Now that I have seen Avengers: Endgame, I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes that have ever opened a book. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ Guess which book is it from? It’s from Charles Dickens’ ‘Tale of Two Cities.’ But you already knew that, didn’t you? Don’t worry, this quote is not a foreboding sign for what is in store for you once you watch this 181 minute long Marvel extravaganza. It is just how I am feeling now that I have taken a few minutes to let what I watched percolate in my mind.
So respecting the wishes of the production house and the directors have repeated, I am not going to be spoiling the movie for you. But knowing the die-hard fans of the franchise, I am sure spoilers may have already come across your desk. But I will tell you what you need before you watch Avengers: Endgame: a box of tissues (to wipe tears and snot), a water bottle, maybe tons and tons of popcorn and a shoulder to cry on. And my suggestion would be to leave your phone at home, if possible. Because you cannot let your eyes wander from the screen even for a nano-second.
A lot can happen in 10 years. Lives can change, people change and a few governments can change. But more importantly, franchises can change our lives. Who would’ve thunk it, that a superhero movie launched 10 years ago would kickstart one of the biggest franchises in the world? 10 years and 22 movies later, I have an odd sense of catharsis running through my veins. Because like a Greek myth, this journey has been long and arduous and has an oddly satisfying end to it. Not to mention, its grand scale matches that of a Greek myth on every level. Heroes, check. Villain, check. End of the world stakes, check.
But unlike the previous ‘Infinity War,’ Avenger: Endgame is more sombre. But it has a pervasive sense of doom that slowly tightens like a noose around your neck, till the climax comes and the pressure eases. From the word go, you can feel all the characters are tiptoeing around the foreboding sense of melancholy that is ingrained in every frame of the movie. Maybe it is because the character know that it is finally the beginning of the end or because they know by the end of their adventure, it will the end of the beginning.
The script that was written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely has been brilliantly adapted by the Russo Brothers (Joe and Anthony) for the big-screen in Avengers: Endgame. The script is witty, sharp and simple. Defeat evil, save friends, let good prevail. But it is also largely self-aware. It understands the stakes at hand. It understands that not all is rosy and for all to win, some must die. That’s just how the world works. Now, I won’t tell you who dies when, but I will say this. Even if you have come across spoilers which tell you who dies, they cannot do justice to how they die. The only complaint I had about the script is that it did not pay attention to certain threads that it should have. But that’s just a puny detail I noticed. They did a marvellous job tying up the storylines we have come to love over the last 11 years. And that is no easy feat. And to give them a fairly satisfying ending.
The movie is a frantic action packed adventure that seems like a daunting watch given its three hour runtime. But believe me when I say this. The Russo Brothers make sure that every minute of every frame has been utilised fully and there is not one dull moment in the film. It has all the hallmarks of the Marvel movies that we have come to love. It has a plethora of gags that make sure they relieve the pressure that often makes the air in the theatre thick. It has has tear-jerking moments when you least expect them, making it is an essential watch. Because you are crying one moment and laughing your ass off the next moment.
There is a satisfying finale battle that all fans have been anticipating for the last year since Infinity War came out. But it may turn your expectations on your head. So, go in without any preconceived notions. And definitely save some popcorn and soda for this bit. Because you will need it, trust me. Here you understand the cleverness of the script. And the brilliance of direction. Because they have used ample formulaic bits and pieces but they have also pushed the bar far enough to make it a genre-altering Marvel movie.
If you are planning to watch the movie anytime soon, I have one suggestion. Watch all the movies that have released before that are a part of the Infinity Saga. All 21 of them. Because there are a lot of references in this movie to the previous ones. I am saying this because I was the only one in the theatre laughing at jokes that were references to the previous releases. It is not essential, but your viewing experience will become more enjoyable if you just binge on the previous ones ASAP. It’s a good thing that most of them are up for streaming on Netflix and the rest are available for rent via the Apple Music store.
Lastly, I will say this. More of a reiteration actually. This movie is more about heart and emotions than just action that is Marvel’s signature. So, go in with an open mind. And keep your phones off and pay attention to what you see on screen. Because it may just be the last time you are watching some of your favourite heroes on screen.
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Brie Larson, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau, Benedict Wong, Tessa Thompson, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Robert Redford
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