Marvel movie nuts seem quite possessive about Avengers: Endgame. How could I possibly watch it having seen virtually none of the previous 21 movies that lead up to this point? Well, I did. And then I wrote a review.
* | * Spoiler Alert. Do not proceed beyond this point if you want to remain blissfully ignorant until you watch the movie. Possibly not if you feel proprietorial towards any of the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe…
Lazy plot, but still 5 out of 5
Avengers: Endgame is a flawed masterpiece. And the good news is that you needn’t have watched all 21 of the preceding movies, spanning some 45 hours, to follow the action.
Weighing in at three hours, Endgame is what can be seen as the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Apparently. After being sketchily prepped beforehand by a Marvel fan on the universe to date, it was obvious they would go back and round up the infinity stones (somehow) and restore balance to the cosmos.
And that’s pretty much what happened. I had figured that out on the basis of watching one Iron Man movie and Guardians of the Galaxy, the latter of which I thought was so-so at best.
I needn’t have been worried either about the three-hour run time. I was engaged the whole time and surprised at the end that three hours had elapsed. Unlike that time I got dragged along to Australia. The Baz Luhrmann movie, not the continent. That’s definitely 30 to 40 minutes too long. Despite Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, I was giving up the will to live and didn’t care what happened in the end; I just wanted it to finish. The hardest cinema seats in the universe didn’t help matters.
This time I was on the edge of my seat but for a different reason. Sure, there was some in-jokes that flew over my head due to my ignorance of what had come before. I counted around three or four instances of head scratching. I may have missed other references, but none were essential to the storyline.
However, I am fairly certain I was the only person in the cinema laughing when Planet Morag flashed up on the screen. Morag? Who thought that up? If you are Scottish, you will know that no female under the age of 70 is called Morag. Disappointingly, the planet was not inhabited by Scottish grannies. No one would have seen that coming.
Anyway, there’s a diverse cast of comic book characters, from Captain America, to Thor (who has let himself go somewhat) to this guy called Hawkeye. To be honest, I didn’t find Hawkeye very believable. He seemed to be miscast from my perspective as a MCU newbie. He was just somebody’s dad you might bump into at the garden centre.
The plot, though, fairly trots along. The cinematography is excellent too. The versatile Benedict Cumberbatch also makes a brief appearance as Dr Strange. But they don’t use him to great effect. Bit of a waste of talent, it was almost like he only had a day or so to spare and he managed to squeeze Endgame in between jobs.
For me, it was Thor that undoubtedly stole the show. We meet up with him again in a small fishing village where he inhabits a little shack with two drinking buddies. Once he had six pack. Now, it has been replaced with the kind of six pack you find in the fridge. And it shows in the 20 kg or so of weight gain.
I would definitely give Endgame 5 out of 5. Despite its lazy plot, it’s one of only two movies I have seen where the audience have applauded at the end. Especially the skinny blonde English teacher dressed in a two sizes too big Spider Man costume.