Avengers: Endgame (12A)

You know a film is kind of a big deal whem your local Odeon is showing it 38 times a day. When it comes out at one minute past midnight on a Thursday and has already nearly made it’s $350 – $400 million budget back within two days. When it’s directors’ sign statements on social media platforms pleading the movie-going public not to spoil any of the film’s magic with their over-zealous talk and spoilerific posting. When 3.7 million British people are expected to take the day off or “pull a sickie” to go and watch it.

Yes, at long last, Avengers: Endgame is finally, finally here! After ten years, four phases, twenty films and $18.9 BILLION earned at the box office, a new era for Marvel is looming and Endgame is here to bring the curtain down on Phase Four in (reportedly) spectacular fashion.

After last year’s stunning and jaw-droppingly audacious Infinity War finale – no spoilers here, in case you’re one of the three people in the world who didn’t see it! – Endgame arrives almost exactly a year later as the longest Marvel film ever, a whopping 181 minutes! I also predict it will go on to become THE BIGGEST GROSSING FILM OF ALL TIME , trumping Avatar’s $2.79 BILLION box office monolith by quite some distance.

As mentioned, Endgame has already made $305 million dollars back in the two weekdays since it has been out and that amount is expected to surge now that the weekend has landed (virtually everybody I know is going this weekend before the spoilers start leaking into people’s ears and eyes).

It is predicted that Endgame is will have made $900 million before sunrise on Monday morning, swelling the gargantuan coffers of Marvel Studios significantly beyond its current $20 billion haul.

So…on to the film itself.

Starting off with its marathon running time, the film is admittedly long and yes, lots of patience is required, particularly for the first hour, but stick with it and it will be rewarded in spades. It takes a while to get going but none of this is time wasted, as the devastating events and incalculable loss of the previous film is analysed, pored and grieved over.

The pacing of the film is perfect as this is actually “the deep breath before the plunge” (as Gandalf would say): and the pace gets consistently faster as the running time counts down.

The CGI and Mo-Cap are as immaculate as you would expect, with one Mo-Capped character lookingly startlingly like their real-life counterpart!

Alan Silvestri’s rousing and now-iconic theme music has never sounded so good swelling out of the speakers as it does here and the soundtrack is also as eclectic as the characters that pepper the film too.

The direction of The Russo Brothers is as precise as a Swiss watch too (check out the therapy scene for a director cameo!)

The film is not afraid to pose pose big questions with difficilt answers of a metaphysical and quantum-physical nature, as well as analysing death, grief and loss in a way that is rare in a mainstream Hollywood blockbuster action film, but it does so in a way that never baffles or bewilders the audience.

All of the characters progress through major arcs by the  close of the film and, on the whole, the screen is very evenly divided so that only a couple of the fan favourites inevitably get less than screentime than they deserved, and of course those that didn’t make it to the end of Infinity War are notable by their absence too.

Juggling so much character development of so many characters must have seemed like an impossible task when The Russo Brothers set to work on this ginormous double-film project three years ago but they have pulled it off with aplomb, AND with more than forty A-List celebritties in the film to manage, they’ve made it look effortless too.

The film is consistently hilarious, with one character in particularly easily running away with most of the film’s zingers with their charisma and a certain change in their appearance providing most of the laughs.

Of course, amidst all the hilarity, there will also be sniffling as inevitably, one or more characters may not make it to the final frames as the curtain comes down on Phase Four, so tissues will be required.

As mentioned earlier the pace gathers relentlessy until the truly astonishing final hour kicks with a jaw-dropping finale for the ages (a bathroom break at fifty two minutes or at the one hour and ten mark would be safe, you won’t miss anything important!).

Make no mistske, the spectacle here is absolutely immense.

The plotting of the film is fiendishly clever, probably the most ingeniously plotted action film since 2010’s ‘Inception’ and the most jaw-dropping action film since 2017’s South Korean action thriller ‘The Villainess’.

It was quite telling that literally nobody talked, checked their phones or commented things to eachother during the entire epic running time, displaying the levels of devotion at play here. The two Chinese girls next to Me did squeal in surprise a few times, but I’ll forgive them that as there are some major surprises in store (the first one dropping within the first twenty minutes, as it happens).

All-in-all, an absolutely astonishing cinematic experience that really does require some patience but repays it in spades.

Featuring the most stunning final since hour since The Return Of The King, Endgame is an absolute masterpiece of blockbuster comic-book action cinema.

Tears will be shed, laughs will be had, jaws will drop and hearts will thud during this staggering and unbelievably brilliant cinematic event.

RIP Phase Four, you’ve done us very proud indeed.

 

 

 

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