A NON-SPOILER REVIEW (out of respect for the fans who haven’t watched yet)
Is April your birth month? Well, this 2019, every MCU fan’s birthday became April 24 (or 26, depending on your geographic location). Haha!
The Beardict: Avengers: Endgame has got to be the most hyped movie of all time! And yet, Marvel Studios, President Kevin Feige, and the Russo Brothers was able to craft a thing of beauty that lives up to our very high expectations, and then some. You can almost hear them say: “Some people mishandle their franchises and source material, but not us.” Endgame ties more than 10 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe goodness in a neat bow and presents us with a carefully gift-wrapped story that explodes right in front of our very (watery) eyes as soon as we step foot inside the cinemas, making us shake with raw emotions.
Endgame speaks to us on a level that goes beyond a regular movie could ever do, kind of like a food dish that gives an umami flavor. Its ability to engage the audience more than any interactive film is an achievement by itself. It doesn’t matter if Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor are characters we grew up with, or we’ve only been acquainted with them for only a short period: Endgame effectively transforms us into happy kids having our first cinematic experience.
A friend mentioned that Endgame is not “just a movie” (as non-fans would like to remind us every chance they get) but a well-developed masterpiece. Indeed, it is. It escapes the 3-hour movie trap and uses incredible pacing in showing character development, build-ups, and glorious fight scenes–all towards a very satisfying climax and conclusion. This is why for every post that talks about when to pee during Endgame, there are a lot more which provide tips on how not to pee at all–because each scene is simply important.
Endgame is, without a doubt, the Russo Brothers’ crown jewel. It will be sad to see them go (they have said this will be their last MCU film for the foreseeable future), but they end their Marvel stay with a bang. Joe and Anthony Russo made their MCU directorial debut in 2014 with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Five years down the road, and it is arguably still the most solid Marvel film ever made (which headlines a solo superhero). They obviously didn’t rest on their laurels, because for each succeeding movie they’ve directed–from Captain America: Civil War to Avengers: Infinity War and now to Endgame–they have gotten better and better at transitioning from a world of spies and soldiers (S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra) to something that offers the largest collection of superheroes ever assembled. The Russo Brothers definitely leave an MCU in a great position to tell even more stories that we can enjoy. What a time to be alive!
We can see how much study was done to portray a single character or display a certain scene. The level of respect is certainly there. Of course, not everyone gets equal screen time in a movie like Endgame, but rest assured that heroes previously glossed over have their shining moments here. Credit should also be given to screenplay writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus for doing an awesome job for inserting laugh-out-loud moments in an otherwise serious movie. To compare, Thor: Ragnarok was enjoyable, but its humor was a double-edged sword because it seemed as if the characters went out of their way to be funny. Thankfully, Endgame does not suffer the same fate. Instead, it has the most heartfelt movie lines that will be quoted for years to come.
If you’ve watched Avengers: Endgame already, watch it again, and again, and again. It’s the gift that keeps on giving–you’ll always find small gems that you didn’t see before. So many references to the past films are there, so remember to pay close attention. As accessible as Endgame is to everyone who wants to watch a great movie, it serves as a huge thank you to the die-hard MCU fans who have been with the franchise since Day 1.
All of the positive reviews on Endgame will be superficial if it doesn’t translate to box office numbers. As of this writing, Box Office Mojo reports that the film has now broken so many records, including the highest 1-day opening ever (estimated at $156.7 million) in the US. In the Philippines alone, it has already garnered an unprecedented $10 million (I am proud to have contributed to this, and I’m sure many of you are too.) Can Endgame become the highest grossing movie of all time? Hopefully. The reigning champion is Avatar (2009) (Somehow, I want a #BeatAvatar hashtag to trend. Haha!). Its director James Cameron believes that superhero stories are overdone. With all due respect to one of the best filmmakers of our time, I disagree. If the genre continues to produce Endgame-caliber movies, why should it end? As the old adage says, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Is Avengers: Endgame a perfect movie? No, simply because that’s an impossible undertaking (I personally have questions that I wish were answered, but that’s another article for another time). But wow, it’s super close to being one. Why, you ask? Because Marvel understands us better than anyone in the industry ever could.
Photos courtesy of Marvel Studios. Avengers: Endgame out now in cinemas near you!