Avengers: Endgame First Thoughts


CREDIT: Disney/Marvel Studios

Maybe some movies should be reviewed in parts over the course of months, or maybe even years. That’s how I’m feeling about Avengers: Endgame. So I’m going to go ahead and talk about what’s striking my fancy about it now and maybe talk about it some more later.

The closest comparison I can think of for the premise of Endgame is The Leftovers. The opening scenes for the two are eerily similar in terms of both tone and function. But of course they then head in very different directions. I didn’t stick with The Leftovers because I just wasn’t hooked by how its particular characters responded in their particular ways to the disappearances. But with Endgame, I already know the context, so I’m already in, baby. And no doubt about it, I am happy that the ultimate focus is on Tony Stark’s beating heart, and everyone keeping things right with their families. That emotional resonance is enough to buoy the whole affair along for three hours. And it’s also enough to prevent me from getting too angry about the characters who don’t have much meaningful to do or the moments that make me go, “But why?”

Also important: how about those end credits? It’s not very often 50-plus above-the-line cast members have to be assembled in some sort of appropriate order, so we must cherish it whenever it happens. And I’ve got to say, it appears that for the most part, there was no rhyme or reason to the assembly. But we shall, and must, investigate whether or not that is true for as long as we can. The cursive credits for the core Avengers are great, though.

I give Avengers: Endgame A Handful of Snaps to the Beat.

This Is a Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War


CREDIT: Marvel

Much more so than 2012’s Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of all that has come before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After ten years and nearly twenty films, this has been THE destination. Sure, “saving the whole world and/or universe” is what so many previous superhero movies have been about, so Infinity War cannot fully be satisfying on that score. But as a narrative experiment, it works as a satisfying conclusion (or beginning to a conclusion).

Weirdly enough, I think Infinity Wars works whether or not you have seen all the preceding entries. I cannot say for sure, as I have seen every MCU flick, though I have only watched all of them once each and I am by no means the most devoted Easter egg hunter. But there is just something about how this massive teamup of heroes manages to avoid feeling busy and instead come off as electric. There is a lived-in feel to Tony Stark and Stephen Strange trading banter and then becoming fast friends or the Guardians of the Galaxy making sense of Thor on the fly. If you don’t know what these characters are all about ahead of time, you can pick it up along the way, just as they do with each other. As for Thanos and his plan, it’s fine for setting the plot in motion, but I’m mainly here for all the combinations and permutations.

I give Avengers: Infinity War 4 Infinity Stones out of 5 “Shocking” Deaths.