Steven Greydanus on Avengers: Endgame

Steven Greydanus on Avengers: Endgame April 26, 2019

Steven and I have had a long-running gag “fight” going on about super-hero movies vs. totes adorbs little animals like these:

or these:

I go for the hearts and flowers because I care so much and have a soul as big as all outdoors. He defends supers with sophistry. I am plainly right. He is plainly wrong.

But seriously, I’m a fan of the MCU and think Stan Lee and Co. have given us a… well, a marvelous gift in the world they have created. I’m nothing but grateful to them, rather like Steve, who offers his review of Endgame which I can’t wait to see:

Running just over three hours long, Avengers: Endgame builds to a denouement with a valedictory air akin to the last act of Peter Jackson’s similarly sprawling The Return of the King, except that it comes at the end of 22 movies instead of three movies.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe will, of course, go on. It’s no secret that, despite crumbling to dust before our eyes in Infinity War, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther have upcoming movies in the works, and it looks like there will finally be a solo Black Widow movie. New properties waiting in the wings include the ancient cosmic beings called the Eternals and the martial-arts master Shang-Chi.

But some established characters, in the manner of Frodo and Gandalf at the Grey Havens, get what really seem to be final send-offs of one kind or another, offering closure to arcs stretching back for years.

Finality and closure are admittedly relative in a universe where crumbling to dust could in theory be (spoilers? perish forbid!)  more of a temporary disruption than an absolute end. Still, if most Marvel movies over the years have felt more like TV episodes than proper movies, Endgame is the first proper season finale since the original Avengers back in 2012.

As such, it may at last be possible to arrive at a kind of final critical evaluation of Endgame in relation to the various arcs it resolves in a way that was never possible with middle movies like Captain America: Civil WarThor: Ragnarok and certainly Infinity War, all of which got by writing checks for future movies to cash.

With Endgame, in the words of Mordo from Doctor Strange, the bill finally comes due. The 22nd time pays for all. Is the payoff enough?

As regards its biggest obligation, the hole in the universe left when Josh Brolin’s monstrous Thanos snapped his fingers in Infinity War, wiping out half of all living creatures in the universe, Endgame delivers to an impressive degree.

Much more here.

When I was growing up, I was a DC kid 100% and basically that meant that I read Superman comics.  Marvel wasn’t my thing.  In short, I had no taste.

Now my heart belongs to the MCU and I actively hate almost everything the DC movies have done, particularly under the baleful, nihilist influence of Zach Snyder, whose entire ouevre I hate, detest, abjure, and abhor.  I hate, hate, hate what they have done to Superman in particular, because I loved Superman.  I make exceptions for Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam, though even there the bitter aftertaste of Snyder’s toxic influence is occasionally felt.  I mourn that he will get his filthy handprints all over Wonder Woman soon.

So I am deeply grateful for the MCU and its human, light-filled, funny, but also serious and interesting universe.  Far more often than we deserve, it has even achieved real greatness and even at its weakest it remain what such films should be: a good time at the bijou.  Looking forward to a fun time!


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