I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
CONTAINS NO SPOILERS FOR “ENDGAME”, BUT THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR “INFINITY WAR”… OBVIOUSLY…
So what have I missed? Oh yeah, about 80% of the largest and most important film franchise of all time! Let’s see what I can give you in this pointless review.
Avengers Endgame picks up after the events of Infinity War with half the universe having been killed after purple meanie Thanos snapped his fingers while wearing the infinity gauntlet after finally getting all the infinity stones. With all that infinity, you can tell this is going to be a big one.
My personal relationship with the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been an intermittent one at best. I’ve only seen the odd film in this colossal series totalling out at twenty-two films featuring countless characters and a beautifully crafted in-universe continuity. If this were an American tv show, we would have just finished the first season and I would have seen at most a third of the aired episodes.
I watch these films and am forever impressed for their incredible scale which is balanced with a truly human touch. This is particularly true of The Guardians of the Galaxy, a soon-to-be trilogy of movies which deliver a truly epic space-opera with a greater depth of humanity than pretty much any other movie of their kind.
What’s even more fascinating than the movies themselves, however, is their impact on the film industry as a whole and how that has evolved.
It was not long ago that the common “wisdom” gained from the enormous success of the MCU was that everything had to have a Universe. The Dark Universe, the DC Extended Universe, the Star Wars universe, blah blah blah. Soon though, the penny dropped that interconnected continuity, as interesting as it is on a surface level, is not the keystone by which the MCU earns its achievements. It wins, because it works.
It works because it is the cumulative effort of an army of extremely talented filmmakers of all kinds with a real passion and understanding of what the audience needs.
Steven Spielberg suggested that superhero films will go the way of the Western. I believe that he is more right than even he realises. Westerns were the ubiquitous movie art-form for decades, showcasing a particular legendary form of the America we all wished there was. Superhero films have dominated the film landscape for the past ten years because they do the same on a truly global scale, showcasing a particular legendary form of the Human we all wished there was.
Like the Western, the Superhero film will fade away while a new breed of rebel filmmakers take what they teach us about this artform and fight against the dying of the light in this late stage capitalist society. They will fail in their fight and there will be a new uber franchise of some form unimaginable. Those underground soldiers for independent filmmaking will either go underground into this excitingly democratic and impossible industry or they will say “if you can’t beat em, join em” and try to continue the revolution from the inside.
In the meantime, let’s not be so angry about what entertainment makes people happy. What’s so beautiful about this period in film history is that there is no infinity gauntlet. Disney’s recent artistic achievements and acts of terrorism upon art and civilisation itself, brilliant and horrifying in equal measure will NOT turn us painlessly into dust. Let’s just enjoy a damn superhero film or not.
Wait a minute, I’ve gone nearly 600 words without telling you how I feel about the film I’m reviewing!
It’s really good! Lots of laughs, teary moments, very impressive character and plot balancing and a massive scale. Some niggles over filmic choices, but overall I can’t complain cause the badass moments are too badass!
Recommended Scenario: If you’ve seen a bunch of these films already and would like to see something pretty awesome!