Avengers: Endgame Review (Spoiler Free)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has spanned 11 years, starting with Ironman and built several billion dollar franchises as new movies have been released each year. All of these movies have accumulated into major crossover event films known as The Avengers. Endgame is the fourth and biggest of these Avenger films. After the major cliffhanger in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, this movie seeks to conclude the Infinity War arc. Have the years of build up over a decade of films lead to an epic finale, or did it devolve into a convoluted mess?

The Good:

  1. Since the great “ah snap” moment from Infinity War, the cast was reduced significantly from the last film which actually worked to it’s benefit. My problem with the last movie was that there were too many people interacting on interacting plot points. Granted, Infinity War was more cohesive than it should have been; but this movie was a lot more focused and structured than the previous movie.
  2. Due to the focused narrative and structure, it doesn’t feel like a 3 hour long movie. I know many people worry when movies get that long, but it doesn’t feel it’s length.
  3. You get some great character interactions and solid jokes here and there. While the bulk of the main cast are OG avengers (Ironman, Captain America, Thor) you do get a few of the newcomers like Antman, Rocket and Nebula adding their own flair to the OG cast.
  4. Get ready for some major hype moments, the third act climax is easily the most epic sequence in any Marvel movie.
  5. I thought the conclusions of many of the character arcs developed over the past decade were quite satisfying. And no, I don’t count that as spoilers since “conclusions” is still ambiguous.

The Bad:

  1. Not all the characters were treated equally as there were one I felt may have regressed a bit (even though I understand why, it only feels like they haven’t learned anything in the past films).
  2. Due to the nature of the movie, there’s a lot that is open in the way of plot holes. It can’t be avoided though, they made a fine effort to plug in the holes that they could.

Awkward Walk-In Rating: 2/5

I would say that its a far darker film than we have seen before, especially the first act of the film. If you saw Infinity War you would know why. It also seemed to be much more violent then past Marvel films, with a bit more gratuitous details that might be pushing it for younger kids.

Overall:

Endgame is much better than Infinity War was. Due to aforementioned structure that the previous movie was lacking: it was easier to follow, everything flowed better and the cast had more time to develop their characters with a clear goal in mind. It isn’t a perfect movie but I am much more impressed with this film then I have been the other Avenger films. The first one is fun and novel as it was the first movie of its kind on that grand a scale. But I’m not as enamored to the other Avenger films. This one may be the best one overall though. But time will tell if this movie becomes a classic.

I tried to be as vague as possible to avoid any major spoilers. There is much more I could talk about. But as we are this close to opening, I won’t mention specifics. One spoiler that I will give you is this: there is no post credits sequence! Shocking I know, but I also saved you 7 minutes. You’re welcome.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Review

Ant-Man and the Wasp

In 2015 we were introduced to one of Marvel’s lesser-known superheroes, Ant-Man. It was a lighter film with a very good mix of humor and action. Ant-Man also made an appearance in Captian America: Civil War, where he played a fairly important role. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, we’ll see the consequences of Scott Lang’s (Ant-Man’s) decisions and the introduction of the Wasp. Will this sequel suffer from some of the overdone humor that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and Thor Ragnorok do? Or will we get that perfect mix of humor, action, and drama?

Likes

Adam

  1. I like the conflict of Scott Lang. He is paying the price of his decision to help Captain America in Civil War. He has 2 different groups that need his help and he doesn’t feel he can help one without hurting the other. Does he have to pick one and let go of the other? I felt that this was an interesting struggle, and I liked the decision he made in the end.
  2. The fight and action sequences were fantastic. With the ability to grow and shrink it added different dimensions to each sequence. They were all visually stunning and very interesting to watch.
  3. The humor. They did bring the humor level up a little bit from Ant-Man but due to Marvel setting our expectations in Ant-Man I expected this level of humor. So instead of going over the top like a couple of the previous Marvel films, Ant-Man and the Wasp was right at the level that I was ready for.
  4. Casting. They did a great job casting Ant-Man and all of the returning characters are great but the new characters were also very good.

Luke

  1. The comedy in this movie was pretty good, I was laughing for a good portion of it. It was a fun movie to boot. Everything you would want from a Marvel movie.
  2. I agree with the casting, everyone played their part very well.

Dislikes

Adam

  1. The mid-credit and post-credit scenes. All I can say is I called that something like this would happen and I am not happy that I was right.
  2. Bobby Cannavale’s Character. The change in his and Scott’s relationship from the last movie to this one was somewhat drastic. It was jarring for me and took me out of the moment every time.

Luke

  1. The villain was a sizable let down. I was hoping that Marvel was finally figuring out how to make interesting antagonists, this one was very forgettable in comparison to Killmonger and Thanos.
  2. These might be the least heroic superhero film that I’ve ever watched. The whole premise is all about serving the self-interests of the Pym family. Ant-man was kind of pulled in for the ride is by no means the protagonist in the film. While this isn’t a deal breaker on its own, the problem was that the story was trying to be about Scott Lang but he was only reacting to the events around him. He did not really drive the plot at all. The Wasp is more of a protagonist than Antman was. (Again, not a bad thing if the focus was on her.)

Awkward Walk-in Meter: 2/5

Adam

The action was normal for a Marvel movie. A little kissing but nothing crazy. Ghost and the Quantum Realm was a little psychedelic but not to bad. I didn’t have any issues bringing my kids to this film.

Overall

Adam

I really enjoyed this film. I went expecting to have fun and laugh and it totally delivered. It didn’t feel like the humor was too overboard because that is what I expect from Ant-Man. I felt like Ant-Man’s character developed and grew and progressed. Ant-Man and the Wasp is definitely worth seeing in the theater and a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Luke

This was a fun movie, but most of the MCU is and doesn’t mean they will have longevity. This is one that I think may be forgotten in the long run, especially since it’s in the shadow of two of Marvel’s most successful films to date. But if you want the action comedy of Deadpool without the crudeness, this would be the best thing to watch this summer.

Check out our other movie reviews here

Avengers: Infinity War Review

Avengers: Infinity War

In 2008, two important events happened. I married my wonderful wife (Adam speaking) and on May 2 Iron Man came out in U.S. theaters. This film kicked off a unique cinematic experiment that has created the most expansive and connected film universe in history. Avengers: Infinity War is the film that all previous films have been leading to. We have been getting hints for the past 10 years about Thanos and the Infinity Stones. The tension has been growing and the time has finally come for us to get to see what this has all been leading to. Is it everything we have hoped for? We’ll keep it spoiler free.

Likes:

Adam

  1. I was surprised. There was more than one occasion where I did not see something coming. I was expecting certain tropes to happen several times and then they didn’t.
  2. Combination of groups. There are a lot of different groups of heroes and it was cool and interesting how they came together in an organic natural way.
  3. The emotion. Infinity War has a lot of emotional tones. There is humor but this movie let itself be more serious. The situation is more grave than it has ever been and the film embraced it. I  felt my heartstrings plucked more than once.
  4. Thanos. As villains go he is in my top 3. There is so much more to him than we have been privy to and we really get to see him flushed out. It is a lot less black and white than we have been lead to believe.

Luke

  1. The movie was entertaining throughout, and it gave opportunities for different characters who haven’t interacted together to have some screen time together. Thor with the Guardians of the Galaxy has some interesting chemistry (not spoilers since it was in the trailer).
  2. Thanos was a far more interesting villain than most of what Marvel has offered thus far. Between him and Killmonger, Marvel has finally produced some interesting villains.

Dislikes:

Adam

  1. The power of one specific character never seems to be up to where it had been in previous movies. It was a little off-putting for me because I like this character.
  2. The ending. Can’t really say more than that at this point.

Luke

  1. It’s hard to get into some stuff without getting into major spoilers, so it may be better not to discuss it at all (meaning warning, I could imply spoilers). As vague as I can make it, let us just say that I felt the ending was the big budget form of the “gunshot fade to black” trope found in student films.
  2. This really can’t be helped since you’re putting in so much into one movie, but the plot was scattered all over the place. You’re dealing with up to 5 different subplots happening simultaneously, while it isn’t as messy as it could be, it would be really hard to follow if you’re not up-to-date on the Marvel movies.

Awkward Walk-In Meter: 3/5

Adam

This film is a normal Marvel PG-13 except for two things that are briefly glimpsed in the trailer. There is a scene with Doctor Strange that has mild torture. Also, the creatures you see in Wakanda are a little gruesome. These two scenes can be a little intense for kids.

Infinity War Overall:

Adam

Coming out of the theater I really wanted to love this movie. If I’m being totally honest I don’t fully understand all of my feelings for this movie and it is going to take me time to process. There was a lot of great stuff in this movie and I enjoyed watching it. I was on the edge of my seat for a lot of it. I felt like the humor and seriousness of the film was well balanced. I loved a lot of the new character combinations. The end is where I have the hardest time figuring out my feelings. Sadly, I have to say my overall feeling is unsatisfied.

Luke

Honestly, I still don’t know what to make of this movie. I’m sure many will call it bold and like what they did, but I don’t feel satisfied by the ending. Let’s just say that there is no catharsis awaiting you in this movie. There are some fun moments of characters interacting for the first time, the action is intense and there’s plenty of humor. But I didn’t feel good coming out of this movie (which is why people go to see these movies). The only way I can fully articulate my feelings leaving the theater was this internet meme: