Bad news and good news. First,
the bad news: it's way too
long. Yes, I know, they had a
lot of story to tell, and a bunch of characters sharing screen time, but
any movie that lasts three hours either needs an intermission or a better
It also takes a while to get going.
The first part is sad to the point of morose, and the characters
act like they're all depressed, which they are, but that doesn't make them
any fun to be around. And it
sure doesn't make them superheroes. It
seems the bad guy, Thanos (a hulking caricature of Josh Brolin), got the
better of them, and they all seem kind of de-energized back in the
clubhouse. It doesn't even
help to get their revenge on Thanos, because, true to his name (Greek for
“death”), he's managed to kill off half the world's population, in the
hopes that the other half could then have the room to thrive and prosper.
But the ensuing chaos and devastation and grief have proven that
theory entirely wrong. The
gathered good guys finally get an idea how to go forward---by traveling
back in time. Yes, we all know
that time travel scenarios are fraught with logical difficulty.
They even make reference to that here, in previous films that have
featured time travel, and supposedly gotten it wrong.
But these guys are going to get it right because they need a
do-over so they can save literally half the world.
Besides, they have reinforcements this time that they didn't have
before, in the personas of superheroes who have premiered on the big
screen since then (proving that the comic book culture is cumulative, and
There are many A-list actors who've bet their reputations on this
very popular brand of pulp fantasy, but the good news is that they somehow
make their personas believable, even with the funky costumes and the
mind-bending abilities. We get
just enough introduction to them all to keep them (mostly) straight for
the climactic battle scene at the end, which alternates between resembling
a medieval melee with magic and CGI sci-fi technology, but don't worry,
parents, there isn't a lot of blood and gore.
It's really more about guts and teamwork, because it takes all the
superheroes working together to finally bring down Thanos, and fittingly,
the mortal blow is a self-sacrificial one, which almost gives it religious
Yes, there's still some happily ever after here, but things will
never quite be the same in subsequent comic book movie venues, because we
now have one or two fewer characters inhabiting the pantheon.
But judging by the un-self-conscious cheering from the audience on
opening night, this movie will do well at the box office, despite its many
insider subplots. Fantasy is
alive and well on the big screen. And
it's making big bucks for the movie industry, which means, you guessed it,
“Endgame” is not the last word, but is instead the closing of one
chapter in order to to begin another.
Which superhero would you rather be?