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We attended the Avengers: Endgame screening last night, in a packed, cramped little theatre at the V&A Waterfront. Armed with just enough popcorn to last 20 minutes, and a drink that I dare not touch, I endured all 186 minutes of the final episode of the Avengers series.
So, what can I tell you? No spoilers of course, but plenty else.
Okay, so it’s three-hours long, but does it feel like three hours?
Remember when Titanic debuted in 1997 and people called its 195 minute runtime absurdly long? Well, it was.
Avengers: Endgame is just nine minutes briefer, but it didn’t feel long at all. There are plenty of plot points to ponder, cameos to enjoy and heartfelt moments that’ll make you crunch your popcorn more vigourously. But, the pacing ramps up gradually enough to subtly disguise its length.
Does the entire Avengers cast return?
Why is Thanos purple? Who would win in a fight between him and Deadpool? When will Thor be a playable character in Fortnite?
Just like the answer to these questions, I simply cannot tell you.
But perhaps Thanos addicted to purple Fanta? Either way, Disney will snap me if I reveal any secrets.
What I can tell you is that the end credits sequence pays homage to the ensemble cast featured in the Infinity Saga, and the Avengers movies. And yes, the list is nearly as long as its runtime.
Do you need a history of Marvel movies to appreciate it?
Endgame does provide enough previous-movie context to prepare newcomers for the journey, but you’ll appreciate the relationship dynamics, plot points, and MacGuffins more if you’ve seen the past Avengers movies, as well as the more recent character-specific flicks.
How should I prepare for Avengers: Endgame?
Watch all four Avengers movies beforehand, and if you can, squeeze in as many MCU flicks as possible too. Otherwise, Infinity War should be more than enough for those who just want to enjoy the ride.
How would you describe Avengers: Endgame’s genre?
Unlike Infinity War, which was an all-out action movie that just kept accelerating, Endgame is more intellectual, psychological and emotional. It’s more subtle and self-aware with moments of silence and introspection.
In many ways, it’s more of a drama-action character study than an Avengers movie. That’s not to say it’s devoid of action, or comedy, or cringe product placements, but it’s definitely a movie for Marvel fans rather than those looking for shooty-shooty bang-bang entertainment.
Who is the central character in this movie?
This could be a thrilling debate if revealing my answer wouldn’t be a huge spoiler. Still, expect the original Avengers to share the lion’s share of screentime, as well as everyone’s favourite villain, Josh Brolin.
When should I plan to go to the toilet?
Well, this is a great question. To be entirely honest, there isn’t really a good time.
The opening scenes’ pacing is slow, matching the mood of the early picture and characters. But the pace does gradually quicken into a meaty crescendo. You’re going to need to absorb every single minute of this movie to really understand its rainbow plot. But, if I had to pick a moment, try somewhere around the two-hour mark.
The best tips I could give is perhaps don’t drink coffee beforehand, don’t purchase the largest drink on the menu, and be sure to relieve yourself before the movie.
Is it a good way to end the Avengers’ series? Is the ending satisfying?
That’s debatable. Of course, I can’t say more than that without giving away spoilers. But, personally, it’s a fitting final showcase of the characters, writers, producers, and movies that have formed the best part of my 20s.
As for the ending, well, I wouldn’t call it satisfying. Rather, neat, tidy, understandable, fitting.
Should I bring tissues?
Yes. This is the most emotional Avengers movie, possibly Marvel movie, ever released. I mean, it’s the end of an era, how could it not be emotional?
Is there an end credits scene?
No. But the end credits sequence is brilliant. Take a few moments after the flick to soak it all in.
Is Memeburn’s review out yet?
Why yes, you can read it, spoiler-free of course, right here.
Avengers: Endgame hits South African cinemas on Friday 26 April 2019.
Feature image: screenshot, Marvel Studios via YouTube