fresh in my head. As I said, no spoilers; we’re not savages.

First of all, yes, it’s very good. Probably the best in the MCU so far, although my memory has gotten fuzzy on a lot of the older movies. Definitely better than Infinity War. I liked IW, but it was heavy on plot. EG does more with the character side of things, and I liked that.

And yeah, EG has a lot of surprises. I had read beforehand in (spoiler-free) reviews that there would be a bunch of surprises, that the story wouldn’t go the way you’d expect, and even so, I was saying “wow” a lot. I can think of at least … let’s count … four separate things that especially hit me. (No wait, just remembered another one. Five.) All were “twists” in a good way, all fitting organically in with the movie.

Virtually every big film has a three-act structure. In EG, the difference between the three acts seems especially distinct. The first act begins strangely (again, in a good way), and then is slow, quiet, beautiful, and sad. The second act is a wild action-y ride. And the finale is gigantic, fun, satisfying, and sad. If you noticed that I used “sad” twice there — well, I cried through probably half of this movie. Granted, it doesn’t take much to make me cry at the movies, or IRL for that matter, but this was exceptional even for me. Some of the strongest moments were the most understated. EG knows when to be loud and when to be quiet.

And believe me, there are some big, loud moments. The final act is about as epic as you could possibly want. I still found it just a little unsatisfying, but I think that’s because nothing could possibly live up to this amount of hype. The ending is fist-pumping, glorious fun. It’s not perfect, but nothing is.

A few small disappointments. First, a giant mystery from IW was solved in EG, but in a sort of offhanded way, making it much less central than they had built it up to be. And three of the people in the center of the story — Thanos, Nebula, and Gamora — did get a bit more character exploration and depth, but never in a way that made me care much what happened to any of them. C’est la vie.

Anyway, it was great. You should see it. I should get to bed. Adios!

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