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Review: Endgame a roller-coaster ride of hopes and dreams, comedy and tragedy
Dubai, April 25, 2019
In a weekend unlike most, film theatres across the world are gearing up to entertain movie-goers with the eagerly-awaited Avengers: Endgame. By tomorrow, millions of eager fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would have seen the most-anticipated cinematic finale following ten years of build-up to the fate of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
With ticket sales shooting through the stratosphere, the 22nd film in the MCU sold more tickets in its pre-sales than its previous movies in the MCU franchise and other box-office knockouts like Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The last Avengers movie, Infinity War gathered about $2bn in worldwide ticket sales.
Witnessing the speed at which seats are being booked since tickets were opened to pre-sales, Marvel and Disney are expecting Endgame to cross ticket sales of even Avatar -- currently the highest grossing movie worldwide at $2.7bn. Opening weekend estimates are set at $900mn worldwide, currently, which could easily cross the $1bn mark within the first week itself.
While the movie opens in most countries on April 26, the UAE -- among a couple of other countries -- saw the premiere of Endgame on April 24. Fortunate enough to be one of those who secured tickets to the first day showing of the movie in Dubai, I no longer have to worry about the inevitable spoilers that are going to follow this weekend.
Envious peers aside, I feel that Endgame deserves a what-to-expect guide without giving away key moments. So, without spoiling the movie for you, read on to what I thought about the movie and what you should definitely look out for.
The movie is set in the aftermath of Infinity War, where Thanos has snapped his fingers to wipe out half the living creatures of the universe. Without most of the world's superheroes, the surviving crew is fighting for options to bring back their families and friends from dust.
As most superhero, or good-guy-fights-bad, movies go, Endgame follows an expected trajectory of trials and errors, some that lead to disastrous and often heart-wrenching results before they find the track that works. Loved heroes will show unexpected sides and emotions, although understandably so. More promising than others, the remaining band together to fight for their own personal reasons this time rather than just for the greater good of the world.
Fans can expect explanations as to how exactly the crew bands together within the first 15 minutes of the movie itself, having found themselves in literally different parts of the universe, left for dead.
As far as fan theories go, viewers have dreamed of scenarios that are not remotely close to what actually happens in the movie, save for one key theory which does not turn out the way viewers hope it would. However, Endgame tries to rise above most superhero movies by pushing the boundaries of expecting a simple happy ending with neatly tied loose ends.
Endgame promises to be a roller-coaster ride of hopes lifted and dreams crushed, comedy and tragedy, and in part emotionally confusing. There is also, as always, an avalanche of really cool graphics and stunts which makes one yearn for at least one superpower to join them on screen.
This also happens to be the last time actors such as Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Hemsworth will be reprising their famous characters, which by no means seals their MCU fate in either direction.
The only major disappointing element in this movie for me was the dramatically reduced on-screen time for many of my favoured characters. As the later Avengers movies go, this last one will see an ode to the origin of the Avengers in the MCU with its choice to focus on specific characters right from the start.
However, the movie is best viewed as a last chapter to the movie series, in which the loss of on-screen time can be compensated by storyline arcs from the previous movies that just happened to converge at a choice time in the larger story, as well as the dilemma of aptly showcasing the sheer number of people who have to appear on-screen in this 3-hour film. Many theatres and fans are already preparing for this experience with massive movie-marathons before they watch Endgame.
As far as deaths that occur or those who are brought back, if any at all, I will strictly follow the #DontSpoilTheEndgame rule.
The movie also displays some spectacular graphics, following the standard of its previous movies, as well as interesting costume and make-up changes for each of the main characters, keeping in tune with the natural progression of time and storyline. Looks have especially been crafted to mimic the characters' changing emotional states throughout the movie rather than simply superhero necessity.
As viewers, we expected our fellow audience to emote out loud at strategic moments, as we have come to expect in Indian movie theatres. However, we were pleasantly surprised to note that the movie was gripping enough to lose oneself without needing to acknowledge each dramatic point with loud cheers or collective gasps, thereby allowing each other to experience the movie without being interrupted. It could also be that viewers in Dubai are much different to those in India, but I like to think that MCU fans are of the same feather and were simply spellbound by this spectacular movie.
One of the PSAs that have been issued about the movie is that, unlike all other MCU movies, Endgame will be breaking tradition of not showing any post- or mid-credit scenes. Although this was kind of obvious, with the movie being staged as the finale to the major storyline in the series, a bunch of us were quite optimistic and stuck around to test the veracity of that news. Unfortunately, it’s true.
The movie has also raised the bar for a set of characters, who are expected to have stand-alone movies coming in the future, who will showcase arcs that will either be set after the Endgame or as historical deep dives.
Vinita Sonny Abraham is a post-graduate in Performance Studies and has trained in piano and ballet.
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