Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame ★★★★½

Some thoughts after returning home from my 1am screening:

- There's a level of thoughtfulness and empathy to the proceedings that is unmatched in this series (barring perhaps the Guardians movies). This is easily the movie's greatest strength, especially in comparison to the overly plot motivated misery of Infinity War.

- The second act is the most Marvel thing that Marvel has done. It represents the joy that this connected universe offers, and ultimately has to cheat the writing a bit in order to allow for the story to happen. Given a plot this complex, some inconsistencies can be forgiven, but the excuse to create the conflict that sets up the final act is weak at best.

- The Japan action scene is really well choreographed!

- The New Jersey scene might be the best thing Marvel has ever done, but there needed to be a stronger creative eye to elevate it on a technical level to what they were reaching for creatively. That the character scenes aren't given the same lavish and deliberate construction as the gorgeous action is the greatest flaw of the movie.

- Performances were great across the board, especially from Scarlett Johansson (the best she's ever been in the role!), Karen Gillan, and Robert Downey Jr.

- The Women of Marvel™ shots in both this and Infinity War feel disingenuous because they break the logic of their action in order to exist. Celebrating diversity rocks, but pandering to the point of distracting from the scene at hand is not the way to do it.

- Thanos' shaky motivations from Infinity War are absolutely moronic here, and he became an immensely annoying villian (the aforementioned ass-pull doesn't help much).

- The ending sequence is incredible. It pays off on all that Marvel has done before, and without ever feeling cheap in the process.

Endgame isn't perfect, but the strength of the love that both the audience and filmmakers share for our heroes allows for the movie to achieve true greatness. I'm glad I got to be a part of this cultural moment, and I'm ecstatic to see the book closed here as thoughtfully as it was.

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