I got up this morning to go and watch Avengers: Endgame a second time. After working the midnight release, and checking the screens, I continued to notice little things that I wanted to experience again – so with today being my day off, I went back to the cinema for a rewatch.
With that in mind, I’m going to discuss the film in full. However, it will be exceptionally spoiler heavy, so if you haven’t seen the film yet, do not read this review. Don’t click ‘read more’. Don’t even look at the tags. Go watch this movie. But if you’re needing something to read, my original review can be found here.
RELEASED: April 25th 2019 DIRECTED BY: Joe & Anthony Russo WRITTEN BY: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige MUSIC BY: Alan Silvestri STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brie Larson & Josh Brolin
When I walked out of the screening of Avengers: Endgame on Tuesday night, I was conflicted. I knew what I had watched was good, and I enjoyed a lot of it, but something didn’t sit right with me. I’ll probably have to watch the movie again (at which point I’ll amend anything in here that’s off) and I may even do a spoiler review at that point, but here are my initial thoughts…
Avengers: Endgame sees a world where the bad guys won. After snapping his fingers and wiping out half the life in the universe, Thanos has retreated to a distant planet to live out his days, while the Avengers are left on Earth to pick up the pieces. But after discovering Thanos’ location, the Avengers reunite and decide to take one last shot at retrieving the Infinity Stones and bringing the fallen back to life.
I had a fairly decent sense of how this movie was going to play out. Between set photos I’d seen a year or two ago, and the trailers (which show even less of the movie than you’d think) I had a reasonably good idea of what the various beats of this film would be.
And while I wasn’t wrong, I think for most this film will hold a lot of surprises. The first ten minutes quickly let you know that things aren’t going to go the way you think, before the movie proceeds to do a hard right turn into ‘bonkers’ territory. The tone is a lot more upbeat and goofy than what the trailers promised, and at times, that can be a bit jarring when compared to the expectations you enter the cinema with (that’s not the fault of the film-makers of course, so much as it is the audience and marketing). There’s a lot of humour, and from some characters, in particular, it can seem like a little much.
But there’s also a lot of heart. This film is a very emotional journey, but unfortunately, for me, on first viewing – not all of it resonated. There are some pretty big hits, and I was watching them knowing I was meant to be feeling more than I was (or at least something) and coming up short. Maybe that was down to the offbeat tone. Or maybe I’m just soulless. We’ll see after I’ve watched the film again.
However, in spite of both that and the fact we all know Spider-Man: Far From Home is coming out in a few short months, and the MCU will continue, this very much does feel like the end of the story, regardless of whether or not all these ends resonate with you. Marvel Studios could just stop here, and the series, as a whole, would work. There’s not a lot in the way of set-up for the future, just a focus on making sure what’s on the table now is taken to the wholesome destination it needs to go.
In this regard, praise should be heaped upon screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Here, they’ve managed to write a three-hour movie, full of fan-service and pay-off, and yet at no point does it feel like a drag, nor overly rushed. The character work is generally quite strong, with every character getting their time in the spotlight. Along with the directors, they’ve managed to make a movie that’s both breezy and epic, yet without being as action-packed as it’s predecessor. Instead, it’s filled with love for these characters and a desire to tell a very different sort of story to what’s come before.
But when the action does come around, it’s great. Although I felt a bit conflicted about the film as a whole, one thing that I am 100% certain on is that the action is fantastic. In particular, there’s one particular one-on-one fight that continues to display the excellent choreography on the Russo brothers’ previous films, and there’s one particular sequence later in the film that’s even more spectacular than ‘the airport scene’. I’ve seen someone describe it as something like ‘the most epic superhero battle of all time’. They’re not wrong.
Overall, this isn’t the best Marvel film of the lot. In my opinion, it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Winter Soldier, Civil War or Infinity War. But maybe that’s not the point. It’s like watching a TV series. The penultimate episode is usually the most exciting – the one where the stakes are the highest. The final episode, in contrast, is more about closing things out in a satisfying way. And in that respect, I’d say Endgame succeeds.
However, I also feel like this is a similar feeling to how I felt about The Last Jedi. At first, there was a sense of melancholy (maybe I’m just depressed about the fates of some characters and I haven’t realised?), but as I continued to think about all the various factors in the film, the more I grew to love it. This is a very dense film, and I’m still processing it the next day, and for every “**** bothered me a bit“, there are five more instances of “but I loved it when ***** did *****“. But I’m confident with each subsequent rewatch I’ll grow to love it even more.
Well, here we are. Marvel Cinematic Universe movie number 21. The last film before Endgame and the penultimate film of Phase Three, and the first MCU film to follow a solo female superhero. But how does it do?
RELEASED: March 8th 2019 DIRECTED BY: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck WRITTEN BY: Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve, Geneva Robertson-Dworeet, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige MUSIC BY: Pinar Toprak STARRING: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Lashana Lynch, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Gemma Chan, Clark Gregg & Annette Benning
Up top, I just want to say that this film starts with a great little tribute to Stan Lee. Fun and very touching.
Set in the 1990s,Captain Marvel follows Vers, a soldier and member of the Kree – a race of noble warrior heroes. As part of ‘Starforce’, Vers is tasked with combating the shape-shifting Skrull terrorists to keep their homeworld of Hala safe. However, after a mission to stop the Skrulls goes awry, Vers finds herself stranded on the planet Earth, where along with S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Nick Fury, she must save the planet from an alien incursion.
For the first act of the movie, Captain Marvel boasts your standard mid-level science-fiction fare. Notorious Star Trek-looking baddies and slick, capable heroes bark words that will sound like nonsense to non-comic book fans, amidst gleaming metal cities and bleak ruins on deserted planets alike. While the cast is strong, it plays out like something you’ve seen a million times before. Furthermore, that’s blended with your classic Marvel humour that can be quite hit and miss and makes you wonder if this movie is going to lean more The Dark World than it is Infinity War.
Fortunately, the action then transitions to Earth, and ‘Captain Marvel’ (although I’m not sure she’s ever actually called that in the movie) gets to really prove herself. In Brie Larson, the hero finds a capable actress to fill out the role of our feisty new heroine. She revels in her immense power*, making a change from a lot of the male heroes who are weighed down by their past failures and responsibilities.
Bit of a hefty title, I know. But I actually saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse like a week ago, and after seeing it wasn’t sure I really had anything to say that others hadn’t said already. But now, I’m finally ready to jot down my thoughts in what is mostly a review, but also my opinion of the character of Miles Morales across the various mediums.
RELEASED: December 14th 2018 DIRECTED BY: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman WRITTEN BY: Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman PRODUCED BY: Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller & Christina Steinberg MUSIC BY: Daniel Pemberton
STARRING: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicholas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber & Chris Pine
When this movie was announced, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. Sure, I love Spider-Man, and I’m always down for a solidly animated movie, and heck – I’ve yet to see a Lord & Miller joint that I didn’t dig. But there was still one glaring problem slap-bang in the middle of that trailer that stopped me from getting invested: Miles Morales.
RELEASED: October 5th 2018 DIRECTED BY: Ruben Fleischer WRITTEN BY: Jeff Pinkler, Scott Rosenberg & Kelly Marcel PRODUCED BY: Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach & Amy Pascal MUSIC BY: Ludwig Göransson
STARRING: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott & Jenny Slate
I had spectacularly low hopes for Venom, which no doubt helped going into the film. The fact that Sony seemed intent on pushing forward with their own Spider-Man universe despite all evidence suggesting they didn’t know what they were doing was the first worrying sign. Then, the suggestion that this universe wouldn’t actually feature Spider-Man was another mind-boggling factor. Finally, the film’s terrible marketing campaign cemented my thoughts that this would be a bad movie.
I had gone from anticipating a film featuring a character from a franchise I love, to being morbidly curious about how bad this film would actually be.
Venom follows Eddie Brock, a reporter disgraced after asking too many questions about the sinister ‘Life Foundation’, headed up by Carlton Drake (I actually had to look up his name just then, even though I only saw this film the other day. That is a bad sign. But let’s continue…). Having obtained a group of alien life-forms known as symbiotes, Drake recklessly hopes to upgrade humanity so they can one day live off-world. But in trying to out Drake’s schemes, Brock is bonded with one of the aliens, and becomes a monstrous anti-hero. Together, he and his symbiote become determined to stop Drake at all costs, as his unchecked schemes could mean the end of mankind.
RELEASED: July 6th 2018 DIRECTED BY: Peyton Reed WRITTEN BY: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari & Paul Rudd PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige & Stephen Broussard MUSIC BY: Christophe Beck
STARRING: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortsen, Randall Park, Laurence Fishburne & Michelle Pfieffer
Hilarious. Innovative. Exciting. These are words I would expect to be using to describe an Ant-Man sequel free of the constraints laid upon it by a change of director a long way into the development process, and an Ant-Man sequel coming eight films later in the monumental Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Unfortunately, the reality is that a lot of this film is flat, disjointed and oft times only mildly amusing.
RELEASED: May 15th 2018 DIRECTED BY: David Leitch WRITTEN BY: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick & Ryan Reynolds PRODUCED BY: Simon Kinberg, Ryan Reynolds & Lauren Shuler Donner STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand & Stefan Kapičic
I’m kind of glad I didn’t actually re-watch Deadpoolbefore going to see this film (I had written that review a few years back, and after a few edits it seemed like a timely point to restore it), like I did the various Marvel movies before Infinity War and the Star Wars saga before The Last Jedi, because I feel it would probably have lessened the experience.
Let me just level with you before we get into this properly; working at a cinema, I dreaded the release of Deadpool 2 because it would no doubt encourage a bunch of underage kids to try and sneak in – a bunch of underage kids who, being underage, don’t have I.D., which, let me tell you, is really ruddy annoying. And when people feel entitled to see a film (of all things, seriously!) which they can’t due to age restrictions, it can bring forth the ways in which certain members of humanity are either extremely annoying, or in short, dirtbags. This may or may not have had an affect on my experience, as I feel I didn’t quite enjoy the film as much as fellow audience members. But I digress.
Deadpool 2 sees the return of, you guessed it, Deadpool, who has broadened his scope and become somewhat of an international hero. But after certain circumstances lead him into a complicated relationship with a young mutant called Firefist, Deadpool realises he can’t save the world alone, and decides to form a ‘super-duper-fucking-group’ (that line doesn’t make it to the actual movie, unfortunately) to protect Firefist from the time-travelling killer known as Cable.