This is Not an "Avengers: Endgame" Review


By Bennett Weinschenk

Let me start off on the wrong foot, and say that Avengers: Endgame isn’t really a film. Not really. That being said, I loved watching Endgame. Yes, some of the time-travel rules don’t make sense (oh, right spoilers ahead), and there are points where it has that classic Marvel Studios touch of not going as far as I would like it, but beyond that, I don’t think Avengers: Endgame is a film, or even a movie, if you’re one of those people that somehow believes the latter term is a lesser one. No, Avengers: Endgame is a comic-book.

Watching both Infinity War and Endgame reminded me of the experiences I would have reading comic books like Civil War, Days of Future Past, or Secret Wars. Some of your favorite characters are at the forefront of the story; some come in for three-pages, drop some exposition, maybe punch a guy or two, then they exit stage left for the rest of the story. People on Twitter have been complaining that Captain Marvel or Okoye didn’t get enough screen-time despite having top-bill casting on the posters. I would’ve loved to see more of both those characters, but I’m not sure how either would’ve served the story better than the already did. Daredevil is one of my favorite comic book characters, and he is in the comic version of Civil War for maybe three different scenes, and he has like two lines. But it was still badass as hell in the climatic pages of battle, watching him kick-ass with Team Cap.

I think it’s great to see the pages of comic books, the pages of my adolescence, brought to life on the big screen. It’s not like The Dark Knight, which brings the world of comics into the world of filmmaking, and thumbs its nose at some of the more inherently campy source material. The Russo Brothers, and I think Marvel Studios as a whole, have done a stellar job of using the tools of filmmaking to visualize comic book storytelling. Sure, Avengers: Endgame obeys the hallmarks of traditional filmmaking storytelling, but it’s also a film that rests on the backs of at least twenty-other films. Without those prior films, Endgame wouldn’t be able to stand on its own two feet. The same is true for comic storytelling. Secret Wars, or the Skrull Invasion wouldn’t have worked if they hadn’t been set up for months and years in the pages of other heroes comic books.

I’m not saying any of this to cheapen the accomplishments of Endgame, or the MCU as a whole. I’m just saying this, because when Twitter gets upset because the film wasn’t nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, it’s going to be worth reminding them that this movie isn’t for the Oscars. This movie, in my mind, doesn’t qualify. It is something entirely different, and special, and we have to start treating the Marvel Cinematic Universe like the unique stories that they are.

Bennett Weinschenk