Directed by: The Russo Brothers
Runtime: 160 minutes
It is hard to review a film enshrouded in such a veil of silence that even the slightest whiff of a spoiler could ruin an amazing experience for an audience member. This film wasn’t merely a film, it was an event. In my particular screening—my usual cinema was jam-packed with eager fans, buzzing with speculation and excitement. It was not lost on me that, like myself, a lot of these people would have trickled in for every Marvel movie, dutifully consuming the decade-long buildup for this behemoth. However, the most astonishing moment of this entire experience was the weight of the fans leaving the cinema in a heavy silence.
Why? Well, I can’t tell you. I actually can’t tell you much about this film. I have seen one trailer for this, but otherwise, I went into it completely blind—and it was probably the best way to enter this film. All I will say about the plot is: Thanos is finally here, baby, and he is ready to mess shit up. Marvel characters come together for the first time, there are witty zingers, laughs, spectacular action scenes, and hard-hitting emotional punches in every fan’s gut.
I cannot commend the Russo Brothers enough for what they have accomplished here. This is a film that had, probably, the highest expectations of any franchise venture in the last few years. A decade of content had been intricately woven to make this work. It is hard to forget that the first Avengers film was a risk for Marvel—kickstarting a cinematic universe that has, to this day, remained unrivalled. Essentially, Marvel changed cinema—providing us with one of the longest lasting film cycles and breaking box office records left, right, and centre.
But what about people who aren’t fans? I would say that, for these people, this film may fail to impress them. Critics that voice concerns about Disney monopolising the industry, that the Marvel formula is artless and soulless, that big-budget spectacle is not what cinema was invented for… this won’t change their mind. This is a film that has been made for fans of the franchise. The emotional moments will only hit home if you care about the characters first, and they are essentially the heart of the film. After spending ten years with these characters, we are given heartbreaking, emotional payoffs that could have only been afforded by the unique franchise setup.
To be real, this review will not influence whether you watch this film. Some of you would have seen it alongside me, the first day of release with Maltesers in hand ready to see what the last decade of my life had led up to. Some can only see it on the weekend, with blocked hashtags on your twitter account and a fear of checking your Facebook. Others just, don’t care—and this review won’t change your mind about that either.
In truth, Marvel has had this in operation for just under half of my lifespan. I saw the first Thor film in my final year of High School, The Avengers in my first year of university, and Guardians of the Galaxy as one of the first dates with my partner. I went to midnight launches of The Winter Soldier and Civil War, waited in the heat to see a glimpse of Taika Waititi as Thor: Ragnarok was being filmed in my home city, and snapped photos of Thor himself at the world premiere. If, like me, you feel like this film was made for you—go, watch it. I will warn you, you may not know what to do with the wave of emotion you are confronted with as it ends.