The first reviews for Avengers: Endgame have arrived. A direct followup to Avengers: Infinity War, Anthony and Joe Russo’s Endgame marks the long-awaited finale to Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 21 MCU films released to date. The movie further promises to usher in a whole new paradigm for the franchise at large. Indeed, by the time the Avengers have defeated Thanos once and for all in the film, the MCU (and all the beings that populate it) could end up looking a whole lot different.
That being said, it was recently revealed that July’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, not Endgame, marks the true end to Phase 3. Even so, Endgame is expected to conclude the Infinity Saga, with Far From Home serving as an epilogue that feeds into Phase 4. With so much secrecy around the latter right now, it’s little wonder that Disney and Marvel have been jumpier than usual about keeping Endgame spoilers under wraps. Now, however, they’ve finally screened the movie for the press, ahead of its release in theaters this week.
Disney and Marvel dropped the social media embargo on Endgame reactions last night, following its world premiere. The film has since been shown to critics in general, who have started weighing in with their thoughts and feelings about the movie’s quality, all the hype and subterfuge aside. For more on that, check out these spoiler-free excerpts from the early Endgame reviews.
Molly Freeman, Screen Rant
Ultimately, Avengers: Endgame is a whole lotta movie, but the filmmakers put every single second of its three-hour runtime to good use. Since Endgame concludes the Infinity Saga (the official title of the story thus far), Marvel and the filmmakers have the unenviable task of delivering a movie that satisfies all MCU fans. While there are bound to be aspects of Avengers: Endgame that don’t work for all viewers, for the most part the movie actually, truly offers a satisfying ending to the Infinity Saga.
Leah Greenblatt, EW
For the millions who watched half the Marvel universe vaporize onscreen in the final moments of 2018’s Infinity War… there had to be one last sequel to set it right. Nearly a year to the day, Endgame returns with the promise of many things: revenge, redemption, a runtime that defies the limits of most streetside parking meters. And the movie largely delivers, splashing its ambitious three-hour narrative across a sprawling canvas of characters, eras, and not-quite-insurmountable challenges.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
“Avengers: Endgame” has almost nothing on its mind but crossing the Ts and dotting the Is of a far-flung superhero saga, but to anyone with even a minor emotional stake in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it has all the fleeting satisfaction of a shot of whipped cream delivered directly from the spray can. And that’s not a bad thing… “Avengers: Endgame” is a popcorn epic, of the extra salt-and-butter variety.
Angie Han, Mashable
Avengers: Endgame is not the best Marvel movie ever made. It’s not the prettiest or the funniest; it won’t blow your mind with new ideas or complicated character development. But it is the most Marvel movie ever made, and there’s something incredible about that. This is Marvel flexing, building on over 10 years and 20-plus films of careful groundwork and intricate planning to show us what it can do that no other movie franchise can. As such, it’s an immensely satisfying finish to this era of the series.
Peter Debruge, Variety
Time and again, “Endgame” makes the point that family matters, whether that means biological ties… or those bound by duty. The final takeaway from this decade-long journey is that heroism isn’t defined by bravery or super-abilities, but by what one gives up for the greater good. Among the many frustrations of the Snap was that it robbed so many great characters – and gazillions of anonymous creatures throughout the galaxy – of proactively making that choice. “Endgame” isn’t exactly a do-over, but it builds to an infinitely more satisfying conclusion.
Todd McCarthy, THR
A gargantuan film by any standard, this three-hour extravaganza shuffles back into the action numerous significant characters seen in recent Marvel films as it wraps up an epic story in which the survival of the known universe is (once again) at stake. While constantly eventful and a feast for the eyes, it’s also notably more somber than its predecessors. But just when it might seem about to become too grim, Robert Downey Jr. rides to the rescue with an inspired serio-comic performance that reminds you how good he can be.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
Suffice to say, “Endgame” delivers the payoff countless fans hoped for, even as it struggles to fuse that commercial mandate into a gratifying whole. There’s much to enjoy about this mishmash of tender goodbyes and last-minute strategies to save the universe, but after an intelligent first hour, “Endgame” amounts to a dense nostalgia trip. With “Infinity War,” it was thrilling to watch a mass-market movie let the bad guy win, and it’s less satisfying to see the Avengers clean up the mess one last time. The title of “Endgame” is misleading: This busy love letter to the biggest movie franchise of all time unleashes several endings at once, resulting in a fascinating – if at times messy – collection of competing agendas.
Laura Prudom, IGN
Endgame is a film that feels like it was made by fans, for fans – to the point where some scenes will undoubtedly be labeled as outright fanservice. But it’s hard to view those moments as cynical pandering so much as earned and effective homages to the moments, characters, and relationships we’ve grown so invested in over the past 11 years. Several scenes truly feel like a Jack Kirby splash page come to life, and that’s an utterly exhilarating realization, something that forces you to absorb the sheer scope of what Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and his team have assembled: an interconnected cinematic endeavor beyond comparison.
Altogether, it sounds like Endgame is a splashy, sprawling, messy, and ultimately triumphant love letter to the MCU’s fans. Nearly every review for the film so far notes that it’s overflowing with fan service moments, yet appear to agree that Endgame is largely justified in taking this approach. It seems that everyone involved with the movie’s production (from its ensemble cast to its equally massive crew) are also aware of the film’s significance, and stepped up their game accordingly. The end result might not be Marvel Studios’ best, but (to paraphrase one of these reviews) it’s certainly their Marvel-est movie, and should leave fans feeling emotionally satisfied… if also pretty drained, in the end.
Yes, as though it wasn’t already obvious, nearly every review makes it clear: Endgame should succeed in making viewers feel a wide range of emotions, by the time it’s over. Several people admitted to crying multiple times while watching the film in the early reactions, so everyone would do best to prepare themselves as necessary. Beyond that, it’s good to hear that the movie lives up to the staggering expectations overall, and concludes the Infinity Saga on an altogether strong note. Here’s to the next eleven years of MCU storytelling to come.
NEXT: The 5 Movies You Have to Watch to Understand Avengers: Endgame
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