More thoughts on a feat that won't repeat
OK, now that several million of you have seen “Avengers: Endgame,” let's talk about exactly what it was.
If you haven't seen it yet, I'll refer you back to my 100 percent spoiler-free review last week, because the less you know, the better. (I'll still stay away from the major spoilers here. I'm not a monster.)
The more I think about “Endgame,” the more I realize it's not a movie in any traditional sense. There's not even a word for a 20-plus-part series of works. We passed trilogy here a decade ago.
“Endgame” delivered in epic proportions on all the build before it, which was no small feat, but I wonder if anyone could come into the Marvel Cinematic Universe cold and enjoy this.
It's part of how film is changing. This was closer to the finale of a television series that you “binged” over ten years.
But much of my joy in “Endgame” also came in its unexpectedness. Within 20 minutes there was an unforeseen turn that set the tone. You don't know what to expect next, which is the way movies should be.
Then there's the second-act “time heist.” I've heard some think it dragged, but I thought it was the most fun. We knew we'd get the most epic end battle, but we got bonus time travel!
And again, the revisiting of previous scenes in the MCU with dueling Avengers isn't something most movies can pull off. Raise your hand if you were expecting a “Back to the Future” angle.
That's the kind of fun that “Endgame” needed. We knew the stakes were high, as in “half the world is dead.” We figured that not all of these beloved characters would survive this one.
But for a movie that left people literally sobbing in the aisles at the end, it's the playful bits that make that three hours go by so fast.
Let's give it up for a couple of cast members that finally got to have some fun. Mark Ruffalo's Bruce/Hulk hybrid taking selfies with fans! Paul Rudd's Ant-Man nailing his moments of comic relief! Fat Thor! Fat Thor! They even landed the Lebowski reference we were all thinking.
And with the third act bringing the biggest action set piece yet (maybe the biggest ever?) and some emotional moments, “Endgame” really did have it all.
It was a feat, but don't ever expect it again. The MCU marches on. There's money to be made. But there's a reason there's no end credit scene in this one. It's over.