**SPOILER WARNING: This review does not spoil Endgame, but spoilers for Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Captain Marvel are also brought up. If you have not seen the aforementioned films, read this review at your own risk.**
Although I’ve never loved any of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe I’ve always admired the impact that they left behind on modern culture and with the latest Avengers film there’s already a sense of finality to the first phase as these films continue coming out over the years. But the biggest challenge that Infinity War had already faced was how it could still manage to mix the stories of nearly twenty films to come together for one big face-off, and with two more films having followed since, Endgame already has us awaiting something even grander now that the second Ant-Man film and Captain Marvel have already gotten out of the way. At a running time of a little bit over three hours, Marvel already promises something of such a grand scale and to say the least, they’ve accomplished a task that almost seemed near impossible. For Endgame isn’t only the best of the four Avengers films but it’s also a film that utilizes the legacy that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has accomplished in a little over ten years in order to give viewers who have followed suit for the longest time more than what would already make a memorable closer. It’s a film that was made out of love for everything that made the Marvel Cinematic Universe so grand, and the results may not be perfect but also provide a satisfying climax.
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This is arguably director Steven Soderbergh’s finest hour in Hollywood, not only because it is the film for which he had finally won a Best Director Oscar, but alongside Erin Brockovich it helped him break into the more mainstream territory. But even as we talk about how it only continues to make him one of the most fascinating filmmakers of his own kind, it’s also amazing to think about how this film does not allow confine itself to the conventions of popular cinema at the time, because it also feels like a film that breaks down against the very system which even allowed it to get made. Soderbergh, having already established a firm ground for himself starting up a new movement of independent filmmakers with sex, lies, and videotape, has also found himself stretching beyond normal once again in a film about the drug trade.
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There are many stories being told within Avengers: Infinity War and I think that happens to be the best way for something of this sort to be shown to the screens because it gives every character what’s needed in order to create an emotional resonance with its viewers. In the past ten years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been telling individual story after another but have always been dependent on one another in order to form something of a larger scope and as all stories come together to form one singular Avengers story. The ambition is clear enough from how all of these characters established by their own entries are coming together once and for all, so the question to be asked is how does the film live up to the scope it promises? It’s a step up from both the last Avengers film and the Russo brothers’ last Marvel film, but I feel hesitant to go beyond saying it pays off completely after the Marvel Cinematic Universe has only recently released their two most interesting films since the first Guardians of the Galaxy.
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For the record, I don’t dislike superhero movies in general, but I’m not a particularly big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (so far, the only ones that really stood out to me that I really liked are Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and rarely would I call any of their offerings “bad” by any means. However, most of the time I find myself within a nonplussed state. As for more recent note, Captain America: Civil War leaves me with the same reaction which I carry towards the regular offering of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with that said, it’s a film recognizing its target audience and for those who like these films, I can’t fault one, but I really wish I could feel the love that I know many are picking out from these films because I feel like I’m being left out. Continue reading →