I thought I had all of the movies secured between DVD and what was available on cable. By the time I got up to Spider-Man: Far from Home, that film was no longer showing. I ended requesting four different Spidey films, which I’ll write about when they show up from the library.
In the meanwhilst, as they say in Life of Brian:
Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Lots of stuff – I love the word “stuff” – happens all over the freaking universe. Keeping track of all of the characters wasn’t too bad, though the simultaneous plotlines made it a bit of a jumble. I read about more errors and alleged goofs on IMDB – I disagree with a few – than I’ve seen on that site.
The movies did allow for some humor to peak through before the amazingly overlong final battles. Still, I want to see how they get out of this predicament. So it’s a really long tease for the finale. It was oddly reminiscent of how I felt after watching Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, Part 1.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) – if I had seen this right after Infinity War, rather than back in 2018, would it have changed my view? Probably not. In fact, Infinity War was so Big, So Significant, that I appreciated a story that was much smaller in scope. I like these people and care about them. And that’s enough.
Back to 1990?
Captain Marvel (2019). OK, this film takes place after the first Captain America, but before the first Iron Man. Well, except for the coda, which clearly happened AFTER Infinity War.
I really wanted to like this movie more than I did. The Kree-Skrull narrative was murky, both in terms of story and visuals. I didn’t really enjoy this until Nick Fury (the ever-young Samuel L. Jackson) shows up. I did like the camaraderie with her and her former pilot colleague. But damn, she was SO powerful, but didn’t know it until the movie’s practically over? My favorite part of the film was the nod to Stan Lee in the opening.
Avengers: Endgame (2019). This movie actually benefitted from far fewer people in the cast throughout most of the film. The good guys have lost. They want a do-over. Can they pull it off?
The question, I suppose, is the journey over nearly two dozen movies worth the payoff? Despite a few seeming inconsistencies, I say yes. I always knew where I was, though sometimes I was less clear when I was. My patience with the overly long final battle scene began to fray. Yet my single favorite moment was during the fracas, when Thor declared, “I KNEW it!”
And a small thing, I suppose. After the greatest number of named cast appearances that I’ve ever remember seeing, they gave proper credit to the big six: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. I was happy with Cap’s last act. Smart Hulk was a hoot. One hopes Thor finds his physique again.
This was, in the end, a Hollywood spectacle. Cecil B. DeMille might be proud. And I got the emotional payoff that one needs after 50 hours or so of narrative by over a dozen directors and more than two dozen screenwriters. That it is as coherent as it turned out to be is a cinematic miracle.