I feel they did it. Success. Avengers Endgame was an incredible movie. People complained about the length. I wanted it to be longer. I wanted more. What I got was so great, I was ready for extra stuff. I'd buy a 3.5 hour or 4 hour cut of it today. The things they did just made sense to me and I really did walk out feeling happy with their decisions. I expected to have a sense of being kicked in the gut. That was not the case at all.
All that ambiguity aside, when you go to the 'Read More' cut, there will be some spoilers. But if you just wanted to know how I felt about Avengers Endgame, the top two paragraphs say it all: I loved it.
When we bought tickets to Endgame, I got them for Tuesday instead of the opening 4 days. I'm cheap that way (we get the tickets for $5 bucks on Tuesday). Then, we commenced to watch the following movies in this order:
Captain America: The First Avenger (in my top 3 of the movies).
The Incredible Hulk
We got through all of those in preparation of the spectacle of the 3 hour epic. I've seen Infinity War twice (once alone, once with my wife) so I felt ready to catch any fan service that went into the new movie as well as the connections between the two films. There are things I was a little disappointed about (mainly the gloss over of characters) but all around, I think the experience was greatly enhanced by having seen these other films first.
SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON!!!!
Everything after this point will have spoilers.
You've been warned.
The first thing that I was disappointed in was Black Widow. She's always been one of my favorite characters. If you want to see an awesome rendition, check out the animated movie 'Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher'. It's epic. I'd been holding out hope she'd get her own movie for a LONG time. The closest we got was The Winter Soldier. Even a Hawkeye/Black Widow movie would've been awesome but now...she was one of the actual casualties.
For me, there were multiple characters who I THOUGHT might die. Black Widow was on the list. Aside from her awkward and forced romance with Bruce Banner, she really didn't have a lot to live for. I mean, after everyone died, she was still keeping up an Avengers team while Tony was raising his daughter and Cap was running a support group for people. She was the job. Hawkeye at least had a family to go home to. So while I anticipated this, even knew it was going to happen when they went after the soul stone, it hit hard.
I wanted her to make it. I wanted to see her in her own movie. Captain Marvel paved the way (not that she had to in my opinion). But alas. That was a sad.
Iron Man I was on the fence about. When he died, I was not shocked but it utterly slayed me. Having seen how it ALL started so recently, the way it happened...knowing what he left behind...I lost it. This had a major impact. I expected War Machine to have a lot more interaction with him when he came back. I mean, they knew each other forever. They were real friends. The Avengers came along later. They had to show the family more, I get it. The funeral...holy crap. Just...killed...me...
Captain America's ending was so fitting, so perfect. It worked for me because he was on my list for potential losses. The fact that he got what he wanted made me so happy. That was the ending his long career deserved. I think the Doctor would've been proud of it.
Would've loved for Loki to be back. There's a chance his escape in the past might foreshadow the show I heard about. I'm okay with that idea. I would've also loved for more Captain Marvel, move Guardians...Peter was such an idiot in Infinity War, I wanted him to do better in Endgame. He did...kind of...but something to remember about Endgame (and I had to remind myself of this) is that it was the send off for the original characters. Which is why we watched the movies we did in prep.
We said goodbye to an era. A cinematic history. It's never been done. Might never happen again. They will continue on, through various forms of media, but what's important to note is that Endgame was for Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Widow, Hulk...these characters deserved their conclusion. They couldn't (much as I'm sure many wouldn't have minded) go on forever.
Comics have a flaw in that they don't know when to stop before they write themselves into a corner and have to reboot. We've seen reboots in movies too, but they tend to come much quicker. Like...three Spider Man movies culminating into so much crazy that there's no where to really go. I think that the MCU has done a fabulous job of building up an incredible story then handing off the torch to more amazing characters. Characters that I would have laughed at someone had they told me I'd grow to love them just as much as the big names.
Doctor Strange had always been a trippy character that I didn't really pay much attention to. The movie made me adore everything about him (actually, they got me earlier with the Doctor Strange cartoon but the film nailed it home). Falcon, I didn't even know about. He's a favorite. Winter Soldier I knew about but only as a villain. Sebastian Stan has made him incredible and I'm confident in movies going forward with him in them.
Captain Marvel was someone I enjoyed from the various incarnations through the years. I'm excited to see more. I'm sad about no more Captain America or Iron Man. It breaks my heart in a way that there won't be another film to look forward to with them. But the sweet part of this bitter pill is that the universe moves on. There are additional stories to tell in the same shared world they've created and now, we're getting to see the 'After the Sunset' portion.
For me, that's even more incredible. Yes, they could mismanage it and screw up. Yes, it could turn out badly but I don't think it will. I think we've got a lot of great things to look forward to. I think it's going to be amazing to see Hank Pym take over as the genius that we lost in Tony. Maybe there's someone else (Shuri probably) that can step in. We've got so much possibility. So many things yet to come.
If it's not absolutely driven home, I loved Endgame. The MCU's adventure has paid off. Their patience and diligence, their utter commitment to the craft, has come to this incredible culmination. There are movies in the MCU I didn't love. There are plenty of problems I've had along the way but no amount of that can take away from the incredible work they've accomplished. Kudos to Marvel. They deserve their rewards.
Other movie studios take note. If you want this, have some discipline otherwise...back away. This is not overnight success. This is real work.